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We have the study guide, Foundations of Faith available at our cost and we can ship them immediately. I look forward to sharing this study with you….Janet
Do you remember when Christians were occasionally accused of having a “holier-than-thou” attitude?
Holiness became something we thought we were supposed to avoid in order to make others feel better about themselves.
Sadly, holiness is our calling and our great gift.
To start with, what is holiness?
Most of our discomfort with the word can be cured with a right understanding of the definition.
We need to define the word like Scripture defines it and not as our culture does.
The biblical meaning of “holy”
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for holy, qodes, meant “things belonging to God.”
There were altars, places, the temple, and items involved in worship that were to be “made holy” by consecrating them only for God.
In addition, God told Moses, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). The people of Israel were set apart and asked to live holy lives because they belonged to God and therefore were consecrated for his holy work.
In the New Testament, the word for holiness is similar but not exactly the same. Hagiazo meant “things that are made holy.” A person is made holy through the blood of Christ, and we are set apart from others in our world as a result.
According to the New Testament, those who have received the Holy Spirit of Christ have been made holy.
Christians are holy.
We don’t need to work to be holy. We work to live as holy.
Are you comfortable with your holiness?
It’s not easy for Christians to see ourselves as holy, but we are.
Jesus paid for our eternity. We have a new name. We are the adopted children of God. We have a first-class, paid-in-advance room on the ark.
In other words, we survive the world’s upcoming flood eternally. For now, holiness means we live on the ark, separated from the world but still in it.
The only remaining questions are: When will the rain begin, and when will God shut the door?
Holiness is living our redeemed life
I really enjoyed watching A Rush of Hope over the Labor Day weekend.
According to reports, thousands of people gave their lives to Christ for the first time because they watched. Greg Laurie’s message was clear, biblical evangelism. A lot of people “booked their room” on the ark.
I also watched I Can Only Imagine one more time. Laurie used clips from the movie in A Rush of Hope. I Can Only Imagine is a great reminder of the power of God to change a person’s life.
In the movie, Bart Millard said something like, “My dad was a monster. But he became a good man through his faith in Christ. If Jesus can change my dad from a monster to a good man, Jesus can redeem anyone’s life.”
If you grew up in the church like I did, our redeemed lives probably don’t look drastically different than our lives before salvation. But they are.
Do you ever think about what your life would look like if you hadn’t met Jesus?
Maybe we should rewrite the first line of Millard’s song with that thought: I can only imagine what it would be like If I could never walk by his side.
We are called to be holy
I wrote a book more than a decade ago and titled it Content to be Good, Called to Be Godly.
I was a preacher’s wife who felt like God’s church was headed in some wrong directions. Evangelism had often been exchanged for tolerance, and tolerance had offered inclusion. The problem was, some felt included by the church who might not have been included on the ark. I wanted to write a book to help people understand what God wants for our lives.
God’s standards are high and holy. Jesus came to be both Savior and Lord. We aren’t allowed to lower God’s standards of faith in order to make people more comfortable.
Why do Christians want to believe we are supposed to try to fit in with non-Christians?
Why do we think we are supposed to act more like the world so that the world won’t think of us as “holier than thou?”
Arrogance isn’t godly, but neither is pretending to be less than holy.
Our faith in Christ sets us apart from the rest of the world. We have been “made holy.” Jesus paid the ultimate price for our safe passage on the ark.
We shouldn’t want to go swimming in the floodwaters.
Get comfortable with holiness
The point of this blog post is this: if we are uncomfortable with holiness, we probably won’t wear it.
First Peter 5:5 tells Christians to “clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” In other words, holiness looks a lot like humility. We are supposed to wear it so Jesus will be noticed, not us.
We didn’t earn our passage on the ark; it was a gift from Jesus. Let’s wear our gratitude for his gift each day.
It isn’t comfortable at first, but, like most well-made garments, it gets more comfortable over time. In fact, if we wear our holiness every day, it might begin to feel like our favorite old T-shirts.
People are observing our lives, and we will have the opportunity to help some gain safe passage on the ark. Everyone has been offered a ticket, but each person needs to get on board—before the rain starts and God closes the door.
Get comfortable with your holiness.
God paid a great price so you could own it.
When the gate closes and the ramp is withdrawn, everyone will be wearing holiness.
Then we will feel like we belong in the crowd.
Until that day, get comfortable with feeling set apart, consecrated to God.