Enjoying Holiness

Enjoying Holiness2God’s Kingdom is the realm where we enjoy holiness.  That’s obviously true for our afterlife, but it includes the here and now.  Our challenge in the here and now is that the reality and work of holiness is greatly misunderstood.

Holiness Is Far More Than Purity

Essentially holiness is a diamond of highest value.  The beautiful gem stone has many facets.  Those facets include purity of thought, word, and actions.  But as vital as it is, purity is only part of the full understanding of holiness.

Holiness Is The Experience of Wholeness

Holiness is a life that is intentionally separated unto God and His abundance.  We live is such a sin conscious approach to understanding God and His good news that when we think of holiness, we automatically think about being separated from sin.  And we keep looking at the sin we need to be separated from instead of being separated to God and His described abundant life.

The emphasis needs to be on being separated to God rather than separated from sin.  Looking unto Jesus and the fullness of His life.

Who Does The Separating?

Here is where it gets real.  The first thing that we need to realize is that the power of holiness is in the Holy Spirit/The Spirit of Holiness.  As we begin choosing to fix our attention on the truth of the Gospel past, present, and future, there begins to be an active power that is at work within us.  That power is identified by one of God’s covenant names, “ JehovahM’Kaddesh” the One who sanctifies us.

What’s Our Part?

If you say to me that we have to cooperate with our sanctification (our holiness), I would agree with you.  But, I would not agree with what many people say that entails.  To a great many sincere, but religiously minded, people they believe that being holy is us choosing to stop sinful thoughts and behavior.

That’s fine.  Try it.  How’s that working out for you?

Our part is to choose to put our minds on the greatness of God in Jesus Christ and everything that means past, present, and future.

When you do that.  When you embrace the abundance of His life and provision for you, when you stop focusing on what you can’t do, and fix your attention on what He has done, is doing, and will do, your “tastes/desires” begin to change…without much stopping effort on your part.

<to be continued…>

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

“Be Holy” – And What’s It Really All About?

Let me suggest another take on the act and art of being holy.  It’s in the Bible…so it’s part of my “marching orders.”  It’s been defined in sermon after sermon.

Typically…in fact in most every sermon and teaching I’ve ever heard…the perception left could be stated in these words:

Holiness = Sinning Less

Instead, I believe there’s another take that is more in keeping with the mission of Jesus.  I state even further that the following definition is what needs to be the primary emphasis of our teachings and thinking:

Be Holy =  Love More

“Love More” may strike you as a different subject altogether.  However God is, in very nature, love and holy.  Our western minds parse that into segments, but He is all of what He is…all together.

I would also extend that observation to say that “Be holy as I am holy” in 1st Peter 1:16-18 is less of a order and more of an invitation.

I believe that there are many issues that we are treating as COMMANDS (Do this because I say or you’re gonna fry) that are, in fact, “invitations” to walk in the Jesus kind of life.

I often say to the gathering of people where I am privileged to be the lead pastor, “The Bible is overflowing with invitations to experience.”

To sum up…

I’m not winking at acts and attitudes of the flesh that we all deal with and describe as sin.

I am saying that, for me, a more authentic thought would be…

Be more loving as I am fully loving.  That’s the way to experience the beauty and power of God in the lives of those around you.

What are your thoughts?  Chime in in the comments because authentic Christianity is more about have a relationship with our Savior in community than the Western emphasis on have a ‘personal savior’  (Shoot…you can comment on that statement too if you wish.)

Gary