The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/25

Posted on | November 25, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/25

Scripture reading: Leviticus 20:22–26

The Impossible Possibility

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written,

“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (I Peter 1:15–16)

 

The word “holy,” appearing over six hundred times in the Bible, is undoubtedly one of the most important concepts in all Scripture. The basic meaning of this word involves two realities:

,. To be set apart for God, separate. To be holy is to belong to God and God alone.

,. To be morally pure, clean, and wholly devoted. Holiness is not so much about a perfection of performance as it is a perfection of love.

In the Bible, the word “holy” is applied to God (Holy Father), the Spirit (Holy Spirit), the furnishings of the Temple (holy pots and pans, Holy of Holies), and the very book in which we find this information (Holy Bible). But the most astounding use of this word is when it is applied to sinful human beings like us. Followers of Christ are called “saints” (literally, “holy ones”). Because God is holy, his followers are expected to be holy too. Peter sums up the Biblical teaching on this matter when he boldly says: Be holy because God is holy (I Peter 1:15–16). Notice closely:

,. This is a command. Being holy is not optional! It is not something that applies only to missionaries and martyrs. Peter expects every follower of Jesus Christ to be like Jesus: holy in all his conduct. Because it is a command, the con- sequences for failing to obey are severe: Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). The Greek tense of the verb (aorist) implies that there is a moment in time when a person passes from sin to holiness. Though many places in the New Testament speak of the ongoing, gradual, progressive aspect of growing in holiness, here Peter is calling us to enter in, now!

,. This is a command addressed to Christians. Peter is writing to the “elect,” to those who have been “born again” (1:1, 3). In other words the call to holiness is a call for those who have already repented of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ, to take a deeper step of whole-hearted surrender and whole-hearted trust. Salvation is more than forgiveness of past sins and the promise of future heaven. Jesus died and sent his Spirit so that we can live in victory over sin, today. Salvation aims not only to get us out of sin but to get sin out of us. When we are walking in holiness, sin may remain but it does not reign.

,. This is a command addressed to Christians to be something, not to do something. Peter is not telling us to do holy things. He is calling us to be holy. Pharisees have always believed that holiness was about performance. But Jesus taught that holiness was about the condition of our hearts. Peter is not calling us to a perfection of behavior but to a perfection of intention where we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

,. This is impossible! Come on, be holy? Like God is holy? In all my conduct? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s preposterous! There is no way I can live like that! And of course, you are exactly right. But here is the good news of the Gospel: what you can’t do, God can!

Maybe your inability to live the holy life is because you are trying too hard! Be still and trust him to do what you can’t.

 

There are three degrees of consciousness . . .

      1. the old self in the old way; 2) the old self in the new way; 3) the new self in the new way.  prayer focus • That the God of peace himself will sanctify you completely.point to ponder • Holiness is a matter of perfect love, not perfect performance.—Charles William

point to ponder Holiness is a matter of perfect love, not perfect performance.

prayer focus That the God of peace himself will sanctify you completely.

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