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Be holy? what-a?

October 27, 2012

A little dialogue that unraveled in my thoughts when I read this confrontational verse in the Bible this morning: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”

So what? why should the fact that God is holy motivate me to be the same?

So that you can be in a relationship with him. His very essence is holiness, and naturally it is impossible for him to tolerate sin, because this would compromise his very nature, the force that holds the universe together.

So why would I want a relationship with God? Can’t I do just fine without him?

Because you were created by him. To not be in a relationship with him is like or worse than the pain of being alienated from your own parents or those you consider closest to you. It leads to a meaningless life. Even though rebellion – being our own authority in life – seems desirable, in reality we are cutting ourselves off from our life-source: God. We need a relationship with God, even though we may not desire it (yet).

But what if I can’t be holy? Even when I act perfectly, in my thoughts I’m still self-centered or just downright dirty.

This is why Jesus Christ, God himself, came to earth in human form. He is perfectly holy, and his death was in our place so that we could be declared holy and we could be in a relationship with him. And the same power that resurrected him from the dead three days later empowers you to live a joyful life of holiness. You are freed from the clutch of sin and you have a restored relationship with your Creator, your Heavenly Father, who loves you.

So how do I get in on this?

You believe it! God’s Spirit comes to dwell in your heart, your soul. And you build relationships with others who believe it too, so you can enjoy your relationship with God together and “sharpen” each other in holiness, like iron sharpens iron. (This is called ‘church.’) More delight in God grows more holiness in your thoughts and actions, which in turn grows more delight in God, because God is the essence of holiness itself. And what good news this is to share with others who don’t know it or understand it!

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