“Worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth!”
(1 Chronicles 16:29b-30a)
We are called into relationship with a holy God. Holiness is not something we can gain by our own efforts, our striving or even by using spiritual disciplines (as the Wesley brothers learnt). Yet in both the Old and New Testaments we are told to ‘be holy’.
“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy’”
1 Peter 1:14-16
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy”
“God is holy with an absolute holiness that knows no degrees, and this He cannot impart to His creatures. But there is a relative and contingent holiness which He shares with angels and seraphim in heaven and with redeemed men on earth as their preparation for heaven. This holiness God does impart to His children. He shares it with them by imputation, and by impartation, and because He has made it available to them through the blood of the Lamb, He requires it of them. . . ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy. He did not say, ‘Be ye as holy as I am holy,’ for that would be to demand of us absolute holiness, something that belongs to God alone”. (A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, p. 113)
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord”
The Greek word for holy, “hagios” means separate from common condition and use; dedicated, consecrated.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19; also 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16).
Reflect and Respond
In his great love the Lord has provided a way of holiness for us. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” ( 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Part of our journey in holiness is to treasure the gift of Jesus and all he did on the cross, and be thankful. This gift of our salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit point to the Lord’s extravagant love and generosity, enabling us to be in close relationship to a holy God. It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us in our innermost being and helps us to live a life of holiness and closeness to the Lord.
The pursuit of holiness involves:
- surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ
- submitting our will to the will of God
- getting rid of sin in our lives and anything that stops us from being close to a holy God.
- knowing, receiving and obeying the Word of God.
- yielding (surrendering) to the Holy Spirit.
In all areas of life with the Lord we are not passive partners. Our pursuit of holiness is a love response to our Lord. Our pursuit of holiness can reflect our desire to see God. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
On a scale of one to ten (with ten being high commitment) how committed are we to pursuing holiness?
Are we always teachable, sensitive and listening to the promptings and guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Does our church, our community of believers, display holiness?
Yours forevermore – Suncoast Music
Hymn – Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness
We praise and thank you Lord God that you have set us apart through the precious blood of Jesus. We praise and thank you that in Jesus, who knew no sin, we have become the righteousness of God. We pray, with the apostle Paul, “… dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
We thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that you chose us as first-fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thess 2:13). Thank you that your presence, Holy Spirit, helps our hearts to be clean, our minds pure, and our lives fruitful to the glory of God. We choose to be holy as our love response to you, holy Trinity.
We pray Lord that your love would increase in us and overflow for each other and for everyone else.May you strengthen our hearts so that we will be blameless and holy in your presence our God and Father when Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (from 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
You are encouraged to use this Reflection daily over the week, lingering in it and letting the words of Scripture touch more and more deeply.
Praise Resources from The International Anglican Order of The Cross (TIAOC) June 2020