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Saturday, March 10, 2018

but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:15-16

Wholly Holy

When I first read God's command 'Be holy for I am holy' I thought 'That's totally impossible!' It wasn't until I happened to come across the book The Pursuit of Holiness, by the author Jerry Bridges, that the explanation to be holy because God is holy became clear. He knows we can't be holy just like He is-that is impossible. But He calls us to a life of holy living by obeying His precepts and holy directions for our lives in our daily activities. That is completely doable.

After reading this book I became aware of how ignorant the average believer was concerning God's attribute of holiness. Shortly after reading the book I taught a weekend class on holiness. My first question to the class was; “Does God want to be known first for His holiness or His love?” To a person everyone said “For His love” and gasped when I said “He wants to be known first for His holiness.”

While we cannot attain the kind of perfect holiness that is the premier attribute of God the Father we can choose to seek to walk in a God-honoring fellowship with Him with the help of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Holiness is not an option, something you can take or leave. God's words in the Old Testament (Leviticus 11:44, 19:2, 20:7, 20:26) and the New Testament (cf 1:13-16,) are clear commands to practice and live a holy life.

Living a life of purity and righteousness, a holy life, is one of the most liberating things we can experience. It sets us apart to God, clears the conscience, allows the Holy Spirit to empower our hearts and minds, creates clearness of thought, excites the spirit within us to share Christ and disciple other Christians and leads us into a deeper fellowship with God which He, Himself, deeply desires. He is Wholly Holy in a way that is unfathomable, yet He desires us to live lives of righteousness in our behavior and our daily conduct. God says “Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you” (Leviticus 20:8). God's holiness is defined by an incomprehensible purity. His holiness is something that is impossible for us to attain but we can still walk obediently in His holy statutes and in that sense we can be pleasingly wholly holy to Him.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Consequently He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

The Perfect Person

If you had to defend yourself to a completely holy and pure God what would you say or do? Would you stand tall or cower? Would you speak with great skill or would you be tongue tied? Would you be confident or terrified?

Speaking of Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews says 'For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin' (Hebrews 4:15).

A big problem exists for believers with the age-old accuser of Christians, Satan, who consistently attacks and brings rabid accusations against us. Even though Christ defeated sin when He died and rose from the dead three days later we're still plagued by a sin nature. It causes us to occasionally step out of the will of God giving the devil an excuse to accuse us before Him (Job 1:6-11). That's the bad news.

The good news is Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father in glory and He continually defends us and contests the devil's attacks against us. He declares us forgiven by His sacrifice on the cross (Romans 5:10). Why do we need a high priest to intercede for us and another human at that? What better representation can we have before a perfectly Holy God than another perfectly holy fellow human being that experienced the physical hardships of life (Matthew 9:35, John 4:6-7, 31)? We don't need to ask if He'll do it for us. He's already on the job interceding for us as our great High Priest. Jesus is the Perfect Person for it. Now that is just perfect isn't it?