Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Two weeks ago, our morning message was on the holiness of God. We saw that holiness refers to both God’s complete distinction from everything else (God is eternal, unchanging, perfect in power, wisdom, faithfulness, etc.), as well as His moral perfection and absolute goodness.
Furthermore, because God is holy, we are called to be holy (Lev. 11:44-45; I Pet. 1:15-16). Even as God does not tolerate what is evil (that which opposes God, hurts others, and destroys the goodness God desires for His creation), we also should not allow evil to have a place in our lives. As Paul encourages us in I Cor. 7:1, “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” So, we strive to avoid sin in all its forms and live a life of purity and obedience to God.
In saying this, we must be clear that holiness in living is not the way to God. II Tim. 1:9 reminds us that God “has saved us & called us to a holy life.” The order of those words is important. We don’t have to reach a certain level of holiness before God accepts us. If that were the case, then holiness would be this heavy burden around our necks, and eventually it would choke the life out of us.
However, we are saved, accepted freely by God through Christ for God is gracious and merciful. Then, having been freely accepted by God, we are called to a holy life. So rather than this being the way toG, holiness is the way of God. It is God’s life in us. Having been accepted freely by His grace, as we continue to surrender our lives and wills to God, holiness is the result. Holiness then, is God’s gift to us, for by holy living we are separated and set free from those things that ultimately would destroy us, and instead we come to experience life all its fullness.
By God’s grace, let us strive to be holy, because God is holy.