I am not sure why the conversation on holiness has to be so convoluted. I assumed that the idea of holiness as a way of life would almost be a non-conversation. Surely the body of Christ has moved into an era of greater understanding and revelation, so much so that no one (or very few, at the least) is going to misunderstand the discussion.
I have been accused of being naive and I have been known to have my blond moments. I guess this was one of those moments.
Aleisha Readye came “ready” to enter into the conversation; equipped with her life experience and her notes, she brought a clear voice to the forum. Apparently, though, the way our conversation often flows caused some people heartburn. Things that make you go “hmmmmm.”
Holiness is who and what God is
Holiness is God’s plan for His people
As God is set apart from us, we are called to be separated unto Him and separated away from sin. 1 Timothy reminds us that in a great house there are vessels of honor and dishonor. Our goal is to be those vessels of honor.
We are called to be holy (Hebrews 12:10), to take on the nature of God
Holiness is predicated on our relationship with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
Aleisha shared this thought last evening: “We cannot be holy alone; progressive revelation [about Christ and His plan for our lives] leads to progressive sanctification.”
Yes, Virginia, holiness (aka sanctification, consecration) is progressive. The journey to holiness is a day by day process. I dismiss the past as my history but no longer my destiny. I do not revisit the old memories that stir up the lusts that kept me in bondage to sin for so long. I understand that I have been raised (Romans 6:4) to walk in a new way of life and I must look to Jesus and the Word because I can no longer trust Donna. While it is true that I like Donna a lot, I also know that Donna cannot rely on her natural thoughts, inclinations, ways. Donna has to move from the natural to the supernatural, which is not some mystical concept, but a power beyond the natural. That power is the Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul, in Romans 12:1, admonishes us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. Dion explained the word “present” as a lining up to be that sacrifice. I did some extra study today and found that this word could also mean “yield, stand by, be ready.” We are called to be at the ready to sacrifice our desires and plans to God’s will for us and our lives. When we let go of us to build that relationship with Christ, we become holy.
Please note that I said “become.” Holiness is not an act or some external accoutrement, but it is a state of being. I read in Colossians the call to “take off” and to “put on.” When I take off the old habits, ways and attitudes and put on Christ, I become holy. Holy is who and what I am, wherever I am. Just as I do not walk into a room and announce what I am wearing (because people can see it), so it is with holiness; I do not need to announce it or point to it, in fact I should not even be aware of it because it is who I am and I wear it lightly since it is neither burden nor badge of honor for my self aggrandizement; holiness is evident in the way I live, day in and day out, regardless of the season or the external pressure. The external then becomes a reflection of the internal state of holiness and the only “work” I have to do is to choose the needful things, sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him.
I read Galatians 5:17 and I see the struggle. I read Galatians 5:18 and I see the victory. It requires watchfulness, prayer and perseverance. Not only am I called to be holy; God gives me the power to become holy, but I must be cooperative in the process.
We come to this new life with old baggage that is over the weight limit for which I would have had to pay but instead Jesus paid the price. Now all He asks of me is that I get rid of all the old clothes and replace them with the new He has prepared for me.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
The devil works through the flesh (body) to conquer the soul (mind/will/emotions). He seeks to imprison the mind to the past, coerce the will into submission and stir up the emotions to long for corrupt and tainted pleasures. If he, the devil, is successful in this mission, then the communication between our spirit (that in us which connects to God) and God is muted by our pursuit of the old things.
What is holiness? From my perspective, it is an Holy Spirit driven and God designed inward change, that is reflected in an external disposition that declares to all with whom I come in contact that I am “peculiar,” which I know does not mean weird, but “God’s own treasure.” What more could any girl ask….or want?
Besides, somebody ought to look like their Daddy!