Hello Church Devotion Aug 9, 2013
H is for Holy
13Therefore, preparing your minds for action,a and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 13-21 ESV
Yes, it is an “H”, and it is a 4 letter word. But it isn’t what you might think it is. Holy has no double “L’s” so let us focus in on what place “holy” has in our lives. The highlighted text above notes that holiness or being holy is an attribute of God. In Leviticus 20:26, God spoke and set us apart from the world by declaring that “You shall be holy, as I am holy”.
22“You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out.23And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them. 24But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25You shall therefore separate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26 You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
God is first and foremost holy. He is before all things and is therefore the source of holiness. He alone can define what being “holy” is all about. God manifests His holiness. It shows forth from Him. God is the utmost of holiness. Remember the verses of Isaiah that use the triple “holy” in reference to God? “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”. So God isn’t just holy, or doubly holy, or most holy, He is the holiest of holy’s.
So what does that make you and I? We were made in His holy image. Set apart from the rest of creation by means of His breath and His image. In none of the animals did He breathe into life or even say that His image was conveyed to any other created thing other than us humans. But due to the well known story of the Fall into sin, we are now tarnished and unholy by nature.
We use this word “holy” in many ways. There are holy wars, holy days, holy people, the Holy Bible, Holy Communion, Holy Baptism, holy cow… etc.
So, what do we mean by “holy”? I went to dictionary.com and found this listing for “holy”:
specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground.
dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion:
a holy man.
saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.
Our Bible declares the following meaning:
Holy is being clean versus unclean…
Holy is being set apart from the unholy…
Holy is dedicated, not by our own actions, but rather by
God’s action and pronouncement…
Holy is being consecrated or sanctified…
Notice that we use a lot of “Church” terms to define this word “Holy”. Our God is a totally “clean” God. One who bears no dirt or uncleanliness. Nor does He permit any of His creation to have uncleanliness. Pastor Dunker a few days ago talked about Maple Syrup in his devotion on “Disciples”. Remember that the Syrup is purified. How pure is the maple syrup at the end? 50%, 75%; 90%; 99.9%? Who is doing the measuring? Us or God?
How do we measure up in terms of purity or holiness? Remember, the minimum requirement set by God is 100%. If we stumble at one point, we are not meeting the basic requirement.
Yet, God sent His Son, Jesus. The 100% pure, holy, real, Son of God in the flesh! The Holy Son of God took upon Himself the dirt and sinfulness of the entire world… from the Fall into Sin until the 2nd Coming of Christ… All of the punishment for all of the sin… Jesus paid for with His holy, innocent blood.
We are not holy on our own, but rather are made holy through the action of the holy Son of God and His sanctifying work of redemption on the cross of Calvary.
What will holiness look like in our lives? It will look like we are being shaped and imaged into the real life vision of our Savior. We will be holy, as our Savior is holy. We will be set apart, consecrated, clean, pure, as our Savior is all of those things.
Prayer: Lord, You alone are holy. You alone are the most holy and the holiest of the word holy. You are set apart from all creation in your perfection. You created us in Your image, yet we lost that holiness through the rebellion against Your commands. May we realize that breaking your commands is a direct insult to Your perfect holiness. May we understand more fully, that the holiness You give us through faith is made more weak through our sinful actions and thoughts. Thank You, Lord, for continually bestowing Your holiness upon us through the forgiveness of our sins and in the relationship You have established with us. Help us to be holy, as You are holy. In the name of Your holy Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
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