The Law and Grace. Day sixty-one...
I think I stand a better chance of convincing the crowd in a donut shop on the value of healthy eating, as I do of convincing the crowd in a Sunday service on the value of holy living.
I suppose even the people who live on brats, donuts, and energy drinks wouldn't argue with me about the value of having a healthy body—not that they would necessarily change their diet.
But the people who live by their human nature would not only argue with me over the value of having a holy life—they would do whatever it takes to make me go away and leave them alone.
When it comes to healthy living, even the worst eater probably knows that it's better to get the sugar his or her body requires from eating carrots and fresh fruit, rather than from eating donuts and ice cream.
But when it comes to holy living—I know very few people who are willing to even consider the value of holiness, let alone stand in line to learn what Jesus has done to equip us to be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
But holiness—all the good stuff of life is there!
If you disagree, please let the Word of God convince you otherwise.
Holiness in the Old Testament referred to God, man, places, and things set apart as sacred.
In reference to God:
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalm 30:4 KJV)
In reference to man:
And you shall be holy men to Me: you shall not eat meat torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs. (Exodus 22:31 NKJV)
In reference to places:
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5 NKJV)
In reference to things:
And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. (Exodus 28:2 NKJV)
There are 470 references in the OT to God, man, places, and things set apart as sacred or holy. What is not holy is considered as common in the OT.
In the NT holiness takes on an added dimension to the OT concept by referring to a piety toward God.
Like you don't go out of your way to throw mud on a bride's wedding dress. Or you don't deposit your chewing gum in the deceased person's casket during the visitation at a funeral home. Some things you just don't do out of respect.
In the same way, certain attitudes and behaviors you just don't bring into contact with God—if you consider His holiness.
And His holiness impacts our holiness whenever we have an informed awareness of His presence. It is only our ignorance of who He is that allows us to think holiness is just another aggravation to our fun. But that mindset has to go. If we are ever going to live the more‐than‐abundant life Jesus made possible for us to live, that mindset has to go.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22–24 KJV)
So what is the motivation to try to look at God's grace as anything other than a way to get out from under the law?
What's it going to take to change our focus from: “Gee, thanks Lord that I don't have to live under the law,” to “Thank you so much Lord, that you made it possible for me to live a holy life instead of a life of trying to accommodate my flesh.”
Please consider what it would take to motivate you to desire holiness? And we will take this up again on Monday.
Have a good weekend,