Sunday Sermon: Holy.

Studying the word ‘holy’ I came across an informative post on the StudyLight website.

It says ‘holy’ is:

A characteristic unique to God’s nature which becomes the goal for human moral character.

Unique to God’s nature?

Yes. Absolutely.

The goal for human moral character?

No. Absolutely not.

We can never ever achieve holiness, which is why Christ had to die.

The teaching that Christ died to give us the power to achieve holiness is not true.

If that was so, why did Christ have to die?

God could have just sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us and cleanse us from the inside out.

But Hebrews says:

We have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all.

(10:10)

It was the sacrifice that made us holy.

Because Christ consumed our sin on the cross and purified us once for all God’s spirit comes to live inside us and now, because of the holy fire inside us, whenever we sin, it is instantly consumed in the power of His love, whether past, present or future: expelled, done away with, crucified.

Holiness is not a process that we can achieve ourselves.

We have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all.

How?

By the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The studylight website also says this:

God is holy. He is unsearchable, incomprehensible, incomparable, great, wonderful, and exalted. His name is Holy.

Yes!

In the Old Testament days God dwelled in the inner sanctuary of the temple, called the Holy Of Holies.

No one could enter God’s presence except the High Priest:

…and only once a year and never without blood…

But now the Holy God lives in us, by His spirit.

We do not enter His presence. He entered our presence!

And we don’t need blood like the priest because Jesus offered His blood, which was good enough for all sins, for all people, for all time.

Once for all. 

As the letter to the Hebrews says, we have the confidence to approach the ‘throne of grace’ anytime because He lives inside us. He is always with us.

Isn’t that amazing?!

As Stephen says:

God does not live in temples built with hands.

(Acts 7:48)

John’s gospel opens with:

The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.

The Greek word John used for dwelled here is the verb form of ‘tabernacle’ or temple.

So, while Jesus walked the earth He was the temple.

But now, look at what Paul says:

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

(1 Cor 3:16)

And Peter:

You, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual temple.

(1 Peter 2:5)

And Paul:

And if you do not have the Spirit of Christ, you do not belong to Christ.

(Romans 8:9)

So, what does all this mean?

It means that God lives in us by His spirit – the Spirit of Christ.

And if Christ lives in us it means we are holy, because Christ is holy.

We are holy because Christ lives in us.

As Hebrews says:

We have been made holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all.

(Hebrews 10:10)

On StudyLight.org it says:

The ‘Holiness Code’ (Leviticus 17-25 ) commands the people to obey God’s laws in order to be “holy”.

But God knew that human beings, His people, could never obey His laws and therefore could never be holy.

So, he sent Christ, who:

…canceled the written code that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

(Colossians 2:14)

Christ nailed the Holiness Code to the cross!

He not only consumed all of our sin. He nailed the law to the cross! We no longer have to keep the law.  God’s law no longer exists. There is only one way way to attain God’s standard of holiness:

Faith in Christ.

As Paul says, in his opening chapter to the Romans:

Through Him we received grace to call the Gentiles to the obedience of faith.

Obedience of what? Of good works? Of chasing holiness? Of attaining good moral character?

Nope.

To the obedience of faith.

As Paul says:

We have gained access through faith into this grace in which we now stand.

(Romans 5:1)

It is through faith we enter His grace and recieve the gift of righteousness, as Paul says in Romans 5:17:

How much more will those who receieve God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life?

The studylight website also says this:

The Holy Spirit is the agent of holiness for the church and its leaders.

However, I would suggest the Holy Spirit is not the ‘agent of holiness’.

As Paul says:

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

(1 Cor 1:30)

Christ is our holiness.

As Bas Rijkesen says: ‘sanctification is not a process, but a person.’

Jesus is our sanctification.

He is our holiness.

Nothing we can do can add to the holiness we have through Him.

So, relax, sit back, and thank Jesus, like Isaiah, overflowing with joy.

He did it all for you.

That’s how much He loves you.

It is finished.

Hallelujah!

Amen.

Steve Edwards

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