Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Destiny of Holiness

Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “holy” mean to be set apart. In the Scriptures, being made holy, or sanctified, means to be set aside for God’s special purposes. Some people think of holiness as a somber and dour thing. But I tell you that it is a joyful thing, full of awe and wonder. For holiness speaks of divine destiny and purpose — a fellowship, even partnership, with God.

Now, understand that you and I could never set ourselves apart for God’s purposes. It is something He must do for us. But that is what the grace of God is all about and why Jesus came. He said to the Father, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” It is by that will, the author of Hebrews says, that we have been sanctified — made holy — through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).

God sets us apart by the offering of His Son, but also by the truth of His Word. For Jesus prayed: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).

So Peter exhorts us, not to try and make ourselves holy, but to live according to the holiness by which God has already set us apart in Jesus Christ. It is living according to the truth of His Word, according to the life of the Lord Jesus that now dwells in us. As Paul said,
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Holiness is partaking of the divine nature:
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of the Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that thought these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
It is a call to step up into the life of divine destiny, to be who we really are in Jesus Christ.

Are you ready to embrace this holy calling and step up into life of divine nature and fellowship? To live according to the faith and power of the Lord Jesus Christ? That is destiny indeed.