As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV
Let’s define holiness as becoming what God created you to be. Sin is missing what God created you to be.
When you hear the word “holiness” do you feel condemned? Do you feel inadequate? Do you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough?
It’s true – you’ve missed it. Without Jesus, you are condemned, you are inadequate, and you aren’t good enough.
Let’s go theological for a moment. Some great minds say holiness comes only from God by His irresistible grace. These great theologians believe that God initiates, gives holiness, and that you can’t turn to God without Him deciding beforehand.
My not too theological response – Please, God, zap a lot more people with holiness. It’s needed today, especially in my city!
Back to theology.
Another group of great thinkers believes that God’s holiness comes from a co-working of man’s free will and God’s sovereign initiative. God initiates, you respond; God commands, you disobey; God zaps with consequences, you repent; and God forgives.
Then the cycle repeats itself – a combination of God and us.
My not too theological response – God, please stop being patient with people in my city and zap them out of their stalled cycle of obedience.
You are inadequate because of your decisions.
In spite of culture’s attempt to eliminate guilt with a declaration of humanity’s universal goodness – we aren’t and we know it. This causes our guilt. No one can live in condemnation. We either self-justify with more disobedience or we depress into a withdrawal of fear and anxiety.
Holiness is God’s nature. We are holy when we become like Him. Our motive for holiness becomes love. We live in harmony with and maintain creation as stewards. We politically deliberate righteous justice and economic issues.
Then we experience the fruit of holiness with – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – what we are created to be.
Sin destroys all of this. Smashes it all out of our world today.
Nothing we think or do will solve the problem. We inherently sin, which means there is no hope for you, the United States, or any other country – unless Jesus comes to die and then justifies by forgiveness.
Back to those theologians.
Grace comes from God – either by zapping or by some type of grace-disobedience-repentance cycle. Both sides of the theological argument believe in some form of God zapping us.
A total zap with our response not needed, or a partial zap that works with our obedience.
My not too theological response – Jesus, you don’t need to listen to the scholars. Bring your mercy. Let it pour out in our lives and communities. Overlook our sinful reluctance and love us into your grace.
Revival! Please! Now!
Also, I’m praying that you get zapped today.