I grew up with an image of Holiness as one of perfection. My idea of perfection was that I would not do anything wrong. I would not hurt anyone. I would not make any mistakes. Yes, I was wrong. In my endeavor to be like Jesus, I failed to understand that my church was not calling me to be Jesus, the Son of God. My church was calling me to be in the image of Jesus. Sometimes we view Jesus in an imbalanced way. We know we should be like Jesus and then we focus on Jesus as God and attempting to be like Jesus in that fashion or format is impossible. We must continue to consider and understand Jesus as God, but we must not forget Jesus as man. Jesus was fully God and fully man. How that works? I'm not sure. Anytime someone attempts to explain it, they create something that is not Jesus.
Yet, we are called to be Holy as God is Holy. We see God as the complete and full essence of Holy. But what does it mean? Stay tuned in to find out.
Next up is Sanctification. That is another concept in our church that has the ability to cause some to scratch their heads and for some who really care about the important concepts in our church it can be a battleground. Really, the primary emphasis our church desires to convey is that there is victory from sin. There can be a point in your life where you are no longer a slave to sin, where it does not rule your life. At one point I knew church leaders who would determine that Sanctification meant that you could no longer sin. They believed that a person would experience a crisis moment when they would submit everything to God, they would be baptized by the Holy Spirit who would guide them the rest of their life. An image was portrayed that if you would just pray and seek Sanctification then you would receive it and your life would be great, grand, and blessed the rest of your life because you would do exactly what Jesus wanted you to do.At least that is what I imagined.
What a wonderful image! The difficulty was that very few experienced Sanctification in this manner. If you prayed for it, you certainly didn't want to admit that you hadn't received it, so many pretended or thought that maybe it just didn't work for them. They lived in a church environment where if they didn't act perfect then they weren't sanctified and they feared that they would be judged less than worthy of God's grace and mercy and certainly that of the church. The church moved into an environment where once you became a Christian you were expected to act like a Sanctified Christian. Talk about pressure? This reality failed to give people time to submit their will to Jesus and I believe has caused a foundational issue in many who chose to follow Jesus during this time period.
What is Holiness and Sanctification? Join us for Family Church at 11am, 2741 Main Street Torrington, or check back here next week and listen to the service. We will look at Holiness and Sanctification, not from a view of perfection in light of God's perfection, but rather in light of us living perfectly as God created us to live. Yes, it is possible to be Holy and Sanctified, but it just might look differently than we thought before.