Wednesday, August 27, 2014

True Holiness

When I initially began to jot down thoughts for this blog, it was going to be more of a don’t-use-holiness-and-living-above-reproach-as-an-excuse-to-avoid-sinners kind of post. And while I may still hit that, I want to instead share the realization that train-wrecked me this morning. My train of thought for this post was totally derailed by this realization.

The Greek word for holy is hagios. It is used a total of 229 times in the New Testament. It is defined as "most holy thing, a saint".

Friends, this messed me up.

1 Peter 1:16 (KJV) "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy".

The word hagios is used twice in that verse. The holiness that God is calling Himself is the same holiness that He is calling us to.

Hagios is also the same word that is used to describe the Holy Spirit.

That Holy Spirit is the same one that lives in you.

Hagios Pneuma. Holy Spirit. 

The third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. His personality and character is Holy. 
His work and power is Truth. 
He is never a depersonalized force. 
He is Life giving. 
The spiritual nature of Christ, higher than the highest angels and equal to God, the divine nature of Christ. 

Romans 8:9 says the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us.

Hagios Pneuma lives in you.

Hagios is in you.

The Holy is in you.

You. are. holy.

Hagios Pneuma. 

You have done nothing to make yourself holy.
You can do nothing to make yourself like God, like the Holy.
You need to do nothing for it.

When you said "Yes" to Holy Spirit, "Yes" to Jesus Christ. You were filled with the "Holy One".
You are a son or daughter of God. You have God's last name. He adopted you. You are His. Therefore your name is now "Holy". Your nature is "Holy". You are "Holy".

You don't have to fear being tarnished by sin around you. Jesus was never afraid of the sin of the prostitutes and tax collectors rubbing off on Him. He was confident in His nature as Holy. You have His Spirit living in you. You are Holy. You cannot be tarnished by spending time with sinners.

Jesus never feared losing God's approval by spending time with the "worst sinners" as they were called.

Jesus came to bring the Spirit of Holy to the ones who do not know they are holy.

He didn't come for those who are righteous (dikaios). "Those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined."

He came to declare the ones who have not been set free from sin as hagios.

Jesus wasn't afraid of the appearance of evil like so many in the Church are.

I was a part of a church for a long time that disapproved of spending time with those who were outside of the church. To spend time with homosexuals, atheists, fornicators meant that I was in sin too.

The church (even I have at times) has preached that we are to live above reproach- therefore we are to abstain from this and that and this person and that place. Jesus hung out with the "worst" (though I don't think He considered them to be worse sinners than the pharisees) in the "worst" most reproachable places. Jesus' best friends were involved in the "bad sins". He hung out with prostitutes. He invited them to parties and went to their parties. There was alcohol there (oh my!). He hung out alone with a woman (NO!!!!!) adulterous woman!(Blasphemy!) But He was holy. He didn't lose His holiness or his God-ness. He was surrounded by the appearance of evil. And everywhere He went, God went, Holy went, Truth went, Love went, and miracles followed. 

Our calling to be Holy includes loving like Jesus loved.
How many times have I heard that we shouldn't give to homeless people on the street corners because they are just going to spend the money on drugs and alcohol?

Jesus didn't say love those who are going to use the love well.
He didn't say feed and clothe and give to those who are going to instantly become "good" and un-sinful.
He didn't say care for those who have their crap together.
Our call is to be like Jesus.
Our call is to love like Jesus.

When I look at the way Jesus lived, the way the Holy lives, and compare it to my life and to the lives of many in the church, so often I am disappointed by our misuse of love and grace.

We are given exceedingly more than we can ask for or imagine, but we won't give to others for fear that they may misuse the gift.

What if we are misusing the gift friends?

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