Thursday, April 05, 2007

God says we are holy?


Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
by Rob Bell


'So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved...' Colossians 3:12aSee also 2 Corinthians 5:17, Phillipians 3:16. (and many others)

What an interesting thought. I was reading in the book I listed and a most profound truth was pointed out. Notice the word right after 'chosen of God'. Holy.
When God looks at me He sees a new creation. I am 'in Christ'. God views me as He views Christ. The perfect son of God. How did I merit that? I didn't. I just believe what God says. Nothing more.

Excerpts from 'Velvet Elvis'
1) "In these passages we're being told who we are, now.The issue then isn't my beating myself up over all of the things I am not doing or the things I am doin poorly; the issue is my learning who this person is who God keeps insisting I already am..."

2) " 'Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.'None.No Shame..."

3) "Beating myself up is pointless.Beating others up about who and what they are not is going the wrong direction. It is working against the purposes of God. God is not interested in shaming people; God wants people to see who they really are."

What an amazing God we have. He isn't interested in putting us down. He is interested in helping us up. He already sees us as holy. We may sin, but it doesn't define who we are.

26 comments:

Pablo said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I just wish more Christian would embrace this view of God's grace.

MikeT said...

That's why I never understood the fire and brimstone teachers. One of the guys in my small group comes from a Baptist church, and that's the sort of thing that he doesn't understand why I have a major problem with the Baptists I've known. If you're that focused on the fire and brimstone, you ought to think about just what is it that is actually making you no longer in possession of a one way ticket to Hell.

And that would be grace. It's the only reason that sins can be forgiven.

Joelle said...

Holy means set apart, so just because we are holy doesn't mean God views us as perfect. God knows we His children are all in the process of being conformed to His image! Though I agree we don't need to beat ourselves up over our imperfections. :)

Eaglewood said...

Lets put that verse in a little context.

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:1-15

Roland said...

True, Jo, true.
Holiness is set apart.
When we are in Christ that is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
Perfect in the biblical sense, just means mature. At least that is how the people who taught it to me explained it. Of course they were also the ones who pointed out that holy just means set apart.
Nothing wrong with the definitions, but there is always something deeper about what God is doing than we can see.

Eaglewood said...

He was not simply saying we were holy but to BE holy, set apart and working toward that perfection which only He can finish.

Roland said...

Colossians 3:14
The answer to the whole puzzle.
L o v e

Not a wish washy warm fuzzy everything is grand thing. But the desire for everyone to grow into what they should be. (yes, yes, acting on it too)

Roland said...

I can't be holy.
God can make me holy.
All I can do is follow the footsteps that were set before me.

Eaglewood said...

oops that was:

Colossians 3:1-17
not
Colossians 3:1-15

Roland said...

Why is it we always think we have to do something?
Didn't God say that righteousness comes by faith?
Faith or works. In the end, only one works.
Peter may have sunk in the water when he went out to Jesus, but he at least believed he could walk on water. If he didn't at least have an inkling that it was possible to be like his Master, then he would have stayed in the boat.
Walking on the water isn't something that Peter could do apart from God.
In Corinthians, we are told we are co-laborers with God.
Believe it.
We get to work with Him. He has supplied us with all the means necessary to do it. We just have to believe it.

Eaglewood said...

Remember definitions are important here. In this verse it does mean "set appart"

Eaglewood said...

I am not disagreeing with you if you look at trying to be Holy like Yeshua, but if we are looking at being "set apart" then there is a certain amount of effort there. This is implied by the verses before it, particularly 5-10.

Eaglewood said...

Peter still had to get out of the boat.

Roland said...

We already are set apart.
Read Galatians 3.
How did our walk with Jesus start?
How do we continue it?

Roland said...

Yes, Peter did have to get out of the boat. But he did so in faith. He was following in the footsteps of his Savior. The fact that he was on the water at all is a great comfort to me.
Did he walk on the water and then believe he could do it?
Or did he believe what God said he could do and then act on it?

Roland said...

Peter's works showed his faith.
He believed what God said.

Eaglewood said...

Righteousness is different than holiness. Our righteousness is like filthy rags, only His righteousness can cover our sins. Being holy has to do with how we present ourselves. Does that mean we will be perfect? It never has, but it does mean we are to work on it.

The problem comes when we beat each other up for not being perfect. I have as much of a problem with that as you do.

Eaglewood said...

"Peter's works showed his faith.
He believed what God said."

What is funny here is that is my point. Those people who have faith are going to do those things in verses 5-10, because we are responding to His direction just as Peter did when he got off the boat.

Roland said...

His righteousness is now my righteousness. I didn't do it or earn it. He gave it.
Why? I believed.
I still sin, but that isn't who I am anymore. I am not a sinner who sins. If I believe what God says, then I am a saint. I still sin, but it doesn't define who I am.
God does that.

Roland said...

"Peter's works showed his faith.
He believed what God said."

What is funny here is that is my point. Those people who have faith are going to do those things in verses 5-10, because we are responding to His direction just as Peter did when he got off the boat.

True, Eaglewood. But I get out of the boat because I heard His call. He made a claim on me. He makes the same claim on everyone. Now, do people believe it or not?
If they do, then they will follow.
If they do not, then they will some day learn that they are not their own. But I hope more will turn and see before it comes to that.

Eaglewood said...

"We already are set apart.
Read Galatians 3."

Yes Galatians 3 discuses the fact that we are saved by grace not works, I never made the claim that works had anything to do with our salvation.

Our works and our willingness to put our old ways away and identify ourselves with Yeshua are a product of our faith and is one of the things that sets us apart from those who do not have faith in Yeshua.

Eaglewood said...

It is late and I have a pregnant wife waiting for me in bed. Talk to you later.

Roland said...

I have to get to bed with my not pregnant wife. ;)

Michael Krahn said...

Did Peter begin to sink because he lost faith in himself or in Christ?

Roland said...

Good question, Michael.
Well, Peter already knew that Christ was already doing it.
If Peter doubted Jesus' ability to hold him up, could Jesus still do it anyway?

Now, I get to go to work. (get to) :)
Tomorrow is a day to remember what some hold to be the hope of our existence and other hold to be just a story.
I hope it's more than a story to more and more.

Wonder Woman said...

I just LOVE good story :)

Have fun!