Holiness: restrained from bad or inspired to be good?

Holiness anyone? Although some Christian groups are built around the concept of “holiness,” I’ve had trouble understanding it. To me holiness has always seemed like legalistic adherence to outward appearances, and not really a matter of the heart.

However, as I was praying this morning for someone struggling to overcome an addiction, I saw holiness in a different light. I prayed something like: “Lord, let this person see Your beauty with such intensity that he/she can’t bear to turn away from it, even a little bit.”

I have usually thought of holiness as turning away from something that appealed to me and turning to some standard that didn’t appeal to me. However, now I see that holiness is just the opposite. Holiness is to behold such beauty that I can’t bear to abandon it.

After praying that prayer, this Scripture popped into my mind: “O, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” –Psalm 96:9

Lord, let everyone who reads this be so captivated by Your beauty that they long to gaze at Your beauty all the days of their life and forever afterwards.

A meeting about Jesus is informative and tends to become legalistic; however, when a group meets with Jesus, it’s inspiring and life-changing from deep within! In the beginning Christians met as a family; now we meet as an audience. Perhaps holiness calls us back to family, what the Greek New Testament calls ekklesia.

Spiritual paralysis and unholiness occur when members of Christ’s body are taught to be passive spectators rather than active participants. Early Christians met to minister to one another as they were prompted by the Holy Spirit; now we meet to sit and have one man minister to us. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)

“What the law tried to do by a restraining power from without, the Gospel does by an inspiring power from within.” –Catherine Booth

“If holiness is possible anywhere for anyone at anytime, it is possible anywhere for anyone at all times.” –Bramwell Booth in The Splendor of Holiness

What will you let the living, resurrected Jesus Christ do in and through you?catherine booth church & world

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
This entry was posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, Blessed are the pure in spirit, Christian spirituality, church, ekklesia, Holy Spirit, obedience, obedience to God, purity, spiritual formation, spirituality, Uncategorized, worship and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Holiness: restrained from bad or inspired to be good?

  1. What a beautiful encouraging reality check. He is so specific and HE is so awesome to our soul. Sharon scudder

  2. Great perspective Steve! If I’m in love with someone, I want to please them. If we’re in love with Jesus, I believe we’ll have a burning desire to love, serve, and obey Him.

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