Why Holiness Matters

Post a Comment » Written on August 20th, 2012     
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Tyler Braun is a pastor from Portland, Oregon, whose first book, Why Holiness Matters, just released. You can find Tyler on Twitter, Facebook, or his blog, manofdepravity.com.

I hear it over and over again, from professors at my school, pastors in local churches, and friends of generations gone before me: the upcoming generations of Christians don’t care about holiness.

God tells us at several points throughout the Scriptures: “Be holy, as I am holy.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just avoid God’s calling for us? In many ways, we have.

For many, a relationship with God is a one-hour vacation on Sunday mornings that has little importance throughout the rest of the week.

It seems many allow their Christian faith to be a few “beliefs” that we hold in private, using them only to save face with those who agree.

Lost in all this is God’s desire to sanctify us—to shape His holiness within us.

We love to watch other people transform, but rarely are we willing to go through the long process of transforming ourselves. It’s much easier to just stay in the comfort of our current reality.

Consider Paul’s words to us: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2nd Corinthians 3:18, emphasis mine). In other words, God is transforming us, sanctifying us, through the power of His Spirit.

God is at work in the midst of our struggles, and achievements. God doesn’t redeem us and leave us alone to figure out life without His help.

We have subtly taught ourselves that God saving us was a one time act of mercy that has little bearing on the present moment. God knows who we can become through His ongoing redemptive work in our lives.

But this isn’t a call for us to become focused on works and action before the affectionate embrace of a relationship with our Merciful God. I appreciate what John Powell says about this:

“We think we have to change, grow and be good in order to be loved. But rather we are loved and we receive His grace so we can change, grow and be good.”

We need youth workers who are willing to share the tough message of holiness with tenderness. We need youth workers willing to point others to the affection God has for them through the example of their lives.

This isn’t a call for perfection, it’s a call for submission to God’s ongoing work within each of us. This is a call to holiness.

God saved us to change us, by making us holy.

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