The Beauty of Holiness

Holiness . . . what thoughts or pictures does that word bring to mind? Musty old relics? Tight-faced, prudish old ladies? Stifling restraint?

If the word holiness seems an uncomfortable fit for you, think about it this way. Consider holiness as the state that is nearest to the heart of God. How does that sound? Listen to J.I. Packer's definition of holiness:

Holiness is consecrated closeness to God . . . in essence obeying God, living to God and for God, imitating God . . . taking his side against sin . . . following Christ's teaching and example, worshiping God in the Spirit, loving and serving God and men out of reverence for Christ.
In relation to God, holiness takes the form of a single-minded passion to please by love and loyalty, devotion and praise. In relation to sin, it takes the form of a resistance movement, a discipline of not gratifying the desires of the flesh, but of putting to death the deeds of the body (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:13).

I hope you don't skim those paragraphs too quickly. Take time to let those words soak in beyond your mind all the way to your heart.

Consider holiness as the state that is nearest to the heart of God.

"Consecrated closeness to God . . ." what follower of Christ doesn't want that? But notice Packer didn't just say "closeness." He says "consecrated closeness," which specifies that this closeness to God isn't attainable while cozy in bed with my pet sins.

Consecrated closeness to God—holiness—will require walking by the Spirit, turning from my silly pursuit of idols, and learning the life of full obedience:

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Gal. 5:16)

What about you? What comes to mind when you hear the word "holiness?"

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.

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