THE POWER OF THE CROSS
MADE HOLY BY THE BLOOD
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. (Heb. 13: 12)
Holiness is a scary subject, even for believers, if we don’t know what it means. We lower the volume when we sing about it in church as though holiness is something mysterious about it and we daren’t say the word too loudly!
The Bible declares that God is holy. What does it actually mean? God is absolutely and utterly disconnected from anything that is less than perfect. He is set apart from sin and set apart to Himself because there is no one greater than He. Habakkuk was well aware of this when he said:
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Hab. 1: 11)
God is holy because He always acts towards His creation in righteousness and justice. He is always consistent with who He is. His holiness guarantees that He will always be faithful to who He is and what He has said.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (2 Tim. 2: 13)
God’s holiness is our security. Therefore, God’s holiness should make us shout, not whisper!
However, because He created us in His image for fellowship with Himself, He requires that we be holy, that we be set apart from sin for His exclusive possession. But why should we be holy?
Firstly we are because we are to be holy because we are His sons and daughters, and He requires that we be like Him as members of His family.
Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (Heb. 2: 11)
Secondly we are to be holy because there can be no fellowship between light and darkness.
What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Cor. 6: 14)
But we are sinful, born in sin and spiritually dead. How can we approach a holy God as we are, polluted with sin? Since it was impossible for us to remove our guilt except through the penalty of death, God provided His own solution to remove the barrier of sin and reconcile us to Himself.
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering . . . (Rom. 8 :3)
By dying in our place, Jesus paid the debt for our sin once for all, and brought us back into the family of God as His beloved children, guilt-free so that we are once again set apart from sin to God to live for Him under His authority and for His glory. By dying in our place, Jesus changed our status from sinners to God’s holy and beloved children (Col. 3: 12).
For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Heb. 10: 14)
But that’s only the first step. We also have a part to play in becoming what we already are. Potentially, we are holy. We have been set apart from sin to God through Jesus’ death. But how do we become what we are? It’s a process and a partnership between us and God, through the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose. (Phil. 2: 12-13)
The blood of Jesus has “washed” us clean of our sin and guilt if we have responded to God’s word. By faith we received and believed the message, and God responded to our faith by removing us from the dominion of darkness and transferring us into the kingdom of His Son, under His authority and rule.
Our responsibility now is not to make ourselves holy by trying to keep rules, but to remove ourselves from the corruption and pollution of the world, and to respond to His discipline by trusting Him in our trials and hardships and by submitting to and obeying Him because He is our Father and His love is perfect.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all . . . They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good.in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12: 7-8; 10)
Hardships expose our doubts, insecurities and fears, and reveal the level of our trust in God. He wants to bring us into the place where we trust Him and live in His perfect love, without fear and absolutely secure in Him so that we can enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with Him.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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