GodReflection: Life in the Holy Presence
If the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16).
Too often when I hear the word holy applied to we humans I think of others. Quickly, my mind goes to martyrs, desert monks of old, and the roll call of God’s faithful cited in Hebrews chapter eleven.
There are times when it’s easier to envision holy as a future state rather than a present reality.
I have no problem to see myself as holy in the next reality. To live on the new earth under a new heaven will be to live in a place absent of sin and death. There all will be Holy.
However, my question is Am I holy in the present tense?
Should I think of myself as holy? Obviously, I’m not God, Son, or Spirit. I’m an ancestor of Adam and Eve who trusted Satan thus, I’ve inherited the knowledge of good and evil.
Wrongly, I may see holiness only claimed in my life once that I am able to check off Jesus’ beatitudes and Paul’s fruits of the Spirit.
So here I am on my walk through life with a question that cannot be answered outside of Scripture.
When I turn to the Gospels I see Jesus as a Jewish man demonstrate Holy God. Throughout his walk upon earth when he encountered people no one was too low on the social scale to receive his love, compassion and kindness.
In both his words and through his actions he painted the picture of holiness and from that picture declared, I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:15.)
I examine the Biblical Letters and find the people who followed Jesus’ example labeled as holy.
Paul and Peter consistently refer to the people who make up the membership of the churches as holy.
During Paul’s time there was a church located in present day Turkey that met in the city of Colossae. He wanted them to understand their now-state in life.
He also wanted Colossian believers to let Holy God penetrate into their lives and to be examples in their new Holy identity:
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— (Colossians 1:22.) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12.)
To be holy is not to brag or blush. It is not a state I can obtain by merit. For it came to me as a gift of Jesus when I came to him.
However, the more I allow Jesus to control my heart the more I begin to take on his holy traits of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
For it is as I reflect from him these traits that my holy state begins to reflect the perfect Son before others.
I like the way Paul explains it to the Roman church, If the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16.)
I am holy because of the root. No human declaration or affirmation can declare me holy.
I suspect I could do a better job at reflecting the root, don’t you think?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on The Holy Life