By Elizabeth Prata
Holiness is the central point of all of the story of Redemption. God is Holy. That means He is perfect, sinless, well, Holy.
And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)
Humans are not holy. We were originally created sinless, perfect, but through free will, Adam and Eve in the garden decided to follow the serpent’s suggestion to eat the forbidden fruit, and in doing so, directly disobeyed a command from God. That is what sin IS, disobeying God. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. Since we have thoughts, words and actions that displease God all the time, and couldn’t stop if we tried, it means we are sinners with a sin nature. Paul refers to our sinful nature in Galatians:
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)
Even if you do not believe in Adam and Eve and the garden and the forbidden fruit, you know deep down, that you are a corrupt person who does wrong things. Even if you ever said one lie to spare a person’s feelings (“Yes, that dress looks great on you!”) you are disqualified from being with God in heaven. Why? His Holiness is eternal. So is that lie. Sin is eternal, too. It doesn’t go away after you say it or do it or think it. It remains. And your sin and His holiness shall never meet.
Why would a liar think he is qualified for heaven? A cheater? As self-admitted liars and cheats and adulterers, and gossips and lusty people, why do we think we are “a basically a good person” and therefore qualified to dwell forever with a Holy God? We aren’t.
However, God so desires a relationship with us, that He made a way. He sent Jesus to us. I used to think that Jesus first came to us at Bethlehem on Christmas. But that is not so. He has been with God since the beginning. Genesis 1:1-26 shows that the Father God, Jesus and the Spirit were all involved in the Creation. And just in case there is confusion on this point, John 1:1-3 says
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
At one point known only to God, God said
“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.(Psalm 2:7)
And God’s Plan to send a Holy One to redeem us was enacted, as reiterated by Paul in Acts 13:33:
that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’
So if we’ve all been sinners since Adam and Eve and He is Holy and cannot dwell with us, that’s it, then, isn’t it? Not quite! We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) He loves us SO MUCH! He sent Jesus to us to minister and preach and heal, so that our only, ONLY call to the road to heaven is “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29b)
It is very simple. Believe. All other verses are spokes stemming that central truth: for example, believing in “the One” means believing in the Messiah. Why was He sent? To seek and save the lost. Why are we lost? We sin. Why is He Messiah? Because He is the ONLY one who is qualified to forgive our sins, being sinless. Why would we confess? Because He came to seek and save us from our sins, therefore it makes sense that we would acknowledge those sins through our stated belief in Him.
Many people believe in a god without believing they themselves are sinners. Worse, they leave Jesus out of the equation completely.
Because God is HOLY, and we sin therefore we are not holy, man must “reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)”
Believe, and turn from your sin. Repent and be dwelling in perfect love for all eternity! Love, love, love, we love because HE FIRST LOVED US! He is wonderful and a holy God like no other. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple,” that is how holy He is. Yet for all His holiness, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) He is waiting there for you with open arms.
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