Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cleanse us, O Lord - Part 2

Continued . . .

After the cleansing (which is and should be a continual process in our lives) Paul then tells us to perfect holiness. God has specifically commanded us to be “holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Peter exhorts us that “like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.” (1 Peter 1:15) There is that word again: all. Just as all defilements we should rid ourselves of, so also in all our behavior we should be holy. Our perfect example of holiness is God Himself. He is the perfect God. No sin is in Him. He is the one whom we should strive to imitate, not this world. “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;” (1 Peter 2:21-22)

But how do we perfect this holiness in us? What are the steps? Our hearts may earnestly desire it, but how is it accomplished? In the fear of God. Through fear of Him, this mystery is accomplished. How? I do not know, but it is believed in faith. If we fear Him, holiness will be perfected in us. But what is fear of the Lord? It is reverence and awe before a perfect, holy, awesome God. “Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24) and “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21). It is deep humility, knowing our sinfulness and the great love that the Father bestowed upon us through our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’…Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:6, 10). It is having a heart that greatly desires the Truth and that abhors sin. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13). It is examining ourselves to see what sin lies within that we may rid ourselves of it and day by day grow in our obedience to the Lord. “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6). This is true fear of the Lord. And it will only be realized through a true heart knowledge of God.

This is my heart’s desire not only for myself, but also for you dear sisters. May we rid ourselves of the defilements of this world that lie within our body, heart and spirit. May we desire to cleanse our hearts and lay them bare before the Lord inviting Him to cleanse us and purge the sin within through the working of the Holy Spirit. But most of all may we truly learn to fear Him. For it is only through this fear of God, that holiness can be perfected.

-Posted by Sarah

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