Since you are all set apart by God, made holy and dearly loved
I’ve been chewing over these words since Monday.
Holy and beloved.
I started thinking about how they work together. I know I am loved by God. I know I am precious in His sight, engraved on His hands. Loved enough that the sacrifice of Jesus to purchase me – set me free, make me holy – wasn’t too great a cost.
There it is again, the connection between holiness and being loved. I am beloved by God and made holy as a side-effect almost, of that love. It is impossible for me to be loved by God and not be made holy. It is also impossible for me to be holy and not be loved by God. Let me explain that thought a bit more.
Holiness isn’t something that can be desired outside a relationship with God because holy has to do with God. It is being completely, totally, absolutely devoted to God. If you don’t believe in God, or believe but want nothing to do with Him then holiness is irrelevant to you.
I want to be holy because God loves me and I have responded to that love by loving Him in return. Loving anyone means you want to please them and make them happy. God wants holiness in me. I want to please Him, therefore, I want to be holy and lo and behold He has made that holiness possible!
If God didn’t love me, if I was afraid of His anger and judgement with no mercy in sight then I might try to be holy but, in my own strength, having already failed daily to live a holy life there’d be no way I could succeed. It’s a gift from God, holiness is His work in me and is given because He loves me.
The stunning fact is that I can’t love God unless He loves me and I can’t please God by living the holy life He demands unless He makes me holy.
It’s all about Him. First, last and always about Him. If He was mortal, flawed that’d be a problem but He is perfect and perfectly good so it isn’t. It’s good news.
I am not sure how much sense this has made. I know I don’t think enough about what being set apart and made holy as I should. Maybe we all need to chew more on this verse.