It is the emergence of an absolutely unique reality that God alone knows, and that he alone brings to fruition. Holiness is the result of the Spirit’s work in us, and that same Spirit is engaged in our deepest hearts in a battle between what is good and what is evil. We can only live a holy life through the power of the Spirit; thus, the first step to living a holy life is to accept Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 1:13). God calls us to perfection, but he is not a perfectionist. We don’t become more loving by praying 15 minutes following 15 minutes of Bible reading. It takes a lifetime and beyond to become holy. 12:3) When the Bible calls the Spirit holy, surely it evokes the bold opposite of the spirits of wickedness and evil (e.g., Mark 1:21–28, Matt. They marry like everyone else and have children, but they do not expose them once they are born. What does it mean that the Lord’s resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God according to the spirit of holiness? How can we become holy, or devoted to God? Let’s consider four key truths about the leadership of the Holy Spirit: 1. The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and makes it possible for us to discern truth that the natural man cannot (1 Corinthians 2:14). But rejecting the world is not the primary emphasis. Devotion to God entails the rejection of devotion to the world. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. . The spiritual disciplines don’t make us holy, nor do they make us loving. (12*) It is charity which guides us to our final end. "[2] The saints themselves witness to this. His holiness would be about being set apart away from others. He treats us as only God can. We become progressively holy, or we grow sporadically into holiness only because of the grace of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in us. No individual knows what his own holiness consists of. For God, each person is absolutely unique. When God inspires us to do something (if it really is God who is the source of that inspiration), at the same time he supplies the ability to do it, even if it is beyond our capacity or scares us at the start. First, we need to practice the spiritual disciplines that promote presence with God, because contact with God is transformative. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God With Us, God Transforming Us; Get the best from CT editors, delivered straight to your inbox! How does God the Holy Spirit guide us to Holiness By making the truth clear to us, reminding of of Jesus' teaching, helping us to understand Gods word, and helping us to avoid sin. Instead, we need to say yes to good friendships; church participation; and acts of compassion, justice, love, goodness, and beauty. 2:13). Here is a passage from a letter by St. Thérèse of Lisieux that can help us to understand what this means: I think St. Thérèse found this idea that we can obtain everything from God in the works of St. John of the Cross, who was virtually the only teacher she had. What does it mean, then, to be holy or “sanctified”? When the touches of the Spirit, enlightening us and impelling us to act, are well received, they pour into our hearts not just light and strength but solace and peace, that often fills us with consolation. Here is how it went: “Grandma, do you believe in entire sanctification?”, “Grandma, I just heard you gossiping, and gossiping is sin. He says He will guide us. But remember that God’s deepest will is for us to love God and to love others. Jesus’ definition of holiness was one of the bones of contention between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders of His day. The abstract proposition of the Deity of Christ can be proved as a matter of We already have mentioned the spiritual disciplines, but this must be emphasized again: We don’t grow in holiness accidentally or simply because we want to. In His famous “sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5-7), Jesus drew the lines which distinguished His teaching from that of contemporary Judaism. We proudly declare what is righteous and right and decry what is not. They live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners. 4:7–8), May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. There are four wings to the evangelical movement in the United States: the Reformed, the Anabaptist, the Restorationist, and the Holiness. On their own, these practices don’t accomplish the proper result. 12:43, Luke 11:26). We won't have the grace to do what God is not asking of us. And you will renew the face of the earth. Scot McKnight is a professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary and writer of the popular blog Jesus Creed. This is what St. Louis Grignon de Montfort says, speaking this sanctification that is God's plan for us: However great our efforts, we cannot change ourselves. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook. Notice that when Paul contrasted the works of the flesh with its opposite, he mentioned something positive and good: the fruit of the Spirit. chapter one from In the School of the Holy Spirit (New York, NY: Scepter Press 2007):13-25. And this unction of the Spirit is unfailingly spread in the souls of those who do the good that the Holy Spirit inspires in them. there is much more to it than that. Father Jacques Philippe is a spiritual director, retreat master and the founder of the Community of the Beatitudes. She lived in an area called Vinegar Hill, and she could pick up the phone and hear the conversations of neighbors who were using the phone. We do not have to become saints by our own power; we have to learn how to let God make us into saints. They inhabit both Greek and barbarian cities, according to the lot assigned to each. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Holiness. In her day Phoebe was a world-famous evangelist as well as a teacher of utter devotion to God. In the Reformed wing, there is an emphasis on theology, preaching, and social engagement at the level of culture. The Holy Spirit is rightly called the Consoler. (1 Pet. 5:5, 1 Cor. Even though we know that God's will and commandments apply to everyone, we do not always have the strength to fulfill them. In other words, the spiritual disciplines are practices that are designed to make us open to the Spirit and open to the presence of God, but they are not the Spirit. He is the author of The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes, Called to Life, Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness and Trust, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart, Interior Freedom, Fire & Light, Time for God, Thirsting for Prayer, and In the School of the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to live holy lives. The partnership of the believer and the indwelling Holy Spirit in all that is undertaken for God is absolutely essential to achieve the will of God. Letter 2074 in the Annecy edition. Here’s what happened to make me think I had popped her sacred bubble. Here is a little story from Sister Faustina, again taken from her Diary. Once we have taken that step of … Holiness, I like to say, is love done well. Those practices are prayer, meditation and contemplation, Bible reading, and a solid diet of good Christian influences, including movies and books. The presence of the Holy Spirit makes our hearts clean, our minds pure, our faculties to work at their full capacity, and our lives thereby fruitful to the glory of God. 1:2), For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. God is holy. It is the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor which points out … That does not mean, of course, that we don't have to make any effort; but if our efforts are not to remain fruitless, they must be directed to the right end. Because the Spirit has been unleashed, and those who are open to the Spirit can do a transforming work that makes God’s people a shining display of loving holiness. Excerpted from Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God With Us, God Transforming Us; Copyright © 2018 by Scot McKnight. Most Christians believe that during this life we grow in holiness. They share their meals but not their sexual partners. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s thoughts, teaches, and guides believers into all truth, including knowledge of what is to come. They are obedient to the laws that have been made, and by their own lives they supersede the laws. 5:23), . How a film and television stuntman met the Lord in the air. The Holy Spirit gives us … 11:44) and “It is God’s will that you should be holy [or sanctified]” (1 Thess. In the same Spirit help us … To make us holy, the Spirit leads us on the pathways of Scripture, prayer, and the other means of grace. We will get to see ourselves, what dwells in our flesh, through the Spirit in the light of God’s Word. [11] St. Thérèse of Lisieux also witnesses to this "dynamism of faithfulness" that makes accomplishing God's will progressively easier: It should be added that this process is accompanied by the grace of joy: even though obeying the Holy Spirit is often hard for us at the start, because it conflicts with our fears, our attachments, and so forth, that obedience is always, in the end, a source of joy and happiness. If we realize that we will save ourselves a great deal of discouragement and fruitless struggle. To share this article with your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below. Holiness becomes visible when we love God, others, self, and creation. So we see that separation from the world is the impact or result, not the source, of holiness. Love is not an alternative to holiness. How often? That strength can then be applied to other areas and may make us capable of one day practicing the commandments that up until then we had not been capable of fulfilling entirely. Given who this God is, it must be. This enlarging of the heart is a clear sign of the presence of the Spirit. "Holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit." My grandmother’s home phone was part of a party line, which means more than one home was hooked up to the same line. Reprinted with permission of Scepter Press. This happens even when their object is something unimportant; because these touches proceed from the Holy Spirit they share in God's power to console and fulfill us. St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle B, strophe 32, I. There are three dimensions to growing into holiness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit … And this unction of the Spirit is unfailingly spread in the souls of those who do the good that the Holy Spirit inspires in them. But every act of loving God, others, self, or creation is holiness. . We also need to understand what God is asking of us in particular, which he may not be asking of anyone else. That means you are not sinless.”. "[6]And, again: Holiness is not a program for life, but something obtained from God. Every foreign territory is a homeland for them, every homeland foreign territory. We must have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and filling us with His holiness. Without those inspirations, there is a serious danger that we may either let ourselves off too easily on certain points, or demand of ourselves more than God is demanding of us, which is just as bad, and more common than we might think. Just a minute amount of the unction of the Holy Spirit can fill our hearts with more contentment than all the riches of the earth, because it shares in God's infinity. . Here is one of the most memorable descriptions of the church in the whole of church history from the anonymous second-century Epistle to Diognetus: For Christians are no different from other people in terms of their country, language, or customs. What marked her holiness was a devotion to God that transformed her entire life, which is to say Phoebe Palmer was a model of Spirit-generated holiness. How can we recognize and distinguish these motions of the Spirit? My grandma made the claim that she was entirely sanctified and no longer sinned. Rather, holiness means that in this world one listens and dances to the music of the Holy Spirit instead of the music of the world. God is perfect; he lacks nothing. He guides us to the truth: The bible teaches that Jesus is Truth, and the Truth can set us free; free … Another spiritual law, which is worth taking note of and that is confirmed by experience, is this: this path of docility to the motions of the Holy Spirit may be very demanding, because "the Spirit breathes where he will,"[14] but it is a path of freedom and happiness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are saved, filled, sealed, and sanctified. in a 65 m.p.h. St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Autobiography, Manuscript A, folio 48. "[13] God rewards us as generously as only he can. Survey sets benchmarks to measure US commitment to First Amendment rights. For these disciplines to do their proper work, we need to practice them as we are open to God’s Spirit. Among these ways, there is one that is so fundamental and important that it merits an explanation: the inspirations of divine grace. Faithfulness to grace draws down further graces. This in turn depends upon intimate fellowship between the Spirit and the believer. For example, we may be making a supreme effort to correct a character defect, while what God is asking us to do is accept it with humility and gentleness toward ourselves! We have to surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. . Being a person, the Holy Spirit has feelings. And along the way, he shapes our posture to align with two fundamental truths: Holiness cannot be found apart from the Spirit’s means of grace; therefore, we must be diligent in the use of them. It gives us the power to produce spiritual fruit that we could not produce on our own. Father Jacques Philippe. The reason it is encouraging is that our own powers are limited, but God's power and love are not. And we unfailingly can obtain the help of that power and love for our weakness. (John 15:26.) because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For many Christians our public discourse has been reduced to standing up for the issues we believe in and standing against the issues we oppose. From start to finish, from inside to outside, from top to bottom, the work of becoming holy—of sanctification—is the work of God through the Spirit, as these Bible verses make clear: [To Christians] who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of theSpirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) We could translate the word holy as “devout” and we would be accurate. We all have the power to become holy, simply because God lets himself be won over by the trust we put in him. It not only takes a lifetime; it also takes a church or a community of faith to display this new holiness. 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