The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Galatians 5:6b (NIV)
by Dr. Bill Ury
National Ambassador for Holiness
Being made holy must result in “doing the most good.” Holiness includes every part of us: heart, soul, body, mind—everything. A gracious heart transformation is meant to be lived out, worked out, expressed in all our doing (1 Peter 1:15). Before sin marred all of creation, the Lord wanted us to work by tending a garden and to walk with Him. Every action was to arise from intimate self-giving trust. After we rejected His face, we turned to our actions (idolatry) in an attempt to give ourselves meaning. All of us know that any practice devoid of perfect love never truly satisfies.
Holiness includes every part of us: heart, soul, body, mind— everything.
It is a return to the original plan when our Sanctifier offers 10 “words” to order all our motives and actions. Holiness is meant to be expressed in a body in community. He desires that in every action of an ordinary person’s life the Holy One is seen for who He is. Don’t carve or bow down to an idol. Don’t break the marriage covenant, lie, malign another or grab for yourself. As Charles Wesley loved to say, the Law is both a portrait of Who God is and a promise of what He can do in a human heart.
That was His plan for the world— that those He had called to be like Him would live as He would if He had a body. The sad history of the people of God is that they never fully comprehended their life’s purpose—“to sanctify His Name among the nations.” If a person cannot be made holy, then those who want to see how God acts will never witness that reality.
The problem is that we look at our stumbling lives and wonder how we can truly reflect the perfection of our eternal God.
That is why Jesus took on our flesh as the Holy Son of God to show us what we forgot—the Holy One in our human life. Everything He was and did injected hope that we might be brought back by His eternal plan. He directly tied perfect love to not greeting people because they can do something for us (Matthew 5:47-48).
Pentecost purified hearts; it did not perfect performance.
We know works don’t save us. We also know that the Spirit enables works: walking and talking and working which are free of self-congratulation. The problem is that we look at our stumbling lives and wonder how we can truly reflect the perfection of our eternal God. Apparently, it is not as hard as we make it. Pentecost purified hearts; it did not perfect performance.
The One who sanctifies is not a tyrannical taskmaster. He offers all that He is to us, second by second,
so that we can come to the place of knowing the actions of our lives arise out of a heart made perfect,
one, whole, complete in love. The Spirit witnesses to the fact that He has access to all my being. That means that words, work and ways of living can arise out of a clean source. And that source is never a stagnant remnant of a past commitment. It is the Artesian well of empowering love sourced in the One who has made me to be His cleansed mind, His holy hands, His pure mouth, His compassionate feet.