Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is Holiness?

God said we must be perfect because he is perfect. In the midst of the Sermon of the Mount, such a statement can seem an onerous demand upon intrinsically imperfect creatures, but is that what it's intended to be? Granted, God is perfect, and if we're ever to get along with him, we'll have to be perfect too, but is this a demand as much as it is a statement of fact?

If God allowed imperfection to run amok in his universe(s) [that's for any of you string theorists out there ;-)] he wouldn't fit the definition of being perfect. Perhaps he could understand what is perfect, maybe even want what is perfect, but he, himself, would not be perfect because he would be unable to "make it so." Jesus spoke a verity on that mount, really a necessity: if it wasn't so, God wouldn't be God.

We, however, are not perfect nor can we be. There is one, alone, who is good, and it ain't us! But we must be, if we're ever to get along with God! We are part of the universe made by the perfect creator and it is a necessity that we be perfect in all that we are, or we'll have to be perfect not as we are. Right now, we can think, desire, choose, act, create, i.e. express the image of God (though marred and imperfect). In order to continue to do so, we'll have to come into accord, be perfectly aligned, and absolutely congruent with him who is perfect.

Hell, and by that I mean the Lake of Fire, is not the petty, vindictive, hissy fit of someone really big and strong. It is a logical necessity in view of an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect God. If those made in his image will not choose perfectly, then they must be perfectly incapacitated from making any choice whatsoever. The undying worm and never ending flame of hell are meant to accomplish just such a purpose.

But we are not perfect, nor could we ever be. What's a person to do? We certainly don't want to burn in hell. We must become holy! There is one who is perfect, it is the essence of his holiness, and he is willing to share his Holy Spirit with those willing to put their trust in Christ. When he who is holy is abiding in those who can't be on their own, holiness becomes remarkably possible. When those folks are recreated at the Rapture, their holiness will be perfect.