Monday, February 28, 2011

Who? Me? Holy?

We are starting a new series on Sunday, where we will walk through the book of Ephesians together. This series is entitled "Identity" because the entire book answers the questions: "Who am I in Christ?" and "What should I be doing as a Christian?" From the beginning of the book, Paul tries to instill a confident DNA in these new Ephesian believers. In verse 1 of the first chapter Paul writes, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:" Paul calls his audience holy. In fact, the implication here is that all the Christians who are faithful to Jesus are holy.

Let me ask you a question: Today, do you feel holy? "Holy" is one of those words we usually reserve for special objects or special people. The literal word means, "set apart," and the implication is that those set apart things or set apart people are perfect. Most days, I'm not feeling perfect. I know my heart. I hear my thoughts. I know what I do throughout my day and I cannot, with a good conscience, describe my activity or motives as pure, holy, or perfect...or even kinda pure, kinda holy, or kinda perfect. So how can Paul tell a bunch of sinners, like you and me, that we are holy? The answer to that question is that our holiness is not based upon our actions or our hearts. Our holiness is the marvelous gift that Jesus gives to us. He gives us His righteousness. This little fact has amazing implications in your life. Read this from Romans 3: 21-22.
"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

How amazing is that fact!? You and I are given this gift of righteousness when we put our faith in Jesus. This fact gives me comfort when I fall and when I don't feel holy at all. Our belief in Christ is attributed to us as our righteousness. I don't deserve this kind of favor, but I'm sure glad the Lord offers it! I hope this encourages you today. You, yes you, are made holy through faith in Christ!