In I Chronicles 16:29, II Chronicles 20:21, Psalms 29:2 and 96:9, we find the phrase “the beauty of holiness.” In our time, the word holiness has come to mean legalism and the intolerance of the self-righteous. This reveals the level of deception the devil has been able to spread throughout the world and inject into Christianity to the point legalism has become synonymous with Christianity. This will change.
This evil, legalistic, religious spirit now has more influence in the church than the Holy Spirit. However, a revelation of true holiness is coming to and through the church in all its beauty and majesty, which will also be viewed by the whole world.
It should be noted that, except for how Jesus confronted the Pharisees, He almost never pointed out people’s sins. If He did, it was never in a condemning way, but by speaking the truth in love, to set them free from sin. Jesus came to redeem, not to condemn. We have already been condemned by our sins, and that is why He came to deliver us. When we see true holiness, we do not need to be told what we are doing wrong. Instead, we are compelled to seek holiness from a deep desire to walk in its majesty, dignity, and beauty. This is what we were created to be.
The Lord equated entering His promised land with entering His rest. It was a struggle to get through the wilderness, but once they had obtained His promise, there was rest. The same is true with holiness. Walking in true holiness is the greatest peace and rest we can know. With each step we take in this new life and in this new creation we are called to be, vision and purpose break forth, fueled by the greatest power in the universe—God’s love. As declared in I John 4:16-18:
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
The path of life is the pursuit of knowing God. To know God is to know love because “God is love.” The more we know Him, the more He can flow through us. Jesus is the love of God personified, and that love went about doing good, healing, and delivering all who were oppressed by the devil. That is what the true Christian life looks like—Christ and doing His works.
The Christian life has two main factors: what we do and what we become. If we become what we are called to be, we will do what we are called to do. We become what we are called to be by beholding His glory and by allowing it to change us into His image. This does not come by looking in ourselves and others for what is wrong. It is not that we are deluded about our sins and carnal nature, which may still have a grip on us. Instead, we are delivered from these when we see His love for us demonstrated on the cross.
When Jesus came the first time, the legalists and self-righteous were the ones most looking forward to His coming, yet they became His worst enemies. Jesus had no trouble with sinners or even the demon-possessed who came and bowed before Him. No, it was the religious people who became His worst enemies and had Him crucified. The same is true today. Legalists still persecute Him by persecuting those who truly follow Him.
There is no greater gate of hell through which pride comes than the evil, religious spirit that seeks to base our relationship with God on religious performance rather than the cross of Jesus through which we are redeemed and which alone has the power to deliver. As declared in I Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The cross is the greatest demonstration of the love of God ever. It was His sacrifice that saved us, not anything we could have done. The greatest freedom of all comes by trusting His love by trusting His work on the cross.
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