Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Holy and Beloved
"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
In our memory work, we are skipping from verse 4 down to 12-14. Verse 12 is rich with theology. We see the sovereignty of God, which I could easily write about in a decades worth of posts. We see the place where God focuses His attention - on the heart. We also see five character qualities which Christ exemplified for us while here on earth - each one could be a study in itself. But these several treasures are not the focus of this post. I want to look at the two titles that God gives us in this verse: holy and beloved.
Let me start by asking you a question. Are you holy? Now, I know you ladies and there's not a single one of you that would step forward and say, "Yes, I am holy," because in saying so, there's almost a sense of arrogance. None of you would hold yourself up that high. But truth be known, God doesn't call His children "holy" because He hopes they'll get their act together and stop sinning. It's not a wishful title.
It's actually a fact.
Yes. You are holy.
Now, I understand about sanctification and the process of becoming holy. In Leviticus 11, God says, "Be holy, for I am holy." Obviously if we were holy, He wouldn't have to command us to be holy, so what do you mean, Kristen, when you say that we are holy?
Holy means in its simplest form, to be set apart. To be separated. God's choosing of you, His sacrifice for you and His work in your life, sets you apart. You are not of this world, but you are a child of God. Jesus took your place and you assumed His righteousness. He is holy, therefore you are holy.
So when God calls you holy, it is kind of a pet name. Chosen, set part, paid for, pure, perfect and righteous. Holy. That's how He sees you, so that's what He calls you. When He instructs you to be holy, He is reminding you that since you are set apart, you should act like it. Remember, we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God. He is holy, therefore we are holy.
The second name is beloved. Are you truly the beloved of God? When God calls His children beloved, it is a reminder of His great love for them.
No one has done for you what God has done.
Need I list out what He has done? How about these, for a start: He made you. He gave His Son for you. He gave you His Spirit so that you would not have to go through life alone. He has prepared an eternal home for you. He has given you every good thing pertaining to life and godliness. He has provided an enormous handbook to make life easier. He has given you the body of Christ to come alongside you and walk through life with you. He has justified, sanctified, glorified, redeemed, sustained, called and yes, even predestined you to be His child. Need I go on?
You are beloved of God. He loves you. He has put your needs before His own. And so when He calls to you, He uses a name that endorses His actions - beloved.
So, holy and beloved, you need to spend sometime embracing your names as you memorize this verse. Name them and claim them, because these are two names that have the facts to back them up.
Have a great week!