Day 23: Makes Men Holy
“Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy (sanctified) are of the same family” (Hebrews 2:11 a).
Most translations of Hebrews 2:11 use either the word sanctify or the phrase makes (made) holy, but there are a few who say set apart or purify, both of which touch on the meaning of the word sanctify. More fully, sanctification is a process whereby we are made into the image of Christ, and are formed into a new relationship with God. Notice that our verse says “are being made.” This indicates an ongoing process. When we are saved we are made holy in a positional way—in other words, our sins are wiped clean in that moment, and if we were to die quite soon, just like the thief on the cross, we would go directly into paradise, without need for further process to happen. However, most of us live for a while after conversion, and God continues His transforming, sanctifying work in us from that point to when He calls us to Himself.
But Murray takes this definition of holiness deeper, saying, “The word Holy is one of the deepest in Scriptures. It means a great deal more than separated or consecrated to God…Holiness is the deepest mystery of His Being, the wondrous union of His righteousness and His love. To be holy is to be in fellowship with God, possessed of Him.” This is about far more than rule-keeping.
It is important to wrap our minds around the purpose for our sanctification—our holification, if we can coin a term. Jesus makes us holy in order that we can be made one with Him. Without holiness we cannot see God or be in union with Him, because God cannot abide sin, He pushes it away. The intent of our salvation is not merely to gain heaven or lose hell. The purpose of our salvation is to remove our stain of sin so we can be holy, in order that we can be in union with Him forever, restoring the original reason for which we were created.
When we understand the price that was paid for our sin, our purpose for being made by and for God, and Christ’s intention in dying to secure our holiness and restore our union with Him, it should increase our desire to be holy and our diligence to cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in our lives.
• Being holy is SO much more than just complying with rules. What reasons are there fo pursuing holiness?
• Comparing your life today with your life five or ten years ago, do you see any progression in holiness or a desire for holiness? Are you satisfied with the progress you’ve made? If not, what are you going to do about it?
• What is the relationship between what you do and what God does in this process?
Lord, thank You that You are more concerned about my holiness than I am, and are at work in me to complete what You began. Thank You that Your work is bringing me into deeper more loving union with You. Help me to eagerly pursue what You are doing in me, that I may draw even closer to You.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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