Wholly Holy

The good thing about a long commute is the built in worship opportunity that comes with 90 minutes of uninterrupted car time.  Lately I’ve been loving my David Crowder Band collection, partially because Mr. Crowder is amazing and has crazy hair, but mostly because they give me brilliant word pictures which are my favorite thing ever.

“I am full of earth… stained with dirt, prone to depravity…”

I’ve found myself teetering on the edge of how guilty I should feel for my sin.  What is the balance between forgiveness and repentance?  In some cases it feels like I’m covered in mud but I’m supposed to pretend like I’m clean, like somehow God’s grace magically wipes out the reality of my depravity.  Of course it does, but that does not void out my responsibility to be holy and to leave the sin that I’ve been forgiven of.  When I find myself bitter, unforgiving and numb to the prompting of the Holy Spirit I remember the verses about crucifying Christ all over again (Hebrews 6), how it would be better to not have ever heard the way of righteousness (2 Peter 2)… and sometimes I fear for my salvation.

Maybe that strikes a sour note with you.  I’ve always found myself on the middle ground in the arguments about things like free will, predestination and losing your salvation.  The Bible clearly talks about all of those concepts, so really the only debate is how they work together without contradicting each other because in some way they must.  Without an in-depth salvation handbook I doubt we will have resolution before we get to heaven and it is too late to change our actions or thoughts.

Maybe you’ll say we have an in-depth salvation handbook, but as someone who loves details and fine print I’ll say that we most certainly do not.  The Bible provides everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1) but lacks details in many areas… as can be seen by every Bible major’s intrinsic need to rehash age old debates as if their Old Testament Survey class gave them some enlightenment that theologians have been missing for centuries.

Forgive me.  I just don’t want to misuse God’s grace.  I don’t want to take personal advantage of the forgiveness of sin without fully comprehending the depth and the damage of sin.

“…the harder I try the more clearly can I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all…”

But he does have the magic eraser that makes my dirt disappear.  For whatever reason I am forgiven and loved and called to be holy in light of his holiness, but how the heck am I supposed to do that?  How can beauty come out of ugliness?  How can order come out of chaos?  Not on its own; there has to be a catalyst.  Sin begets death and chaos multiplies, but in the world that God made he brings beauty out of the worst we can come up with.

“But a certain sign of grace is this—from a broken earth flowers come up, pushing through the dirt…”

So there’s this war going on because my sin nature, the Holy Spirit and I are all occupying the same body.  If you’ve ever read The Host by Stephanie Meyer you can get the visual of two conscious beings in the same body and how awkward it is.  Now think of yourself as the sin nature who is twisting your thoughts, tripping your feet and trying to get your body to defy the Holy Spirit who is reminding you of God’s truth, prodding you to step out of your comfort zone and grow up into maturity.  And there you sit in the middle being pulled in opposite directions when really all you want is to live in a big house with 8 children and be happy.

In me there is the temporal concerns of the earth, the dirt of sin and the light of God.

“I am full of earth and dirt and You…”

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