This week’s pastor’s ponderings come from Steve, who as most of you know is a member of the Oversight team here at CBBC.
As you know we at CBBC are praying Psalm 51: “Create in me a pure heart, oh Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” I’ve been pondering on some of the words we use today in our language— Righteousness and Holiness. We would be forgiven in attaching the same meaning. After all, don’t we often use those words in the same context in our conversations with each other? And yet, there appears to be a subtle difference in the biblical context where righteousness seems to precede holiness.
What do I mean? The Bible tends to use the word righteous to refer to our right or good position that we hold in Christ rather than a right or good quality of our behaviour. Whereas holiness seems to reflect our pursuit of becoming more Christ like, where there is an ongoing transformation of our behaviour and attitudes led by his Spirit.
So in a way, our initiation into the faith is not determined by a judgment on the record of our previous behaviour. We are, however, placed in a new position and we become a new-born creation. Then, as a new creation, as we grow, seek God, and spend time sitting at the Lord’s feet in his throne room, listening, learning, obeying, our old behaviours do change as we journey the road in pursuit of holiness.
So let us wear the breastplate of righteousness, which is our position and standing in Christ, protecting our hearts against attacks. For us, our position is already established through the profession of our faith—we are considered heirs and children of the living God.
Now is the time for our pursuit of holiness, our effort of becoming more like Christ by the Holy Spirit’s enabling, and by being obedient to His word.
“Since it is written; you shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16