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  • Renée Coventry

Holiness Vs. Morality, Pt. 27

As I was speaking with someone on the topic of holiness, they mentioned that they knew a lot of people who worshipped differently [the implication being gods] and yet lived very moral lives. Yes, this is true, but Christ's purpose in coming was not to make immoral people moral. The purpose of Jesus Christ in coming was that we could die to the nature of sin within us and come alive in Him. Yesterday I defined holiness as the death of self to live in Christ.

Rob McCoy, the Senior Pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks, made a perceptive observation when he stated, "Morality is not doing what's wrong. Character is doing what's right." Many people, both saved and unsaved alike, make moral choices and are aligned with good character. Generally speaking, when a person makes ethical choices, it is morality according to their own definition, not always according to God's. The issue is that regardless of the "good" choices and "beautiful" character that people exhibit, it does not address the underlying problem of sin and rebellion against God. This is what makes the sacrifice of Christ so profound.

Romans 5:7-11 states, "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

Do you know anyone willing to die for the world's most wanted? Jesus did. He didn't just come for the moral according to society's definition or for the wise according to the world's standards. He came for the immoral, the destitute, the downtrodden. He came for me. Not because He could make me moral, affluent, or favored. He came to get rid of the root issue: sin.

I've recently taken up gardening, and one of the things I've realized is that you can pull as many weeds as you like. They can even be pretty weeds, like our own righteousness or morality. The problem is if you don't get the root, the weed regrows and, more often than not, spreads its seeds throughout the garden. You've got to annihilate the entirety of the source. Isaiah 64:6-7a assures us that "But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You." While admirable to some extent, being moral and of good character is nothing but filth before the Lord when based on my definitions and what I can do in and of myself. On the other hand, holiness is based upon God's definition and rooted in what Christ has done for me. It is impossible to achieve without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

God never told us to be moral. He said, "Be holy."

Let's pray:

Father, forgive me for confusing holiness and morality. Forgive me for the times I have justified my sin by recognizing my righteousness in the flesh rather than being holy. Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to the completed work of Christ so that I can be holy because You are holy. Grant me the wisdom I need to understand and discern the difference in myself and others. In Jesus' Name, amen.

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