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« Holiness in the 21st Century | Main | Coming Soon: 'My lunch with Barna' »

February 08, 2006


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Holiness. Two views. Progressive and Positional. Can you have one without the other? I am Holy. I am Righteous. Why? Because my Rigtheousness is not mine, but Christs. I am Holy. Why? Because my Holiness is not mine but Christs. Why?

Because contrary to much teaching it was not only Jesus Christ's atoneing death that had salvific merit.

Also the Incarnation. Also His life of Perfect submission and obedience.

Therefore, His obedience and life of perfection becomes mine... Just as He is the Propitiation for me, His perfect life is mine. His death is mine. His ascension is mine. His being seated at the right hand of the Father is mine. Positionally I am raised with Him in new life and seated with Him in the Heavenlies.

Now, progressive sanctification and holiness is what? I believe it is my living out who I am already in and because of Christ.

Jesus is coming back for a Church without Spot or Wrinkle. But not because we pull ourselves up by our boot straps and don't smoke, chew, dance or drink or associate with those who do... But because we recognize that our Righteousness is filthy rags and appropriate, by Faith the Righteousness found only in Christ.



Hi Chris,

I just read through the Holiness manifesto and was a bit surprised.

I guess I'm not that well read or well versed in things. I suppose I was expecting simply a call to more righteous living. But the document was a breath of fresh air, when compared to those expectations.

Righteous living is certainly important, and I really appreciate the focus on relying on God (as opposed to some sort of works-mentality legalism where I have to earn God's approval lby proving to Him how "holy" I can be).

But overall the document strikes me as simply a call to discipleship. A call to followership. There was nothing in the document that made cringe or think "Oooo -- I can't believe they said that" or "Oooo -- I can't see myself doing that or wanting that"

In fact, I liked it quite a bit!

Others may pick apart small details, or may see some glaring omission.

But for me, I liked the overall message quite a bit!

~ Keith

When I read this, it brought me back to John Wesley's class meetings and bands. The fact that we as individuals should be accountable to bear our souls to one another in the areas that we stuggle. What sins did you commit this week? How did you see God working in your life this week? Did you share your faith with someone this week? How did you give of yourself to someone else's need this week? These are difficult questions and make many of us uncomfortable, but that is what leads us to a life of "Holiness" I believe. We come together as a community to pray for each other, support each other and encourage each other.

Anyway, I thought it was a good message.


Nicely done. I'd like to know more about the panel that put this together.

There is always the danger of moving from the "manifesto" to a works/method/program/agenda based approach to implementation. I don’t know what it is about us Americans, but we seem to have a great need to systematize everything we find good. A strength and a weakness for sure, but for us to become what the manifesto calls for, we must not fall into the trap of systemizing of the vision as we would normally. We need to find a better way of moving from “getting it” to “living it.”

Excellent! Sorry that I had to back out.

Short, to the point, packed with great ideas, and a great call to be with God.

Ok in my book :)


"I believe it is my living out who I am already in and because of Christ."


I agree. Yet I want to push it a bit further: I am choosing to become more like the person Christ has already made me to be.

"But overall the document strikes me as simply a call to discipleship. A call to followership."

Keith, I'm glad you picked up on this -- I wasn't sure if the document succeeded in conveying this in strong enough terms. You've encouraged me, however. And what you've mentioned certainly strikes at the heart of how we wanted to explain holiness in simple terms.

I agree. Yet I want to push it a bit further: I am choosing to become more like the person Christ has already made me to be.

amen. I believe there are two dangers to 'holiness' as the church sees it. One is that out of a desire to have our 'act together' and be sanctified we may care more about 'looking holy' then being holy.

and the 2nd one is if we are looking holy do we sometimes remove 'hope' from those who believe, because of where they are that they cannot measure up, so shouldn't try.

I love C.S. Lewis and I think this quote is appropriate:

"Christians have often disputed as to what leads the Christian home is good actions or Faith in Christ...It does seem to me like asking which blade in a pair of sissors is most necessary. A serous moral effort is the only thing that will bring you to the point where you throw in the towel.

Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from dispair at that point: and out of the Faith in Him good actions must inevitably come"

So I believe Holiness is required. But how do we live out progressively who we are positionally without turning it into legalism or having it be something that detracts from those who are hurting -- with wounds caused by Christians?



So for the past couple of months, I have been doing a ton of reading and research for a new ministry we are planning to launch called Catalyst . One of the books that I've gotten the most from has been The Shaping of Things to Come . Check out this passage I recently came across:

"One of the most wonderful metaphors in Jewish mysticism is the rabbinical teaching on the Shekinah (God's glory). In the typically playful way Jewish theology was presented, the Shekinah gains a personality and usually takes the form of a woman. In exile, God and His glory have been tragically separated through the fall. The separation is one of a cosmic crash in which God's glory was scattered into myriad sparks and caught up in all created matter. The holy sparks are now imprisoned in all things. Even the lowest of created things have the holy sparks in them.

The remarkable aspect of this Jewish teaching is the view that it is our holy actions actually free the holy sparks ensnared in all things allowing the exiled Shekinah to journey back to her Husband. God and His glory are joined together when people act in holiness.

When we act redemptively and in holiness, we fan into flames the creational purpose that lies at the heart of all things in God's world."

(pg. 128)

Hey, I came across your bog from another blog. You know how that goes...

Great job with the "manifesto". I will be stopping back by periodically. I blog on Feel free to stop by. I would welcome your thoughts as I am blogging about holiness from a Nazarene (Wesleyan) perspective.

I think what you have created with the Manifesto is encouraging --- but not fully-orbed.
Holiness has different facets or "phases" -- Positional, Progressive & Perfective. Positional & Perfective Holiness are completely dependent on God.
Progressive Holiness is a partnership and depends greatly on man's actions of obedience, yielding and purifying. God won't do for us what He commands us to do.
The Manifesto alludes to that -- but as a Pastor -- I believe God's people need to hear that part of the message with passion and clarity. I'm not speaking of legalism or works-based-salvation. I simply mean that God is calling us to ADJUST & ALIGN our Lives to be in conformity with His will. That is not a passive, mystical, "just-wait-on-God" kind of experience. God will TRANSFORM us as we "present ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness." (Rom. 6:13) That takes hard work!

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