“The Christian life is not about becoming more holy!” Phil Drysdale
Many people think that the Christian life is about becoming holy, sinning less and doing righteous acts more. The truth of course that this is not only a lie, but it’s flat-out ridiculous.
Nobody can become more holy any more than they can become less holy. Holiness is not something measured on a scale. You are either holy or you are not holy. Holiness by its very definition means to be absolutely perfect, set apart and “other”. You can’t be those things partially. Nothing is kind of perfect, or partially pure.
If you were to have a bottle of water that was 99.9% water and 0.01% poop you wouldn’t label it pure water would you? Would you even be able to call it 99.9% pure? Of course not because pure means 100%. Even the slightest fraction of a percent taints the purity.
It is the same with holiness. We can’t become more holy. What do we think we are doing? Do we start out 0% holy and work our way up? Where are we today? 18%? 40%? 80%? And what is enough to consider yourself living a holy lifestyle? Is it when you break the half-way mark and your good outweighs your bad? It certainly isn’t 100% because we’ve all failed, the best we could hope for is that in the light of eternity we make it to 99.99%.
What we are effectively doing when we try to measure holiness on a scale like this is we turn salvation and spiritual maturity into a system of works all over again. We reject grace and make it all about our performance again.
The truth of course is that Jesus has made us absolutely holy. His standard is not what we do, or what we say, or how much our good outweighs our bad. Rather His standard is who He has made us to be, how far we fall short of that is irrelevant as He chooses to see us as perfect and holy.
Will our actions become less and less sinful and more and more righteous as we mature in who we are in Christ? Yes! But lets not fall for the age-old trap of thinking we are earning something or growing in something based on our own effort. We are not overcoming our sin and becoming more righteous, rather we are merely discovering who Christ has made us to be and as we believe it is manifesting in our lives.
Prayer for the day
Jesus I thank you so much that you are my standard of holiness. That my old sinful self died with you on the cross and that my new righteous self was raised up with you. Thank you that you see me as holy and righteous regardless of my actions, and that I am free not to try to grow in holiness but rather just to walk out the holiness you have already given me.