March 14, 2013

God's Longbow

ἅγιος  hagios

Nothing fancy in this post today. Just a few reflections on life as a Christian in a decadent society.

An inclusive pluralistic society like we live in today is inherently and intrinsically hostile and adverse to the idea of holiness and sanctification. These things ask believers to be separated and set apart. We are not to necessarily to fit in with the pluralistic culture. This mindset really goes against what the Christian is called to do. We are only transient visitors here.

Leviticus 20:26 "You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you peoples, that you should be mine.

1 Peter 1:16 "...since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Philippians 3:20 "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ"

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

God is holy.

God is wholly other. He is not of this world as we should not be of this world. There is nothing in the Creation, not then, not now that we can compare Him to...and we are called to be like Him as we were created in His image. This society will have none of this and we should not expect to be accepted by a twisted world nor its culture. Love by God hated by the world.

Everything in our culture and modern society pushes us and moves us towards a mindset that we must accept everyone and everything else even against our conscience because peer-pressure and a desire to fit in trumps common-sense which says that the Bible is proper for living our lives by. The Bible is not telling us to become like the world, it is calling us to make a choice not to be like the negative things of the world system.

Holy ἅγιος hágios implies something or someone that is "set apart" and therefore different. The truth is that God is the only source of holiness. There is no other holiness anywhere or anytime. What we have we get from Him from His Spirit. If God is indeed wholly other and we are to also be like Him and drawn to him we have no other option than to be separated from this world because holiness and its source demands it. This world is fallen and demands judgment because God's holy nature demands it. By the worlds very nature and God's very nature they are therefore incompatible. Not so much because of us but because of Him. The world is too far off the mark as is fallen humanity left in their unrepentant sin. Hence sin which is hateful to God is actually considered missing the mark. Specifically sin is a failure to miss God's mark or set example. The word ἁμαρτάνω/sin is actually a term used of ancient archers that could not hit the target with an arrow.

The closer we will try to get to the target the farther from the world we must go. The farther into the world that we go the farther off target we get.  The more world  gets into the believers life and the Church the more the believers and churches disappear from the world. Just like the archer it takes a steady hand, sharp mind and sharp eye. These all come from training and living a life conducive to do so. So also the Christian. We cannot expect an archer to hit his target more accurately by not using the tools given to him and practicing and immersing himself in his task. Nor should we expect the Christian to hit the mark of holiness more accurately by ignoring the tools and and practicing their task either. The tools of the archer? A bow and arrow and steady hand and keen eye. The tools of the Christian? The Bible, the Word, The Gospel and a continued use of these.

The world will see our desire to more accurately hit the target of holiness as arrogance, conceitedness or exclusivity. God sees it as distinguished and distinct. We are His and for this reason alone we are special. We should aspire to split the arrow already in the center of the target left there by those that have gone on to glory. We should aim to make the once-in-a-lifetime shot every time we step up with word to deliver the Gospel. The arrow should be aimed at the heart of sinful man to take out the sinful heart. An arrow point shattering stone to make room for a heart of flesh.

I can hear the creak and subtle report of the bow and it sounds like the binding of a Bible being opened. The crisp snap is the arrow of the Gospel reaching its target. If God is the source of holiness and He has called us to it, he never misses as none that the Father has given Christ will be taken out of His hand.

John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Furthermore, if holiness is indeed where we are to be - our greatest advocate prayed for us and prayed that we would be dead center on target...Jesus prayed that all those that the Father had given Him would be...where He is. On target, with Him in glory...holy. Jesus never missed the mark, not even once and God exalted Him for it. If we are in Him we are on target also.

John 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

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