The Love of a Holy God: Part 2

Earlier this week I posted part one from my reflection in church this past Sunday about the relationship between God’s holiness and God’s love. Today I wanted to post part 2 which is our own call to be holy and to love and what God’s own attributes of holiness and love mean for how we understand this call.

2. Our call to be holy and to love.

It is then out of God’s love, shown in Jesus the Messiah and God’s willingness to step into his creation and redeem what has been lost, that we have the ability to live a holy life. But again our own holiness is only determined by the holiness of God.

We live as holy persons, only as we live according to the holiness of God which is founded in his existence apart from this very world in which we live.

This is why we can’t do it on our own, nor can we do it with out God’s guidance, example, commandments, and Spirit. We cannot know the holiness of God through our own observational skills; he has to reveal himself to us so that we can see who we are to be like, and why he has empowered us through his spirit to be able to live like him. This is why over and over again in Leviticus, God’s commands for his people are tied directly to his own holiness. Be holy for I am holy. Our identity and our value are found only in the God who created and redeemed us, but that means our identity and our value are of far more importance than we are ever led to believe when we base them on things of this world.

And, if as we’ve seen earlier, God’s holiness is directly tied to God’s love and central to his very being, then our holiness must also be directly tied to our love.

We must be people of love who respond to God’s own love by living in the holiness that he desires. We must also be people who love as God loves; without reservation and without conditions. Our love for others, our enemies, our neighbors, our families, our friends, the stranger and the alien, the poor both here and around around the world, must look like God’s love. And as we said earlier, God’s love is defined by the personal sacrifice that enters into the condition of the other and gives of one’s self no matter the cost. It’s not a simple emotion, it’s not even a complex feeling of compassion or empathy, our love as defined by God’s love is and active, radical movement toward every person we meet in the very direction of their greatest need for living.

Part 3 of this series will be posted later this week and it will deal with the ramifications on our reality if parts 1 and 2 are indeed true. I would love it if folks commented beforehand and how these ideas might shape or reshape their own views of reality.

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One Reply to “The Love of a Holy God: Part 2”

  1. I love your description of how we are called to love others because so often we talk about helping others because we feel bad for them and want to help them out. Having this feeling of compassion or empathy. However, were called to love others like God loves us. God doesn’t just feel bad for us and want give us a break. Rather he loves us as father loves his son. He would do anything for us, he would give anything to care and protect us. He proved that when he gave his Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins.

    A father if he saw his son living on the streets wouldn’t just give him a bagged lunch, talk to them for a little while, and leave. No, he would take him home offer him clean clothes and a shower, a warm bed to sleep in, and as much food as it took for them to be nourished properly again. He would never think about the cost or give his son a deadline for how long he can stay. Then even if the son leaves after the father had given him all of this and even took his valuables in order to sell, a father wouldn’t seek to prosecute his son. Instead rejoice that he knows he has been feed and that his valuables may help his son to eat and to stay alive long enough for them to decide to come back home to where he is loved and cared for.

    What would our world look like if we truly loved others like God loves each and every one of us? For so many of us the idea of doing what the father did in the story seems so far out of reach. It seems as a rather out there approach to loving others. Now, what I am not here to say is that if we don’t take people into our homes and don’t clothe them, and feed them that our efforts to help them are not in a loving nature. Because loving others could simply mean saying hi to the kid at school who gets picked on or picking up a few pieces of trash off the street as you walk to work/school/wherever. But what if we did love others in the way that the father did in the story. What if we gave that same type love to everyone we come into contact with? The way the world looks at love would certainly be, radically, different.

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