Christians: Channels Of Truth And God's Holiness
Christians are children of the Sovereign, Almighty, Most Holy, Most Wise and Infinite God. Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that dwell in it. We are His children He “chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). Once upon a time, we were sinners, children of disobedience and separated from God. But Scripture says, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Rom 5:8). He died to reconcile sinners to God. And by coming to Him through faith, we become His children. We are adopted into the family of God (Jh 1:12-13,Rom 8:14-17).
Apart from being children of God, there are different other descriptions used for the Christian. We are God’s elect. We are His chosen ones. We are His sheep. We are His servants and ambassadors. We are the salt and light of the world. These descriptions presents us with some understanding of our relationship with God. He is a Father, Shepherd, and King. He is Lord and ruler over us and His creation. If this is true of us, then as a Father, Shepherd, King and Lord over our lives; He must have expectations of us. It is said we are the hands and feet of Christ in the world. We are God’s representatives on earth with a mandate to let Him be known to the world. We are saved to show forth God’s glory to the world(Jh 15:16, 1 Pet 2:9, 2Cor 5:20).
As God’s representatives on earth, we have a mandate to make Him known, as already indicated. But if He is God–a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeabled in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; how can we mere mortal and finite beings represent Him and show forth His glory? How can we be channels by which His truth and holiness will be known?
I will offer two thoughts.
1. Know The Truth.
How can we represent or be channels of what we do not know? It is impossible. It will be an exercise in futility. We must know the truth if we are to represent the truth. Truth is what God has revealed about Himself in Scriptures. “The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify… [God]. (WSC 2A).
In Deuteronomy 4:5, Moses clearly indicated the source of the commandments he was giving the children of Israel. They were God’s very words and commands: “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it”. These “statutes and rules” which are God’s words are to be made known because they are true. Truth is not subjective. Truth is not what other people definite it to be. Truth is what God calls truth through His self-revelation in His word.(Pr 30:5) Jh 14:6, 17:17).
The believer who doesn’t pay attention to the truth of God’s word is going to live a defeated Christian life, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Despite its importance, as humans, the tendency of forgetting the important things of the faith is high. So constantly in Scriptures, God reminds us of the importance of paying heed to His word (Joshua 1:9, Psalms 1 & 119). The reality of our forgetfulness necesscitates constant reminders: “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. (Deut 4:9). Knowing the truth also has an element of passing the truth on. “Make them known to your children and your children’s children”(Deut 4:9).
2 Live The Truth
Knowing the truth is not enough. We must live the truth:
…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.(James 1:22-25).
Accumulation of truth is not the desired end for the believer. Living in obedience to God and His word is the desired end of biblical knowledge. I once heard a preacher say the worst sinner is the one whose theology doesn’t reflect in their lives. I agree with him. The highest level indeed of hypocrisy is to preach what we do not practice. God has called us into a life of holiness. He chose us “that we should be holy and blameless before him (Eph 1:4). We are also by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit being conformed to the image of Christ. (Rom 8:29). Because He is Holy, God calls us unto holiness(Lev 11:44, 1 Pet 1:16). Our manner of life matters to God, because we are His representatives and others see His workings in the world through our lives in our sanctification and holiness.
However, holiness is not only outward. It is also inward; “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”(Mark 7:21-23). There are people whose outward deeds will, in the eyes of men recommend them to God. But before God, they are “whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness”(Matt 23:27).
That said, it is critical we understand holiness cannot be produced by self-will. We can only be holy when we submit ourselves in obedience to God’s truth enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. In pursuit of personal holiness, which God has called every believer to, God works and we respond: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”(Phil 1:12-13).
Holiness doesn’t also spell perfectionism. In our pursuit of holiness, we will fall and stumble sometimes. But we must not relent to keep focus on Christ our righteousness. It is in His rigtheousness we work out our righteousness. Apart from our personal holiness, we are also to be people who care and love others not only in words, but in deeds. We are to extend a hand of care and love to the society we find ourselves. We are to love one another and care for the needs of others. In love, we show the love of God to others. In love, we practice “pure religion”.
These two, I believe are just but a few ways we can be channels of God’s truth and holiness. We must never forget we are instruments and channels through whom God shows forth His truth and holiness to the world. Let us examine our lives and repent where we fall short in representing God’s truth and holiness.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.(Matthew 5:14-16).