Transformed Not Performed

One of the over-arching themes in my book Why Holiness Matters is the idea that holiness is not something we attain, it is a gift imparted to us through the work of Christ. In the book I described holiness as the outward reality of an inward affection. Meaning holiness isn’t first new behaviors, it’s a transformed heart.

Taking this a step further, it is the purity of Jesus which is extended to those who choose to follow Him. Often I hear people describe holiness in terms of behavior, but holiness is primarily something of God, a perfect purity. And if this is true then holiness is not a possible reality in any human life separated from God.

To put it another way, we are holy through the transformative work of Jesus. We are transformed, rather being excellent behavioral performers.

This is a fitting way to focus our thoughts during Holy Week. Life achievements and personal accomplishments in life and in connection to God, come through God, and his gift-giving to us. Paul gives great emphasis to this in saying, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). 

Holiness is rarely framed in this way. More often holiness is brought up in terms of human action and decision-making. Keeping all this in mind I was surprised when The Bible Project released their latest video, this one on “holiness.” In the video, they describe holiness in a way that was similar to how I came to understand it and then emphasized it in my book. They nailed some critical ideas surrounding holiness.

Check out the video and support this wonderful ministry. Tim and Jon do incredible work. I use their videos all the time.

(if you cannot see or play the video, head here to watch it)