As we look at the dysfunctional state of today’s Church, we might wonder if her holiness is possible on this side of eternity. Yet, as noted in a previous post, that is God’s desire. Ephesians 5:25-27 depicts both a present and future sense of the Church’s holiness — “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Jesus provided the means through His death, having been motivated by love. These verses also suggest the method for the process of making us holy now (sanctification) — “cleansing her by the washing with water through the word”.
God’s Word is His Method for Us to Become a Church that is Holy:
Ephesians 5:25-27 isn’t the only scripture linking holiness and the Word.
In Jesus’ prayer for the church’s sanctification … the process for making us holy from the same Greek word, hagiazo, for making holy in Ephesians 5 … He included the method for becoming holy which is truth as it is found in His Word.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (Jn. 17:17)
A holy church is one that reflects God’s character. The only way for us to do that is to tap into His power which comes from knowing Him. How are we going to know Him? — through His Word.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pet. 1:3-4)
Implications for Today’s Church Becoming Holy:
We cannot abandon God’s absolute truth, water it down, or compromise and expect to have a holy Church. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Heb. 13:8) so what we learn about Him in His Word is still relevant today.
We cannot pick and choose what parts of the Bible we want to accept as truth. The Bible, in its entirety, presents the full picture of who God is in terms of His character and ways. Minimize any part of who He is and we are left with an anemic God whom we may perceive as not being able to fulfill “His very great and precious promises” given in His Word. An anemic God means an anemic Church, one that lacks holiness, because we are not pulling on His power to be holy.
We must function like we truly believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17 — “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Also Read: God’s Power – The Word of God