I have been reflecting on the joy of holiness. It is common to refer to the joy of salvation and to the beauty of holiness. Those are certainly appropriate images grounded in Scripture. There is immeasurable joy in knowing one is saved, and there is no human beauty that compares to that of a person clothed in righteousness. But it has crossed my mind that both of those descriptions tend to focus on the affects of grace received. There is a joy that transcends those appropriate responses to God’s mercy, one that flows directly from Him into us, that is, the fruit of the Spirit.
To know God in the beauty of holiness is to love as He loves. God is love and we cherish the promise of living in the full embrace of His love. We seldom imagine God as joyful, that seems too human. But He is joyful. Joy arises within His Triune being and flows outward to His creation in the same way as love eminates from Him. In its most simple description, holiness is being conformed to the otherness of God. It is to share in character of the wholly other.
God and God alone is holy. His creation can share in His holiness only by direct contact with Him. Further, only that which is free from sin can be joined with God in the beauty of His holiness. There is no holiness without direct communion with God. There is no direct communion with God that does not infuse the individual with the character of God.
Sanctification is that gracious act of God whereby the individual is separated from sin and unto God. It is that transformation that frees the believer from the power of sin and infuses into the believer the very holiness of God. In this fellowship with our creator our joy in what he has done for us is swallowed up in the joy that belongs to Him alone. We share in His joy, the joy of the triune being celebrating the life they share.
In God we radiate the warmth of His love, we embrace with the unity of His peace, and we dance the dance of His joy. That is the true beauty of holiness, the joyful dance of the certainty of fellowship in Him.
November 11, 2010