When we use the word "because" in a sentence, what does it mean? In the most literal sense, it carries the idea of a condition being met. For example, I could not eat another bite BECAUSE my stomach was so full carries the condition of a 'full stomach' prohibiting anymore intake at the meal. The 'condition' was met, therefore the intake had to stop. There are a whole lot of 'conditions' met in life that result in something happening or not happening, right? In our lives, we sometimes think these 'conditions' are not met, so we use the BECAUSE to explain the 'why' behind our inability to 'measure up to' or 'meet' the condition. Truth be told, we use the BECAUSE statement way to often to excuse our stubbornness or pride and not enough to describe what God has and is doing within us!
Be hold, BECAUSE I am holy. The holiness of God in our lives is possible BECAUSE the condition has been met in Christ Jesus. We were in sin, but now live as 'holy' BECAUSE God chose us and 'in Christ' we are made holy. Being chosen is a condition - it has already been met. Being holy is a condition - one that has already been met, as well. We sometimes find ourselves telling God some other type of condition is met, though. For example, we tell God we cannot possibly be filled with grace and goodness BECAUSE we have done too much that is wrong and 'unholy'. The condition we 'buy into' is that of thinking we cannot change - even though God clearly says we both HAVE and CONTINUE to change!
While I don't believe in the theory of evolution as Darwin perceived all of life coming to be, I do believe we 'evolve' in character, trust, and love. To 'evolve' means we develop - we see something different than the former condition unfold over time. We may not 'feel' holy today, but in time, as we continue to do the things God asks us to do, we will begin to see his holiness 'unfolding' in our lives in ways we never dreamed possible. We are BECOMING what he has declared we already ARE. Maybe we find this hard to understand, but we ARE and we are BECOMING. Both conditions are met in Christ Jesus!
Just as God is holy - there is the condition. Be holy in everything you do - there is the rub! We don't know how to live holy lives - in fact, we do a pretty miserable job of living holy. Living so as to not keep ourselves at the center of our universe is contrary to how we 'normally' live - learning to live with Christ at the center of our lives is harder than we'd like it to be. We don't learn this overnight, although the condition of him being at the 'center' of our lives is met when we say "yes" to him, inviting him to take control of our lives and make us holy. We 'evolve' in grace - we 'evolve' in love - we 'evolve' in trust. We 'evolve' in freedom.
We may not believe in 'evolution' as a theory of creationism, but God is always doing a 'creative' work within us. His holiness IS and IS BECOMING manifest within us - he is unfolding his character in us more and more each day. We don't meet the condition - he does! This is a good thing BECAUSE apart from him none of us could ever be holy! Just sayin!
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