mandag 19. september 2016

It is about something that always is

Since I believe in God, I also believe that he is eternal and holy. The logical conclusion of this belief is that holiness always “is” – like God always is. The first human beings were holy because they were created in the image of God, but then came the fall. The only “new” thing on the divine arena, is that men can be “new” creatures in Jesus Christ (1) – and stay “new”.

For this reason I also realize that what I write about holiness is nothing new, apart from the fact that holiness is always new. Even though the focus I have had on the ‘other’ trinity is a concept I have never used before, everything I have tried to cover with the concept has been the focus of many others:

  • John Wesley proclaimed that: There is no holiness, but social holiness. This truth is covered in one of his standard sermons which in many ways define his and the Methodist movement’s understanding of holiness (2).
  • William Booth wrote about “salvation for both worlds” and that we are called to communicate and make both things real (3).
  • When I was growing up, I very often heard officers quote Colonel Ingeborg Bödtker who always challenged with this exhortation: “Live in the angle, comrades!” at the same time as she raised one arm up to God and the other one towards her neighbour as an illustration.
  • I do not know how old the motto is, but it was definitely revitalized by General Eva Burrows: “Heart to God and hand to man” (4). It does not work well in all languages, but it is part of the foundation in the understanding of the Salvation Army’s mission in Eastern Europe.
All this is about living as a one of the three in the ‘other’ trinity. I think that is how God also sees it. It is this that makes holiness holiness, and makes it into something that human beings can grasp with spirit, soul and body.

‘Manna’ for today:

Holiness “is”, God “is”, and I “am” in him.
(1) 2 Cor 5:17
(2) ”No Holiness But Social Holiness” is linked to the exposition of – Matt 5:13-16 - in “Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount” IV – Sermon XIX – i “Wesley’s Standard Sermons”Vol. I – Francis Asbury Press – Grand Rapids – 1955 s. 382
(3) The third aspect of Booth's redemptive theology was what he called, in an 1889 article, “Salvation for Both Worlds.” The Booths always preached personal salvation by faith in Christ; that commitment never dimmed. Nevertheless, by 1889 William especially was convinced that salvation also had social dimensions.
(4) The motto illustrated in a song

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