What does "holy" mean?
Fall is just around the corner! Confirmation classes for our 7th and 8th graders will begin soon. There will be a confirmation meeting for parents and students on Wednesday, September 13 at 6:30 pm in the social room.
In preparation, I was working on a definition for holiness to use in our confirmation classes. In simple terms, holiness means being what you were created to be. While that can sound to us like something we have to do...we can’t do it! We don’t get to create ourselves. Instead, we are created by God.
Nonetheless, the old sinner never stops trying to be his own creator. We want to be self-made. We want to be able to make ourselves into holy people by the things we do. Ironically, that’s precisely what Adam and Eve were up to when they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Rather than simply being God’s good creation, they wanted to learn how to make themselves holy through their own actions. And all these generations later, we’re still at it.
But holiness is not something you do. No matter what you do, you yourself cannot produce holiness. Holy is something you are made, and you are not made holy by the law, which is always concerned with what you do. Instead, you are made holy by the Gospel, which declares what God has done for you in Christ.
We confess that the Holy Spirit has already made you holy by giving you Christ’s forgiveness of sins through a preacher. He makes you holy right now by keeping you in faith, and He continues to do this day after day, using Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the preached Word as the means. He is faithful to do this until the last day, when you will finally see the eternal life in Christ that He has already given you by faith.
God created you to have faith in Him. When your faith is in the promise of Jesus Christ, you are finally being what you were made to be. So He makes you holy by His Word.
Grace and peace,