I have just returned from a great weekend at Pill Corps with my good friends Alan and Carol Young.
I preached on the 'three legs of holiness...'
Holiness is like a 3-legged stool, if any of the legs are longer/shorter/stronger/weaker than the others then the whole thing becomes unstable and collapses.
What are the three legs of holiness?
Love, Obedience and Sacrifice.
Holiness can only ever be a response to God's love ('with eyes wide open to the mercies of God I beg you brothers to offer your bodies as living sacrifices…').
That response (our love for God) must result in acts of continued and uninterrupted obedience and greater revelations from God ('if you love me you will obey my commandments and I will send … the spirit to you').
Ultimately this mix of love-fuelled obedience will lead to sacrifice (consecration).
The result will be an unbridled embrace of God's will and a rejection of the world and all its ways (materialism, consumerism, hedonism, selfishness etc.)
Paul sums it up perfectly:
"With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity."
Unless this paragraph summarises our personal Christian faith and practice we face an uncertain eternity and cannot possibly be fully effective for God.
Let's fall in love with God all over again!
Grace and peace, Andrew