Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Holiness: Jesus and "Good News" (Part One)

Written by my Bishop and friend (I say friend not to name drop, because if he were listing people he'd invite to come watch the game with him, I'd probably not be on it. But to imply he's much more among those he leads than the title suggests.) David Kendall, of the Free Methodist Church.

The main topic of this chapter is pointing out that by focusing so much of our discussion on Holiness on the OT aspects of God, and the Pauline writings of the NT, etc...we've missed some stuff. The "good news" of the Gospels has a lot to do with Holiness, and it is woven all over the Kingdom of God and the mission of His followers.

He gives a quick background of Holiness in the OT. I was afraid for a repeat of chapter 2, but thankfully his was brief, and connected well to the person/faith of Jesus Christ. A quote that I think marks well what "Holiness" was in Jesus' day:

" holiness requires a Kingdom life, in the presence of the Holy One,
that is radically distinct from others outside God's Kingdom."

What Jesus did involved a re-defining of each of the above aspects. Kingdom life was no longer a political view of freedom from Roman rule. The presence of the Holy One was no longer about the temple and rituals. And living radically distinct was no longer about circumcision, clean foods, and Sabbath.

"(followers of Jesus) learned that the same love they had received could actually rule their lives."

I really enjoyed his repetition of the phrase "good news" all over the place. The birth/life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel, or "good news". This new covenant of God which inaugurates a Kingdom of Love, and offers to go all the way to our hearts is VERY good news. It transforms how we see (love) ourselves, how we see (love) others, how we see (love) God, and our very lives as we live from those transformations.

Finishing up the chapter with recommendations for the road ahead, will post those tomorrow. :)


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