{Colossians 1:21-23; ESV}

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

To all seekers after holiness this is a lesson of deep importance. Obedience is not holiness; holiness is something far higher, something that comes from God to us, or rather, something of God coming into us. But obedience is indispensable to holiness: it cannot exist without it. While, therefore, your heart seeks to follow the teaching of God’s word, and looks in faith to what God has done, as He has made you holy in Christ, and to what God is still to do through the Spirit of Holiness as He fulfills the promise, ‘The very God of peace sanctify you wholly,’ never for one moment forget to be obedient. ‘If ye shall indeed obey my voice, ye shall be an holy nation to me.’ Begin by doing at once whatever appears right to do. Give up at once whatever conscience tells that you dare not say is according to the will of God. Not only pray for light and strength, but act; do what God says. ‘He that doeth the will of God is my brother,’ Jesus says. Every son of God has been begotten of the will of God: in it he has his life. To do the Father’s will is the meat, the strength, the mark, of every son of God.

Andrew Murray, Holy in Christ

Questions to Consider:

  • Why is holiness greater than mere obedience?
  • In what ways do you allow obedience to the law to define holiness in your life?
  • How is obedience tied to holiness?
  • Ask God to remind you that He has made you holy and to give you the wisdom and strength to live that reality in your life.
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