Outbreak Hagioi

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Imagine an “outbreak of holiness.”  Of course, only God is absolutely holy.  Still, God calls his people to be holy as well and has taken action to make this possible.  Toward the beginning of our Scripture’s story, God provided instruction and a system of sacrifice so the people could avoid living just like everyone else—apart from God’s plan of blessing and promise.  This suggested that holy living was only a matter of avoidance.  Just stay away and don’t touch and, if you do, here’s how to undo the damage.

As our Scripture story unfolds, however, and moves toward the fullness of God’s intent, we see that in Jesus a Holy God has actually become flesh and taken up residence with fallen, sinful, and unholy humanity.  In Jesus the absolutely Holy One has become “Resident Alien” in the world and has even managed to secure a “Green Card.”

Therefore, through his people, through you, the Resident Alien “goes to work” day in and day out.  Through his people—YOU—holiness inhabits the marketplace.

Imagine it: holiness invading, inhabiting, and infecting every place, every process, every relationship, and every person.  Holiness, as a contagion, adhering to and pervading over everything and everyone it touches.  Holiness spreading like a disease, or like the cure for whatever disease may be out there.

Imagine the stunning, lovely, and incomparable way of Jesus entering into every work place.  Imagine a contagion of kindness, openness, caring and compassion.  Imagine deep sorrow over anything that ruins or harms and hilarious joy over everything that helps or honors.  Imagine “doing unto others …” with coworkers, with employees and employers, and with makers of goods/services and their patrons.

Imagine just one carrier of the holiness virus, assuming that she is the only one but hopelessly infected nonetheless, discovering that a Great Physician has arranged for other carriers also to be there.  Imagine such contagion going so viral that people and things start to heal.

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    The image of holiness as contagion/cure is intriguing, but still makes me uneasy. Holiness as the cure for the brokenness in the world could easily be mistranslated, “If everyone would just do the right thing, the world would be okay.”

    You mentioned a progression from the Old Covenant holiness (“don’t touch, don’t taste, don’t handle”) to the holiness Jesus displayed–an intimate and immanent kind of holiness that doesn’t recoil in order to protect itself from contamination. So I think I see how you’re reversing that: a holiness that doesn’t get contaminated (passive), but one that “contaminates” (active) what it touches. But I still wonder if the healing work of the Great Physician is being conflated with the effect of that work, such that describing holiness as a cure would be like saying, “You know, if you were healthy, you wouldn’t be so sick.”

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    Excellent article Dave, If only people would truly be holy, it would be heaven on earth.

    I like your comments, Mr. Peter. It is an intriguing thought. In thinking about your statement “If everyone would do the right thing, the world would be OK”, I think we would agree it is not possible to do the right thing without the enabling power of the H.S.

    Also, “If you were healthy, you wouln”t be sick” seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse. Again, one cannot be spiritually healthy without the enabling power of the H.S.

    We can do nothing, be nothing, accomplish nothing without the H.S.

    Imagine if every Christian was totally committed and filled with Spirit this old ruined, worn down, chaotic world would indeed be heaven on earth.

    Lord, help everyone of us to be totally surrendered to your holy will. Enable us to make a difference in this old sinful world and useful in buidling the Kingdom of God here on earth.

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    Your emphasis on holiness is much appreciated. Recently I have been reading the book “Revival Fire” by Dr. Wesley Duewel. What a blessing to learn of many times throughout history that God’s Spirit has moved in powerful ways to convict and transform lives – as persons have encountered the holy presence of God. One of my prayers and passions is to see His Holy Spirit poured out again that our community, state, nation, and even world might be transformed as persons are drawn into a close and sanctifying relationship with our holy God.

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    Bishop Kendall,
    Praying for an epidemic of holiness in our churches, communities, states, & country!

    Great word!

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    Bishop Kendall,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this article and thank you so much for putting voice to this concept. I for one am praying for an “outbreak of holiness” in all of our churches in this land. As an Evangelist I have heard people say that they were afraid of “Holiness Churches” because they were fanatical, too many “can’ts” not enough “cans”. What these people fail to realize is that holiness of heart and life is nothing more nor nothing less than “loving the LORD with all of our heart, with all of our soul…etc” and “loving our neighbor as ourself.” Consequently, an out break of holiness would mean an all consuming love for all that GOD loved, and an abhorance of all that GOD abhored. Who wouldn’t want to live in an environment like that?

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      We’ve been studying Foundations of Doctrine by Harry Jessop on Wednesday nights. We completed the study last night. You are so correct! Matthew 5:48 states, “Therefore, be perfect.” In other words, all the previous statements in Jesus Sermon on the Mount are summarized by being perfect or holy. Thank God for the baptism of the Holy Ghost which makes such inward holiness possible. So many want to put the cart before the horse, so to speak, and expect society to get better without a fresh baptism of Holy Fire. An “outbreak of holiness” is certainly the solution!

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    Thank you for the reminder…

    The world I work in everyday needs redemptive love expressed in living a life that is wholly given over to God.

    So often I find that simple words are an expression of God alive within me…”thank you, I am sorry, good work, I was wrong.” I know those are not deep theological words but they are ones that keep it real for me in a secular environment where holiness is a foreign concept.

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    I found this post to be very interesting. A few months ago I was watching the history channel and they were talking about what they termed the Virtue Flu. If memory serves me, the show was about Confucius. What I find odd is that concept has stuck with me all this time and now that i go to research it I cannot find information on it. I switched my search terms to holiness virus and found this blog. Perhaps it is in that outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days that will fit this description. And like a virus spreads rapidly, this outpouring will require the gospel being preached everywhere on earth all at once. There are many places it is illegal, such as in China, to spread the Gospel and that is just one of the millions of factors holding it all back. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the light of God could spread like an airborne virus? Infecting everyone that came into contact with it? I have seen Evil spread all over this world and I wish that the Good would start spreading too.

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