Holiness with a face

By Dave Henning / February 11, 2017

“Jesus is holiness with a face.”- Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

“But we know that when [Christ] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”- 1 John 3:2

In Chapter 4 (“The Face of Holiness”) of Holiness, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth notes that holiness becomes a burden when we strive and struggle to achieve it on our own.  However, in a book called Christ is All, the author makes the following points:

  • Christ received = holiness begun
  • the Lord Jesus cherished = holiness advancing
  • Christ counted upon as never absent = holiness complete

Therefore, as nineteenth-century missionary John McCarthy explained, abiding and rest make a radical difference:

“Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting in the love of an almighty Saviour; . . . this is not new, and yet ’tis new to me.”

Apart from the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we cannot produce this transformation on our own.  Furthermore, like working on a jigsaw puzzle, we need constant reminders of how the finished product of our life should look.

God’s given us a picture of how we’ll look when He’s completed His sanctifying, transforming work within us.  That picture?  Jesus.  As Nancy states, “Jesus is holiness with a face.”

In conclusion, the author observes, a pursuit of holiness that’s not Christ-centered leads to bondage rather than liberty.  In addition, pseudo-holiness is unattractive to the world and unacceptable to God.  Oswald Chamber reminds us:

“The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh.”

Today’s question: How do you see Jesus as holiness with a face?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A pathway to sanctification”

About the author

Dave Henning

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