Holiness: The Heart God Purifies (Moody Publishers, 2004)
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth published Holiness: The Heart God Purifies in 2004. The author rightly states that holiness and sin both matter to God. As a result, the message of repentance and holiness needs to transform the way we think and live. Thus, Nancy’s goal in writing this book focuses on issuing an earnest appeal to God’s people to pursue holiness. We should consider sin, rather than holiness, burdensome. Also, the word holy comes from a root that means “to cut, to separate.” If follows, then, that we’re set apart by God and for God. This calling is a priceless privilege.
Therefore, true holiness- cultivated in the context of a relationship with God- starts on the inside and reflects God’s purpose for your life. In addition, you must be intentional about pursuing holiness. For sin needs to be eradicated and put to death- not tamed or controlled. Furthermore, sin disappoints, dominates, and destroys. Also, ignoring or cherishing sin in your heart keeps you from intimacy with God. This transformation, powered through the indwelling Holy Spirit, develops on the inside and works its way out.
To assist us in the process of putting on holiness, God provides avenues of His grace. These avenues of grace include the Word of God, confession, the Lord’s Supper, and the body of Christ. As we put on the heart of Christ, we minister to others as we call the world to accommodate to Christ- rather than accommodate to the world. In fact, Nancy stresses, the power of a church’s testimony is directly proportional to its holiness. Therefore, the church cannot become a safe place to sin- overlooking “respectable” forms of sin.
In conclusion, the author exhorts us to look forward to the day when we face our Beloved Bridegroom with joy- radiant and unashamed. Nancy urges us to cast off sin, through God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit:
“Nothing, nothing, nothing could be more important. Nothing could bring Him greater glory in our world, and nothing could bring you greater joy — both now and throughout eternity.”