Freedom House Church and Healing Centre

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, Holy, Holy

4 Finally then, brothers and sisters, we request and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel even more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no one violate the rights and take advantage of his brother or sister in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you previously and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in sanctification. 8 Therefore, the one who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. (1Thessalonians 4:1-8 NASB)

If you’ve gotten this far, you have read the title of this devotional – Holy, Holy, Holy. Maybe you immediately think of the hymn by the same name, sung in every church I have ever been in. It is a classic, greatly loved hymn. Maybe you remember the scene in Isaiah 6, where Isaiah sees the Lord, and hears the angels crying out to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy”. The same is seen in Revelation 4:8. A glorious sight to behold is God in the beauty of His holiness. I can’t wait to see God face to face and experience what Isaiah and the Apostle John experienced when they saw the Lord!

Holiness – that is the goal of every follower of Jesus – to be like Him. Holiness is the end result; sanctification is the journey to get to that destination. Sanctification is a journey to be holy like God. Maybe not thrice holy – but holy - to please Him, as we are transformed into His image. We are commanded to be holy (1Peter 1:15-16). Before you freak out about this, realize that God has already declared you to be “holy”, when He said you were “sanctified” (1Cor. 1:2; 1Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10). See, you have been called out of the world; set apart; filled, marked and sealed with Holy Spirit. How do you know that for sure? Because you are different than you were before you were in Christ! You walk (live) differently, and desire to please a new Master (Jesus), rather than yourself. That really is the fruit of your salvation – a new life in Christ, putting off the old, living in the new creation. That is what we have been saying all along! We are new! So let us live like we are! And as Paul says here, “do it more and more”. That is sanctification! Continuing to get better and better at living the Christian life – we are having more and more victory over sin, and becoming more and more like Jesus.

I have chosen a translation (New American Standard Bible) that is the closest to the original Greek. When I looked at the Greek text, the word ‘agiasmo’ jumped off the page. Three times Paul used the same word in such a short section. I believe he wanted to invoke the thrice holy cry of the angels when describing God, to remind his readers that we are made in His image, to be holy also. God’s will is that we be ‘sanctified’-holy (4:3); that we use our body in a ‘sanctified’-holy way (4:4); and remember that we are called to be ‘sanctified’-holy (4:7). Paul gives some pretty timeless and practical examples on how to live a sanctified, holy life: abstain from sexual immorality, and deal with our lustful passions; treat each other properly, respecting each other’s rights and don’t take advantage of one another. That’s what God has called us to! We are holy and we are being made holy – sanctified – from which we get the word “saint”. That’s why it is so important to see your self as a saint rather than a sinner! You will always live out what you believe about yourself! See yourself as a saint and you will become one.

Everything I can think of goes through some refining process – so are we. From the cup I drink my tea out of, to the desk I rest it on – all have gone through a lengthy process to become what they were designed to be. We are the same! We are in a process…to look like Jesus. Submit to God’s refining, purification process; allow His word to transform you; let Holy Spirit lead you and you will reach the goal of being sanctified - holy. Stay the course. Jesus is coming soon for a holy bride. That’s you…and me! The moment we see Him, we shall be like Him - sanctification process over! (1John 3:2) Then, we will join all the saints and angels in singing before a live audience of One -

Holy, holy,

God almighty

Early in the morning my song shall rise to thee

Holy. holy, holy

Merciful and mighty

God in three persons, blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy

All the saints adore Thee

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea

Cherubim and seraphim are falling down before Thee

Which were and are and evermore shall be

Holy, holy, holy

Lord God almighty

All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea

Holy, holy, holy

Merciful and mighty

You are God in three persons, blessed Trinity

Be Blessed!

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