Monday, March 31, 2014

Pastoral Pings ~ A Holy Touch for a Sinful Heart

          One of the great wonders of the world to me is the way that the holy God of heaven can touch the life of a sinful man of earth. It is not difficult to understand that God’s holiness abhors sin. I have been long enough in this world to understand why God can say that he detests sin, and abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”[1]How then, or why then, is God able to touch me without detesting me, and without abhorring me?

          Today my thoughts were on the wonder of the way the holy and righteous God could enter our sinful world, become a curse for us, bear with us in our sin, somehow making us righteous in the imputed righteousness of his Son, all so that he could justifiably touch us with his holy hands, shape us, and conform us to the reality of righteousness that is in his Son.

          This wonder is expressed in Paul’s inspired declaration: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”[2] Now I get to wake up in the morning knowing that I have become the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, while knowing that I am not yet the finished product God has been aiming for before time began.

          At present, I am in that ongoing journey of transformation that Paul described as, And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”[3] How is it, then, that God can handle us in this transformational journey when we are still not yet fully holy and righteous as he is holy and righteous?

          There is plenty of sound doctrine in the Scriptures explaining how it is both possible, and real. However, I want to share an illustration that helps me feel the wonders of this gift. I have a picture of the imputed righteousness of Christ being like a transparent, shimmering film around me. On the inside of the film, I am still who and what I am, a much-improved  version of the old me, but still unrighteous by any standard of the word.

          However, between God and me is this shimmering film of righteousness making me righteous in God's sight by faith. Through this film, God can clearly see me as I really am, and yet he can also see me as righteous in his Son.

          God can  touch me through the film, as though he is never touching my unrighteousness, but only the righteousness of his Son. As God touches me, with this shimmering film molding itself between me and his hand, he can shape me, change me, rebuke me, and correct me, all in a hands-on kind of way, while never actually defiling his holiness by touching my sinfulness. It is a wonder that God can address my unrighteousness without ever touching it, without feeling that abhorrence over my sin because he is always touching the real righteousness of his Son.

          This is all possible because his Son did become sin for us, he did become a curse in our place. In the mystery of the Triunity of God, God-the-Son became sin so that God-the-Father could pour out all his holy wrath against my sin. The Son felt what his own wrath against our sin felt like from the Father. He did this so that the Father could touch us through his righteousness, and so conform us into that same righteousness, from one degree of glory to another. One day we will experience this incredible gift of his grace, that we will see Jesus just as he is,[4] the glory of God in the face of our Savior,[5] and become just like him.

          Again, this is just an illustration, so I will avoid making too much of it. However, it is one of the ways I see this wonder in my mind, that God can  touch me as I am now, so that he can mold me and shape me into Christ likeness, touching me where I am unrighteous, while only feeling the righteousness of his Son.

          And, because of this, the whole time he is dealing with me, molding me through the righteousness of his Son, there is the sparkle of joyful love in his eyes; the love that planned this incredible gift before the beginning of time.

© 2014 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Psalm 5:6
[2] II Corinthians 5:21
[3] II Corinthians 3:18
[4] I John 3:1-2
[5] II Corinthians 4:6

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