The Beauty of Holiness, Part 4
by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D.
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Slavery to sin is an awful predicament. The filth of sin should repulse us, but we often fall prey to its grip. Why? Sin seduces because sin looks attractive; it appeals to “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
The solution? “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
The scriptural revelation of the beauty of moral purity—of holiness—answers the allure of sin. How? First, by its superior beauty. Holiness is so stunning that Israel sang its praises (2 Chronicles 20:21). Sin, by contrast, is filthy and despicable, though we don’t always see it as such.
Second, holiness answers the allure of sin by its permanence. Since Scripture describes holiness as intrinsically beautiful, there is no debate over its quality or appeal; it is objectively beautiful. Regardless of what sinners claim, holiness is always striking.
On occasion, the gleam of moral purity does shine into our hearts. We are hushed by the beauty of a soldier’s self-denying sacrifice of love and courage. We admire couples who have faithfully kept their marriage vows for decades despite temptations to bitterness or immorality.
Yet when it comes to our own personal holiness, the beauty of holiness often doesn’t captivate us. Why not? Holiness is commanded, as today’s verse illustrates, implying that we must make an effort to be captivated by the beauty of holiness. Furthermore, we’re commanded to reflect God’s holiness. Fixing our gaze on His overwhelming beauty keeps our eyes from the deceptive charm of sin. NTJ