God has called us to holiness in Christ Jesus, and it is the response to this call which divides the world. That division, on a public and personal scale, is warring, war-like and real war: it is The War of Holiness. If profoundly affects all of us because of the power of choice which God obligated us to exercise, knowing that with every breath we are choosing God or not; God or self; God or Satan. That process of choosing is the battlefield, and there is fought The War of Holiness. It is fought universally on a personal scale and the public effects of that War of Holiness are manifest in every aspect and component of world and national and state and local public affairs and issues.
For example, there would today be no important conflict in the Middle East except for Judaism. There would be no plan of democracy and its principles of religious freedom and freedom of expression and self-defense and equality, except for the Christian foundations of democracy. Think about it: Without these religious influences, the world would not be a safe place, particularly, but it would find its functional equilibrium in balances of power, greed and deceit, in the payment of taxes and tribute, and sexual manipulations, on a personal and public scale. Those who achieved power through force, as in China, and attained massive economic power, would no longer want to have wars and resulting instabilities, but would want to have peace and stability for more economic prosperity. So, in that equilibrium the false peace would be stability. Indeed for many decades there has been a shadowy international group seeking exactly such false peace, the Tri-Lateralists, but they see it as a true peace due to their personal choices of disbelief in God Almighty and His redemptive plan for peace with mankind through Jesus Christ.
But since we still have the Jews and us Christians, all of those tensions are manifest in all of the world today, and are reflected in the political, financial, and personal issues facing everyone. But, if you removed God and His selection of the Jews as His chosen people, and also removed the in-grafted Christians, from the world, and left the world to its own devices, it would seek and find a certain worldly stability and equilibrium, which it could muster by force of personality, persuasion, money and physical force, and it would look like a peace, but would be a false peace. Only through Jesus can we know God and be reconciled to Him, and in that way we will have an opportunity, and attendant choices, to be holy, and only in holiness will we have true peace. That true peace is personal, and it does not matter what wars and forces and false peace may rage and tempt and deceive around us, if we have true peace in Jesus Christ.
The reality, and the struggle, for the Jews has been achieving holiness through obedience to the lengthy laws prescribed by God, and they found, and God already knew, they couldn’t do it, but they keep trying. As God knew, only through the blood sacrifice of Jesus, could there be sufficient atonement for mankind’s sin to bring mankind to holiness, a state of peace, true peace, in which mankind would not be at war with God, in enmity with Him! Being in any kind of war is difficult and uncertain of outcome, at best, but being at war with God is impossible ever to win!
Because of Satan, and his demons, and his followers, and our power of choice, we are engaged in The War of Holiness, as we are tempted and deceived and trained and educated to be unholy. Yes, these are times — between the Garden and the New Jerusalem – that try the souls of men, and God intended it that way, so he would know that the bride He loves, and whom He has called, in fact has chosen Him and loves Him, setting aside all others, in faithful respect and obedience.
Let’s put this in a definitional context: I believe that Hebrews 7:26 provides God’s definition of “holiness:” The paradigm of “holiness” is Jesus, Himself, the true “High Priest,” of whom this is said, “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners . . . .” That is the definition of holiness: “harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” We are at war, in The War of Holiness, over whether we are going to make choices to be harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Jesus also gave us such a definitional picture in The Sermon on the Mount: Who shall be comforted, filled, obtain mercy, see God, be called sons of God, and receive the kingdom of heaven as an inheritance? The answer: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
The War of Holiness is a war about holiness, and it is based at the individual level (kind of like the Marine Corps motto, “Every Marine is a rifleman”), but it also functions corporately, like a military unit, in groups of people. The War of Holiness is a war against Satan and selfishness, waged in each person, and to win The War of Holiness requires you
- to know the Calling of God,
- to make an initial choice to accept the Calling of God,
- to make continuing choices in how you live.
Winning the War of Holiness has this incredible result, that mankind without Jesus Christ cannot attain, despite their forces of personality, persuasion, money and physical force: True Peace! True Peace, because winners of The War of Holiness are comforted, filled, have obtained mercy, are called sons of God, and live in the hope of the certainty of the kingdom of heaven as an inheritance.
The Calling of God is like God’s call not for a draft of service, but like a voluntary enlistment: Here is the calling, 2 Tim 1: 8-10, “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus, before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and mortality to light through the Gospel.”
This calling, and its promises from the Sermon on the Mount, and all of Scripture, is affirmed in Ephesians 1: 3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
If you do not accept that choosing and calling of God, that holy calling to holiness, then you are on the wrong side, the losing side, in The War of Holiness, and your choices have eternal consequences, so choose wisely, initially in your life, and with every breath thereafter!
Let us pray for our initial and continuing, daily, choices in The War of Holiness!