altogether Beautiful...

That is what my Jesus is to me. His voice is sweet, and His form is lovely. The most amazing, incomprehensible thing, though, is that I am altogether Beautiful to Him.

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I am a daughter of the King. I am a friend of sinners. I am confident that nothing shall separate me from the love of God. I am seeking a heart after God's own heart. I am righteous in Jesus Christ, apart from the works of the law. I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I am afraid that algebra is difficult and that I am lazy. My professor can cover a chapter in 20 minutes during class, and then it takes me a full 2 hours at home studying to learn the lesson. It's ok, I only have 5 more lessons to study before Tuesday :)

I am curious about the difference between holiness and righteousness. An acquaintance wrote an email to me expressing his opinion/ position. The more that I study Scripture, the more what he said is confirmed to me as true. Here is some of his response to a questioning email:
In your email, you stated that according to your
understanding of Romans, you are wholly righteousness
apart from your actions. Because Christ was made sin
for us, we are righteous through Him. That
righteousness (or holiness), being perfect, cannot
increase or diminish.

As long as you don’t let this become an excuse for
irresponsibility, I have no disagreement.

Your second point was less clear. You asked about the
essence of Holiness/Righteousness. As you put it, “Is
holiness not the Complete Total Entire separation
from/ absence of sin?” Welllll…sort of. Holiness and
righteousness are two related, but very unique
concepts.

Holiness is separation—not just *from*—but *to*
something. It means being set apart, not just from
sin, but set apart for a purpose. In II Cor. 7:1 Paul
exhorts us to “perfect” our holiness. Later he tells
Timothy that women should “continue” in holiness. All
of which suggests that holiness is a lifelong process.
Righteousness, on the other hand, is right standing
with God. And as you correctly state, in God’s eyes a
Christian is just as righteous at the beginning of his
life as at the end.

Christ was perfectly and unchangingly righteous and
holy, yet Scripture describes Him as “growing” in
wisdom and in favor with God. Saying that He was the
same at the end as at the beginning, while certainly
true of His divinity, is certainly false of His
humanity.

I find it very interesting that Paul “beseeches” us to
present our bodies to God as a holy sacrifice (Romans
12:1). In the next verse he tells to be transformed
by the renewing of our minds. Both of these imply
that for Christians, holiness and transformation are
ongoing processes demanding our attention and effort,
and resulting in what I would describe as “growth.”

My point is that while there is true that our
righteousness must come only from Christ, personal
growth is something that we very much have a hand in.
And I should certainly hope that my friends will see a
different (better?) Quinton at the end of my life than
they do right now. You could describe that process as
conformity to an inward reality, but I find it much
more useful (and less cumbersome) to describe it as
growth, pure and simple. That’s my take. If you’ve
got a problem with any of it, let me know.

So what do you all think? I do not agree 100%, but the explanation
of the difference between righteousness and holiness I found very
useful during Bible study.

7 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

Here's my take. We're made righteous through faith in Christ...see Romans 4 w/ Abraham and what not. We're made holy through the PROCESS of sanctification which is just that. A process. It takes the time and effort of both parties involved. So, when we confess faith in Christ, we're made righteous, and then God does the work of sanctification making us holy (with our participation in the process being essential). But it is still God's work. Which is close to what your friend says in his email. I could be wrong. Just my initial thoughts on the subject.

10:11 PM, November 26, 2005  
Anonymous Megan Spilker said...

hi shannon! this is megan spilker from the law forum... i was up with the mafia/UNO crowd. it was good to meet you and talk with you on sunday morning... before and after sleep. :-)

what completely AMAZES me is that i find this link to your site... i get on... and you have the EXACT same background as I have! i have never seen this anywhere else. so that is very cool.

God bless!
megan

7:56 PM, November 27, 2005  
Blogger Shannon Hodges said...

Hey Megan! Great to hear from you! That is very cool that we have the same background, I really like this one.

Alex,
Thank you for commenting. You expressed what I believe to be very accurate theology. I'm sure it all goes deeper, but appreciate your synopsis (sp?). I am so grateful for Christians who are able to challenge each others thoughts.

6:17 PM, November 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think for the most part I agree with the explanation of your friend and Alex's summation. Although the concepts are interrelated, there are distinctions between the two as have been explained. Just as Christ "grew" in the process, so too are we, if as Alex said, we allow Christ to work in and through us.

Good stuff!!

And I liked the blog about curling up your Bible and falling asleep. I've done that a lot lately and God has brought me so much peace in certain areas. It's amazing that when we finally get around to do what we should have done in the first place and bring it to Him, how He's still just as willing to help and lead us through life's journey.

~~Becki

8:11 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Shannon Hodges said...

It truly is amazing what God does for us. Thank you for reading and posting!

I leave with my family to pick up Luke in 6 hours- now I just have to pack and shower and sleep :)

12:06 AM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Crazy4Photos said...

Hey Girl,
Just droppen in to see how ya doing. How's work and stuff, and are you staying alive between work and school.
Missing ya girl!

-Sara

6:23 AM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Shannon Hodges said...

Hey Sara!
Thanks for stopping by :)
Keep me posted on what God is doing in your life!
I miss you too.

Shannon

2:54 PM, December 04, 2005  

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