ordan Brown is the founder of the Church of Open Doors in Austin, Texas. He made international news when he filed a lawsuit alleging that a Whole Foods bakery had written an offensive term for homosexuals on his cake. The company has steadfastly denied the allegation.
Now Brown has admitted that his claim was a hoax: "I want to apologize to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company's commitments to its values, and especially the bakery associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions. I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues. I also want to apologize to my partner, my family, my church family, and my attorney."
We can take this opportunity to lambast those who use unethical means to promote unbiblical agendas. Or we can resolve not to follow their example.
A holy God deserves holy servants. Holiness does not earn his favor—it positions us to receive it. In Leviticus 11, God calls his people to "consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy" (v. 44). In Psalm 101, King David makes this public commitment: "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless" (v. 3).
How holy are your eyes today? How can we choose holiness?
First, remember that all we think and feel, say and do is known by Jesus. Our Lord "searches mind and heart" and "will give to each of you according to your works" (Revelation 2:23). If you knew that your spouse, children, grandchildren, or colleagues were reading your thoughts and watching your actions, would their observation change your behavior?
Second, ask the Holy Spirit to make us holy. Oswald Chambers: "The resurrection of Jesus has given [the Holy Spirit] authority to impart the life of God to me, and my experimental life must be constructed on the basis of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus now, and it will show itself in holiness."
Here's how the process works: If I decide that I want my sinful nature to be crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), "the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything, my part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals." As a result, "When I have made the moral decision about sin, it is easy to reckon actually that I am dead unto sin, because I find the life of Jesus there all the time." Chambers concludes: "God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new order spiritually."
Will you belong to a "new order spiritually" today?
Note: For more on victorious living as God's holy people, please see my latest website essay, Attacking the Gates of Hell.
Publication date: May 18, 2016
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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