Yes, I believe this series is at its close...but I am sure insights will continue as the Lord teasingly brings His ideas of holiness and beauty across my mind (said with smiles). But I love where He has brought these final thoughts...1 Thessalonians 5:23:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete...
And what does this verse say about the beauty of holiness, the holiness that is full of the beauty of His love and His nature (through the fruit of the Spirit)? First it is a promise that He will work it in us - by sanctifying us entirely. You see, to be sanctified is to be made holy...the word in Greek is a form of hagios, meaning to be rendered holy, to be set apart and consecrated to God, and to be purified - both externally and internally be the renewing of the soul! I love this, just reading the definition transforms me(!) as I - in my past broken thinking - used to think it meant I must be perfect which I knew all too well was an impossibility!
Secondly, there was a word play going on in my mind (thanks to the playing of the Holy Spirit, I am sure) - of how holy and wholly sound alike...and of how wholeness is the opposite of brokenness...and how that seems to be the message of "The Beauty of Holiness". In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it seems that holiness and wholeness are intrinsically linked. We will be made whole as we are made holy! And this action is initiated, powered, and completed by Him and NOT me...my cooperation is a must, but my effort will undoubtedly lead back to brokenness! And I believe worship is the vehicle of my cooperation; worship is the one activity that keeps my flesh crucified while the work of the Lord in my heart is accomplished.
And since I like word studies, the truth of point 2 is seen in the original language - where the Holy Spirit's word-play is even more clearly seen!
The word translated "entirely" is holotelḗs (an adjective, derived from hólos, "whole" and télos, "end-purpose") – properly, wholly (holistically), "fully-layered" (all levels present) – describing someone reaching the end-goal of "entire sanctification."
The word translated "complete" in the next line is holóklēros (from hólos, "whole" and klḗros, "a lot, cast to better discern God's preferred-will") – properly, "all that is included (apportioned) through divine lot."Now, plugging those definitions in the appropriate places, the verse says:
"...may the God of peace Himself sanctify you - all the layers that comprise you and bring you totally to your end-purpose, leaving nothing undone or unfinished (holotelḗs); and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved completely - through all that is included or apportioned to you by His divine will (holóklēros), without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"Worship...
Where holes in the soul are transformed into wholeness.
Where my twisted effort is replaced by His provision.
Where my failures are brought to the success of His final end-purpose.
Where brokenness is transformed into beauty.
Where I find my true self.
Worship. Holiness. Wholeness. Beauty.
I know now, the meaning of "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness...Psalm 29:2"
linking up with emily and other imperfects at Imperfect Prose