The Temptation of Holiness
“Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness” – Romans 6:19 .
As I was preparing to teach a class on the theology of Paul, I came upon this Scripture in Romans. Naturally, the more I thought about it, the more this one idea stood out: I want to fall to the temptation of holiness.
Paul understood holiness to be a separation to God. More than that, it includes the conduct befitting those separated for God’s service. The Greeks understood holiness as being dedicated to the gods. As a Christian, we are to be dedicated, separated and sanctified to God alone and for His purposes only. I describe holiness as simply living the character of Christ.
Every one on earth has experienced that overwhelming, seemingly unstoppable temptation to sin – a temptation that is so powerful that eventually we have all succumbed to its calling at one time or another. I want to take that same single-minded, overwhelming temptation that once dominated my mind towards sin, and apply that same energy into a desire to live in righteousness leading to holiness. In other words, I want to desire holy living so much that I succumb to its temptation every time!