What does a holy church look like? As you answer this question be careful not to focus on outward appearances. I have worshipped with a lot of great congregations in my life I would define as holy, but no two of them looked the same. One was a large city church where we stood and sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” as our leaders walked out in formal style to take their seats on stage. Another was a small country church where large stained glass windows were left open during worship and people used funeral fans to stay cool. During the sermon we could hear tractors puttering in the background and watch wasps circle the room. I have worshipped with believers in storefronts, inner cities, rescue missions and college campuses. The holiness of each was not determined by clothes, musical styles, age or socio-economic status. Instead it was expressed in people’s obedience to God’s will and their passion for His mission.
This is the holiness the Father desires for His Bride. He wants her to pursue His will and mission enthusiastically so that her holiness occurs naturally. Certainly, she will need to consciously strive to be holy, and guard against every scheme of the evil one. Yet, the Father wants the right heart followed by the right actions, not the latter without the former.
A church with the right heart is an attractive church. People want to be around her because she doesn’t spend all of her time describing the difference between right and wrong. Instead, she talks about her Father, and the Lord Jesus who waits for her at the end of the long walk of love. Sure, she teaches what is good, righteous and holy, but her love for the Father and the Son are so infectious those around her say, “Oh, I see now why she wants to be holy. It isn’t because she wants to condemn us, but rather because she is in love with someone greater than us all.”
We should be so deeply in love with the One who made us and redeemed us our hearts break when we fall short of His holiness, and thrill at the thought of His grace. Here’s to the Bride of Christ! May she be holy that through her others might know the Holy One!