by Olu Talabi (based on RLCF Bible Study on Wednesday, April 13, 2016)
‘…worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.’ (Psalm 29:2)
Scripture abundantly declares that God is holy. It follows then that we who seek to worship Him must be on the path of holiness to present anything, including worship, which is acceptable in His sight.
Peter declares in 1 Peter 1:16: … be ye holy; for I am holy. God is holy beyond measure; hence, Peter quoting from Leviticus 11:45, adjures us to be holy for God is holy. We are not yet as holy as God is, therefore, a true Christian is never off the path of perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1-KJV). We praise God for His grace that enables us continue daily on the path to His perfect holiness.
Scripture also abundantly declares that the saints have been made righteous through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21, etc). In Romans 4: 3-5, it is clear that Abraham’s righteousness was accounted to him by faith before any works were done by him. We are the righteousness of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Amen. The question then is: why do we need holiness since we are already made righteous by Christ?
Being made righteous is an objective work executed on our behalf by Jesus Christ. It makes us ‘right’ before God. This is a work Jesus Christ alone can do (2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s righteousness is attributed to us through faith in the sacrifice and life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Holiness follows on after the declaration of righteousness before God. It lends itself more to our way of life and conduct once we’ve been declared righteous. We have a part to play in ensuring our lives are in line with the moral purity and commands of God: ‘but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct’ (1 Peter 1:15).
If the beginning verse above (Psalm 29:2) commands us to worship God in the beauty of holiness, it follows then that an unholy being or one not continuing on the path of holiness cannot worship God. We must always remain on this path of perfecting God’s holiness in our lives. We are unable to achieve this in our strength; it is indeed God who enables us to attain His holiness.
Satan and his hosts, and any unholy being cannot offer acceptable worship to God. They will, however, declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and acknowledge the majesty of God (Philippians 2:10-11; Revelations 5:13), but worship will come from those who are sanctified and made clean by God Himself (as the following verse in Revelations 5:14 shows).
Let us fear God and daily perfect holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1) that our worship may be acceptable in the sight of our Holy God.