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Holiness is About Love

September 26, 2021 | by Pastor Peter

Religion often tells us that we need to be Holy. And we often interpret that to mean that, as religious people, we should, first and foremost, avoid sinful behaviour. When this is the centre of our faith, we practice personal holiness by avoiding interactions with people who might tempt us to sin. So we disengage and turn in on ourselves. But Jesus shows us a different way of understanding holiness. For Jesus, Holiness isn’t primarily about avoiding sinful behaviour (although he does). Rather he shows us that holiness is about love.

In Mark 5:1-13, Jesus takes his disciples to the most unclean place imaginable. Demons and pigs and tombs, oh my! Jesus has come to that most unholy place so that he can set one poor, wretched soul free from the grip of the power of darkness. In this story, he shows us that he will cross hell or high-water to find and free the lost. Far from avoiding sinners, Jesus’ holiness demands actively engaging sinners, because Jesus shows us that, deep down, holiness is about love.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. It seems Jesus led his followers on this journey solely for the purpose of saving this one tormented soul. How might that change the way we see our mission in this world?
  2. How does shifting our understanding of holiness from ‘avoiding sin,’ to ‘embodying a Jesus-way of being’ change the way holiness looks like in day-to-day life?
  3. What can we do to protect ourselves from falling into sin while not closing ourselves off from the people around us who need Jesus?

Other Sermons in this Series:

  1. An Invitation to Sail With Jesus
  2. God’s Presence In The Storm

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