By Mercy Made Holy | The Speckled Goat: By Mercy Made Holy

4.29.2015

By Mercy Made Holy


I've had the song "Let It Be Said of Us" stuck in my head the past few days. Right away in the morning, as I set foot on my worn old hardwood floors, the chorus just pops into my head. Always with a quick tempo.

I'm not sure why.

I don't think I've actually heard the song in a few years, but the lyrics are imprinted on my brain somehow, especially these lines of the chorus:

"Let the Cross be our glory, 
And the Lord be our song, 
By mercy made holy, 
By the Spirit made strong..."


I like the idea of holiness. 

I like that aspect of Christianity. It has boundaries and fits into a black and white ledger. You can count it, organize it, make lists of the right behaviors and sacrifices. It says "do this" and "don't do that." It's rules and orderly and I like that.


There's nothing wrong with seeking holiness in our lives.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
- 1 Peter 1:13-16

I tend to get myself into trouble, though, when I believe that my own efforts can gain me holiness. I sometimes believe that if I check off all of the "Do's" and avoid all of the "Don'ts," I can earn holiness. It's just not true.

My only hope of living a life set apart for God is through the mercy of the cross.

I didn't do anything to earn it. I couldn't. My sin makes me like a dead person- dead in my transgressions, in all the things I do wrong and all the good I fail to do.

I'm a sinner; a constant, daily, hourly sinner.

But His mercy. It's His mercy- overwhelming, overarching, and completely undeserved and unearned- that makes me holy- that makes us as Christians holy.



I fall into the trap sometimes- the trap of living life with my accomplishments spread out before me.

"I have it all together! See? My healthy marriage! My time in the Word! My life devoted to ministry!"

Or worse, my relationships hanging like medals on my neck-

"My husband's a Christian! I grew up in a Christian home and my parents are Christians! My in-laws are Christians! My grandparents are Christians! My friends are all Christians!!"

As though any of that could gain me perfection... when I spend most of my days making apologies for things I've done wrong, or thinking about what I should have done, or forgetting things I've promised, or living in the mess I've made for myself.

Honestly. 

My very best will never be good enough.

I can never be holy on my own. Ever.



It's only by mercy. Only by grace. Only by the love of God who gave His life for me to take away all my mistakes and screw ups and flaws and make me new. By mercy, I'm made holy.






I'm so honored to have this post  featured on the Grace and Truth Link-Up this week!

6 comments :

  1. "I tend to get myself into trouble, though, when I believe that my own efforts can gain me holiness. I sometimes believe that if I check off all of the "Do's" and avoid all of the "Don'ts," I can earn holiness. It's just not true.

    My only hope of living a life set apart for God is through the mercy of the cross."

    Amen, sister. This was a great reminder for me. Thanks for being honest!

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  2. I appreciate this post so much. There are many who deny that holiness is possible for a Christ-follower. They are so taken with the depravity of man that they forget that Christ's sacrifice secured freedom from sin's penalty in eternity, AND freedom from its power right now! But you're wise to point out that this power isn't of ourselves, but only of God. May we abide ever more deeply in Christ, and walk worthy in holiness. Thank you for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!

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  3. This is a fantastic post, in fact so fantastic that it will be my featured post tomorrow for a new week of Grace & Truth, be sure to stop by my blog tomorrow for your "I've Been Featured" button for this post. Thank you for sharing such truth in God's power to save & cleanse us from unrighteousness, not by any ability within us. It certainly is by His faithfulness that He sees Christ in us. Thanks for linking this up with us at Grace & Truth!

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    1. Oh my!

      I'm so honored! Thank you!

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  4. Ally, you have expressed so well the tension that is the Christian life. We are called to holiness, but it is not OUR holiness, and the minute we start plastering good works onto our "resume" we lose sight of the glory of God . . . which is sin. Thanks be to God for His grace. Congrats on being featured at G&T this week!

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