Notwithstanding

by Rolaant L. McKenzie

"'And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,' says the Lord GOD, 'when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.'" Ezekiel 36:23 (NKJV)

This passage portrays God as vindicating His holiness among the nations in spite of the poor performance of His own people. In His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace God is shown to be holy.

This is seen especially in the saving of sinners by Jesus. It is not our holiness that recommends us to God because we have none. It is not His working in sinners that makes us holy enough to be recommended to Him either. It is His holiness and faithfulness that is seen in the fact that He saves undeserving people who have only bad works and poor performance records. He saves them by crediting to their account a foreign righteousness, the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is only this righteousness, taken hold of by faith alone, that recommends sinners to God and saves them. Even the faith to believe is a gift from God.

As the winter snow falls on a dung hill and covers it so completely that it cannot be seen to be a dung hill, but a hill pure white and clean, so does the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ accepted by faith so cover the repentant sinner that even God forgets all his sins and sees him as pure and sinless as His own Son.

Blessing, praise, and all thanks be to God that His holiness is displayed to the world not due to the performance of His people, but due to His faithfulness and grace in spite of the performance of His people!

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