2017 Holiness Symposium Reflection
Event: The Holiness Symposium 2017 (April 5-6)
Theme: “Holiness and the Means of Grace”
Speaker: Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond
I recently had the opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond at the Holiness Symposium for Officers. As we spoke of holiness, naturally our 10th Doctrine came into focus: We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not simply a privilege, but holiness is the aim of the Christian life and an imperative given by God (Hebrews 12:14). While God went to amazing lengths in the giving of His one and only Son to provide for us redemption, the aim of the holy life is to allow that redemption to permeate our personal and spiritual relationships and push us towards maturation (Hebrews 6:1). I was reminded of the importance of continuing to develop my personal walk with Christ, but holiness is not just about self. Holiness is more than just seeking a blessing for myself or the people I am directly involved with. Holiness has a social aspect with an aim to be an active part of the Christian community and what God is doing for His Kingdom’s sake around the world. Ultimately the holy life, as is with all things in all of creation, is about bringing glory to God. Personal and social holiness demonstrates to an on-looking world the redemptive and healing power of our Savior God.
How exciting to see a community united in Christian mission, to see the church being the salt and light that we are called to be, to see lives transformed in practical ways because we have brought focus back to personal and social holiness.
More than just an academic exercise, the Holiness Symposium for Officers reminded me how exciting and infectious holiness can be. The early church was explosive in its growth, both numerically and in spiritual depth because there was a focus on personal and social holiness. If we believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever then there is no reason to believe that the same couldn’t be true today. How exciting to see a community united in Christian mission, to see the church being the salt and light that we are called to be, to see lives transformed in practical ways because we have brought focus back to personal and social holiness. To make this aim a reality, holiness can’t be brought into focus seasonally in the same way Lent comes and goes. Holiness must be a continual pursuit as our 9th Doctrine explains: We believe that continuance in a state of salvation (as a people and a community of faith) depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ. This doctrine is talking about a dynamic relationship with God that comes with dynamic results. When our holiness becomes static, so does our impact for Jesus’ Name.
The Holiness Symposium for Officers served as a timely reminder for the necessity of intentional intimacy with God, allowing Him to speak into my life and making His will and His glory the aim of my life. I am reminded of Song 299 in our Song Book which says, “God in you, God in me, making us all we can be. Created in His image, let us live in His will. God in you, God in me.”
Written by Captain Kathy Adams, New Haven Citadel Corps