Nov 17, 2023 The Way of Holiness – Words of Grace Blog – November 17, 2023
The Way of Holiness
This Sunday at Grace Community Church we will continue our sermon series from Isaiah by considering the two roads that lead to two destinations found in chapters 34 and 35. Read these chapters this weekend and pray for our time together.
In Isaiah 35:8, there is an interesting and beautiful description of a highway leading to God that is traveled by his redeemed people. The poetic nature of Isaiah’s highway vision serves to bring together the life we begin now by faith and our eternal dwelling with God in gladness and joy. This highway is called the Way of Holiness.
The Way of Holiness is the road we travel now by faith. We might initially think this is the road of our moral goodness that is required for us to be accepted by God into his eternal life. But that is not the case. No one is made right with God or enters the kingdom of Christ by works of the law. The Way of Holiness is traveled by faith because it is put before us by God’s grace. God graciously calls us from death to life, awakens our hearts to our sin and Christ’s work of salvation, and converts us to himself. When he does, we begin to walk by faith.
Along the way, God graciously makes us holy like his Son. This is the work of our heavenly Father who loves us and uses every opportunity to mature our faith. The holiness he builds into our lives through discipline is required for us to see him (Hebrews 12). We keep to the way that leads to life by faith.
The Way of Holiness is the road that leads to eternal life. Isaiah describes this life as Zion, the place of God’s presence. There we will sing. Everlasting joy will be ours. Gladness will replace sadness. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away (Isaiah 35:10).
This vision of future grace provides strength for weak hands, stability for feeble knees, and courage for fearful hearts. The message now that keeps us on the road until then is, “Behold, your God will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:3-4)
Isaiah merges the “now and the not yet” into one continuous life of faith leading us to the glory of God. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” He is the road we travel “now” into the “not yet”. Let this shape your thinking about what it means to be a Christian today.
As I meditated on Isaiah’s description of the Way of Holiness this week, I was reminded of The Pilgrims Progress, by John Bunyan. This classic book is an allegory of the Christian life as a journey from the conviction of sin to the great crossing over into the of glory and grace of the Celestial City. If you read this book this holiday season you will find references to Isaiah throughout. I think it will be helpful as you travel the Way of Holiness.