September 09, 2021

Transforming Holiness

Psalm 26:1-12

I do not . . . associate with hypocrites. I . . . refuse to sit with the wicked.

—  Psalm 26:4-5

Psalm 26 makes me uncomfortable. It’s full of boasting and pride. The psalmist says things like “I trust in you, Lord. My thoughts are pure. My desires are proper. I don’t associate with sinners. I lead a blameless life. And I always sing your praises.” The psalmist has a pretty high opinion of himself. But I don’t buy it. Nobody is that holy!

But there is Jesus. Throughout his life, he embodied the holiness described in Psalm 26. He trusted his Father completely: in the wilderness, at sea, under arrest, on the cross. The glory of God filled his thoughts, shaped his desires, and determined his actions. In life and in death, Jesus was blameless.

But Jesus did overturn one part of Psalm 26, and it was scandalous. His opponents complained, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:2). And they were right. Jesus spent quality time with people who simply did not measure up. To his opponents, that could only mean that Jesus himself did not measure up.

But they were using the wrong measure. To their way of thinking, sin had the power to turn water into poison. But the holiness of Jesus had the power to turn water into wine.

So Jesus transformed sinners back then. And he still transforms sinners today, sinners like you and me.

Jesus, have mercy on me. I am a sinner. By your holiness transform me so that my thoughts and desires and actions give glory to God. Amen

About the author — Bob Arbogast

Bob Arbogast is the pastor of Celebration Fellowship church in Ionia, Michigan. In his spare time, he plays guitar in a West Michigan blues band. He and his wife Jan have been married forty years and have three adult daughters. Bob has been praying the psalms since 2002.

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