In answer to a question I posed earlier, here is part of the answer:
For most of my life, holiness has been a conviction and a passion. As a candidate, and hopefully a younger officer, there was an urgency to my preaching and a call to a holy life. I wonder if I have moved into the church-growth-gradual- change-therapy model. Yet even there I have been restless. Church growth hasn’t delivered, palming people off by referring them to other agencies doesn’t really make a difference.
Occasionally I look at myself and wonder if anything is really changed. Looking around I see people who haven’t changed in longer than my lifetime. But in my better moments I do see God at work – in me and those around me.
On our recent Officer’s Renewal (like Andrew Clark, I don’t like the word Retreat!) Major Iain Barr opened our eyes to the biblical concept of corporate holiness — that God’s holiness is seen amongst us despite our imperfections. This is not the whole picture — for I believe the Bible teaches about the necessity and possibility of personal holiness — but it does give me hope in that we obviously do allow God to work amongst us.
On Sunday evening I will begin a series on Colossians, which emphasises the transformation at salvation and calls to holy living. This will be an opportunity to call for full surrender and offer sanctification. Pray God I don’t miss it!