Growing in holiness could be compared in a way to language learning. Holiness is like a completely foreign language that God is asking us to master fluently. You can’t just learn a language – it’s got to get in you.
In the previous post, we looked at Jesus’ words from John 14-16 about His Spirit abiding in us, and us abiding in His Spirit – mutually and reciprocally. In this post, we will explore the analogy of language-learning and the concept of immersion.
When I was learning Spanish, I was listening to Spanish language learning podcasts, reading Spanish language learning books, watching movies with the Spanish subtitles on, reviewing Spanish flashcards everyday… and I learned quite a bit of vocabulary.
But the missing piece for me was full immersion. You can really only master a language by being immersed in it. As you live in the midst of the language, it gets into you as you get into it.
In a way, holiness “gets in to you” as you immerse yourself in it, or more specifically, as you immerse yourself in Him, Christ’s Holy Spirit, who is alive and at work within you. We can study holiness and pick up some of the vocabulary, or we can immerse ourselves in the One who is Holy, and this immersion will cause His holiness to get into us. This is our only hope for mastering our “fluency” in holiness: immersion in Him.
It started with Thomas. And Philip. And Matthew and all the other disciples. And the contagion that is the Spirit of Jesus spread from person to person, from continent to continent throughout the millennia to the point where He is now in you and me here today.
As Dr. Gareth Cockerill said, “Jesus is still incarnate”. His Spirit is alive in the world in and through you. And me. In us and all of our Christian siblings around the globe at this very minute – Christ is in the world! He’s here! Abiding in us. Residing in us. Reaching the world as the beautiful, life-transforming contagion of holiness, one person at a time.
In the next post, I’ll introduce some ways that we can immerse ourselves in Christ’s Spirit and actively engage with His Spirit whom is also abiding in us!