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The Hope of Holiness

By Elisabeth Elliot


      The "openness" that is often praised among Christians as a sign of true humility may sometimes be an oblique effort to prove that there is no such thing as a saint after all, and that those who believe that it is possible in the twentieth century to live a holy life are only deceiving themselves. When we enjoy listening to some Christian confess his weaknesses and failures, we may be eager only to convince ourselves that we are not so bad after all. We sit on the edge of our chairs waiting to grasp at an excuse for continuing to do what we have made up our minds long ago to do anyway. The Lord is ready to forgive sin at any moment and to make strong servants out of the worst of us. But we must believe it; we must come to Him in faith for forgiveness and deliverance and then go out to do the work He has given us to do.

      "Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity" (1 Cor 13:6 AV). Let us be willing to call iniquity what is really iniquity, rather than to call it weakness, temperament, failure, hangups, or to fall back on the tired excuse, "It's just the way I am."

      Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me. (Ps 51:10 AV)

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