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Be Holy or Do Holy?

written by Greta Mavro
October 11, 2019

The Marriage of Love and Holiness

“According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

Holiness is not true holiness unless it’s rooted and grounded in love. Otherwise it becomes external, harsh and religious. It becomes lofty and unattainable. Be holy as I am holy. It’s a command. But it’s also an invitation from our Beloved Lord to become One. True love desires to be like the Beloved. I want to be holy because You are holy, Lord. I want my holiness to be the expression of You (in me) because I love you.

Love without holiness is carnal and earthy. Holiness without love is lofty and external. Love and holiness must be integrated. It’s the heart that separates us unto God, not the external things we wear or rules we follow (out of the mind and not out of the heart). 

Holiness must have a goal or it becomes merely outward religion, a list of do’s and don’ts that thwarts the flow of passion and power. The goal of holiness is union with God. Authentic holiness is passion for purity in preparation for union with God. It is the passion of the Bride for pure union with her Bridegroom. 

Holiness is ignited by love and love is purified and perfected by holiness.

Separating love from holiness and vice-verse is dangerous to our marriages, families, and churches. Without holiness, the love expressed in Christian marriages becomes just like the world. When Yeshua is taken out of the marriage bed, it becomes defiled. Christian marriages are to be a reflection of the union of Christ and the Church, in both passion and purity. That makes every Christian marriage totally different from the marriages of the world where Christ is not present. He must be present in every part of the marriage, including the marriage bed. 

Separating holiness from love has been the cause of separations and divorce in the Church. Holiness without love in the marriage (bed) blocks passion from igniting. Love without holiness blocks purity from flowing. Either way, the union becomes reduced to an outward mechanical act.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church.” Ephesians 5:25-29

When a man loves his wife, he is loving himself. He nourishes and cherishes her because she is his own flesh. This is how Yeshua loves us, His bride and church, even as He loves Himself. 

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:32

Yeshua says we are to BE holy, not to DO holy. Being holy has to do with our union with Him. We are connected, so we are holy. “Doing holy” has to do with striving by following man-made rules. It is depending on oneself to be holy and not depending on our oneness with Him. If we commit to BE holy as He is holy through union with Him, we will DO holy. 

Greta Mavro

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