God created us in His image. We were, originally, intended to be “shadows” and “pictures” of God Himself. He made us to display His holiness, power, and glory to each other and to everything on earth (see Genesis 1:26-31). But Adam sinned, and since him, each of us has sinned. In sinning, we’ve profaned God’s name. We’ve done terrible, unloving things, and instead of seeing God’s holiness in us, people around us have seen our greed, pride, and selfishness.
The beauty of redemption is that God will undo what we’ve done. Not only will He forgive us, but if we believe in His Son, He will use us to glorify Himself–to “vindicate” His holiness:
And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
-Ezekiel 36:23 (ESV)
This passage was written for ancient Israel, but I believe it applies directly to modern Christians. We are the fulfillment of this prophecy. We are sons and daughters of Abraham. We have inherited the ancient Jewish privilege of being God’s people. We’re not yet perfect, but we’re being sanctified each day by the Spirit. The closer we grow to the Lord, the more He can show “the nations” His holiness in us. This is tremendously gracious. God is working for His own glory so that people can know Him, but He using us in the work. What a privilege.
If you’re redeemed, are you allowing God to vindicate His holiness through you? If you are not redeemed, why don’t you let Him begin undoing what you’ve done?