HOLINESS

Parts 1  2  3  4

 

Holiness Part 3

 

  • Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. 

God's word is holy. At His word nations rise and nations fall. At His word the worlds were created. His word is holiness and His word is power. At His word we should tremble for it shall come to pass whatsoever He says. 

  • Jeremiah 31:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.

We must remember that God will bring Israel back from captivity and they will dwell in their own land. They are there now which would have been impossible before the 1940's. It was a miracle that brought them back into their land. If they are scattered again, it will not be forever. Israel is the place where Jesus Christ is to return and rule the earth. It will be a mountain of holiness. 

This is why we as individuals should seek holiness because holiness is the dwelling place of God. Where God is, there is holiness. For us to shun holiness is the same as shunning God. If we desire to walk with God we must desire holiness.

God is not separate from being holy and our goal should be to pursue holiness. We do this first through faith in Jesus. We cannot get holy apart from repenting of sin and believing in Jesus as the savior God sent to us to save us from sin. After we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus, we are to live holy. How can we claim to love God and refuse to seek holiness. How can we claim to be saved from sin and still desire to sin without repenting? 

Holiness is part of being a Christian. God is holy and requires us to be holy which is why He sent His own Son from Heaven to the earth to make the way of holiness possible for mortal man. 

  • Obadiah 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 

God has not abandoned Israel as some teach. There will one day be holiness in all Israel. They will possess all their land. We as Gentiles can be part of Israel and be part of that holiness through faith in Jesus Christ. We were once separated from God because of sin but we are reconciled by the blood of Jesus and can now be partaker of His holiness immediately and be part of the kingdom to come with everlasting life.

  • Malachi  2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 
  • Mal 2:12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. 

This is a warning against all who profane the holiness of God. We do this by departing from holiness and living any way we desire to live after the flesh. Israel at one time departed from God and followed after other gods that the heathen nations worshipped. They knew better since they had Moses, the prophets and God's presence with them. God departed from Israel for a season. They will be grafted back into their own vine in the future. 

We who believe in Jesus Christ have the same warning. We too must seek to live in holiness and the fear of God. We are not to take God's grace and mercy for granted by just living any way we desire and then saying that we are covered by grace.

If Israel who was the apple of God's eye, was forsaken because of sin and profaning God's holiness, how much more shall we be who have tasted of the great salvation through faith in Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit?

God gave us the way to holiness. Jesus came to make that way. Holiness is now to be part of our whole being. God is holy and we can be holy because His Holy Spirit is given to us. How can we claim to have the Holy Spirit and still live in sin? How can we claim to have the Holy Spirit and avoid the teaching of holiness? He is holy and if He lives within us, we are to live holy.

Here is the purpose of Jesus Christ: 

  • Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
  • Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 
  • Luk 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 
  • Luk 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 
  • Luk 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
  • Luk 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 
  • Luk 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 
  • Luk 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 
  • Luk 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 
  • Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 
  • Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 
  • Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Jesus came first to Israel to give them remission of sins. Verse 75 says that they are to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness. This message is not just for Israel. They rejected this and it was given to the Gentiles. We are joint heirs with Israel when we believe in Jesus Christ as savior. We also have access to remission of sins and we also are to serve the Lord in holiness and righteousness. 

Without holiness we shall not see the Lord. Holiness cannot be achieved without first repenting of sins.  The gospel should never be preached without the message of repentance.  The two go hand in hand. We cannot be saved without repenting or turning from sin.  We can't just accept Christ. We have to repent which means be sorry for sins to the point of being willing to turn from our sins. 

After repentance, we are partakers of God's holiness but to maintain that we have to always pursue a life of holiness.  We may never be perfect but that should be our goal always remembering that it is impossible without God's spirit dwelling within us and our daily yielding to the Holy Spirit. 

  • Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

  • Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 

Before we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, we lived according to our own fleshly desires. We are now to yield to righteousness and holiness. 

We are saved and born again by God's spirit completely the result of His mercy and grace. We can't earn it by just doing good deeds and trying to keep the law of God without Christ. Yet as we have received His salvation by faith in Jesus Christ we must be careful to yield to the Spirit of God and not return to doing our own thing.

God's spirit will lead us into holiness. He will never lead us back into the sin He saved us from. We belong to Him and as we daily yield to the Holy Spirit, we will bring forth the fruits of holiness listed in Galatians 5.

  • Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
  • Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 

This is not a list of rules and regulations but a new life free from the bondage that the world around us are subject to. If we feel weighed down and under bondage, it is probably not true holiness.

Years ago I was with my Dad. We saw a woman that looked holy and probably did lead a holy life. My dad saw her and said that it seemed like she was under oppression and not happy. Her religion was bondage. That was strange coming from Dad because he believed in dressing modestly and did so himself but he also understood true holiness was by the Holy Spirit and not man made rules that were forced on people. True holiness is done from the heart as one gets to know the Lord.

  • Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 

  • 2Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

Because we have all the promises God gives through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, we should with all diligence walk in holiness in the fear of God. There is no way to get around holiness if we truly believe God's word. 

Paul's writings are used by many to prove that we are saved by grace and works have no part in our salvation. The book of Galatians is pointed to many times to further this teaching. Yet we see clearly though that Paul teaches holiness in the above passages.

We are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God. The same Paul who writes about being saved by grace and not of works, is the same Paul who teaches holiness. We can't listen to the one part that we like and ignore the part we don't like. Holiness follows true conversion to Jesus Christ. If it does not, either the person was not born again or else he has left his first love of Christ and is in danger of returning to the sin, he was once saved from. 

We must remember though that holiness is not an effort of the flesh to perfect that which is begun by the spirit. This is where we go wrong. We can't achieve holiness by just deciding we want to live holy. We must daily yield to the Holy Spirit and trust God to lead us into holiness.

Constantly trusting God to lead us and keep us filled with the Holy Spirit is the only way to live holy. We can't just live an outward holy life without the inward infilling of the Holy Spirit and daily yielding to the leading of the Spirit. We have to put forth the willingness and the effort of listening, seeking and yielding but there is no way we can do it alone. 

  • Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 
  • Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 
  • Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true

God doesn't just zap us with holiness against our will. We have to yield and seek Him to overcome the desires of the flesh. It is us working with the Lord. So to teach that holiness is all our part by religious works is wrong but so is the teaching that it is all God and there is nothing we can do.

We must use common sense and not go to extremes either way. Some teach that we have nothing to do with our own salvation. That is contrary to scriptures. It is true that we can't save ourselves by our own works apart from faith in Christ. It takes Christ to save a soul from eternal death. God doesn't force this on anyone.

We also have a part in this though. We have to accept, believe, yield and trust. We do have a part to play in our own salvation. Apart from Christ though, no matter how good a life we try to live, we can't be saved by our own works. That is where our righteousness is filthy rags. After we are saved by His grace and begin to live in holiness and righteousness, how can we then say that our righteousness is filthy rags? Our own righteousness before Christ is what is filthy, not after Christ. After we receive Christ, our works should be holy before the Lord, not filthy. 

We have our own free will to return to the filthy rags but we don't have to. We now have the help of the Holy Spirit to make our works holy and our souls righteous because of being partaker of His holiness. 

  • 1Thessialonians 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 
  • 1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 
  • 1Th 3:13 To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 
  • 1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 

Notice clearly that love for one another is a major part of true holiness. If we sit around gossiping about those we think do not live holy, that in itself shows we are not living holy ourselves.

  • Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 

This verse describes Jesus who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Since God is holy, loving righteousness and hating iniquity is a trait of holiness. We should be that way too. A person who is living in holiness will hate iniquity and love righteousness. 

  • Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 

We are called the brethren of Christ. We are one with Christ. We are sanctified or made holy by Christ. Now we are called to holiness, not to return to the sin we were saved from. 

  • 2Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 

To continue in sin and shun holiness will bring reproach on the gospel and give Christians a bad name. This should not be. The Holy Spirit was given to us to lead us in the right way and cause us to be a witness to all around us. We are to spread the gospel by preaching, teaching and living the gospel ourselves. How can we preach the gospel of repenting from sin and turning to Christ and then turn around and do the same sins we repented of? 

  • 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Turning from sin and living holy is part of the gospel. This is why Jesus came. 

He didn't come just to give us grace in spite of our sins but give us forgiveness for past sins and power to overcome any future sins. 

  • Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

He came to save His people from their sins. Why would Christ save us from sin only to have us return to it?  Why would Jesus die for our sins only to have us just be forgiven of them but be free to continue in them? 

We are to turn from sin. That is what repenting really means. Repent means to turn around and change as well as be sorry for past sins. 

Repenting is being sorry enough for our sins that we are willing to forsake the sins. 

  • Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 
  • Act 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 

Our sins are to be blotted out and we are not to continue in them with the hope of being covered by His grace. His grace is what makes us forgiven of past sins. His grace is what draws us to repentance. Being saved by grace does not mean to be saved and then do what we wish. 

Grace means unmerited favor. We do not deserve to be saved. We deserve to be punished for all our sins. Grace comes when we believe in Christ who God sent to save us from sin. When we believe, we repent of sin and agree to live for Christ. Sin should no longer have control over us. We pass from death unto life. Old things are passed away and all becomes new. If we sin, we must confess and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. We are to live in holiness without which no one will even see the Lord. Holiness is yielding ourselves to the righteousness of Christ and becoming partaker of His holiness. 

Holiness Part 4


 
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