Monday, June 17, 2013

Holiness

Calling all to be Holy

     The Bible calls followers of Christ to a life of holiness, and stresses just how essential holiness is. 
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14 
   
 The new birth or being born again is the initial experience of salvation, but the process of salvation doesn't end there. There is also the work of sanctification-a process of becoming progressively more and more like Christ, this process takes place as we submit daily to the leadership and control of the Holy Spirit.
 
"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 
2 Thessalonians 2:13

    Just as sure as we must be born again to see the kingdom of God, as stated in the book of John 3:3-5, so we must pursue holiness, or sanctification, in order to see the Lord. The new birth will have no eternal value unless the born again person continues to walk by faith and live after the new nature of the Spirit, and allows God to complete the process that started with being born again.
       

      Holiness is not an option: it is a command that we are to put into operation in all aspects of our lives.  "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16

What is Holiness?

   Holiness is the principal aspect of His nature, so in reference to God, it means absolute purity and honest nature. In reference to us as humans it means, conformity to the character and will of God, it  means thinking as God thinks, loving what He loves, hating what He hates, and acting as Jesus would, ultimately, having the mind of Christ. 

   It also means that we are not to love this ungodly world system, neither identify with it,  become attached to the things in it, or take part in the world's sinful pleasures and activities.
"know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4

Why live Holy?

      One reason for living holy is to please God, because we belong to God in two respects:
  1. Creation
  2. Redemption through the Cross
So as His people we do not have a right to live any other way, than by His design. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20
 God created us for His glory:
  "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Isaiah 43:7
   
   He intended for us to love, worship, and commune with Him, but sin separated us from Him. So through the Cross He provided a way for redemption so that we can be restored back to our position in Him. 

   However, if we continue to live unholy and in sin, than we will continue to separate ourselves from His presence. Only by living holy can we fulfill the  purpose of  creation and redemption.  "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." 1 Peter 2:9 
  
   Another reason for holiness is to communicate Christ to others. People will believe our declaration that Jesus saves from sin only if they can see the saving power operating in our lives. Also people who are no longer satisfied with their worldly life, and the ones who are seeking salvation, will only be attracted to a people and a church that is clearly distinct from the world they are desperately trying to escape.
 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."Matthew 5:16
  The life of holiness brings great benefits in this life: physically, mentally, spiritually, and it leads to eternal life. It has always been  God's design for us to live by holiness standards, and when those standards are violated, significant harm results, for example:
  sexual immorality, rage, and bitterness can actually cause physical harm or illness. 

  Those who live godly and walk in holiness enjoy divine love, joy, peace, and hope. They truly have abundant life, now and in the life to come.



Authored by:
Sis. Brittany Jenkins
Recommended Reading:
 Essentials of Holiness 
  by David K. Bernard

In Search of Holiness
by David K. Bernard