Sunday, May 1, 2011

Holiness Revisited!

This morning I realized it has been awhile since I’ve written anything on holiness, and so today we will revisit this important yet largely dismissed attribute of our Christian walk. Yes, holiness is something to which we were called it is something to which we ought to aspire, and it is something which we ought to pursue. I realize holiness, like repentance is no longer fashionable, and anyone who speaks of these things, or as the case happens to be writes of these things is quickly labeled a throwback or a relic, but as I’ve said before I have no problems with being called names. Maybe when I was still a teenager I would have taken umbrage, but I’m older now, and being called names just doesn’t bother me anymore.

The first thing we need to understand about holiness is that just because it isn’t being preached in most churches today, it doesn’t make it any less relevant or necessary than it was two thousand years ago when Jesus preached it. It doesn’t matter if holiness has fallen out of favor with men, it has not fallen out of favor with God, and this is what ought to concern us most as His children.

So what is holiness? The first thing holiness is, is something into which we are called. In his letter to the Romans Paul spells this out by greeting those who are in Rome, and reminding them that they are called to be saints.

Romans 1:7, “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

God calls us to be saints, God calls us to be holy, but we must choose to heed the call of God that we might grow in the knowledge of Him and the power of His Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 3:1-2, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.”

In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul takes it one step further and actually calls them ‘holy brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling’. Yes, God calls us to holiness, and if we desire to be partakers of the heavenly calling we must aspire to the selfsame holiness that the Word of God has called us to.

For far too long, far too many have been playing games with God, they’ve been discounting the Word, all the while bemoaning the absence of power in the churches, bemoaning the absence of miracles, and signs and wonders. Well, you can’t have signs and wonders and miracles and prophecy without holiness. Rather than writing off the supernatural altogether and telling ourselves it is no longer viable in our day and age, why not try holiness, and see what God can do and will do? Just a thought, but yes, I know too much effort, too much time, and we’re all so busy with other things. We can’t blame God for our own laziness, we can’t blame God for our own unbelief, we can’t blame God for our own disobedience, nor can we blame God for our indifference to His Word. We are so used to lethargy, we are so used to this comatose spirituality that I don’t know what many would do if they felt the true power of God fall on them. Yes, there is more of God to be had; yes there is more of God to be experienced, but we must break through the barrier of selfishness that has kept us from knowing the fullness of Him, and commit fully and completely, surrendering our all for His all.

The second thing holiness is, is a daily work of the Holy Spirit and the Word in us.

Romans 6:22, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

I just can’t understand individuals who treat their hearts like motel rooms, and the Holy Spirit like the maid who comes and cleans up the mess they leave behind every morning, no matter how dirty they got the room the night before. We are to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord! We are to put on the new man, which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness! It’s sad to see so many in this perpetual cycle of doing what they want all week, coming to church on Sunday and saying a prayer and thinking they’re ok until the next week rolls around when they have to say the prayer again. You have not known the fear of the Lord; you have not known the fear of God, and this is why you refuse to cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.

Whoever this is for, please read the following lines carefully: God is not mocked! He sees all! He knows all! He judges all! May the fear of the Lord stir your heart, that you might perfect holiness, that you might be transformed from glory to glory and not simply return to your sin as a dog to its vomit and a pig to the mire!

‘But brother Mike that’s so unloving and unkind. We’re supposed to encourage those who stumble.’

Yes, encourage those that stumble, help them up even, but this is not stumbling I’m talking about; this is voluntary cannonballs into sin thinking ‘it’s ok, God forgives, He is loving, He won’t judge me.’

God will judge all men, of every nationality, of every skin color, of every demographic, of every gender, and of every creed. If you fit into any of those categories, if you are part of the human race, then yes, God will likewise judge you because He is a righteous and holy God.

1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

If we desire to be like Him when He is revealed, then we must purify ourselves just as He is pure!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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