The Law of Holiness

THE LAW OF HOLINESS

  THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE IS TO LIVE RIGHT

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)      INTRODUCTION – I AM CONTINUING ON IN MY SERIES ON THE UNBREAKABLE LAWS OF LIFE.  LAST WEEK WE TALKED ABOUT THE LAW OF HAPPINESS AND CONCLUDED THAT “HAPPINESS ISN’T FOUND BY PURSUING IT DIRECTLY BUT IT IS A BY-PRODUCT OF PURSUING GOD.”  TODAY WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE LAW OF HOLINESS.  IF YOU TALK ABOUT HOLINESS TODAY PEOPLE LAUGH AT YOU NOT BECAUSE THEY FEEL IT IS UNATTAINABLE BUT BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER EVEN CONSIDERED A VIRTUE.   WE HAVE LOST THE FEAR AND REVERENCE AND RESPECT FOR GOD.   IT REMINDS ME OF THOSE THAT STUDY VOLCANOES AND BECOME SO COMFORTABLE WITH THEM THAT THEY OFTEN DESCEND INTO THE APEX OF THE VOLCANO FORGETTING THE AWESOME POWER OF THESE THINGS AND THE DANGER THAT THEY ARE IN.   JUST BECAUSE THEY FORGET ABOUT THE DANGER IT DOESN’T MAKE IT GO AWAY.  HOLINESS IS DEFINED IN VINES EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY AS “SEPARATION ONTO GOD” WITH THE RESULTANT STATE OF CONDUCT OF THOSE BEFITTING THOSE SO SEPARATED.

II)    HOLINESS IS NOT A OPTIONAL FOR A CHILD OF GOD

GENERAL ADMONITION: 1Pe 1:15-16  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (KJV)

III)   HOLINESS IS NOT A MATTER OF NEVER SINNING.  IF THAT WERE THE CASE, HOLINESS WOULD BE AN UNREACHABLE GOAL FOR ALL OF US.

A)    SOMEONE SAID TO MARK TWAIN: “ONE THING I DETERMINE TO DO BEFORE I DIE IS TO TAKE A JOURNEY TO THE HOLY LAND, TAKE A COPY OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS TO THE TOP OF MT. SINAI AND READ THEM OUT LOUD.”  MARK TWAIN REPLIED, “IF HAVE A BETTER IDEA WHY DON’T YOU SIT AT HOME AND KEEP THEM.”  THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE CANNOT KEEP THEM.

B)    ALL HAVE SINNED: Rom 3:22-23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” NIV

C)    THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT WE WERE CONCEIVED IN SIN:”There is none righteous, no not one.” Rom 3:10

D)  WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO POTENTIAL FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS IN AND OF OURSELVES.  OUR  ATTEMPTS AT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS AS FILTHY RAGS IN GOD’S SIGHT. Isa 64:6-7:  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7  And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

IV)   GOD’S HOLINESS LEADS US TO CONFESSION & REPENTANCE OF OUR SINFULNESS; GOD FORGIVES AND DECLARES US HOLY BECAUSE OF THE PROVISION THAT CHRIST MADE IN OUR BEHALF  (READ ISAIAH 6:1 – 8 NIV)

A)    WHEN ISAIAH SAW GOD’S HOLINESS HE FELT A DEEP SENSE OF HIS OWN SINFULNESS: “WOE IS ME, FOR I AM UNDONE!  BECAUSE I AM A MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS, AND I DWELL IN THE MIDST OF A PEOPLE OF UNCLEAN LIPS; FOR MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE KING.”

B)    ISAIAH REPENTED DEEPLY AND GOD FORGAVE HIM DEEPLY, CLEANSING HIS LIPS WITH A BURNING COAL FROM OFF THE ALTER:  “BEHOLD, THIS HAS TOUCHED YOUR LIPS; YOUR INIQUITY IS TAKEN AWAY, AND YOUR SIN IS PURGED.”

C)    WHEN ISAIAH HUMBLED HIMSELF AND REPENTED IT OPENED THE DOOR FOR GOD TO FORGIVE AND TO CLEANSE.

D)     IT WAS ONLY THEN THAT GOD COULD USE ISAIAH IN HIS SERVICE:  “WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US?”  THEN I SAID, “HERE AM I! SEND ME.”  (See also Rev 4:1-11)

V)    WE MUST TAKE HOLY LIVING SERIOUSLY, BUT WE MUST ALSO TAKE GOD’S GRACE AND FORGIVENESS SERIOUSLY WHEN WE DO SIN.

A)    JESUS FORGAVE THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY THEN TOLD HER TO GO AND SIN NO MORE…

B)    IN THE STORY OF THE PRODICAL SON THE FATHER HAD ALREADY FORGIVEN THE WAYWARD SON WHEN HE SAW HIM TRUDGING DOWN THE ROAD TOWARD HOME.

C)    1 John 1:8-9: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. NIV

VI)   FINAL LESSONS ON HOLINESS MAX ANDERS BOOK ON THE LAWS OF LIFE:

A)    HOLINESS THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN DOES NOT MEAN NEVER SINNING.  IT MEANS REPENTING READILY WHEN WE DO SIN.

B)    TO REPENT MEANS, LITERALLY TO TURN AROUND.  ONCE YOU WERE GOING ONE DIRECTION, NOW YOU TURN AROUND AND GO THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.  AS FAR AS ATTITUDES AND VALUES GO, IT MEANS WE ABANDON THE ATTITUDES AND VALUES THAT WE ONCE HELD AND ADOPT GOD’S POINT OF VIEW.

C)    GOD’S AGENDA FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES IS OUR GROWTH IN HOLINESS.  “WE ARE BEING CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST.”

D)    WE ARE NOT CLEANSED FROM THE EFFECTS OF SIN WITHOUT PAIN.  FOR ISAIAH IT WAS THE TOUCH OF A HOT COAL ON HIS LIPS.  THE APOSTLE PAUL BEGAN THIS JOURNEY BY BEING KNOCKED OFF HIS DONKEY AND BLINDED BY A LIGHT AND THAT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING.

E)    THE GREAT TASK OF HOLINESS IS TO GROW UP BY GROWING DOWN.  CHRISTIANS BECOME GREATER BY BECOMING SMALLER IN THEIR OWN EYES. PRIDE BLOWS US UP LIKE BALLOONS BUT GRACE PUNCTURES OUR CONCEIT AND LETS THE HOT AIR OUT.

F)    WE FAIL AT HOLY LIVING WHEN WE THINK MORE HIGHLY OF OURSELVES THAN WE OUGHT.  THE PHILOSOPHER MONTAIGNE SAID “IF A PERSON’S INNER THOUGHTS WERE SUBJECTED TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY, THERE IS NOT A PERSON ALIVE WHO WOULD NOT DESERVE HANGING TEN TIMES IN HIS LIFE.”

G)    AS WE GROW SPIRITUALLY, WE BEGIN TO SEE HOW SHORT WE FALL OF JESUS’ CHARACTER.  WE LEARN WE WILL NEVER STOP FALLING SHORT OF HIS CHARACTER.  AS A RESULT, THOSE WHO ARE GOING FORWARD INTO GREATER HOLINESS WILL OFTEN FEEL LIKE THEY ARE GOING BACKWARDS.

H)    WHEN WE SIN, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT OUR SALVATION IS IMMEDIATELY JEOPARDIZED BUT THAT OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD IS BROKEN.  OUR SALVATION IS JEOPARDIZED WHEN WE FORSAKE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND CONTINUE TO IGNORE THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CONVICTION AND CONTINUE IN A  LIFE-STYLE OF SIN.

VII) PRACTICAL STEPS TO HOLY LIVING

A)     1ST WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR ATTITUDE ABOUT SIN – OUR ATTITUDE IS OFTEN MORE SELF CENTERED THAN GOD CENTERED.  WE ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR VICTORY OVER SIN THAN THAT FACT THAT ALL SIN GRIEVES THE HEART OF GOD. THE PRODICAL CONFESSED “I HAVE SINNED AGAINST HEAVEN AND BEFORE THEE…  DAVID PRAYED “AGAINST THEE AND THEE ONLY HAVE I SINNED. 1Th 4:7  For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1Th 4:8  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

B)    2ND WE HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD “LIVING BY FAITH” (GAL 2:20) TO MEAN THAT NO EFFORT ON HOLINESS IS REQUIRED ON OUR PART.  SOME SAY ANY EFFORT ON HOLINESS ON OUR PART IS OF THE FLESH.  WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT FAITH IN CHRIST IS THE ROOT OF ALL HOLINESS, SCRIPTURES ARE CLEAR THAT WE HAVE A PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO WALK IN HOLINESS. THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID: Acts 24:16 “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” NIV2  IF THE APOSTLE PAUL HAD TO STRIVE TO KEEP A CLEAR CONSCIENCE BEFORE GOD AND MAN HOW MUCH MORE SO SHOULD WE. OTHER SPECIFIC ADMONITIONS AS TO OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR HOLY LIVING: EPH 4:22  -32, 1THESS 4:1-8, ROMANS 6:1-11, 1PETER 1:13-23

C)    3RD OUR THIRD PROBLEM IS THAT WE DO NOT TAKE SIN SERIOUSLY.  “IT IS THE LITTLE FOXES THAT RUIN THE VINEYARDS.” SONG OF SOLOMON 2:15

D)    WHEN YOU BEGIN TO LOOK AT SIN AS AN OFFENSE AGAINST A HOLY GOD INSTEAD OF JUST A PERSONAL DEFEAT AND WHEN YOU BEGIN TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SIN, WHILE DEPENDING UPON THE GRACE OF GOD,  AND WHEN YOU DECIDE TO OBEY GOD IN ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE, HOWEVER INSIGNIFICANT THE ISSUE MAY BE THEN YOU ARE ON THE HIGHWAY TO HOLINESS. 

Eph 4:22 – 32  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor  for we are members one of another. 26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27  Neither give place to the devil. 28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Act 24:16  And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

1Pe 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

C�OV��� � COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHEN WE RAISED $450,000 FOR A YOUNG MISSIONARY GIRL IN HER TWENTIES WHO WENT TO ROMANIA TO HELP THE CHILDREN WHO HAD BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS AT BIRTH THAT WERE THROWN OUT ON THE STREETS AND LIVED IN THE SEWERS OF BUCHAREST, WHEN COMMUNISM WAS OVERTHROWN. THIS YOUNG MISSIONARY BEGIN TO PROVIDE FOOD AND SHELTER WITH HER MEAGER RESOURCES.

(v)  IN THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS: Mat 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’  HAPPINESS IS A BY PRODUCT OF SERVING OUR LORD & OTHERS.

IV)  HOW CAN WE ENHANCE OUR POTENTIAL FOR HAPPINESS IN PRACTICAL WAYS?

a)    “OUR ABILITY TO BE HAPPY IN THIS LIFE IS GREATLY INCREASED BY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT COMPLETE HAPPINESS CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN THE NEXT LIFE.”  MAX ANDERS “21 UNBREAKABLE LAWS OF LIFE”. READ QUOTE FROM PEGGY NOONAN, PAGE 6.

b)    WE CAN CULTIVATE A GREATER CAPACITY FOR HAPPINESS BY BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE THINGS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US, RATHER THAN BEING UNGRATEFUL FOR THE THINGS THAT HE HAS NOT GIVEN US.

c)    LEARN TO BE HAPPY FOR THE LITTLE THINGS (BIG THINGS DON’T COME ALONG THAT OFTEN): A CHILD’S SMILE, A BEAUTIFUL DAY, A GOOD MEAL, THE TASTE OF FRESH FRUIT, THE SMELL OF A FLOWER, A HUMMING BIRD, OUR GOOD HEALTH, A LETTER FROM A FRIEND OR THE GRANDEUR OF A MIDNIGHT SKY:

d)    LEARN TO VIEW THE GLASS AS HALF FULL RATHER THAN HALF EMPTY.  COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS NAME THEM ONE BY ONE.   THANK GOD SPECIFICALLY FOR ALL THE GOOD THINGS THAT HE HAS BLESSED YOU WITH.

e)    1 Tim 6:6-10: But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s. NIV

f)     BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WATCH ON TELEVISION AND WHAT BOOKS YOU READ AND WHAT MUSIC YOU LISTEN TO.  THESE ARE THE GATES TO OUR MIND AND HEART.  REMEMBER THE OLD SAYING “GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT”.  IT ISN’T JUST THE EXPLICIT MESSAGES THAT ARE DANGEROUS BUT THE HIDDEN MESSAGES THAT CONTAMINATE OUR SPIRIT AN AFFECT OUR ATTITUDES AND DESIRES.

g)    READ AND OBEY GOD’S WORD – IT WILL KEEP TROUBLE FROM YOUR DOOR. Prov 29:18: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. NKJV

 OTHER SCRIPTURES:

  • Joh 13:17:  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (AFTER JESUS HAD WASHED HIS DISCIPLES FEET, HE SAID “THE SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS MASTER” – SPEAKING OF SERVING ONE ANOTHER.
  • Psa 68:3-6:   But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4  Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him–his name is the LORD. 5  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6  God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
  • Gal 5:22 – 23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

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