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We Must Be Holy!

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"There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" (Rev. xxi. 27). St. Paul says expressly, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. xii. 14).

Ah, reader, the last text I have just quoted is very solemn. It ought to make you think. It was written by the hand of inspired man: it is not my private fancy. Its words are the words of the Bible: not of my own invention. God has said it, and God will stand to it: "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."

What tremendous words these are! What thoughts come across my mind as I write them down! I look at the world, and see the greater part of it lying in wickedness; I look at professing Christians, and see the vast majority having nothing of Christianity but the name; I turn to the Bible, and I hear the Spirit saying, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."

Surely it is a text that ought to make you consider your ways, and search your hearts. Surely it should raise within you solemn thoughts, and send you to prayer.

You may try to put me off by saying you feel much, and think much about these things,—far more than many suppose. I answer, This is not the point. The poor lost souls in hell do as much as this. The great question is, not what you think and what you feel, but what you DO. Are you holy?

You may say, It was never meant that all Christians should be holy, and that holiness such as I have described is only for great saints, and people of uncommon gifts. I answer, I cannot see this in Scripture. I read that "every man who hath hope in Christ purifieth himself" (1 John iii. 3). "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."

You may say, It is impossible to be so holy and to do our duty in this life at the same time: the thing cannot be done. I answer, You are mistaken: it can be done. With God on your side, nothing is impossible. It has been done by many: Moses, and Obadiah, and Daniel, and the servants of Nero's household, are all examples that go to prove it.

You may say, If you were so holy, you would be unlike other people. I answer, I know it well: it is just what I want you to be. Christ's true servants always were unlike the world around them,—a separate nation, a peculiar people; and you must be so too, if you would be saved.

You may say, At this rate very few will be saved. I answer, I know it: Jesus said so eighteen hundred years ago. Few will be saved, because few will take the trouble to seek salvation. Men will not deny themselves the pleasures of sin and their own way for a season; for this they turn their backs on an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. "Ye will not come to Me," says Jesus, "that ye might have life" (John v. 40).

You may say, These are hard sayings: the way is very narrow. I answer, I know it: Jesus said so eighteen hundred years ago. He always said that men must take up the cross daily, that they must be ready to cut off hand or foot, if they would be His disciples. It is in religion as it is in other things, "There are no gains without pains." That which costs nothing is worth nothing.

Reader, whatever you may think fit to say, you must be holy if you would see the Lord. Where is your Christianity if you are not? Show it to me without holiness, if you can. You must not merely have a Christian name and Christian knowledge, you must have a Christian character also: you must be a saint on earth, if ever you mean to be a saint in heaven. God has said it, and He will not go back,—"Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." "The Pope's calendar," says Jenken, "only makes saints of the dead, but Scripture requires sanctity in the living." "Let not men deceive themselves," says Owen, "sanctification is a qualification indispensably necessary—unto those who will be under the conduct of the Lord Jesus unto salvation: He leads none to heaven but whom He sanctifies on the earth. This living Head will not admit of dead members."

Surely you will not wonder that Scripture says, "Ye must be born again" (John iii. 7). Surely it is clear as noon-day that many of you need a complete change, —new hearts, new natures,—if ever you are to be saved. Old things must pass away, you must become new creatures. Without holiness, no man, be he who he may,—no man shall see the Lord.

Reader, consider well what I have said. Do you feel any desire to be holy? Does your conscience whisper, "I am not holy yet, but I should like to become so"? Listen to the advice I am going to give you. The Lord grant you may take it and act upon it!

Would you be holy? Would you become a new creature? Then begin with Christ. You will do just nothing till you feel your sin and weakness, and flee to Him: He is the beginning of all holiness. He is not wisdom and righteousness only to His people, but sanctification also. Men sometimes try to make themselves holy first of all, and sad work they make of it: they toil, and labour, and turn over many new leaves, and make many changes, and yet, like the woman with the issue of blood before she came to Christ, they feel nothing bettered, but rather worse. They run in vain, and labour in vain: and little wonder, for they are beginning at the wrong end. They are building up a wall of sand: their work runs down as fast as they throw it up. They are baling water out of a leaky vessel; the leak gains on them; not they on the leak. Other foundation of holiness can no man lay than that which Paul laid, even Christ Jesus. Without Christ we can do nothing. It is a strong but true saying of Traill's, "Wisdom out of Christ is damning folly; righteousness out of Christ is guilt and condemnation; sanctification out of Christ is filth and sin; redemption out of Christ is bondage and slavery."

Would you be holy: Would you be partakers of the Divine nature? Then go to Christ. Wait for nothing: wait for nobody: linger not. Think not to make you yourself ready: go, and say to Him, in the words of that beautiful hymn,—

"Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, flee to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace."

There is not a brick nor a stone laid in the work of our sanctification till we go to Christ. Holiness is His special gift to His believing people; holiness is the work He carries on in their hearts, by the Spirit whom He puts within them. He is appointed a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance as well as remission of sins: to as many as receive Him He gives power to become sons of God. Holiness comes not of blood,—parents cannot give it to their children; nor yet of the will of the flesh,—man cannot produce it in himself; nor yet of the will of man, —ministers cannot give it you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him: it is the fruit of being a living branch of the true vine. Go then to Christ, and say, "Lord, not only save me from the guilt of sin, but send the Spirit, whom Thou didst promise, and save me from its power. Make me holy. Teach me to do Thy will."

Would you continue holy, when you have once been made so? Then abide in Christ. He says Himself, "Abide in Me, and I in you. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit" (John xv. 4, 5).

He is the Physician to whom You must daily go, if you would keep well; He is the Manna which you must daily eat, and the Rock of which you must daily drink. His arm is the arm on which you must daily lean, as you come up out of the wilderness of this world. You must not only be rooted, you must also be built up in Him.

Reader, may you and I know these things by experience, and not by hearsay only! May we all feel the importance of holiness, far more than we have ever done yet! May our years he holy years with our souls, and then I know they will be happy ones! But this I say once more, "We must be holy."

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "J. C. Ryle Collection"
 
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You may try to put me off by saying you feel much, and think much about these things,—far more than many suppose. I answer, This is not the point. The poor lost souls in hell do as much as this. The great question is, not what you think and what you feel, but what you DO. Are you holy?
Amen!

You may say, It was never meant that all Christians should be holy, and that holiness such as I have described is only for great saints, and people of uncommon gifts. I answer, I cannot see this in Scripture. I read that "every man who hath hope in Christ purifieth himself" (1 John iii. 3). "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
Glory to God!

You may say, It is impossible to be so holy and to do our duty in this life at the same time: the thing cannot be done. I answer, You are mistaken: it can be done. With God on your side, nothing is impossible. It has been done by many: Moses, and Obadiah, and Daniel, and the servants of Nero's household, are all examples that go to prove it.
Praise Jesus the Christ!!!

You may say, If you were so holy, you would be unlike other people. I answer, I know it well: it is just what I want you to be. Christ's true servants always were unlike the world around them,—a separate nation, a peculiar people; and you must be so too, if you would be saved.
Now thats what I call preaching the WORD!!!!
Thanks Coconut! Everyone should read this.
 
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Continue to speak my sister and brother ! These are the words that bring newness and life , through brokeness and humility . We suffer in our flesh , but it is through this suffering , that sactification and Holiness are birthed in our Spirit .

Do we think that there is room in our corrupted souls for Gods Spirit to dwell ? Yes the Spirit dwells fully , but it is we who quench it's fire . As the shell of a seed must be broken to bring forth the life within it , so must we also be broken in our sinfull desires , and our self made way's , and lean only on Jesus Christ , and him crucified as our acceptence before the Fathers Throne ! Our live's are hidden in Christ , so we must become slaves to his way.

The law of God brings correction and esposure to our sins , but only at the Cross are we free from any sin , and only by his grace and mercy can we overcome anything . For it is not by power , or not by might , but by My Spirit say's the Lord ! May his Holy Spirit be loosed in your live's today , and may our hardness be broken . Peace be unto you all through Jesus Christ , the Only Saviour of our souls ! Mike
 
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I hope that reader's do not see in Coconut's post a call to labor to become holy by their own strength, a call to make oneself "good enough" to receive holiness from God. I did not see any such thing there, but all too often people do not read such messages carefully enough and they lose out on the whole point of the message, which is that holiness is necessary for our salvation, but holiness is from God, not from our works. Paul said it succinctly in Colossians 1:27 - "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
 
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SpiritLedEd said:
I hope that reader's do not see in Coconut's post a call to labor to become holy by their own strength, a call to make oneself "good enough" to receive holiness from God. I did not see any such thing there, but all too often people do not read such messages carefully enough and they lose out on the whole point of the message, which is that holiness is necessary for our salvation, but holiness is from God, not from our works. Paul said it succinctly in Colossians 1:27 - "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Good Post SpiritLedEd but no need for worry, It seams the author of this article shares your concern. The article is very clear about Holiness.

Holiness comes not of blood,—parents cannot give it to their children; nor yet of the will of the flesh,—man cannot produce it in himself; nor yet of the will of man, —ministers cannot give it you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him: it is the fruit of being a living branch of the true vine. Go then to Christ, and say, "Lord, not only save me from the guilt of sin, but send the Spirit, whom Thou didst promise, and save me from its power. Make me holy. Teach me to do Thy will."

Would you continue holy, when you have once been made so? Then abide in Christ. He says Himself, "Abide in Me, and I in you. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit" (John xv. 4, 5).
 
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BROTHERSINARMST4G said:
Continue to speak my sister and brother ! These are the words that bring newness and life , through brokeness and humility . We suffer in our flesh , but it is through this suffering , that sactification and Holiness are birthed in our Spirit .
Do we think that there is room in our corrupted souls for Gods Spirit to dwell ? Yes the Spirit dwells fully , but it is we who quench it's fire . As the shell of a seed must be broken to bring forth the life within it , so must we also be broken in our sinfull desires , and our self made way's , and lean only on Jesus Christ , and him crucified as our acceptence before the Fathers Throne ! Our live's are hidden in Christ , so we must become slaves to his way.
The law of God brings correction and esposure to our sins , but only at the Cross are we free from any sin , and only by his grace and mercy can we overcome anything . For it is not by power , or not by might , but by My Spirit say's the Lord ! May his Holy Spirit be loosed in your live's today , and may our hardness be broken . Peace be unto you all through Jesus Christ , the Only Saviour of our souls ! Mike
Amen Brother!

Act 26:18 To make their eyes open, turning them from the dark to the light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may have forgiveness of sins and a heritage among those who are made holy by faith in me.
 
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I very much like what you have said and am glad that others feel the same as I.May the Lord bless and keep you and may we meet in Heaven someday.
 
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Rediscovering Holiness
If you think it's just a set of rules, you may be surprised.



Holiness. What a strange word. Sounds a little fanatical. What does it even mean? As a teenager, I would have answered that question, "No dancing, no drinking, no movies. Read your Bible in the morning, pray every day, and you'll be fine. The rules are clear. Keep them and thou shalt be pronounced holy."

My idea of holiness, however, didn't stay that simple. During my twenties, I saw many of those rules for "How to Be the World's Best Christian" cited as examples of legalism by fellow Christians. After all, didn't King David dance before God (2 Samuel 6:14)? And didn't Jesus turn water to wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11)? As I began to consider these things, my perspective on holiness started to change.

For example, as a young mom, I felt relieved to learn God didn't require a specific time for devotions, such as first thing in the morning. With my new freedom I soon went from feeling guilty if I missed my morning quiet time to often going to bed without having spent any time with God that day. How easy it was to slide from legalism to license!

Yet, in the midst of my liberation, unease gnawed at my soul. If holiness only meant keeping certain rules and now the rules were gone, was the idea of holiness extinct? If not, what did it mean to be holy without being legalistic? Was such a thing possible?

I asked my wise friend Barb her thoughts on holiness. Barb instantly replied, "It attracts me like a magnet." I was shocked. This obviously hadn't been my picture of the word. When I asked her why, she replied, "Because it's so beautiful. Holiness shines in the darkness to remind us of how things should have been and what they will be one day."

Back to square one for me! If holiness was indeed beautiful rather than oppressive (as I'd thought), I needed to ask God for fresh eyes to see it.

Psa 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

First Peter 1:16 says I'm to be holy as God's holy. If holiness relates to purity and being set apart, how could I achieve it? May-be the strict rules of my past were correct after all. But returning to them didn't feel like the right answer. Scripture clearly teaches that I am to live a life distinct from the world (James 4:4). But such a life is far different than keeping a few rules. Why?

First, holiness starts with God—not me. I enter the realm of holiness by accepting Jesus as my Savior. In this process, God not only forgives my sin (John 1:29), but he tells me I've been bought with a price—the precious blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:20). God set me apart for himself and moves me from the world's kingdom into his kingdom (John 3:5).

But then there's my part in the "holiness plan." While true holiness originates with God, he asks for my response as well. Initially I'm asked to receive God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). But that's not all. My actions matter. God wants me to live a pure life according to his standards. Why? Because as his follower, I represent God to those who don't yet know him. God designed his kingdom—made up of his followers—to reflect his character. For instance, while the world says to curse my enemies, God instructs me to bless them because his character consists of blessing people. He declares that greatness is found in servanthood, not in human power. God says my body's his temple, and I'm not to use it for immorality. His principles for how I'm to live are clear and definite, but most significantly—and surprisingly—they aren't specific rules for every possible situation.

That takes me back to my first question. If holiness isn't about following a group of specific rules, but it does relate to my behavior, what's the practical difference between holiness and legalism?

Holiness calls me to live by faith, not by sight. Because God gives us principles rather than specific rules for living a holy life, his kingdom can be lived in some measure here on earth in all generations, in all cultures, in all times. How these eternal principles are applied will look different in each circumstance, but God's principles never change. One person may be a vegetarian, for example, while another eats meat, yet both honor God (Romans 14:2-3). To live a holy life means I must constantly go back to God for direction on how to live out these principles.

Legalism, however, occurs whenever a legitimate application of a certain principle is turned into an absolute. Soon this rule replaces the principle itself and one of two things usually happens. First, those who faithfully follow the rule can become self-righteous, easily forgetting to consider further applications of the underlying principle. For example, Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on whatever things are true, lovely, admirable, or pure. As a teenager I didn't attend movies in the theater lest I violate that principle, but I conveniently overlooked how some tv shows and books could feed my mind with far more impurity than certain movies might.

On the other hand, when the legalistic rules themselves are exposed as the non-absolutes they are, it's easy to believe that there are no absolutes. Not only is the legalism discarded as irrelevant, but the eternal principle initially behind it is often discarded as well. Take the "no dancing" edict of my high-school days. It began as an attempt to help us follow scriptural injunctions to avoid sexual temptation. When the rule was tossed, it became easy to forget that God's command to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) still stands—forever. Once God's absolutes are ignored, our liberty quickly turns into license. We become so proud of not being legalistic, we forget to wonder if we're being obedient.

Being holy isn't always easy. God often exposes an area in my life in which I still hide sin. He shows me I need to repent. Other times holiness is liberating. Because this is about life in God's kingdom, not mine, I can afford to forgive those who have wounded me, to share with those who can never repay, and to overcome evil with good. As a Christian, my job is to be obedient, while God's job is to figure out the rest.

My friend Barb (and the psalmist!) are right. There is beauty in holiness. It's the beauty of seeing God's kingdom grow here on earth as God's followers live out his intended plan. In that process, living a holy life makes us the light that shines in the darkness and the salt to preserve the good (Matthew 5:13-16). .

Ruth E. Van Reken is a speaker and author of several books, including Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
 
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Are any of us this holy?
I am not.
I see it, I feel I can touch it.
I am scared.

I do not rely on Jesus to feed me, to clothe me. I rely on the devil and his worldy system. In the end will Jesus say "Brendan, you believed in me, but for your entire life you contributed and recieved the devils ways"
I am a servant of money,

Mathew 5:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

If I continue to feed from the devils system and his supermarkets, Jesus will not draw near to me. I need to rely on him to feed me, and grow my own for me and my family.

If I prophess to be Christ like, then rely on the devil, this will be my fate.

Mathew 6:21

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

At the moment I am this man.

God Bless.:love:
 
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Paul's instructions to the church at Corinth on holiness
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
1 Corinthians 7:1

God has called every Christian to holiness
For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
 
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