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Thursday, September 26, 2013

HOLINESS 3


“Strive for peace with all men, and for holiness

without which no one will see God.”

(Heb. 12:14)

Holiness is Supernatural.

This is by far the most important characteristic of holiness. Even the discipline required to maintain practical day to day holiness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Don't miss the fact that God's Spirit is the HOLY Spirit.
All holiness in the human heart begins with the new birth. Only God can change your nature. You must be born of the Spirit.
In the Lord's Prayer Jesus instructed us to pray lest we be led into temptation and that we might be delivered from evil. I often need to pray for God to deliver me from lust or from entering situations where I will be tempted to lust or to some other sin.
We are tempted by an unholy heart, an unholy world and the enemy of all holiness. But we can call upon God to change our hearts and deliver us from temptation.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

HOLINESS 2

“Strive for peace with all men, and for holiness

without which no one will see God.”

(Heb. 12:14)

Holiness Is Internal.

The scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day kept strict rules of behavior. But Jesus rebuked them. “You are like whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside, but inside full of corruption and dead men’s bones. Holiness must begin internally. If you cleanse the inside of your coffee cup, the outside will be clean too. So too with your heart. 
We are always tempted to play to a human audience. Jesus warned us not to do our acts of righteousness, like praying or fasting, before men to be seen by them. We are to do what is righteous before God who sees in secret. I have to admit that I have not kept this command. I often have to confess that I wanted to please or impress people rather than God. Jesus says this even harder. “Be careful lest people see your good works and you lose your reward from God.

Next week I will post the final and most important thing I have to say about holiness.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

HOLINESS 1

“Strive for peace with all men, and for holiness without which no one will see God.” Heb. 12:14
Holiness is not a popular subject in America. And that is tragic especially because striving for holiness is essential to prayer. David said, “If I regard sin in my heart the Lord will not hear my prayer.” (Psalm 66:18)
We are so little acquainted with the concept of holiness that we hardly know how to define it. In fact I find it easier to say what is unholy than to tell people what holiness specifically is. Because this is such an important subject, I want to take three blog entries to discuss a little of what the Bible says about holiness. I am aware that this is a difficult subject to deal with in these days. And I want to encourage you to respond to what I have written. I welcome serious discussion on this issue.
HOLINESS IS ULTIMATE RIGHTEOUSNESS.
We try very hard not to be legalists. And we are not saved by trying to keep the law. But do we miss the importance of righteousness? In Matthew 5, the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us He had not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. And He points out how the prevailing interpretation of the law was not strict enough. You have heard, “Do not murder.” I say you will be judged as a murderer if you hate. You have heard “Don’t commit adultery.” I tell you that lust is the same sin.” And how do we explain to people what Jesus taught about divorce? We treat sin lightly, but Jesus is serious about sin. Are we no longer teaching people that everything is best when we are right with God?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

FOR ALL IN AUTHORITY

This is a crucial week to pray for the President of The United States and for both houses of congress. Scripture commands us to pray for all those in authority. (1Tim. 2:1-4) The particular issue of the American response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on their own people is being debated this week. And the lives of millions of people may well be affected by the outcome of these discussions.

It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit gave this command in the days of the ungodly Roman Empire. They were not to pray for the government because they wanted it to succeed in its horrific goals. They were to pray for government in spite of the threat it was to their lives.
If you allow your support or your bitter disagreement with the President or either party in congress to keep you from praying for them, you have put your faith in the idol of your political opinion rather than the God who commands you to trust him.