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be holy be holy

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#5113
Feb 8, 2013
 
b) We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. Paul writes to the Corinthians, "He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:15). And to the Ephesians, "Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it" (Eph. 5:25, 26). And to Titus, "He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). In short, to talk of men being saved from the guilt of sin, without being at the same time saved from its dominion in their hearts, is to contradict the witness of all Scripture. Are believers said to be elect?-it is "through sanctification of the Spirit." Are they predestinated?-it is "to be conformed to the image of God's Son". Are they chosen?-it is "that they may be holy". Are they called?-it is "with a holy calling." Are they afflicted?-it is that they may be "partakers of holiness". Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer's sin, He does more-He breaks the power (1 Pe. 1:2; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 12:10).

c) We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we have a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Twelfth Article of our Church says truly, that "Although good works cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith; insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by its fruits." James warns us there is such a thing as a dead faith-a faith which goes no further than the profession of the lips, and has no influence on a man's character (James 2:17). True saving faith is a very different kind of thing. True faith will always show itself by its fruits-it will sanctify, it will work by love, it will overcome the world, it will purify the heart. I know that people are fond of talking about death-bed evidences. They will rest on words spoken in the hours of fear, and pain, and weakness, as if they might take comfort in them about the friends they lose. But I am afraid in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred such evidences are not to be depended on. I suspect that, with rare exceptions, men die just as they have lived. The only safe evidence that we are one with Christ, and Christ in us, is holy life. They that live unto the Lord are generally the only people who die in the Lord. If we would die the death of the righteous, let us not rest in slothful desires only; let us seek to live His life. It is a true saying of Traill's, "That man's state is naught, and his faith unsound, that find not his hopes of glory purifying to his heart and life."

d) We must be holy, because this is the only proof that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. This is a point on which He has spoken most plainly, in the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of John. "If ye love Me, keep my commandments."-"He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me."-"If a man love Me he will keep my words."-"Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 14:15, 21, 23; 15:14).-Plainer words than these it would be difficult to find, and woe to those who neglect them! Surely that man must be in an unhealthy state of soul who can think of all that Jesus suffered, and yet cling to those sins for which that suffering was undergone. It was sin that wove the crown of thorns-it was sin that pierced our Lord's hands, and feet, and side-it was sin that brought Him to Gethsemane and Calvary, to the cross and to the grave. Cold must our hearts be if we do not hate sin and labour to get rid of it, though we may have to cut off the right hand and pluck out the right eye in doing it.
we must be holy

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#5114
Feb 8, 2013
 
e) We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God. Children in this world are generally like their parents. Some, doubtless, are more so, and some less-but it is seldom indeed that you cannot trace a kind of family likeness. And it is much the same with the children of God. The Lord Jesus says, "If ye were Abraham's children ye would do the works of Abraham."-"If God were your Father ye would love Me" (John 8:39, 42). If men have no likeness to the Father in heaven, it is vain to talk of their being His "sons". If we know nothing of holiness we may flatter ourselves as we please, but we have not got the Holy Spirit dwelling in us: we are dead, and must be brought to life again-we are lost, and must be found. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they," and they only, "are the sons of God" (Rom 8:14). We must show by our lives the family we belong to. We must let men see by our good conversation that we are indeed the children of the Holy One, or our son-ship is but an empty name. "Say not," says Gurnall, "that thou hast royal blood in thy veins, and art born of God, except thou canst prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy."
f) We must be holy, because this is the most likely way to do good to others. We cannot live to ourselves only in this world. Our lives will always be doing either good or harm to those who see them. They are a silent sermon which all can read. It is sad indeed when they are a sermon for the devil's cause, and not for God's. I believe that far more is done for Christ's kingdom by the holy living of believers than we are at all aware of. There is a reality about such living which makes men feel, and obliges them to think. It carries a weight and influence with it which nothing else can give. It makes religion beautiful, and draws men to consider it, like a lighthouse seen afar off. The day of judgement will prove that many besides husbands have been won "without the word" by a holy life (1 Pe. 3:1). You may talk to persons about the doctrines of the Gospels, and few will listen, and still fewer understand. But your life is an argument that none can escape.
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#5115
Feb 8, 2013
 
There is a meaning about holiness which not even the most unlearned can help taking in. They may not understand justification, but they can understand charity.

I believe there is far more harm done by unholy and inconsistent Christians than we are aware of. Such men are among Satan's best allies. They pull down by their lives what ministers build with their lips. They cause the chariot wheels of the Gospel to drive heavily. They supply the children of this world with a never ending excuse for remaining as they are. "I cannot see the use of so much religion," said an irreligious tradesman not long ago; "I observe that some of my customers are always talking about the Gospel, and faith, and election, and the blessed promises, and so forth; and yet these very people think nothing of cheating me of pence and half-pence, when they have an opportunity. Now, if religious persons can do such things, I do not see what good there is in religion." I grieve to be obliged to write such things, but I fear that Christ's name is too often blasphemed because of the lives of Christians. Let us take heed lest the blood of souls should be required at our hands. From murder of souls by inconsistency and loose walking, good Lord, deliver us! Oh, for the sake of others, if for no other reason, let us strive to be holy!
g) We must be holy, because our present comfort depends much upon it. We cannot be too often reminded of this. We are sadly apt to forget that there is a close connection between sin and sorrow, holiness and happiness, sanctification and consolation. God has so wisely ordered it, that our well-being and our well-doing are linked together.

He has mercifully provided that even in this world it shall be man's interest to be holy. Our justification is not by works-our calling and election are not according to our works-but it is vain for anyone to suppose that he will have a lively sense of his justification, or an assurance of his calling, so long as he neglects good works, or does not strive to live a holy life. "Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." "Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts" (1 John 2:3; 3:19).

A believer may as soon expect to feel the sun's rays upon a dark and cloudy day, as to feel strong consolation in Christ while he does not follow Him fully. When the disciples forsook the Lord and fled, they escaped danger, but they were miserable and sad. When, shortly after, they confessed Him boldly before men, they were cast into prison and beaten; but we are told "they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" (Ac. 5:41).

Oh, for our own sakes, if there were no other reason, let us strive to be holy! He that follows Jesus most fully will always follow Him most comfortably.

h) Lastly, we must be holy, because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy Being. The angels are holy creatures. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. The book of Revelation says expressly, "There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" (Rev. 21:27).

I appeal solemnly to everyone who reads these pages, How shall we ever be at home and happy in heaven, if we die unholy? Death works no change. The grave makes no alteration. Each will rise again with the same character in which he breathed his last. Where will our place be if we are strangers to holiness now?

Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth?
we must be holy

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#5116
Feb 8, 2013
 
Now perhaps you love the company of the light and the careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveller and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven.
Now perhaps you think the saints of God too strict and particular, and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. There will be no other company in heaven.
Now perhaps you think praying, and Scripture-reading, and hymn singing, dull and melancholy, and stupid work-a thing to be tolerated now and then, but not enjoyed. You reckon the Sabbath a burden and a weariness; you could not possibly spend more than a small part of it in worshipping God. But remember, heaven is a never-ending Sabbath. The inhabitants thereof rest not day or night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this?
Think you that such an one would delight to meet David, and Paul, and John, after a life spent in doing the very things they spoke against? Would he take sweet counsel with them, and find that he and they had much in common?-Think you, above all, that he would rejoice to meet Jesus, the Crucified One, face to face, after cleaving to the sins for which He died, after loving His enemies and despising His friends? Would he stand before Him with confidence, and join in the cry, "This is our God; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation"?(Is. 25:9). Think you not rather that the tongue of an unholy man would cleave to the roof of his mouth with shame, and his only desire would be to be cast out! He would feel a stranger in a land he knew not, a black sheep amidst Christ's holy flock. The voice of Cherubim and Seraphim, the song of Angels and Archangels and all the company of heaven, would be a language he could not understand. The very air would seem an air he could not breathe.
I know not what others may think, but to me it does seem clear that heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say, in a vague way, "they hope to go to heaven;" but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain "meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light." Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded, and have heavenly tastes, in the life that now is, or else we shall never find ourselves in heaven, in the life to come.
we must be holy

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#5117
Feb 8, 2013
 
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 that in Scripture. I read that every man who hath hope in Christ purifieth himself" (1 John 3:3)-"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 Christ on your side nothing is impossible. It has been done by many. David, and Obadiah, and Daniel, and the servants of Nero's household, are all examples that go to prove it."

You may say, "If I were so holy I would be unlike other people." I answer, "I know it well. It is just what you ought 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. It is precisely what we are told in the Sermon on the Mount." The Lord Jesus said so 1,900 years ago. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:14). 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 little season. They turn their backs on an "inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." "Ye will not come unto Me," says Jesus, "that ye might have life" (John 5:40).

You may say, "These are hard sayings: the way is very narrow." I answer, "I know it. So says the Sermon on the Mount." The Lord Jesus said so 1,900 years ago. He always said that men must take up the cross daily, and 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.

Whatever we may think fit to say, we must be holy, if we would see the Lord. Where is our Christianity if we are not? We must not merely have a Christian name, and Christian knowledge, we must have a Christian character also. We must be saints on earth, if ever we mean to be saints 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 Jenkyn, "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 Christ unto salvation. He leads none to heaven but whom He sanctifies on the earth. This living Head will not admit of dead members."

Surely we need not wonder that Scripture says "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). Surely it is clear as noon-day that many professing Christians need a complete change-new hearts, new natures-if ever they are to be saved. Old things must pass away-they must become new creatures. "Without holiness no man," be he who he may, "shall see the Lord."
we must be holy

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#5118
Feb 8, 2013
 
Let me, for another thing, speak a little to believers. I ask you this question, "Do you think you feel the importance of holiness as much as you should?"
I own I fear the temper of the times about this subject. I doubt exceedingly whether it holds that place which it deserves in the thoughts and attention of some of the Lord's people. I would humbly suggest that we are apt to overlook the doctrine of growth in grace, and that we do not sufficiently consider how very far a person may go in a profession of religion, and yet have no grace, and be dead in God's sight after all. I believe that Judas Iscariot seemed very like the other Apostles. When the Lord warned them that one would betray Him, no one said, "Is it Judas?" We had better think more about the Churches of Sardis and Laodicea than we do.
I have no desire to make an idol of holiness. I do not wish to dethrone Christ, and put holiness in His place. But I must candidly say, I wish sanctification was more thought of in this day than it seems to be, and I therefore take occasion to press the subject on all believers into whose hands these pages may fall. I fear it is sometimes forgotten that God has married together justification and sanctification. They are distinct and different things, beyond question, but one is never found without the other. All justified people are sanctified, and all sanctified are justified. What God has joined together let no man dare to put asunder. Tell me not of your justification, unless you have also some marks of sanctification. Boast not of Christ's work for you, unless you can show us the Spirit's work in you. Think not that Christ and the Spirit can ever be divided.
we must be holy

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#5119
Feb 8, 2013
 
I doubt not that many believers know these things, but I think it good for us to be put in remembrance of them. Let us prove that we know them by our lives. Let us try to keep in view this text more continually: "Follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

I must frankly say I wish there was not such an excessive sensitiveness on the subject of holiness as I sometimes perceive in the minds of believers. A man might really think it was a dangerous subject to handle, so cautiously is it touched! Yet surely when we have exalted Christ as "the way, the truth, and the life," we cannot err in speaking strongly about what should be the character of His people. Well says Rutherford, "The way that crieth down duties and sanctification, is not the way of grace. Believing and doing are blood-friends."

I would say it with all reverence, but say it I must-I sometimes fear if Christ were on earth now, there are not a few who would think His preaching legal; and if Paul were writing his Epistles, there are those who would think he had better not write the latter part of most of them as he did. But let us remember that the Lord Jesus did speak the Sermon on the Mount, and that the Epistle to the Ephesians contains six chapters and not four. I grieve to feel obliged to speak in this way, but I am sure there is a cause.

That great divine, John Owen, the Dean of Christ Church, used to say, more than two hundred years ago, that there were people whose whole religion seemed to consist in going about complaining of their own corruptions, and telling everyone that they could do nothing of themselves. I am afraid that after two centuries the same thing might be said with truth of some of Christ's professing people in this day. I know there are texts in Scripture which warrant such complaints. I do not object to them when they come from men who walk in the steps of the Apostle Paul, and fight a good fight, as he did, against sin, the devil, and the world. But I never like such complaints when I see ground for suspecting, as I often do, that they are only a cloak to cover spiritual laziness, and an excuse for spiritual sloth. If we say with Paul, "O wretched man that I am," let us also be able to say with him, "I press toward the mark." Let us not quote his example in one thing, while we do not follow him in another" (Rom. 7:24; Phl. 3:14).

I do not set up myself to be better than other people, and if anyone asks, "What are you, that you write in this way?" I answer, "I am a very poor creature indeed." But I say that I cannot read the Bible without desiring to see many believers more spiritual, more holy, more single-eyed, more heavenly-minded, more whole-hearted than they are in the nineteenth century. I want to see among believers more of a pilgrim spirit, a more decided separation from the world, a conversation more evidently in heaven, a closer walk with God-and therefore I have written as I have.
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#5120
Feb 8, 2013
 
Is it not true that we need a higher standard of personal holiness in this day? Where is our patience? Where is our zeal? Where is our love? Where are our works? Where is the power of religion to be seen, as it was in times gone by? Where is that unmistakable tone which used to distinguish the saints of old, and shake the world? Verily our silver has become dross, our wine mixed with water, and our salt has very little savour. We are all more than half asleep. The night is far spent, and the day is at hand. Let us awake, and sleep no more. Let us open our eyes more widely than we have done hitherto. "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us."-"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God" (Heb. 12:1; 2 Cor. 7:1). "Did Christ die," says Owen, "and shall sin live? Was He crucified in the world, and shall our affections to the world be quick and lively? Oh, where is the spirit of him, who by the cross of Christ was crucified to the world, and the world to him!"
III. Let me, in the last place, offer a word of advice to all who desire to be holy.
Would you be holy? Would you become a new creature? Then you must begin with Christ. You will do just nothing at all, and make no progress till you feel your sin and weakness, and flee to Him. He is the root and beginning of all holiness, and the way to be holy is to come to Him by faith and be joined to Him. Christ 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 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" (Mark 5:26). 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" (John 15:5). 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."
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#5121
Feb 8, 2013
 
Do you want to attain holiness? Do you feel this day a real hearty desire to be holy? Would you be a partaker of the divine nature? Then go to Christ. Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Linger not. Think not to make 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" (Acts 5:31; John 1:12, 13). Holiness comes not of blood-parents cannot give it to their children: 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? 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 beareth much fruit" (John 15:4, 5). It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell-a full supply for all a believer's wants. 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. Paul was a man of God indeed-a holy man-a growing, thriving Christian-and what was the secret of it all? He was one to whom Christ was "all in all". He was ever "looking unto Jesus". "I can do all things," he says, "through Christ which strengtheneth me." "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God". Let us go and do likewise (Heb. 12:2; Phl. 4:13; Gal. 2:20).

May all who read these pages 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 be holy years with our souls, and then they will be happy ones! Whether we live, may we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, may we die unto the Lord; or if He comes for us, may we be found in peace, without spot, and blameless!

To: Spurgeon's Sermons

This file was printed as a special augmentation of the Bath Road Baptist Church series of Spurgeon Sermons from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. Files of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit are provided to ICLnet and the internet community by the Bath Road Baptist Church, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The sermons are available in booklet form at the following address. There is no charge for this service:
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let no man beguile you

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#5122
Feb 8, 2013
 
The Apostle gives us this warning, "Let no man beguile you of your reward," reminding us that these persons are very likely to beguile us. They will beguile us by their character. Have I not often heard young people say of such and such a preacher who preaches error, "But he is so good a man." That is nothing to the point. "Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." If the life of the man should be blameless as the life of Christ, yet if he preach to you other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, take no heed of him; he weareth but the sheep's clothing, and is a wolf after all. Some will plead, "But such and such a man is so eloquent." Ah! brethren, may the day never come when your faith shall stand in the words of men. What is a ready orator, after all, that he should convince your hearts? Are there not ready orators caught any day for everything? Men speak, speak fluently, and speak well in the cause of evil, and there are some that can speak much more fluently and more eloquently for evil than any of our poor tongues are ever likely to do for the right. But words, words, words, flowers of rhetoric, oratory--are these the things that saved you? Are ye so foolish that having begun in the spirit by being convinced of your sins, having begun by being led simply to Christ, and putting your trust in him--are you now to be led astray by these poetic utterances and flowery periods of men? God forbid! Let nothing of this kind beguile you.

Then there will be added to these remarks that the man is not only very good and very eloquent, but that he is very earnest--he seems very humble-minded. Yes, and of old they wore rough garments to deceive, and in the connection of the text we find that those persons were noted for their voluntary humility and their worship of angels. Satan knows very well that if he comes in black he will be discovered, but if he puts on the garb of an angel of light, then men will think he comes from God, and so will be deceived. "By their fruits ye shall know them." If they give you not the gospel, if they exalt not Christ, if they bear not witness to salvation through the precious blood, if they do not lift up Jesus Christ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, have nothing to do with them, speak as they may. "Let no man beguile you of your reward." Though it should happen to be your relative, one whom you love, one who may have many claims on your respect otherwise--let no man, let no man, however plausible may be his speech, or eminent his character, beguile you of your reward.

Recollect, you professors, you lose the reward if you lose the road to the reward. He that runs may run very fast, but if he does not run in the course, he wins not the prize. You may believe false doctrine with great earnestness, but you will find it false for all that. You may give yourself up indefatigably to the pursuit of the wrong religion, but it will ruin your souls. A notion is abroad that if you are but earnest and sincere, you will be all right. Permit me to remind you that if you travel never so earnestly to the north, you will never reach the south, and if you earnestly take prussic acid you will die, and if you earnestly cut off a limb you will be wounded. You must not only be earnest, but you must be right in it. Hence is it necessary to say, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." "I bear them witness," said the Apostle, "that they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, but went about to establish their own righteousness, and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." Oh! may we not be beguiled, then, so as to miss the reward of heaven at the last!
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#5123
Feb 8, 2013
 
Let no man deprive you of the present comfort which your faith should bring to you. Let me just for a few minutes have your attention while I speak upon this. Dear brethren, you and I, if we are believers in Christ, are this day completely pardoned. There is no sin in God's book against us. We are wholly and completely justified. The righteousness of Jesus Christ covers us from head to foot, and we stand before God as if we had never sinned. Now let no man rob you of this reward. Do not be tempted by anything that is said to doubt the completeness of a believer in Christ. Hold this, and, as you hold it, enjoy it. Do not let the man, yourself, whom you have most to fear, beguile you. Even though conscience should upbraid you, and you should have many grave reasons for doubt, as you imagine, yet if you believe in Jesus, stand to it--"There is, therefore, now no condemnation to me, for I am in Christ Jesus; he that believeth on him is not condemned; I have believed,and I am not condemned, neither will he permit condemnation to be thundered against me, for Christ has borne my sin for me, and I am clear in him." Let no man beguile you of the reward of feeling that you are complete in Christ.

Further, you who have believed in Jesus Christ are safe in Christ. Because he lives, you shall live also. Who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? He has said, "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Now there are some who will tell you that you are not safe, and that it is dangerous for you to believe that you are. Let no man beguile you of this reward. You are saved. If you are believing on him, he will keep you, and you may sing, "Now unto him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before his presence with exceeding great joy, unto him be glory." Hold to that blessed truth that you are in Jesus--safe in Jesus Christ.

There is a third blessed truth, that not only are you pardoned and safe in Christ, but you are accepted at this moment, in the Beloved. Your acceptance with God does not rest upon anything in you. You are accepted because you are in Christ, accepted for Christ's sake. Now sometimes you will get robbed of this reward if you listen to the voice which says, "Why, there is sin in you still; your prayers are imperfect; your actions are stained." Yes, but let no man beguile you of this conviction that, sinner as you are, you are still accepted in Christ Jesus.

The Lord grant that you may feel this within, and let no man beguile you of your reward as long as you live. May you live and die in the enjoyment of it, beloved, for Christ's sake. Amen.
concerning holiness

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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#5124
Feb 8, 2013
 
What we are to do concerning holiness:

Submit to God.
Choose to stop sinning
Avoid the temptation to sin.
Accept the fact that we are responsible for out thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
Pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us grow in holiness and point out our sins.
Read the Bible to develop convictions about sin.
Make a disciplined plan to read the Bible, think about it, and apply what it says.
Fill our minds with good, pure, and praiseworthy things.
Obey God's will for us.
Not get discouraged over failures. Repent and keep going forward.

Some Bible Verses about Holy Living
Hebrews 12:14
Ephesians 4:30
1 Thessalonians 4:7
Titus 2:11-12
Psalm 15:1-5
Psalm 32:3-4
Isaiah 64:6-7
Matthew 1:21
Matthew 7:21-23
1 Corinthians 1:2
2 Corinthians 5:17
Ephesians 1:4
James 2:14-26
1 John 3:2-5
Hebrews 12:14
2 Peter 3:14
Psalm 66:18
2 Timothy 2:21

“Mystical Atheism for everyone!”

Since: Nov 08

El Cerrito California

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#5125
Feb 8, 2013
 
peace to Israel wrote:
why should we invoke the names of God in prayer??
because....
-God's name is majestic-
-there is power in God's name-
-invoking God's name brings blessings-
-there is protection in the name of the Lord-
etc
etc
The GOD of the Hebrew Scriptures, the GOD accepted by Judaism and logically the GOD accepted by the historical Jesus, is OMNIPRESENT.
In Israel it was the tradition to name someone according to their attributes, a brief description of the person, much like some native American tribes would do.
Now how do you name an OMNIPRESENT GOD?
Here is how the OMNIPRESENT GOD did it in the only instance in the entire Hebrew Scriptures where GOD specifically reveals his name. When asked by Moses on Mount Sinai what his name was, here is what he said:
Exodus 3:13-15 (King James Version)
"13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."
That's it. "I AM THAT I AM", the only logical phrase that can describe an omnipresent GOD that contains everything!
a name is just a pointer. Many superstitious people through the years gave the name of GOD magical powers. The problem is that focusing on the belief that the name has magical powers detracts from the reality that the name points towards and the obsession itself becomes a false god.
An example of the folly of having a word that is claimed to be the name of GOD that gives the user magical powers is the erroneous hybrid error made in 1270 by a Roman Catholic monk trying to ascertain the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton. Believing the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton had been accomplished with the creation of the word "jehovah", this word was adopted by many for various occult reasons.
Today we have one religion, the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses that has to defend this error as it is the foundation of their church and to admit it was an error would destroy the church!
The ironic thing is that all of these people thought they had the magic word that would give them power over others, but all that they had was a Hebrew word that means in English, "god of mischief"!
Names are relative, GOD is ABSOLUTE!
GOD is LOVE. WE are ALL ONE WITH GOD, even the unloving!
concerning holiness

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#5126
Feb 8, 2013
 
All Turned to Holiness

by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)---New Window
"'In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The LORD'(Zechariah 14:20).

Happy day when all things shall be consecrated, and the horses' bells shall ring out holiness to the LORD! That day has come to me. Do I not make all things holy to God? These garments, when I put them on or take them off, shall they not remind me of the righteousness of Christ Jesus my LORD? Shall not my work be done as unto the LORD? Oh, that today my clothes may be vestments, my meals sacraments, my house a temple, my table an altar, my speech incense, and myself a priest! LORD, fulfill Thy promise, and let nothing be to me common or unclean.

Let me in faith expect this. Believing it to be so, I shall be helped to make it so. As I myself am the property of Jesus, my LORD may take an inventory of all I have, for it is altogether His own; and I resolve to prove it to be so by the use to which I put it this day. From morning till evening I would order all things by a happy and holy rule. My bells shall ring -- why should they not? Even my horses shall have bells -- who has such a right to music as the saints have? But all my bells, my music, my mirth, shall be turned to holiness and shall ring out the name of 'the happy God.'" -- excerpt from "Faith's Checkbook" ---New Window by C. H. Spurgeon. SEE TODAY'S ENTRY ---New Window.

Holiness beautifies the LORD. Obedience magnifies His Righteousness. The LORD's people, powerfully transformed by the Spirit of His Word, are a beautiful reflection of His Holiness.
concerning holiness

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#5128
Feb 8, 2013
 
Jesus told His disciples about this fiery judgment of believers numerous times. Here's one of those times of which most of us are familiar.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life [psuche = soul] shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE MEN ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matthew 16:24-28).

What was Jesus teaching His disciples? The Day of Judgment was clearly in His mind. Apparently the practice of holiness now impacts what occurs at the judgment. What strikes me about this passage is that the believer will lose his life! The New American Standard Version footnotes that the word life is the same word for soul. Jesus' words indicate that the soul/life has something to do with one's self. He'll either lose it now as he puts to death his selfish desires and self-ambitions by crucifying them daily, or he'll lose his soul when he comes to judgment before Jesus. The last sentence referring to those who shall not taste death was prophetic. I take it to mean that some won't put the deeds of the flesh to death until the Day of Judgment when the fire of Jesus' Word consumes their selfish souls. When that occurs, there will be no profit to their carnal living. On the other hand, those who put to death the deeds of the flesh by taking up their crosses daily will profit greatly: they will find their lives!
concerning holiness

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#5129
Feb 8, 2013
 
Die now or die later.

The apostle Paul affirmed this teaching about dying to ourselves now in this life. Writing to the Romans, the apostle Paul encouraged them to live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. In Chapter 8 he affirmed that believers cannot be "in the flesh" but are "in the Spirit" when he wrote,
"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness (Romans 8:9-10)."
If Christ is in you, then your eternal destiny is secure; there is no condemnation, and you belong to Christ. But as Paul continued he warned them not to live unholy lives according to the flesh. If they did, they would die. Then he encouraged them with the reward of holy living: they would live.
"So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Romans 8:12-14)."
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "I die daily." To the Galatians he penned, "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Later he warned believers, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8). The bottom line is this: die to self now or die to self when Jesus comes! If you are a believer in Christ, sin must be judged, and you must be separated (made holy) from it. He has separated you from sin positionally by virtue of your union with Him in His death. Now it is to be worked out daily in real life resulting in holiness or what is often called sanctification.
Paul taught of a judgment of fire for careless believers.
"For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-13, 15)."
concerning holiness

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#5131
Feb 8, 2013
 
-------Why? Because a Day awaits us all when we will stand again with those to whom God called us. On that Day, with Jesus as our Guide and Judge, our words and actions in every encounter in each relationship will be seen in truth. Loss or gain will be assigned. Grief or joy will be experienced. What we do today in our relationships with others matters now and will matter most in eternity.--------
concerning holiness

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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#5132
Feb 8, 2013
 
God is holy, Jesus the Christ is holy and the Holy Spirit is holy, the Holy Writ is holy and the gospel of Jesus Christ is holy. We as the church is called to live holy as He our master is holy!(1 Peter 1:16, Leviticus 19:2). Holiness is perfect and complete or absolute only in God. He alone is in essence purely holy and He alone birthed or brought about holiness. Yet God imparts upon those whom He chooses (Exodus 33:19, Romans 9:15) holiness and righteousness. God has chosen in this New Covenant to impart His righteousness on the Church specifically the saved (Galatians 2:16). God righteousness is Him declaring us in "right" standing with Him through the redeeming work of Jesus the Holy Christ. Yet holiness is commanded by God despite Him declaring us righteous. Holiness is not legalism or self righteousness or religious piety it is a heart centered on serving Jesus as slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). Thus our conduct, matches our confession, our talk matches our walk and our possession matches our profession. For if a holy God dwells on the inside of you then holiness will show out of you. For Jesus declared that "what is in a man will come out of him" (Luke 6:45). As Christians though still being human can not meet this high command of God to live and be holy in our own means. For no man is righteous (Romans 3:10) and man's righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Thus God sends a comforter and a power agent to help us in holy walk (Acts 1:8) this comforter is the Holy Spirit. Look at the name the Holy Spirit is holy and thus He is the perfect agent to work God's sanctification process in us. For it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us and presents us faultless (Jude 1:24). As believers there is no excuse for us not to live holy and progress in sanctification because we have the aid of the Holy Ghost.
concerning holiness

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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#5133
Feb 8, 2013
 
Thus the command of God is repeated in the New Testament for the ecclesia the chosen people of God, the church to live holy. 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.". There is no way around it and for those that refuse to live holy or progress in sanctification and thus continue in sin then grace is rendered useless and thus they are overturned in a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). And those lukewarm and worldy professors of Christ will be spewed out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). The Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells the church to expel the immoral brother (1 Corinthians 5:13). Now this is not a command to kick out those that slip and fall into sin for He also declares in Galatians 6:1 that them that are spiritual should restore the brothers that fall. But this command to expel were for those that blatantly and proudly professed CHrist and lived like the devil. God hold the church at a high standard and thus their lives should be lived at that standard. We are a pecuilar people (1 Peter 2:9). Thus as priests and chosen people of God we can not do everything the world does for we have been changed. Therefore we are to "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." ( 2 Corinthians 6:17-18). Now this does not mean not to communicate and work with unbelievers but when we do we should be different and holy in our conduct and actions for Chris the Holy master has redeemed us from the world and being on our way to Hell! Yet if we profess Christ then continue in sin we forfeit our salvation and thus receive Hell as our destined place. For God demands His people to "Follow peace with all men and live holy, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Isaiah 35:8 "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it." Holiness is the perfect form of freedom for those redeemed and saved by the blood of Jesus. In conclusion, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them:'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy." (Leviticus 19:2) "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12) and Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy." (Revelation 22:11).
Abundant Blessings,

UHCAIan

"Thou art the CHRIST, the Son of the Living God!"--Matthew 16:16

the LORD God of Heaven's Armies, the LORD is his name!(Hosea 12:5)

"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."--Isaiah 50:4

Dabar YHWH/Exosuia for the saints of God/Holiness & Pentecost for the follower, Holy Spirit for the disciple, Jesus for the saved!
sanctify holiness

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#5134
Feb 8, 2013
 
SANCTIFICATION AND HOLINESS

"To the Church of God...those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus," 1 Cor. 1:2

Introduction

An 'Apostolic Faith' newspaper published in 1906 explained,: "Baptism in the Holy Ghost is not a work of grace but a gift of power. Sanctification is the second and last work of grace. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a free gift without repentance needing no consecration. Consecration is all made in sanctification."

It is clear from the writings of the time of the 'move of God' at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, at the beginning of the twentieth century, that 'sanctification' was a well established doctrine. Denominations based upon 'holiness doctrine' had already been formed before the Church began to recover the scriptural reality of being 'baptised in the Holy Spirit.' Many, so called "Holiness Churches" could bee found. Whether or not the doctrine of that time was altogether correct, today it is much more difficult to find such an emphasis on holiness amongst the denominations. Additionally, the moral decline in Society has made 'immoral behaviour' normal; so much so, in fact that many Christians consider that they too can depart from God's standards, as if this will not have any consequences for them. The 'standard' needs to be raised once more, reminding us that God is still declaring to men that "all everywhere should repent", and forewarning us because He has a fixed day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead," (Acts 17:30 & 31).

In recent years moral standards have plummeted to such an extent that it now seems 'acceptable' to Christian and non-Christian alike to do just as they please - and not as God pleases! Many are confused even about their own sexuality; "anything goes" as the Twenty First Century begins! It has reached the point where even Christians who have a high moral standard are frowned upon as being somehow abnormal and come under much the pressure to join the 'way of the world.'

If we try in our own strength to do what is 'right' we often fail, but if we have accepted Jesus to be first in our lives - in every area of our lives - knowing in our hearts what is right and walking in it, we will know we are doing what is right in God's eyes and our own too. This walk is a daily one and sometimes we are tempted, but if we have that inner strength it is possible to stay firm.

It is difficult these days, particularly for young people, as immoral behaviour is condoned in much that is on television or on the cinema screens. Filth is dressed up as comedy or drama, and is accepted as normal practice. It is so sad to see the deprivation and ruination of so many lives which this causes.

So it is against this 'backdrop' that this booklet is being written. Its aim is not just to uphold 'holiness', but also to try and explain how Jesus has made the 'way' for us to walk in it - by His Spirit, because if we try to comply with the letter of the law ourselves we cannot succeed.

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