Holiness (1)

  • Holiness is not a prerequisite for God to have a relationship with you. I have used this statement many times when teaching or preaching in person. Right there with that statement I can tell where people are in their belief system regarding the great grace of God that makes us holy. I simply observe their faces and gestures. Besides, it is not possible for you to do anything works oriented to become holy. All the obedience and discipline you can muster under your own strength will not bring you to holiness.

    Well, what’s the answer then? How do I get to holiness? If you will receive what’s in this study, you will be set free from trying to DO anything to try and become holy. Instead you’ll understand that it is God through the finished work of Jesus who is making you holy.

    There will be an overwhelming amount of scripture used in this study and yet there will be those who will read it, see it, agree with the scriptures, but will reject it out of hand, because it doesn’t have any performance associated with being holy.

    The problem is most people do not let the Truth of scripture get in the way of what they believe. They have been incorrectly taught in the past, so when Truth is presented to them they fall back to their old belief of what tradition has incorrectly taught them.

    Christianity is not about following some set of ethics. It is not about trying to always live up to some set of standards. People simply cannot get past that truth. Usually these standards or rules are set by others based on tradition and false teaching.

    What happens with that mind set is they get so caught up in a system of reward and punishment that they miss the simple relationship He wants with them. Let me say this very clear. We are not changed by the promises we make to God. We are changed by the promises He has made to us. God does not bless us based on our performance. He blesses us based on His promises.

    John 8:32 says “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall MAKE you free”. So, if the knowledge of the truth MAKES us free, then it’s error that binds us. Truth that is not experienced is no better than error. People are not necessarily in error. Many times they are victims of their failures to experience the truth they hear or are taught. They choose to reject it out of hand due to wrong believing.

    So where does all the confusion come concerning this thing called holiness? Well, here’s one place where religion has once again taken scripture and built a religious demand or dogma from it without studying what it says or even using logic to come to the appropriate conclusion.

    1 Peter 1:15 reads “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation”. Now it’s followed up by verse 16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”. What does that really mean? What is it saying?

    On the surface it would look like it is a command that is demanding all the effort you can dig up to DO what is necessary to become holy. But quit reading the scripture and instead study it. Look closely. As I’ve stated before. It is the little words that we pass over that get us in trouble.

    “So be ye holy”. “Be ye holy; for I am holy”. Do you notice the word BE. It is not the word DO. Then look again where it says “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy”. If you remember anything from English class, you know that the word as is a simile for the word like.

    Now put that in context. Be holy just like God is holy. Well, how is God holy? Not by trying. Not by doing. Not by struggling. HE JUST IS HOLY. That’s how we are to BE holy.

    So now lets look at the numerous scriptures that prove we are holy and it is Him making us holy. Buckle your spiritual seat belts, because we are about to destroy some sacred cows and cut off the head of some more pet snakes. If you will receive this truth, you will be set free from the bondage of trying to work so hard to get holy.

    Romans 1:7. “I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people”.

    Called to be His what? Holy people. When you call someone and invite them to your house for a meal, you don’t put some demands on them to perform in a certain way in order to earn that meal. All they are required to do is accept your invitation, show up at your house and simply receive your wonderful gift of hospitality. It’s no different with God. Just study Romans 5:17. The operative word in that scripture is receive.

    Romans 11:16. “And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be too”.

    I could comment on every line of this scripture, but lets just focus on the last sentence. If the roots or vines of the tree are holy, the branches will be too. Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches. Are you seeing this. It’s a declaration that we are holy. Go back to the first statement in this scripture. If Abraham is holy, and we are the descendants and heirs of Abraham, then we are holy.

    With that last statement about being descendants or the seed of Abraham, I have gotten push back from the religious crowd who would say we are not heirs of Abraham. Well someone better tell God then, because He said we were. Where does it say that? Right here. Galatians 3:29 - "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Now add the statement in Romans 11:16 from above - “And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy". If we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise, then we are descendants of Abraham. And since Abraham was holy, we are holy. Not convinced? Then add this one.

    Romans 8:17 - "And if children, then heirsheirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Did you see that? Joint heirs with Christ. Now look again at Galatians 3:29 - ""And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed...." Are you getting it? With just these verses you can take them in any order and they step you right through to the conclusion that we are the seed of Abraham and descendants. Hence, we are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus. From that we are declared holy, because Jesus was holy and Abraham was holy. Come on. These are rich nuggets of truth just waiting for us to find.

    Hang on. There’s much more. It just keeps getting worse for those who believe holiness is achieved by some performance on their part. I know some of you are having a problem with this, but when we get done you will have a mountain of evidence supported by scripture to say without the fear of contradiction that you are holy.

    Romans 15:16. “I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit”.

    Did you see that? MADE holy by the Holy Spirit. I mean, God was so intent on us resting in what He was doing that He sent out the big guns. Jesus, the blood of the covenant (as you’ll see later in this study), and the Holy Spirit. Come on.

    1 Corinthians 1:2. “I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours”.

    There it is again. He MADE you holy by Christ Jesus. Who is the scripture talking about? The religious crowd will read only the first part of this scripture where it says “I am writing to God’s church in Corinth”. So, it can’t be talking about us. Keep reading. It says “All people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” All means all. That includes you and me.

    1 Corinthians 1:30. “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin”.

    Who is doing all the work here? Who made us right with God? Who made us pure and HOLY? Who freed us from sin? I’m sure you can find the answer to each of these questions, and it’s the same answer. Hint….it’s not you. Why did he do this? It’s right there in the scripture. “For our benefit”.

    Now we are just getting started. There is much more, but what I've given in this post so far is powerful truth about our holiness and that we are holy. The problem still remains in the "BEING" of that rather than in the "DOING" to try and be that. Don't miss part 2. Grace and Peace.

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  • Crystal Roden
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