Bible Holiness

This post is etched from a paper I am reading about holiness.

It is written by Edgar Painter Ellyson.

My hope is that this will help one of you reading to more completely understand this often misunderstood and neglected core element of Christianity.

Areas Italicized are my attempts to generalize the concepts and to help the reading flow.


But ye have not so learned Christ;

if so be that ye have heard him,

and have been taught by him,

as the truth is in Jesus:

that ye put off

concerning the former conversation the old man,

which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

and that ye put on the new man,

which after God

is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying,

speak every man truth with his neighbour:

for we are members one of another.

Be ye angry, and sin not:

let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

neither give place to the devil.

Let him that stole steal no more:

but rather let him labour,

working with his hands the thing which is good,

that he may have to give to him that needeth.

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.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger,

and clamour, and evil speaking,

be put away from you, with all malice:

and be ye kind one to another,

tenderhearted, forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

~ Ephesians 4:20-32


 The Bible is the book of Christianity. It is God’s revelation of truth to man.

It reveals God to man and man to himself. The Bible makes known to man his true nature, his moral condition and his need as they cannot be known without the Bible.

It reveals the fact of sin and of redemption that is otherwise undiscoverable by man.

It reveals inerrantly “the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation; so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined to the church or faith of believers.

Holiness is the only moral standard held in the Bible. It recognizes the fact of unholiness but gives to this only disapproval and condemnation.

The Bible offers no compromise with sin; its only offer is salvation from sin, and this results in holiness.


All men are religious and there are very many religions in the world. But there is only one true religion; all others are false religions.

These all have their holy places and things and persons, which express devotion to their gods. But a devotement to such gods is far from true holiness.

It may be a deep devotion and be manifested in great sacrifice, but it cannot be true holiness when it is devoted to a false god, to that which is not God.

True holiness is devotement to the true God and to His program. It is a condition of being set apart from the common, the secular, the worldly, the temporal, for the sacred.

One who is holy must still have to do with the temporal and secular but he is no longer of the world; he is in the world but not of it; he does not belong to the common herd.

He has a citizenship at present in this world, but his chief citizenship is in heaven; One is his master, even Christ.


Holiness is a Moral Term


Holiness being devotement to God, and He being a moral person, holiness must have moral values. True holiness is freedom from sin.

Webster’s definition: Spiritually whole or sound; unimpaired innocency and virtue, free from sinful affections, pure in heart, guiltless.


God hath not called us unto uncleanness,

but unto holiness

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:7


Holiness is the absence of moral uncleanness; it is moral purity. True holiness then may be quite simply defined as devotement to God and freedom from sin.

In verse 22 above, true holiness is negative, is subtraction, is elimination, is eradication.


That ye put off concerning the former conversation


Concerning the life you have been living, your natural inherited nature, “the old man,” your inherited Adamic nature, “which is corrupt” through the fall.

This calls for forgiveness and cleansing and a changed moral nature. Sin has once changed this nature from holiness, and grace can change it back again to holiness.


In verses 23, 24, holiness is positive, something received, something that one is really made by divine grace.


Be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

that ye put on the new man,

which after God is created in righteousness,


. . . being born of and baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is the Christlike which is the state of true holiness. It is a state of rightness with God and with man, of purity of heart and of blameless behavior.

It is not faultless, not freedom from temptation or mistake, not perfection of thought and action, but blameless as to motive, and pure in heart.

It is not sinless as judged under the law, but is free from guilt as judged under grace; all guilt and pollution are gone.

Holiness is an inward condition or state which manifests itself in certain characteristics of living so it may be known by its fruit.

In verse 25, they that are holy, “put away lying,” they put away the false, the deceptive, the hypocritical, and . . .


speak every man truth with his neighbour.


They are genuine and dependable. They recognize their membership in the neighborhood group, that “we are members one of another” and must not misrepresent or in any way injure the others by our speaking.

They may sometimes be mistaken and that which they speak may on this account not be the truth, but they do not lie because they are sincere in believing that what they are saying is the truth.

If they discover their mistake they immediately correct it.


In verse 26, holiness destroys none of the normal faculties nor does it interfere with their normal functioning.

These faculties were given to us in the divine creation for our benefit; they are essential to the present life, and their normal and legitimate gratification is helpful to life at its best.

These are all to be used but holiness calls for their functioning without sin.


Be ye angry, and sin not.


Have a keen displeasure and disapproval of evil with no wrong feeling toward the person doing the evil. So are we to have affection and sin not, to have joy and sin not, to serve with our hands and sin not.


Verse 27 states that Satan is opposed to God and to holiness, and he seeks to destroy holiness.

He is the enemy of man’s highest interests and ever seeks to prevent his becoming holy. To become holy and to maintain holiness one must resist all of the attacks of Satan.


Neither give place to the devil.


Resistance is always the attitude of holiness to the temptations from the devil.


In Verse 28, he who is holy will not knowingly take that which does not belong, to him, that to which he has no right.


Let him that stole steal no more.


He will carefully respect the property rights of others. He will not feel that the world owes him a living and must give it to him.

He will not be a beggar or a charity sponge calling for dole. If he is able he will work


with his hands the thing, which is good


 and earn his own honest living, and then go beyond


that he may have to give to him that needeth.


He prefers giving to, rather than receiving from, charity.

In verse 30, the life of holiness must be lived under the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit; no man is sufficient of himself. He is our keeper.

Therefore the one who has been made holy will have great carefulness against displeasing the Holy Spirit and breaking the fellowship with Him.


Grieve not the holy Spirit of God,

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


The life of holiness is a life wholly under the mastery of the Spirit, a life of obedience to His leading.


Verses 31, 32 states that holiness calls for right attitudes toward other persons. It feels kindly toward and treats others with consideration.

It holds no grudges and forgives freely


even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


Holiness is a Religious Term


Holiness has a distinctly religious meaning. Religion is man’s belief in God, his attitude toward and experience of God; it is faith, devotion, worship and service on this level.

Webster defines holiness as, “set apart to the service and worship of God; hallowed; sacred; reserved from the profane to the sacred and to God and His service.”

It is full devotion to God, loving God with all the human powers, life fully devoted to the fellowship and service of God.

True holiness is devotement to the true God and to His program.

It is a condition of being set apart from the common, the secular, the worldly, the temporal, for the sacred.

One who is holy must still have to do with the temporal and secular but he is no longer of the world; he is in the world but not of it; he does not belong to the common herd.

He has a citizenship at present in this world, but his chief citizenship is in heaven; One is his master, even Christ. 


Reading about holiness in the Bible carries my love of God to greater heights.

I hope it does for you too.


Israel’s Faithfulness Recalled


Our God’s Desires Revealed


Shortly before Israel was destroyed and taken captive by King Nebakanezer of Babylon, God wanted to show His people what He really wanted;

their love.


He raised up Jeremiah to go to the people and remind them of His love for them and how His heart was broken.

God wanted Jeremiah to tell the people of Israel that all was not lost in spite of their long history of sin and rebellion.

The first words Jeremiah was given to speak were:


Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem,

saying,

Thus sayeth the Lord;

I remember thee,

the kindness of thy youth,

the love of thine espousals,

when thou wentest after me

in the wilderness,

in a land that was not sewn.

Israel was holiness unto the LORD,

and the firstfruits of his increase:

~ Jeremiah 2:2-3 a


This is one of the most beautiful and sad expressions of God’s love toward us (the children of the promise) ever written.

God also included those who would not inherit the promise because His love extends to all but especially to those who believe.


That is why we labor and strive,

because we have put our hope in the living God,

who is the Savior of all people,

and especially of those who believe.

~ 1 Timothy 4:10


The Lord gave us a rare glimpse into His heart and how we, as His children, hurt Him so, when we chose to walk in sin and rebellion rather than submerge our lives into His waters of refreshing and enduring love.

When we as Christians sin, we grieve the heart of God and trample upon the blood of the Captain of our salvation.

He came to set us free, yet so many of us remain in the bondage of iniquity.

Israel’s glorious deliverance did not last long because they soon fell, in the Wilderness of Sin. It was their unbelief and doubt in the sufficiency of God that caused them to backslide.

Do you believe God can meet all of your needs and keep you from that which separates us from Him? He promises to keep us from falling into temptation that leads to sin if we faithfully believe.

In 1 Corinthians 10, the context of Jeremiah’s message is captured beautifully.
It shows that after repentance, not only are we not to fall back into sin:

but there is also no excuse if we do and we will be subject to the consequences of God not being pleased with us if we continue to do wickedness.

God loves us too much to give His children back over to sin after He died and set them free from it. 


For I do not want you to be unaware,

brethren,

that our fathers were all under the cloud

and all passed through the sea;

and all were baptized into Moses

in the cloud and in the sea;

and all ate the same spiritual food;

and all drank the same spiritual drink,

for they were drinking from a spiritual rock

which followed them;

and the rock was Christ.

Nevertheless,

with most of them God was not well-pleased;

for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened

as examples for us,

so that we would not crave

evil things as they also craved.

Do not be idolaters,

as some of them were;

as it is written,

“The PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK,

AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”

Nor let us act immorally,

as some of them did,

and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

Nor let us try the Lord,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the serpents.

Nor grumble,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Now these things happened to them

as an example,

and they were written for our instruction,

upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Therefore,

let him who thinks he stands

take heed lest he fall.

No temptation has overtaken you

but such as is common to man;

and God is faithful,

who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation

will provide the way of escape,

so that you will be able to endure it.

 Therefore, my beloved,

flee from idolatry.

I speak as to wise men;

you judge what I say.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-15


If we are baptized into Jesus’ death and born anew by His life giving Holy Spirit, we are given a way to endure any and all temptation that leads to sin.

We don’t need sin, we need God.


And God is able to bless you abundantly,

so that in all things at all times,

having all that you need,

you will abound in every good work.

~ 2 Corinthians 9:8


We must remain fully consecrated to what God wants to work mightily in us.

It is free and it is real if only we seek and believe with all our heart and DO NOT DOUBT.


if any of you lacks wisdom,

let him ask of God,

who gives to all generously

and without reproach,

and it will be given to him.

But he must ask in faith

without any doubting,

for the one who doubts

is like the surf of the sea,

driven and tossed by the wind.

For that man ought not to expect

that he will receive anything from the Lord,

being a double-minded man,

unstable in all his ways.

~ James 1:5-8


The following is one of the most beautiful of all prayers Paul made for us that describes the power that God wants to imbue in us.


That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory,

may give unto you the spirit of wisdom

and revelation

in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;

that ye may know

what is the hope of his calling,

and what the riches of the glory

of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness

of his power to us-ward who believe,

according to the working of his mighty power,

Which he wrought in Christ,

when he raised him from the dead,

and set him at his own right hand

in the heavenly places,

Far above all principality, and power,

and might, and dominion,

and every name that is named,

not only in this world,

but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet,

and gave him to be the head

over all things to the church,

Which is his body,

the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

~ Ephesians 1:17-23


Here we are told unequivocally that God can and does give to us all the power we need to serve Him in holiness and righteousness and not in sin.


When considering the our bridegroom, in Jeremiah 2:2-3, and the passages above, we can know and do exactly what He wants.


He wants us to remember the kindness, fidelity, innocence, and beauty that we experienced when we first experienced His wonderful work of salvation.

He wants us to continue to chase after him and grab hold of Him with the love of an innocent child. 


My Prayer for You


 

Let us completely rely on His grace, believing with all our hearts, that drinking in His purifying love will keep us spotless and unblemished, blameless and pure, innocent and whole; through all that parched and dark wilderness this world of sin and death can bring.


Ask God to Help You


He wants us all to be beautiful, enduring, and fruitful branches happily growing out of the riches of His living waters that spring from his Vine of eternal love.

Jeremiah’s Life, our Calling


Jeremiah’s Initiation


Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;

and before thou camest forth out of the womb

I sanctified thee,

and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold,

I cannot speak: for I am a child.

But the LORD said unto me,

Say not, I am a child:

for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee,

and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

Be not afraid of their faces:

for I am with thee to deliver thee,

saith the LORD.

~ Jeremiah 1:4-8


Scriptural Calling


There are seven inseparable parts in the Lord’s calling on Jeremiah.  

Every part is a needful element, primary to the central idea that is the fullness of Christ in the beauty of the calling that is Christianity.


It is for all,

who have been enlightened,

and have tasted the heavenly gift,

and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost;

And have tasted the good word of God,

and the powers of the world to come.

~ Hebrews 6:4-5


In an earlier post, I stated that we are called to be saints, to walk in faithful obedience, according to all the biblical principles taught by Jesus and His apostles.


The Old Testament supplies us with ensamples and valuable lessons in which we can draw continued inspiration.

The book of Jeremiah is not without its value.


 

The only thing the early church had in written form was the O.T.

Later, many in the church were blessed with letters written and circulated by our apostolic fathers.

We would be wise to incorporate as much as we can from the O.T. in light of N.T. revelation to complement and develop our understanding and calling in Christ Jesus. 

Jeremiah’s call may be unique to Him but the general tenor and purpose is the same for all who are in Christ Jesus.

In a nutshell, our calling is to allow His purifying love to work in and through us according to His goodness and mercy.


Unto the church of God . . .

to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,

called to be saints,

with all that in every place

call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

~ 1 Corinthians 1:2

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Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, 

By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith . . .

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God,

called to be saints:

~ Romans 1:3, 5, 7


One Life, one Calling 


Below are the seven parts to God’s calling of the Prophet Jeremiah described briefly and applied to those obedient to the Calling of Jesus. 


1.  “Before I formed thee in the belly, “I knew thee.”

Before the foundations of the world, all of humanity was foreknown to God and the plan of salvation was already chosen in Jesus Christ.

We all have a unique and genuine calling to be sanctified, pure, obedient, and blameless before the Lord. It is a merciful and glorious restoration God created before of the fall of man so long ago.

He came down to lift us up. We dare not neglect so great a salvation.

For He was foreknown

before the foundation of the world,

but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.

~ 1 Peter 1:20

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According as he hath chosen us in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy and without blame

before him in love:

~ Ephesians 1:4

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More importantly, God wants to know us now, in a living, dynamic, and active way. This requires complete submission; giving our utmost to His Highest.

It is a willful act of our own volition. God provides everything we need, but we must humble accept all He has to offer in order to be obedient in Him. 


2. Before thou camest forth out of the womb“I sanctified thee.”

To be filled with all the fulness of God is the product or goal of sanctification in the life of a Christian. 

What was meant in this context signified was that Jeremiah was completely separated to God. He was severed from any and all earthy or common use and entirely dedicated to God’s service.

Sanctified also means to make holy or pure. In the Christian life, entering into this blessing of grace is part of our calling and a precious gift of love untold.

Interestingly, Jeremiah began to appreciate his calling at the tender age of 17. He was to stand before kings and princes . . . what a high and difficult calling indeed.

His consecration was such that Jeremiah did not marry or have children, for judgment was at hand. This is not unlike the 144,000 Jews set apart during the impending Judgment at the Great Tribulation.

Another interesting fact is the Jeremiah bought a field in Anathoth, his home town, as a symbol of God’s redemption, mercy, and grace.

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

Take these documents,

both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase,

and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.

For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.

~ Jeremiah 32:14-15


An important element of our calling in Christ is sanctification: a life of consecration and holiness unto the Lord.

We are not to participate or take part in any sin or behavior that is not becoming of a saint.

Know ye not that the unrighteous

shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived:

neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,

nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,

nor revilers, nor extortioners,

shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you:

but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified,

but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,

and by the Spirit of our God.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Like Jeremiah, we are become dead to sin and this world and dwell in the fulness  of righteousness that is Christ.

We have been set free from sin, set apart, and are dedicated to serve God and God alone.

Our calling is holy and high indeed.


3. “I ordained thee” a prophet unto the nations.

Jeremiah was called to be an envoy, an ambassador of the LORD. Like the Apostle Paul, an ambassador of Christ, we are called according to His purpose:

For those whom He foreknew,

He also predestined to become conformed

to the image of His Son,

so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

and these whom He predestined, He also called;

and these whom He called, He also justified;

and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

~ Romans 8:28-30

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Jeremiah’s calling was sure. He was to bring the message of repentance to Israel or they would face a horrible destruction as an idolatrous nation who chose to serve sin.

He was to suffer vicariously as he watched their suffering and demise. He wept, recorded, and pleaded with God for mercy and justice. 

We too are called to preach repentance, justification, and mercy as we watch with sadness an apathetic world dull of God, disregarding their calling, and given over to the delusion that is sin.

Many are on the broad road to destruction because they are hearers of the word and not doers.

But prove yourselves doers of the word,

and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

~ James 1:22

We are ordained to speak the truth in love and walk in the righteousness the Gospel brings.

For my mouth shall speak truth;

and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

 ~ Proverb 8:7

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How then shall they call on him

in whom they have not believed?

and how shall they believe in him

of whom they have not heard?

and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

as it is written,

How beautiful are the feet of them

that preach the gospel of peace,

and bring glad tidings of good things!

~ Romans 10:14-15

————-

Your calling may not to be a preacher. Nevertheless, we are to be ready always to act toward others in the spirit of truth, kindness, and holiness.

to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed

~ Titus 3:1

————-

Let your speech be alway with grace,

seasoned with salt,

that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

~ Colossians 4:6

————-

To do good works and to know what those works are: 

For we are God’s handiwork,

created in Christ Jesus to do good works,

which God prepared in advance for us to do.

~ Ephesians 2:10

————-

Who is wise and understanding among you?

Let them show it by their good life,

by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

~ James 3:13

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As obedient children,

do not be conformed to the former lusts

which were yours in your ignorance,

but like the Holy One who called you,

be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

~ 1 Peter 1:14-15

Please refer to this post regarding the importance, definition, and character of one’s calling in Christ Jesus.


4. for thou shalt go to all that “I shall send thee,”

Yea; have ye never read,

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings

thou hast perfected praise?

~ Matthew 21:16

————-

Jeremiah complained that he was still a youth and intimated his inability but God reassured him with the last three elements of his calling listed below.

Jeremiah was truly weak and he knew it. He would also appear foolish to those (falsely) representing the elect of God’s nation. 

But God chose the foolish things of the world

to shame the wise;

God chose the weak things of the world

to shame the strong.

~ 1 Corinthians 1:27

————-

God expected complete submission from Jeremiah just like He expects complete submission of His will in our lives.

He was to go wherever, to whomever, and to do exactly as God directed. The devotion God required of Jeremiah was completely reasonable and we are expected to follow his example.

Therefore I urge you,

brethren, by the mercies of God,

to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,

acceptable to God,

which is your spiritual service of worship.

~ Romans 12:1

————-

We are called to worship God in spirit and truth. To disobey His calling or to live apart from holiness is to deny God of worship, and is unacceptable in His eyes.

But the hour cometh, and now is,

when the true worshippers

shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:

for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

~ John 4:23

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We (the Apostles) are from God.

Whoever knows God listens to us;

whoever is not from God does not listen to us.

By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

~ 1 John 4:6

Jeremiah was not known for being a Jonah. Jonah was an example of what not to do with God’s calling. 

Jonah was given much grace in his disobedience. We too are given such grace in the calling to sanctification and holiness. Seek God’s abiding love.

Give Him your whole existence.

Let Him overwhelm your spirit and life.

We have a much higher degree of responsibility than Jeremiah or Jonah because we have been given the complete oracles of God through the life of God the Son and the works of His apostles as found in the Bible. 

More importantly, if we are God’s children, we have the Spirit of truth abiding in us, who continually testifies of Jesus. 

But when the Comforter is come,

whom I will send unto you from the Father,

even the Spirit of truth,

which proceedeth from the Father,

he shall testify of me:

~ John 15:26


5. and “whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”

Jeremiah was to speak God’s message, not his own. God was going to teach him what to say and put words of truth into him.

This is how God has always worked in His prophets and how the Father worked in Jesus, and the apostles. We are to listen and obey just like the people of old were.

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But because of their disobedience, they were judged and suffered greatly. There are many degrees of suffering in this life and the next.

This post will not address that complexity but it is something to consider.

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Jeremiah was to simply be obedient to God and allow Him to work through him. This is exactly what we are suppose to do. The following segment of Scripture highlights this.

And when they had brought them,

they set them before the council:

and the high priest asked them, Saying,

Did not we straitly command you

that ye should not teach in this name?

and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine,

and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said,

We ought to obey God rather than men.

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,

whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

to Him hath God exalted with his right hand

to be a Prince and a Saviour,

for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

And we are his witnesses of these things;

and so is also the Holy Ghost,

whom God hath given to them that obey him.

~ Acts 5:27-32

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The Spirit living in us is to transform us in such a way that our obedience to Him in everything we do, “reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” ~ John 16:8

This is exactly what Jeremiah’s life and many prophets before him proved, often at the price of death. Unfortunately for us today, we are mainly concerned with how this can effect our livelyhood or place in this world.

God clearly states that if we value the world and our position in it to the point where we compromise any element of over the truth of God, and remain in this state, we will pass away because the love of God does not really dwell in us.

Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,

and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,

is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:

but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

~ 1 John 2:15-17

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6. “Be not afraid” of their faces: 

Jeremiah was commanded not to be afraid or fear man can do him in everything he did. We too are called to be approved by God by everything we do.

On that note, the command not to compromise our faith and to be completely obedient to the testifying Spirit of God is unquestionable.

We are not to fear what any man or institution can do to us. 

What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light;

and what you hear whispered in your ear,

proclaim upon the housetops.

“Do not fear those who kill the body

but are unable to kill the soul;

but rather fear Him who is able to destroy

both soul and body in hell.

~ Matthew 10-27-28

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But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake,

happy are ye:

and be not afraid of their terror,

neither be troubled;

~ 1 Peter 3:14

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And Moses said unto the people, Fear not:

for God is come to prove you,

and that his fear may be before your faces,

that ye sin not.

~ Exodus 20:20

————–

Therefore, brothers and sisters,

make every effort to be sure of your calling and election.

For by doing this you will never stumble into sin.

~ 2 Peter 1:10

We must follow the principles defined by God’s word and Spirit rather than the principles defined by the world. 

We often fall into deafening traps of silence when we fail to remain close to God. Te washing of the word, fellowship in prayer, praise by our worshipful life, and faithful obedience to His commandments renews His voice in us.

The renewal of faith obedience of God’s grace keeps us. And this saving faith produces fruit. Without which, our faith becomes dead for it produces not fruit (or works). 

With God working in us, His love begins to cast out fear because we no longer live in such a way that grieves his Spirit.

Namely, we are living in His love and not in our sin.

There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear involves punishment,

and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

~ 1 John 4:18

————-

If you have been perfected in love, the Spirit of God will attest this in your life. If He does not, continue in His love and strive to enter in to the rest approved by God.

Let us, therefore,

make every effort to enter that rest,

so that no one will perish

by following their (Israel’s) example of disobedience.

~ Hebrews 4:11

————-

There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear involves punishment,

and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

~ 1 John 4:18

————-

Finally, brothers, rejoice.

Aim for restoration, comfort one another,

agree with one another, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace will be with you.

~ 2 Corinthians 13:11

Do not bury what God has given you. Root out the things in your life that hide the word of God.

We are constantly given exhortations of peace and love by the disciples of Christ. This reflects the Holy Spirit’s testimony.

Let it be your testimony. Speak it openly without fear. Have faith and God will give it to you, if you abide in Him.

And the peace of God

that surpasses all understanding

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

~ Philippians 4:7 

7. for “I am with thee to deliver thee” saith the LORD.

This is the final and greatest element of God’s calling. He will deliver us from all that seeks to destroy us in this world. 

 This is the bigger picture. For sin is what caused us to fall and sin will keep us from Him.

Within deliverance is found the riches and beauty of God’s saving grace. 

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;

worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

~ Psalm 29:2

————-

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness:

fear before him, all the earth.

~ Psalm 96:9

————-

And your testimonies are very trustworthy;

holiness is fitting for your house,

Lord Jehovah, for the length of days!

~ Psalm 93:5

In this life, there is also suffering. Jeremiah suffered greatly watching the judgement of God come like a dry, burning wind upon His people. 

For a clear picture of this, please read the book of Lamentations. 

We too are called to suffer in this world. But fear not, in Christ we can overcome the world, if, we continue in His calling for our life.

By this we know that we love the children of God,

when we love God, and keep his commandments.

For this is the love of God,

that we keep his commandments:

and his commandments are not grievous.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:

and this is the victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith

~ 1 John 5:2:4

————-

To whom God would make known

what is the riches of the glory

of this mystery among the Gentiles;

which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Whom we preach, warning every man,

and teaching every man in all wisdom;

that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Whereunto I also labour,

striving according to his working,

which worketh in me mightily.

~ Colossians 1:26-29


John and Paul stated above that when we love God we will obey him even through the suffering and trials the world brings. His labors of Love permeate His calling in Christ Jesus.


Final Word


Let God have His complete work in you in order to present yourself perfect in Christ at His glorious coming.

This is your calling.

There is non other.

If you love me (part 1)


If ye love me, keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


I have found this subject to be so deep, so comprehensive, and so serious that I have been questioning myself whether or not I should write about it.

So much more has come to mind since clicking and saving the first draft. When a scripture moves me as much as this one does, there is no other choice than to explore it.

It is quite possible that this brief but concise statement given by Jesus encapsulates the entire Bible message of God to His children.


Please forgive me if I fall short in my attempt to describe this powerful and important message. Here is the introduction and my understanding why this brief and often overlooked phrase needs much deeper consideration.

Below is one of the many passages that shows why John 14:15 is one of the most critical verses in the Bible. Jesus is telling the Jewish authorities and those willing to listen indirectly why.


Biblical Times


The authorities of Jesus’ day were priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. Like our churches today, they did not agree on application of biblical content.

There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral law. Some overlap but we are speaking generally here. The commandments were also divided into greater and lesser laws.

The authorities were generally in agreement with the divisions of the greater and lesser laws but were divided about what was most important. 

One Pharisee, conversant in the law maliciously attempted to ensnare Jesus in order to discredit Him. He asked:


Master,

which is the great commandment in the law?


Jesus said unto him,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments

hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:36-40


Jesus did not answer the question by telling the crowd which one of the 613 laws was the most important. He answered by giving them two new commandments that encapsulate whole law and all the writings of the prophets.

This addition of two commandments as a clarification of the old laws are given to all who hear. This should speak volumes to us. Jesus was beginning to tell us how to live today. He was beginning to give us His new law the Law of Christ.

He basically told them, ‘the whole Bible is about what I am telling you right now’.  The Jews only had the Old Testament. Today, we have the whole the Bible. This truth of His law should be more clear than ever.

I am afraid that even with the benefits of technology and our ability to decipher scripture and how it all relates: Old Testament to New, in precise detail, we still are falling short.

We are without excuse if we choose to or remain ignorant of what Jesus meant by keeping His commandments. The apostles explained how the church is to function corporately, individually, what the law of Christ is.

Before anyone thinks that, “We are not under the law.” I realize this. I am trying to understand how Jesus, the prophets, and Apostles relate this. Please bare with me as I seek to understand His law and its whole application to our life.

The O.T. supports and provides invaluable details and historical structure to N.T. doctrine. This is why understanding John 14:15 is so important.

It not only speaks of the entire schema* of love as revealed in scripture but specifies what of Jesus’ commandments must be followed in order to demonstrate that love.


The Church Today


We have the same thing happening today that occurred back then. Bishops, pastors, and teachers feed us what they believe is relevant based upon theological frameworks and discredit those who disagree. 

Because of this, some Biblical truths or commands may be glossed over or completely disregarded by many sincere followers of Jesus (examples: Ephesians 4:8).

The Bible says that, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

So we cannot neglect one word. Our biblical goal is unity in love of Jesus and His truth, the entire truth.


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!

~ Psalm 133:1


We are not instructed to live in unity with the world but we are instructed to live in unity with the church. This is not an ecumenical bring all denominations together type of unity but a biblical loving our neighbor in Christ type of unity. (more on this later)


I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy

of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

with all lowliness and meekness,

with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

endeavouring to keep

the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit,

even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

~ Ephesians 4:1-4


The church is called to walk worthy of its calling through the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. There is only only church or body of Christ. It consists of those who love Jesus and keep His commandments.

Unfortunately, I hear it or see daily the disregard of scriptural purity and truth from professing Christians. This was the same thing Jesus dealt with from the heart of a people not perfected in love.

I was guilty of for the longest time (28 years) and am just coming out of it. I passed over this and other passages not deemed valuable or important while looking after the things I was taught or argued with others about.

Jesus taught us that everything in the law and prophets was filtered through His words. Later this included all the Holy Spirit’s teaching through the Apostles.


Nothing is to by left unturned.

Nothing is to be ignored.

Nothing is to be disobeyed.


There are serious warnings when we do this and even greater dangers when we teach others to do the same (more on this later).


For I testify unto every man

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,

If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues

that are written in this book:

and if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy,

God shall take away his part out of the book of life,

and out of the holy city,

and from the things which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 18-19


This is why it is so important to understand exactly what Jesus meant in John 14:15. Every time a pastor enters the pulpit, stage, etc. whether he knows it or not, this is the subject he is preaching about. 

This little phrase should be in the forefront of his mind when he speaks. It should be on his thoughts as he sleeps. He should arise, seeking its fulfillment.

A pastor should also ensure that every member or participant in his church clearly knows what the message means and that they are exhorted to follow his lead.


And he gave some, apostles;

and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;

and some, pastors and teachers;

for the perfecting of the saints,

for the work of the ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ:

till we all come in the unity of the faith,

and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man, unto the measure

of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

~ Ephesians 4:11-13


We are to be built up unto a perfect man in the measure and stature of Christ. Once again unity in the church is stressed, not unity of a denomination, only unity of faith and knowledge of Christ

The goal of leadership in church is to bring the flock to faithful perfection in the knowledge of Christ. Our shepherds and sheep need to submit completely to the Spirit’s divine power in order to obey the calling of glory and virtue.

When we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, God makes sure that everything else is taken care. We must be single-minded obedience lest the lusts of the world steal us away.


according as his divine power

hath given unto us all things

that pertain unto life and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

whereby are given unto us

exceeding great and precious promises:

that by these ye might be partakers

of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

and to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

 and to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity. 

For if these things be in you, and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-7


Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world.

 1 John 4:17


We already learned that everything in the Bible substantiates Jesus’ words. One of those events happened in the wilderness over 3,600 years ago; soon after God delivered his people from the sinful oppression of Egypt (the significance of Egypt will be elaborated later).

Before they entered the promised land of Canaan, God gave them a most beautiful commandment that applies to us in the same measure today.


And these words,

which I command thee this day,

shall be in thine heart:

thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon

the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9


This was the second writing of God’s commands to the Israelites and was written after 40 years of wandering aimlessly in the Sinai wilderness.

When the Israelites lost faith and rebelled after following the false reports of the 12 spies who entered Canaan, they were punished and perished in the wilderness.

Only the children under 20 plus faithful Joshua and Caleb (at the time of Kadesh rebellion) were allowed to enter the promised land. They were just east of the River Jordan when God gave them Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Read the story in Numbers 13:30-14:39 if you like.


The Whole Story is for you and me


In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made

that was made. In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

~ John 1:1-4


God is still giving us this message today. If we are to enter into the promised land, we too must have the Word of God, written in our hearts.

We should teach Him to our children and as we walk in the way. This is the message that must be preached and taught. The message that should be bored deep into our hearts.

Keeping the commandments of the Lord is a preservative against false teachings as we will see in the next post. His word should be a light to our feet and guide each step along His strait and narrow path.


Through thy precepts I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

and a light unto my path.

I have sworn, and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

~ Psalm 119:104-106


During most of my years professing Christianity, I did not learn what it meant to love Jesus and keep His commandments. This was my fault. Mostly because I did not see the need to attend faithfully and chose churches that tolerated my sins.

I heard about Jesus’ love for us but the message was incomplete. I was not taught that we were to be holy as He was holy and that all our behaviors and thoughts were to be so. Now that Jesus has poured His love in my heart, this truth is becoming a reality.


There is so much material in the Bible covering this subject that a post of this nature can miss important details. I have caught myself missing the point in some of my posts.

Nevertheless, we are commanded by God not to teach others to break the least of Jesus’ commandments. So we must stay on track and correct any errors we may find.


Whosoever therefore shall break

one of these least commandments,

and shall teach men so,

he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:

but whosoever shall do and teach them,

the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

~ Matthew 5:19


I don’t think a post considering the gradations from least to greatest commandments is necessary since we are called unto complete submission to the word of God. This can also lead to the false belief of being under the old law.

But because of the nature of this subject, it will be broken into parts. The first part here being the introduction.

I don’t claim to have a corner on the truth; only to seek Him with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Unfortunately, I have heard very little of what John 14:15 means.

Now its time to begin the learning process. So far, it has shown to be very complex and detailed. Breaking this subject into digestible pieces and putting has already shown to help focus my thoughts.

Hebrew and Greek, and Bible (college) study is not feasible right now. Since this subject is so strongly on my heart, this will be a personal study.

May its realization in my heart be true to God’s scriptural counsel. Please feel to correct or clarify any of deficits you may find.

In Christ

~ D


Lay up in your hearts God’s love and preserve it by careful keeping and watching after His holy commandments.

Thereby hoping in eternal, glorious fellowship with the Holy One of Israel.


Next, underlying Greek/Hebrew structure . . .


*Schema: The underlying organizational pattern and conceptual framework which God expresses through the Bible and in our experiences and interactions with Him and the world.

Romans 6:12

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,

that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

~ Romans 6:12


I love what is described in this verse and will try to relay its meaning.


Therefore: refers to the death of our sinful nature (entire sanctification) and a life that has been renewed through the work and power of Christ as shown here:

. . . many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ

were baptized into his death? 

Therefore we are buried with him

by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead

by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,

we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 

knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

Now if we be dead with Christ,

we believe that we shall also live with him: 

. . . Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,

but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Romans 6:2-11


God forbids us (as Christians) to sin as noted in the strongest of words:

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 

God forbid.

~ Romans 6:1


The whole chapter reinforces the command of Jesus to His followers: that we are to go and sin no more. This is a foundational principle and requirement for every Christian.

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple,

and said unto him,

Behold, thou art made whole:

sin no more,

lest a worse thing come unto thee.

~ John 5:14


The same is true for us, Even more so since we have the whole council of scripture and the Holy Spirit.

We are told that our old man (our sinful nature) and body of sin (the entirety of our sinful acts, thoughts, predispositions, guilt and shame) are all to be destroyed, crucified, dead.

That means we should no longer sin a a Christian. I repeat myself because most of Christianity today ignores this Bibilical truth and tolerates sin and the behaviors of those who commit it. That is because the sinful nature does not want to die and our earthly, animal desires want to remain and be fed by seemingly harmless sinful pleasures.

This is especially true if we are told by others that our sinful nature will remain with us until we die and we can’t stop from sinning (even occasionally) until salvation from our sins comes by death, which is clearly against scripture.

This has turned the many churches to follow a sinning religion. Allowing sin to continue in a believer’s life is a deception from the Devil. A very unfortunate turn of events makes the church his tool.

The parishioners then allow sin and become defiled just like before they were saved, steeped in sin.

We are not suppose to return to the mire. We are suppose to abhor, flee, and avoid even the appearance of sin (or evil).


We are delivered from sin and guilt when we are justified just like the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt (which is symbolic of sin) in the O.T. We can be overthrown in the wilderness of this world if we continue in sin just like the Israelites were.

The Holy Spirit through Paul gave us one of the sternest warnings against this problem of sin. He speaks about what happens to those dwelling in sin, and that God gives us a way out of every temptation so we don’t have to fall into sin.

If we are walking with the light, this is a reality. If we are not walking with the light, we are serving sin, and we have another father, the Devil.

If we do fall into a sin, we can repent and be forgiven but it is not a revolving door to be abused in this probationary life.

There is hope for the backslider and every sinner to regain salvation once lost.


Moreover, brethren (Christian),

I would not that ye should be ignorant,

how that all our fathers were under the cloud,

and all passed through the sea; 

and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 

and did all eat the same spiritual meat; 

and did all drink the same spiritual drink:

for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:

and that Rock was Christ. 

But with many of them God was not well pleased:

for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples,

to the intent we should not lust after evil things,

as they also lusted. 

Neither be ye idolaters,

as were some of them; as it is written,

The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 

Neither let us commit fornication,

as some of them committed,

and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 

Neither let us tempt Christ,

as some of them also tempted,

and were destroyed of serpents. 

Neither murmur ye,

as some of them also murmured,

and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:

and they are written for our admonition,

upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed

lest he fall.

There hath no temptation taken you

but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,

who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;

but will with the temptation

also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-13


My brothers and sisters, we are without excuse if we continue to allow sin in our lives. We are creating a desolate wilderness instead of a garden flowing with milk and honey.

God will deal with our fruit of sin as promised when we do not abide in Him (His purity and love):

Abide in me, and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 

I am the vine, ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me, and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing. 

If a man abide not in me,

he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered;

and men gather them, and cast them into the fire,

and they are burned.

~ John 15:4-6


God loves abundantly and wants holy and obedient loving children. He is also just and righteous and no sin or impure thing will enter the new heaven and new earth. That is why it is so important that we imitate our Holy Lord, Jesus Christ.


Here is what Adam Clarke’s commentary says about Romans 6:12

[This is a prosopopoeia, or personification. Sin is represented as a king, ruler, or tyrant, who has the desires of the mind and the members of the body under his control so that by influencing the passions he governs the body.

Do not let sin reign, do not let him work; that is, let him have no place, no being in your souls; because, wherever he is he governs, less or more: and indeed sin is not sin without this.

How is sin known?

By evil influences in the mind, and evil acts in the life.

But do not these influences and these acts prove his dominion?

Certainly, the very existence of an evil thought to which passion or appetite attaches itself, is a proof that there sin has dominion; for without dominion such passions could not be excited.

Wherever sin is felt, there sin has dominion; for sin is sin only as it works in action or passion against God. Sin cannot be a quiescent* thing: if it do not work it does not exist.

*(Resting being in a state of repose; still: not moving; as a quiescent body or fluid.)
That ye should obey it in the lusts thereof – This clause is wanting in the most ancient and reputable MSS. and in the principal versions. Griesbach has left it out of his text;

and Professor White says, Certissime delenda : ” These words should certainly he expunged” they are not necessary to the apostle’ s argument; it was enough to say, Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it.

If it be there it will reign there; and its reign supposes, necessarily, the subjection of that in which it reigns. A king reigns when his laws are enforced, and the people obey them. When there is no executive government there is no reign. There may be a royal shadow there, but there is no king.]


There should be no sin in the believers life. This is our goal and should be sought in this life. 

We just need say “yes” to God’s will as we tarry in Jerusalem. The promise of power of the Most High will be given tous.

We must thirst after righteousness as the dear pants for water when he has fled the dangers of the hunter.

God does not give His blessings to those who continue in sin. We have power over sin the moment be believe.

God is faithful and wants . . .

. . . to open our eyes,

and to turn us from darkness to light,

and from the power of Satan unto God,

that we may receive forgiveness of sins,

and inheritance among them

which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

~ Act 26:18


There is so much God has planned for us. Let us have victory in Jesus.

Receive all the blessings He has to offer.


The Obedience of Faith

Paul uses this phrase only twice in scripture; once in Romans 1:5 and once in Romans 16:26.

Reason leads one to believe that he explains the meaning of this phrase on the context of the chapter between these two verses.

This is exactly what he does.


The Two Phrases


By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations,

for his name:

~ Romans 1:5

————-

Now to him that is of power to stablish you

according to my gospel,

and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

according to the revelation of the mystery,

which was kept secret since the world began, 

but now is made manifest,

and by the scriptures of the prophets,

according to the commandment of the everlasting God,

made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

~ Romans 16:25-26


In the Greek (eis hupakoen pisteos) “for obedience of (or ‘to the’) faith” literally means, ‘to the obedience of faith.’

Instead of explaining the context of this holy command (for that would take a small book). I am going to give my heartfelt understanding underlying the motive and the necessity to lay hold of this command and to take it faithfully to the end.


First, let’s discuss a little about Paul’s literary style.

In the first example, Paul writes, ‘By whom we have received grace and apostleship.’

Paul often times uses the word ‘we’ when he is fervently sharing in his blessings, persecutions, or curse.

When Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus, he was given the gift of grace while simultaneously receiving the gift and calling of apostleship. For him they are inseparable.

He was writing to the church in Rome who certainly were not called to be apostles but were given the gift of grace.


Just like God who so loved the world that he not only gave His only begotten son, He also shares with us all the blessings bestowed upon His creation, i.e., rainbows, the Bible, Holy Spirit, etc. God’s grace is so abundant that it overflows everywhere;  pouring out a river of opportunity to any soul who will heed redemption’s call.

Paul’s apostleship and grace are examples of this. He shared with the church throughout the ages the love of God that was unfolded in him to the furtherance and completion of the gospel world-wide the end as written by John in Revelation.

Just like Romans 7 when Paul cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?’

Here ‘body’ (soma) refers to the sinful nature of self that is sold to, under the sway, and power of sin.

When Paul wrote Romans, he was no longer under sin’s power since he was wholly saved and freed from sin by the power of God. But this was not the case before the precious blood of Jesus cleansed him from sin and guilt.

knowing this,

that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

~ Romans 6:6-7

In Romans 7, he was sharing his experience of living under the law as a Pharisee, unregenerate, and bound to the law of sin and death. When he wrote this, he was freed from the law of sin and death and was resting in the Grace of God. He was writing to those who know the law and it implications as well as those who have not crucified the flesh through entire sanctification and still struggle when ‘the old man’ rears its head in their heart.

He shared the whole process of realizing God’s holy work when he was suffering under the bondage and power of sin to the road to Damascus and how he would eventually reveal the fact that the ‘old man’ can be completely put to death and crucified in Christ. We must strive to walk in complete obedience of faith lighted by Jesus and pioneered by the apostles.

Then and only then can we be overcomers; truly dead to sin and alive in Christ.

This is how God works: Everywhere the gospel is preached . . . it is preached to those in the bondage of sin. Rarely, are those who preach preaching from a pure heart  free indeed from the reins of sin and bound and yoke of sin.

Throughout the ages this has been Christianity’s dilemma but Paul and a few others have shown us a more excellent way.

He shared in our sin,

so we can share in His suffering.

and rest in the hope,

that one day we’ll be counted worthy,

and join in holy union,

with Him for all eternity.

~ D


This my friend is the big picture of the overflowing, bountiful Love of God through the obedience of faith.

Okay. So, we see what God is sacrificing and sharing with us; He calls us to share with Him and give every bit of our self in obedience to His service.

A God that loves us so much to create a universe, provide a perfect salvation plan in case we mess up His perfect creation: And then, we not only mess up ourselves, we mess up every other creature and plant on the planet, and the very universe in which it exists. All because of our sinful disobedience.

Is it any wonder He commands us to stop (sinning): to cease from all willful transgressions of His law? To live a righteous life, for all unrighteousness is sin: And, to have a simple childlike faith, for anything not done in faith is sin.


There you have in a nutshell. The meaning and importance of ‘our obedience of faith’ is to submit uncompromisingly to the Lordship of Christ. If this is the case in your life; Glory to God! Keep fighting the good fight. Weary not in well doing for great is your reward in heaven.

If this is not the case in your life, then please read my post on ‘Stand in the Ancient Path.’ In it is a story of a Christian, who believing, being baptized, and following after the apostles, who was told by Peter that he would perish in Hell if he did not repent of his sin and get his mind, life, heart and nature right with God.


I apologize if the words in this post seem strong, course, or harsh. They were pulled from my heart in this fashion for a reason I know not of.

They are far from the beauty and sweetness of many who write of the things of God.

On that note, this is what has been singing in my soul all the day long today. May the words ring true in your heart.


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word;

Just to rest upon His promise,

And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

—-

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

—-

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to trust His cleansing blood;

And in simple faith to plunge me

’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

—-

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just from sin and self to cease;

Just from Jesus simply taking

Life and rest, and joy and peace.

—-

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,

Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;

And I know that Thou art with me,

Wilt be with me to the end.


Through preaching and study of the word; the mystery of the ages has been made known to you and me.

God has commanded us to obey the faith He has given us. He is more than able to establish and keep us in this faith. May you learn of Him more dearly; remembering and cherishing His love, wholly unto the end. For it is His love only that we are called to have and obey. 

Compare your life with the life of the believer found in the beatitudes and see how you match up to the obedience that God expects from all who claim His precious name. God would not tell us how to live without providing a way for us to do it. I pray that God provides the grace to enable you to do just as He commands.


I am reminded of a title from one of Chick’s tracts, ‘This was Your Life.’

Jesus said, you are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect. “

Holiness: What does it mean to us?

 What is Holiness


. . . as obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves

according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 

but as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 

because it is written,

Be ye holy; for I am holy

~ 1 Peter 1:14-16.


How do we, “Be ye holy for I am holy?”

Ye is a plural form of you, so we can be assured that everyone who has repented of their sins and put their faith in Christ are being commanded to be ‘as obedient children and be holy.’

God would not command us to do something without providing a way.

He has already told us that those that follow Christ are not to remain in sin and that there is a way out of every temptation leading to sin. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.


We are not considered servants in God’s eyes. Nor does He consider us His slaves. He looks at us as His children. Like His son, Jesus Christ, we are to be holy, if we continue to grow in His word.


Then said Jesus

to those Jews which believed on him,

If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed;

~ John 8:31


This high honor is given to those who hear and receive the doctrine as taught by Christ and the apostles.  We must learn His ways and retain what we learn by walking in them.

When we become His sincere and diligent disciples we begin to realize what it means to ‘be holy’.

Sin no longer has power over us, we are not longer its servant, and should no longer serve it.

Faith in God for the forgiveness of our sin is where holiness begins.


What is Sin?


If we answer this question incorrectly, we get our whole Christian walk off kilter and may not fully realize what it means to please God and walking holy according to the scriptures.

Sin is a term taken from archery meaning to miss the mark. But what is the mark? The mark is the Law of God.

A more accurate and biblical definition of sin is, ” The willful transgression of a known law of God.”

This is recorded in scripture in various ways.


because the law worketh wrath

for where no law is, there is no transgression.

~ Romans 4:15


Wherefore then serveth the law?

It was added because of transgressions,

till the seed should come to whom the promise was made;

and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

~ Galatians 3:19


but if ye have respect to persons,

ye commit sin,

and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

~ James 2:9


Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:

for sin is the transgression of the law.

~ 1 John 3:4


The bible also says that unrighteousness is sin.

All unrighteousness is sin:

and there is a sin not unto death.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not;

but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself,

and that wicked one toucheth him not.

~ 1 John 5:16-17.

————

Neither yield ye your members

as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:

~ Romans 6:13a.

By understanding what holiness is not, we get closer to understanding more clearly what holiness is and how we can obey Jesus to, ‘go and sin no more.

The apostles also provide a convicting question, ‘How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

If we know what the law of Christ is then we know what to do and how to avoid transgression of this law.

We also can learn from what not to do learning by what the apostles mean by ‘unrighteous transgression of the law‘.


What the Law is Not


What shall we say then?

Is the law sin? God forbid.

Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:

for I had not known lust,

except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment,

wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.

For without the law sin was dead.

~ Romans 7:7-8.


The law is not sin. Neither is it the ceremonial commandments. Here Paul is referring to the 10 commandments because they are holy and reveal all manner of sin.

The law is to be written in our hearts the moment they are purified from sin. This transformation by the indwelling Spirit is shed abroad in our hearts enabling us to love God and to love our neighbors as Jesus Commands.



The Biblical Nature of Holiness


Holiness has a composite meaning. Some of the words used in the Bible that clarify the meaning of holiness include; holy, hallow, and sanctify.

There are other words that further break down these components such as purity, dross, and light. All this terminology is used to indicate an absence of sin or corruption in the presence of God.

We will focus on the words that define holiness: sanctify, hallow, holy. These terms also reflect the nature of God and the what He desires to bestow upon us as He transforms us into His image.


The Scriptural meaning of Sanctification and Hallow


The first occurrence of the word sanctify culminates the creation story and the purity in which it existed. There was no sin to be found and Satan had not yet made his presence in creation.

I wrote a post on the possible instance of Lucifer’s fall while in the Garden of Eden. This is based on evidence found in scripture and is further supported by the description of God seeing all that He made in the heavens and the earth was very good in Genesis 1:31.


And God blessed the seventh day,

and sanctified it:

because that in it

he had rested from all his work

which God created and made.

~ Genesis 2:3.


This is the first time any word related to holiness is used in the Bible. God set aside a day and rested. By blessing the day, God is speaking good about setting aside a day of rest from our work. He is also speaking about the nature of our behavior in our work.

In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that He is the Lord of the sabbath, that it was made for us, and the royal commandment of loving others springs from the intention of the sabbath. He alludes to this in the story of in John 9:14.


Entering into rest from our work is a form of sanctification to God and is something we all should strive for with utmost importance.


Entering the promised land was symbolic of entering heaven as noted by Paul in Hebrews. We are given the same warning in Hebrews 4 that the Israelites were given in the wilderness about entering into God’s rest.

Our high priest wants to sanctify us in His rest:

. . . let us hold fast our profession. 

For we have not an high priest which

cannot be touched with the feeling

of our infirmities;

but was in all points

tempted like as we are,

yet without sin. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help in time of need.

~ Hebrews 4:14-16.


We cannot rest in sin and wickedness, only in holiness. He promises grace for believers in time of need when the tides of sin or trouble come upon us like waves on an ocean shore.

Life brings with it all manner of temptations. Come boldly to Him, obtain His kindness, mercy, and strength, and stand against sin and father of lies.

We are to labor so we can enter into the Lord’s rest. We are to be sanctified and blessed in the fruit of His works. This is how we become holy. It is a work of God in us, not imputed to us by doing nothing.


For he that is entered into his rest,

he also hath ceased from his own works,

as God did from his.

Let us labour therefore

to enter into that rest,

lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

~ Hebrew 4:10-11.


When someone or something is sanctified, he or it belongs to God. He is to do the bidding of God, not the bidding of Satan. That means to live a holy life rather than one stained by servitude to sin.


Sanctify unto me all the firstborn,

whatsoever openeth the womb

among the children of Israel,

both of man and of beast:

it is mine.

~ Exodus 13:2.


And let the priests also,

which come near to the Lord,

sanctify themselves,

lest the Lord break forth upon them.

~ Leviticus 19:22.


This  means that the priests were suppose to completely devote themselves to the Lord. They were to separate from everything inconsistent with living a holy life.

For us, this means we to test everything we come in contact with, test it, and only hold onto those things that are holy. This applies to every act and thought, both inward and outward.


Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23a.


 The Scriptural meaning of Holy


And he said,

Draw not nigh hither:

put off thy shoes from off thy feet,

for the place whereon thou standest

is holy ground.

~ Exodus 3:5.


The first time holy was used was in relation to the place where God called Moses. The ground had a special status because of God’s choice of coming near to it. Moses could not stand on it unless God allowed it.

Holy here stood for a mark of separation or being set apart from things that are not holy and being near to God.

It is important to keep in mind here that there is no neutral ground. Either someone or something is standing for God or against Him. You are either holy or unholy. That is a scarey but true proposition.

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. ~ Luke 11:23.


The next occurrence of holy in scripture is related to sanctification of the sabbath.

And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation,

and in the seventh day

there shall be an holy convocation to you;

no manner of work shall be done in them,

save that which every man must eat,

that only may be done of you.

~ Exodus 12:16.


Now we see the intimate relation between sanctify and holy. Here holy refers to the calling of the Israelites together for service and dedication to God in remembrance of what has done for them.

Applying this today would relate to how we obligated to reverence the assembling of ourselves together and act accordingly while we gather together in church for worship and service in the Lord.

Remember the sanctuary, which comes from sanctify? The holy place? The holy of holies? Everything in the temple and tabernacle was considered holy.

The priest entering the holy of holies once a year would die if he was not properly prepared according to God’s instructions.

We too will not be considered holy if we do not obey the Law of Christ. Here are the scriptural proofs of the law we are to follow:

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault,

ye which are spiritual,

restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

Bear ye one another’s burdens,

and so fulfil the law of Christ.

~ Galatians 6:1-2.

————-

Charity suffereth long, and is kind;

charity envieth not;

charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 

doth not behave itself unseemly,

seeketh not her own,

is not easily provoked,

thinketh no evil;

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.

————

forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,

if any man have a quarrel against any:

even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity,

which is the bond of perfectness. 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,

to the which also ye are called in one body;

and be ye thankful.

~ Colossians 3:13-15


Scripture is full with descriptions of the Law of Christ. Below is one of the best descriptions that describes this law outside of scripture that have read:

“Love is longsuffering.” It suffers all the weaknesses of the children of God, all the wickedness of the children of the world; and that not for a little time only, but as long as God pleases. In all, it sees the hand of God, and willingly submits thereto.

Meantime, it is “kind.” In all, and after all, it suffers, it is soft, mild, tender, benign. “Love envieth not”; it excludes every kind and degree of envy out of the heart. “Love acteth not rashly,” in a violent, headstrong manner; nor passes any rash or severe judgment.

It “doth not behave itself in decently”; is not rude, does not act out of character. “Seeketh not her own” ease, pleasure, honour, or profit. “Is not provoked”; expels all anger from the heart. “Thinketh no evil”; casteth out all jealousy, suspiciousness, and readiness to believe evil.

“Rejoiceth not in iniquity”; yea, weeps at the sin or folly of its bitterest enemies. “But rejoiceth in the truth”; in the holiness and happiness of every child of man. “Love covereth all things,” speaks evil of no man; “believeth all things” that tend to the advantage of another’s character.

It “hopeth all things,” whatever may extenuate the faults which cannot be denied; and it “endureth all things” which God can permit, or men and devils inflict. This is the “law of Christ, the perfect law, the law of liberty.

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by John Wesley.


Moreover, holiness should be carried over into all aspects of life in the furthering of the kingdom of God.

It is clear that being holy requires transforming our internal nature into one like Christ’s.

This deliverance  from sin unto holiness is the end of salvation when we abide, we will be able to stand on the day of judgment.


Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians,

and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,

and brought you unto  myself. 

Now therefore,

if ye will obey my voice indeed,

and keep my covenant,

then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people:

for all the earth is mine: 

and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,

and an holy nation.

~ Exodus 19:4-6.


The New Testament reaffirms this holiness unto the Lord we as believers are to live. It also refers to the deliverance from Egypt, which is closely related to sin and corruption.

But ye are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

an holy nation, a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises of him

who hath called you out of darkness

into his marvellous light: 

which in time past were not a people,

but are now the people of God:

which had not obtained mercy,

but now have obtained mercy.

~ 1 Peter 2:9-10.


For I am the Lord your God:

ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves,

and ye shall be holy; for I am holy:

neither shall ye defile yourselves

with any manner of creeping thing

that creepeth upon the earth.

For I am the Lord that bringeth you up

out of the land of Egypt, to be your God:

ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

~ Leviticus 11;44-45.


This is further explained in the New Testament.

but as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

because it is written,

Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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: 

being born again, not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible, by the word of God,

which liveth and abideth for ever.

~ 1 Peter 1:15-16, 22-23.



 The Meaning of Hallow


Hallow is used interchangeably with sanctify in scripture as noted below.

For in six days the Lord made heaven

and earth, the sea,

and all that in them is,

and rested the seventh day:

wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day,

and hallowed it.

~ Exodus 20:11.


The connectedness and interchangeability of the three words; sanctify, holy, and hallow signify the meaning of holiness. 

The end of holiness leads to song, praise, and worship of the glory and eternal righteousness of God.


Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name:

bring an offering, and come before him:

worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

~ 1 Chronicles 16:29

————

And when he had consulted with the people,

he appointed singers unto the Lord,

and that should praise the beauty of holiness,

as they went out before the army,

and to say, Praise the Lord;

for his mercy endureth for ever.

~ 2 Chronicles 20:21

————

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name;

worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

~ Psalm 29:2

————

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness:

fear before him, all the earth.

~ Psalm 96:9


Some final thoughts from others on holiness:

Only as one responds wholly to the will of God does sin lose its power. Those who are so responding to grace, that grace is exercising increasing influence within the will, and they are prepared for whatever emerges. ~ Thomas Oden

The world, the flesh, and the Devil are put under his feet; thus he rules over these enemies with watchfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ John Wesley


God bless your journey

~ D

 

What is Piety?

Piety should be the primary or overriding characteristic of every Christian. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have been taught to disregard or even denigrate terms like piety, religion, religious, or other early biblical principles.

But these terms hold special meaning when we consider them with a pure heart.

According to John Fletcher, piety is, “the knowledge of God and the various relations he stands in to man, which leads us to adore, and obey him, in public and in private.”

Great multitudes of the church today have lost what it means to be pious. All too often, we live lives tainted with hypocrisy.

We worship on Sunday, and lust after sports teams on Monday. Or, are consumed the news of the day, or with routine shopping habits, we may covet a new shiny car or RV. Fill in the blank: I compromise by _____ . Inch-by-inch, it slowly eats away at our ability to humbly and wholeheartedly seek after the Lord.

When the church condones these behaviors, and they do. Just look amongst the churches and see how we choose to devote most of our time and money. Most look no different than the world around them.


Buy and large, we see compromise and tacit approval by those in high positions because of pressure from the pews. There is little difference between how the parishioners and the overseers live. This is antinomianism (the doctrine of compromise: continuing to sin that grace may abound).


Christ prophesied about this in the parables of the mustard seed and leaven. This post here lightly discusses the meaning of the parable.

Piety is the direct opposite and is the effect that a well-rounded, humble, and sincere love of God from the perspective of a  sacrificed life.

Jesus lived a life of piety.

All the Apostles but one, lived this piety. God has given us so many examples of how to walk this way.

Nearly every page alludes to this principle. Yet, I have not heard a pastor utter the word or or describe what it means to be pious in many years; until recently.


Jesus warned of the dangers awaiting for those who choose to continue on a path void of piety –

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light ~ Luke 11:34-36;

Darkness is sin my friend.


There is nothing better to keep sin at bay than clinging to the garments of the Lord. We are to teach this to your children by living it –

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons ~ Deuteronomy 4:9;


God is fighting for those who love Him with their lives –

Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God ~ Joshua 23:11;


For we are His temple and are instructed to prepare Him a place to dwell –

Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it 1 Chronicles 28:10;


If we don’t remain strong in doing this, the warning –

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ~ 1 Corinthians 3:17;

Sin is the only thing that defiles the temple of God.


God wants us to fear living in iniquity as we work out our salvation –

And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts ~ 2 Chronicles 19:6-8;

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasurePhilippians 2:12-13;


He wants us to bridle our tongue and sin not –

I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me ~ Psalm 39:1;

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell ~ James 3:2-6;


We are not to be distracted by this world when God calls us to worship or assemble ourselves together for Him –

thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem ~ Jeremiah 17:21;

and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins ~ Hebrews 10:24-26;

Did you know that choosing not attend and participate (to your capacity) in an assembly is a willful sin?

‘He that readership sermons and good books at home to save his pains of going to hear, is a thief to his soul in a religious habit’ ~ William Gurnall.


We are to know that God meets all our daily needs, enabling us to walk in Him –

For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord ~ Hosea 4:10;


We are not to seek the approval of men –

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 6:1;


We are to protect all children even the unborn –

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 18:10;


We are to obey only the word of God in order to avoid the deceit of man regarding the Lord’s coming –

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many ~ Matthew 24:3-5;


We need to protect our faith and fear what can happen if we don’t –

Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee ~ Romans 11:20-21.


We are to live our lives in a way that does not cause a weaker brother to stumble and by our liberty cause them to perish –

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak . . .  and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11,12;


We need to dedicate our life only to the original teachings of the apostles and Jesus –

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee ~ 1 Timothy 4:15-16.


Those that have come to the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cast off worldly desires, fleshly doctrines and live a life free the practice of hypocrisy and willful sin.

If you are not doing all the God calls you to do as demonstrated by some of the examples provided above. I exhort you to get on your knees, plead to God for forgiveness, and find a church that practices these.

Very few churches do. If you don’t believe me than then believe Jesus’ words about the leaven (sin) and the fowls (tools of Satan) contaminating most of the church.


I have found that those that practice piety are generally found in holiness churches. There are people who practice piety in other churches but why kick against the pricks?

I have spent 30 years in various churches and this is the conclusion I have come to while seeking God with all my mind, heart, and strength. Now brethren. I love you too. This is why I write here.

My words may be filled with imperfections but please, love me as Christ calls us to love each other.


1 Peter 1:15, Gird up the loins of your mind.


In my study of the ‘Disciplined Life’ by Richard S. Taylor, I came across this wonderful verse:

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;

~ 1 Peter 1:15.


What does it mean to ‘gird up the loins of your mind?’

It is clearly a call to action.

Yet, only by faith, hope, grace, and the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ can we obey the Apostle’s solemn instruction.

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new,

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17.

If we humbly repent, turn from all our sin, and sacrifice the whole of our life on the alter of God.

Then the Holy Spirit can fill us and prepare us for transforming works fitting for repentance.


Don’t be deceived by vain words, Satan wants corrupt Christians, good Christians.

He already has the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars.

Many who profess to be Christians and know the Lord will be rejected. Do you fit any of the categories above that Satan rules over? For we are commanded to abstain from all sin or even the appearance of evil.


The god of this world wants us to compromise just a little; to revive something from the old man, take on a new worldly distraction, anything that is contrary to the will of God.

Then, he can slither in, entice that compromise until: it ‘hath conceived, and bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death’ to our soul.

When we ‘gird up the loins of our mind’, we allow the Holy Ghost to search our soul, and bring to us to ‘a better hope; by the which we draw nigh (close) to the presence of God.

We cannot ignore this call to prepare us for His service.

We must work out our salvation according to scripture: in fear and trembling in order to shed the bonds of sin and glory in the love of God being shed upon our hearts that casts out all fear and makes us perfect.

Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world

There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

We love him, because he first loved us

~ 1 John 4:17-19.


The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge connects most of the dots and summarizes more fully what it means to ‘gird up the loins of our mind.’

The scriptures below paint an immeasurable picture for us learn and grow by.

It is anything but compromise or suffering (allowing) Satan a foothold in our lives.

Oh, to the contrary . . . we are to cut him off!


 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;

As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves according to

the former lusts in your ignorance:

But as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written,

Be ye holy; for I am holy

~ 1 Peter1:13-15.


Be ye therefore perfect,

even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect

~ Matthew 5:48


That he would grant unto us,

that we being delivered

out of the hand of our enemies

might serve him without fear,

In holiness and righteousness before him,

all the days of our life

~ Luke 1:74-75.


Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,

let us cleanse ourselves

from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,

perfecting holiness in the fear of God

~ 2Corinthians 7:1.


Be ye therefore followers of God,

as dear children; And walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us,

and hath given himself for us an offering

and a sacrifice to God

for a sweet smelling savour

~ Ephesians 5:1-2


Only let your conversation be

as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

that whether I come and see you,

or else be absent,

I may hear of your affairs,

that ye stand fast in one spirit,

with one mind

striving together for the faith of the gospel;

~ Philippians 1:27.


That ye may be blameless and harmless,

the sons of God, without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,

among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Holding forth the word of life;

that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,

that I have not run in vain,

neither laboured in vain

~ Philippians 2:15-16.


For this is the will of God,

even your sanctification,

that ye should abstain from fornication:

That every one of you

should know how to possess his vessel

in sanctification and honour;

Not in the lust of concupiscence,

even as the Gentiles which know not God:

That no man go beyond

and defraud his brother in any matter:

because that the Lord is the avenger of all such,

as we also have forewarned you and testified.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness,

but unto holiness

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7


For the grace of God that bringeth salvation

hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that,

denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,

we should live soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope,

and the glorious appearing of the great God

and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us,

that he might redeem us from all iniquity,

and purify unto himself a peculiar people,

zealous of good works

~ Tit 2:11-14


This is a faithful saying,

and these things I will that thou affirm constantly,

that they which have believed in God

might be careful to maintain good works.

These things are good and profitable unto men

~ Titus 3:8.


And let ours also learn to maintain good works

for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful

~ Titus 3:14


Follow peace with all men,

and holiness,

without which no man shall see the Lord

~ Hebrews 12:14.


Whereby are given unto us exceeding great

and precious promises: that by these

ye might be partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue;

and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you,

and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind,

and cannot see afar off,

and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Wherefore the rather, brethren,

give diligence to make your calling and election sure:

for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

~ 2 Peter 1:4-10.


Having your conversation (behavior) honest among the Gentiles:

that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,

they may by your good works,

which they shall behold,

glorify God in the day of visitation

~ 1 Peter 2:12.


Having a good conscience; that,

whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers,

they may be ashamed that falsely accuse

your good conversation in Christ

~ 1 Peter 3:16.


Let no man despise thy youth;

but be thou an example of the believers,

in word, in conversation,

in charity, in spirit, in faith,

in purity

~ 1 Timothy 4:12.


Let your conversation be without covetousness;

and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee

~ Hebrews 13:5.


Who is a wise man

and endued with knowledge among you?

let him shew out of a good conversation

his works with meekness of wisdom

~ James 3:13.


Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,

what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness,

Looking for and hasting

unto the coming of the day of God,

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise,

look for new heavens and a new earth,

wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Wherefore, beloved,

seeing that ye look for such things,

be diligent that ye may be found of him

in peace, without spot, and blameless

~ 2 Peter 3:11-14.


For He has empowered us

to reach and live according to this high calling:

For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure

~ Philippians 2:13.


God has called us to live according to His ways and to produce fruits of righteousness through holy living. He longs to purify your heart and cleanse your mind from sin.

If we believe the gospel, we already the power to do everything He commands.

Why would He tell us to love Him with all our Heart, Mind, and Strength and to Love our Neighbor as Ourselves if He didn’t empower us to do so?

The gospel is the power of Jesus Christ unto salvation.

The end of the gospel is ‘an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.’


For this cause we also,

since the day we heard it,

do not cease to pray for you,

and to desire that ye might be filled

with the knowledge of his will

in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord

unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God;

~ Colossians 1:9-10.


Now the God of peace,

that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect

in every good work to do his will,

working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight,

through Jesus Christ;

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen

~ Hebrews 13:20-21.


The Holy Spirit has provided us the grace to walk this higher path.

Let His purifying fire cleanse your soul and keep you in His truth.

According to his mercy he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

And may you be a sweet smelling savor to our Heavenly Father and Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ.

To Live or Die?

That is the question


God is waiting patiently as we continue our tour and probation of life.

Some, or shall is say, most of us, (and I find myself also sometimes in this demise), willingly allow sin to reign in our hearts, mind, and actions.

We lie, cheat, get angry unjustly, murmur and complain, commit acts of coveting, fornication, and idolatry.

Most of all, we live in unbelief. Oh, do we sin in thought, word, and deed!


One future glorious day He will come, not unlike how He delivered the Israelites from Egypt, or Joshua entering the promised land of rest from wandering in the wilderness.

His final work of cleansing the world of sin will come by judgment and a fervent, purifying fire.


Those who have successfully entered into His rest (Hebrews 4:7-9) will be taken home and given eternal joy.

The rest of the inhabitants of the earth? What shall be their rest?

They will be cast down into the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his angels (Revelation 20:13-15).


Who will be found wallowing in the mire of sin wandering in the wilderness? Who will be be found striving, marching toward Canaan on that higher path where only those of a pure heart, free from the power and work of sin reside?


While God waits, He longs to redeem, to justify whosoever may believe. Then, He wants to sanctify them wholly so that they may cease from sin, and move onto maturity in Christ.

Without this wonderous work of grace and growth in the Christian’s life, we are unable to teach others to do likewise, and thus fall into more sin and possible judgment. (Hebrews 5:12-14, 12:6-23).


Sanctification

Most churches today do not teach this biblical principle nor do they even know what it means. But it is there, undeniably, in scripture.

I am only learning this precept now after 20 years in and out of Calvary Chapels, living in sin and being taught that it was okay.

I no longer believe there will be any ‘Carnal Christians’ entering into that grand Holy of Holies, Heaven. Please, do not allow yourself to sit in a congregation that fosters the belief that we, can continue to sin in thought, word, and deed and be secure in our salvation.

That I believe is a recipe for sorrow, grief, and eternal suffering (Matthew 7:21-23). Working iniquity (living in sin) is not a practice that should be mentioned about Christians.

Nevertheless, scripture commands us to be sanctified and move on toward maturity, conformed to the image of Christ

(Romans 6: 5-14, 8:28-29).


I am pleading to you reader, if you have not been sanctified, or know what it means, God is waiting for you.

He is watching for you to soften your heart and come to Him. That He may cleanse you from your sinful nature.

As believers, we have imputed righteousness. Then we are called to grow onto holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1). Only when our heart is made pure does this happen.

Will you come to Him? Will you give Him every thought, will, desire, and possession?

Put them all on the alter, give them to Him, and wait on The Lord. He will do what He promised.

He will purify your heart and sanctify your soul.

Some of you know deep inside your heart it calls out for cleansing, for purification

(Matthew 19:16-30).


Here are many scriptures that paint a clearer picture about sanctification and how Christians should live.


The river Jordan is before you. Will you cross over into the promised land or will you stay behind wandering in unbelief (Hebrews 4:6) and carnality (Romans 8:6)?


Scripture is clear, we need holiness and unfeigned love of the brethren as Christians.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Strive diligently to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:3-5). God does not want you to wander in the wilderness, He wants to bring rest your weary, sin stained soul.

He wants us to grow and mature, moving on from the milk of the gospel of salvation from sin to being completely sanctified, and then onto Christian maturity.

The only thing stopping us is unbelief. It causes staggering (Romans 4:2-29), it causes us to fall (Hebrews 4:11), to lose our salvation (Romans 11:20-24, an evil heart (Hebrews 3:12).

Unbelief in God’s ability to complete His work in our heart is an evil thing.

We are to be pure in heart (Matthew 5:8), to keep our thoughts, words, and deeds clean (Psalms 24:4), to truly love others (1 Timothy 1:5), to avoid lust (2 Timothy 2:22).

A pure heart draws us close to god (Hebrews 10:22) and we cannot do it ourselves (Proverbs 20:9). We must rely and allow God’s grace to finish what He began moving us toward perfection (Ephesians 4:10-13).

This includes assembling ourselves together with like-minded Christians.


This is a succinct example of the fruits of sanctification:

“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:

Being born again, not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible, by the word of God,

which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass,

and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.

And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”

(1 Peter 1:22-25).


Life is too short to be playing around with sin and unbelief as a Christian. Find the assurance of salvation that a pure heart brings (Mark 10:15) by faith (Hebrews 11:1) and not one that allows sin and the evils of unbelief (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

We desperately need the love of God being shed abroad in their hearts by the work of the Holy Ghost. He has the power to obliterate hypocrisy and sin in our heart once and for all!


For further reading on this subject, one paper comes to mind: Holiness in the Book of Hebrews by R. E. Carroll.

May God Bless and purify your soul

~ D