Archive for the ‘ Holiness ’ Category

The Sound of Holiness is Coming!

image            The Sound of Holiness is Coming….

In this hour the LORD says the sound of holiness is coming to the earth!

It is time for the Church to wake up and see what is around her. Now is not the time to be caught in the trap of the enemy, now is the time for the Church to arise without spot or wrinkle, it is time for us to be holy as He is holy.

As we see war advancing, we must be on the side of the God of Israel!

As we see the homosexual agenda advancing we must love the homosexual but not back down from a Holy God and a Holy Bible and a holy stance.

With major denominations moving away from biblical positions I am using my blog to call the Church back to holiness!

Methodists, who have left the call to holiness, come back to your holiness roots from John Wesley and the Scriptures. Other Wesleyan’s preach and continue to preach holiness.

Baptists, you’re great at preaching salvation, encourage people to grow in holiness.

Charismatics, Pentecostals, you do great at emphasizing the gifts, remember the fruit as well. Pentecost was also about purity not just power.

Church we must return to living and preaching holiness!

We must engage in spiritual warfare. Yes, Jesus said the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, but He also said in Matthew 11:12, from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force.

The only way the gates of Hell will not prevail is if we, The Church, rise up and advance the Kingdom. We must not sit back and let culture be taken over by the enemy.

The sound of holiness is coming, the sound we end up hearing is up to us. It will either be the sound of reform and restoration or it will be the sound of judgement.

This is not a doom and glum post, it is a clarion call to rise up and press toward the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus! It. Is a call to sanctification and to progress in sanctification.

Church we need to do the words of Zechariah 14:20 “On that day HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD’S house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.”

Church it is time to be holy! It is time to come out from among them and be ye separate says the LORD of hosts! It’s time to take a stand and war in the spirit and take dominion over the enemy.

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Sanctification Made Simple

image1 Thessalonians 4:3 tells us that it is God’s will that we be sanctified. But what is sanctification? And not a long theological definition but a simple one.

If I were to give a simple definition of sanctification it would be two words, “ALL-IN”.

If you’ve ever seen a Texas Hold’em tournament on ESPN you know that ALL-IN means a guy has pushed all his chips in to bet on the hand. This is a picture of what it looks like to be sanctified, we are going ALL-IN.

When we are saved, we have repented of sin and have given our lives to Jesus. When we are sanctified however, we are giving our whole selves to Him, everything we are and everything we have.

Sanctification is both a moment and a progression. You are sanctified the moment you give your all but you grow in that sanctification every time you yield to the Holy Spirit, thus being “ALL-IN”.

Another way to put sanctification I guess would be to compare it to marriage and engagement. Being saved is the engagement and sanctification is taking the “full plunge” into marriage if you will.

Someone may have better illustrations and that is fine, but these are the two that have come to me as I have looked at the Scriptures.

Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;”

Simply put sanctification is living in a way that shows love and honor to God.

Sanctification and holiness both mean to be set apart.

Yes there are deeper things we could get into on sanctification but that is not the purpose of this post.

I want to take the difficulty and perceived hinderances out of the way and just say sanctification is living an ALL-IN life for Jesus Christ.

That doesn’t mean that mistakes wont be made but that our heart is fully turned to Jesus and away from sin and we want to live a life completely pleasing to Him.

Completely devoted and ALL-IN, that is sanctification made simple.

What does a prayer for sanctification look like?

Read the words of David in Psalm 51:7-10 NIV “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The words you use are not the main thing, it’s the cry of your heart to be pure in heart and live a life lead by the Spirit and submitted to Jesus.

If you want to go deeper in your understanding, I have some other posts on the blog and you can check out the books shelf.

The Two-Fold Nature of Sanctification

sh1 Thessalonians 4:3 Tells us that it is God’s will that we should be sanctified. Sanctification is a second work of grace after salvation, a moment when we fully surrender ourselves and our lives to the Spirit of God and ask that the nature and desire of sin be destroyed and that we be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This is the two-fold nature of sanctification, the sin nature being destroyed and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

We will first look at the sin nature being destroyed. Romans 6:11-14 NIV “In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey your evil desires. (13) Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. (14) For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

It is apparent that Paul is talking to those who have already received Jesus as savior but as Paul points out we need to not let sin reign in our lives and this is what sanctification is, it is making Jesus the Lord of your life and the Holy Spirit cleansing us of the nature of sin.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. (26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (27) and I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”.

Verse twenty-seven points to the second aspect of sanctification, being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 tells us what happens when we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus said in John 14:26 NIV “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

The purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict unbelievers of sin, sanctify believers and lead in guide them into all truth.

Jesus repeatedly said that the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit would be a heart of love (John 14:21; 15:7-10). The heart of love towards God and others, Matthew 22:36-39 NIV “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” (37) Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Sanctification or the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the starting point of the full experience of the Christian life; having the nature and desire of sin destroyed and being filled with the love of God.

When we come to that place of fully yielding ourselves to God we will be filled with the Spirit and have a new nature in us and we will desire and walk holy before God.

sanctification is received just as salvation, by faith, we ask to have sin cleansed and be filled with the Spirit of God, there is no need to overcomplicate the grace of God in sanctification, just ask and receive by faith.

It is not important what “feeling” you have as it is received by faith and not feeling. There is no ecstatic language that accompanies the infilling of the Spirit, we simply receive pure hearts and walk holy before God.

When Peter explained the Baptism of the Holy Spirit he said in Acts 15:8-9 NIV “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”

Thoughts on Holiness from Exodus 19-20

dtI am currently reading through the Old Testament and today I read up to Exodus 21. Most of us would be familiar with Exodus 20 because that is the first place the 10 Commandments are recorded.

I am not going to draw our attention to the commandments but the preparation to receive the commandments.

Exodus 19: 5-6, 10 NIV “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, (6) you will be for me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (10) “And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them was their clothes”.

Does that portion of scripture remind us of anything in the New Testament? 1 Peter 2:9 NIV “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light”.

Before the commandments were given the call to holiness was given and after the commandments were given the call to holiness was affirmed, Exodus 20:20 NIV “God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”.

For some reason in the Christian community “law” and “rules are seen as wrong and sometimes even sinful, but the fact of the BIBLE is we are called to holiness and the commandments help us to walk holy. Now that is not to say we are saved by keeping commandments, we are saved by grace, but the fruit of keeping with repentance, Matthew 3:8, is holiness.

the easy grace mentality is not a biblical mentality, Paul said in Romans, shall we sin that grace may abound? The answer is no, God has called us and through the Holy Spirit, empowered us to be holy and Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Scripture tells us many times over, that drunks, adulterers, liars, and the like will have no part of heaven.

Jesus told us that the way of heaven is narrow, Isaiah 35:8 says it is a way of holiness.

As believers let us remember the Words of Jesus, that He did not come to destroy but fulfill the law and until all is fulfilled none is done away with. As believers we need to receive passages like the 10 Commandments as an encouragement in our walk.

People often point to scripture that says without the law we wouldn’t know sin, that may be true, however we must remember without sin we would have known holiness without the law but now that there is sin we need the law so we know holiness.

Jesus didn’t do away with law, on the contrary, He said He would write it on our hearts.

As we live our daily lives we must remember grace is for a holiness enabled life, not a sin allowing life. The grace of salvation covers sin and the grace of Sanctification destroys sin and fills us with love.

Holy Spirit enabled holiness comes through knowing and living the Word and part of the Word is commandments, after all, Jesus gave an additional command.

Sanctification & Holiness

shA couple of weeks ago we looked at God’s first work in the heart of man, salvation. This week we will look at the second work, sanctification, which is worked by the Holy Spirit and is followed by living a life that is holy and pleasing to God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5  NKJVFor this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;”

To be sanctified simply means to be set apart, to be holy. So why do we need to have an experience of sanctification if we are saved? When we are saved our sins are forgiven, another way we could put it is our sins are pardoned.

One can be pardoned from the punishment of an evil act but unless a full heart change takes place the entire old nature still remains. Sanctification is giving your whole self to God and being cleansed from the depravity of heart and receiving purity of heart.

We not only see this in the above scripture but other places as well.

Psalm 51:7, 9 NKJV “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (10) Create in me a clean heart O God.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Our salvation takes care of the punishment of sin and sanctification takes care of the pollution of sin.

When you think of the day of Pentecost what do you think of? Most of us think of the Holy Spirit coming in power, the disciples’ speaking in tongues, and others getting saved. That is all true, but see how Peter describes Pentecost long after that day; Acts 15:8-9 NKJV “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, (9) and made no distinction between us and them purifying their hearts by faith.”

We see in these two verses Peter explaining the purpose of the baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit, purity of heart. Not everyone in Acts who was filled spoke in tongues. I am not discounting or dismissing that some did, but everyone did not.

John Wesley described sanctification as the circumcision of the heart; he also termed it Christian Perfection. Of Christian perfection, he said this;

“It is that habitual disposition of soul, which in the sacred writings is termed holiness; and which directly implies the being cleansed from sin, from all filthiness of both flesh and spirit; and by consequence, the being endued with those virtues which were in Christ Jesus; the being so renewed by the image of our mind, as to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect.” (An Introduction to Wesleyan Theology: Greathouse and Dunning).

Sanctification is instantaneous and perfection (holiness) is progressive. Scripture says we are to press on to perfection.

1 Peter 1:15-16 NKJV “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (16) because it is written “Be holy for I am holy.”

It is possible for Christians to go through this life and not sin, which is why the Holy Spirit is come. That is why the Word tells us to cast down imaginations, and why there is a way of escape. We will make mistakes in life, we are human, but mistakes are not sin.

I know many have heard we will always sin, that is contrary to Scripture; we will always be tempted, but we don’t have to sin.

We see holiness throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, yet many Christians feel it is unattainable, why is that? Simply because in many places the power of sin is overemphasized. The power of sin has been destroyed (Romans 6:6), so we do not have to be in bondage to it anymore.

We can be sanctified, it is the will of God and that is why the Holy Spirit came. I know many talk about the power that comes with the infilling of the Holy Spirit but there is a purity that can come as well if you will ask for it.

If you ask for power, if you ask for tongues, without purity of heart you will receive what you ask for with the neglect of the most important work of the Holy Spirit, the purifying of your heart. We need both power and purity.

Believers should live a holy life. We are told to come out from among them and be separate, He would not have told us to do that if it was not possible.

In Closing, we will look again at 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 5:23 NKJV “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (5:23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We don’t have to struggle with sin, which is a lie from hell! If you have never asked the Holy Spirit to sanctify you, do it today, it’s easy. Just tell the Lord you give yourself completely to Him, ask him to cleanse you from all sin and give you are pure heart.

There does not have to be any emotion that comes after it, there may be no outward signs that is not important, the important thing is the surrender of your life and heart to the work of the Holy Spirit to purify your heart.

If you would like to learn more about Christian perfection and holiness, John Wesley’s, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection is a good place to start. This and other books can be found on the recommended reading page.

Living a Holy Life

holiness1 Peter 1:15-16 “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, be holy, for I am holy.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

As believers we are called to live a holy life and we are empowered to live a holy life through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In the church today we, for the most part here very little teaching on the call and empowerment to live a holy life. We hear a message of grace that is gone too far and gives us license to follow our own desires. We hear a message of we will always sin and we will always struggle with sin, these and many other teachings are simply not accurate.

Sin no longer has a hold on believers who have been sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 6:11, 18, 19b “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 18 And having been set free from sin, you become slaves of righteousness. 19b so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

In Isaiah charter five, we see the danger and consequences of not following the word in living a holy life, we see the problem that comes with allowing ourselves the freedom to be on the fence with the actions in our life.

Isaiah 5:11-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for you who get up early to begin long drinking bouts that last late into the night. 12 You furnish lovely music and wine at your grand parties; the harps, lyres, tambourines, the flutes are superb! But you never think about the LORD or notice what he is doing. 13 So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know me. The great and honored among them will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.”

Notice this is talking about Israel, (the Church). The church is lax; it pays more attention to their parties, or “fellowships” more so than giving attention to the word and living holy in heart and life.  It says the great and honored among them will starve. How many great preachers among us aren’t preaching the word of faith and holiness, instead, the Church having itching ears, heaping to themselves carnal teachings.

14-17 NLT “The grave is licking its chops in anticipation of Jerusalem, this delicious morsel. Her great and lowly will be swallowed up, with all her drunken crowds. 15 In that day the arrogant will be brought down to dust; the proud will be humbled. 16 But the LORD almighty is exalted by his justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. 17 In those days flocks will feed among the ruins; lambs and kids will pasture there.”

We see here the end is not well for those who decide not to follow the example of holiness set forth in the word and for us in the life of Jesus. In those days the flocks, which is the congregation will feed among ruins, the ruins of a blessed life apart from a holy life, the ruins of a healed body, but a sick heart.

18-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for those who drag their sins behind them, tied with cords of falsehood. 19 They even mock the Holy One of Israel and say, “Hurry up and do something! Quick, show us what you can do. We want to see what you have planned.”” 20 “Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”

How do we drag our sins behind us? Through permissiveness, to him that knows what is good and does not do it, that to him is sin. Calling good evil, how many today use the word legalism for any type of holiness teaching, any type of righteousness is called legalism. We constantly here don’t be like the Pharisees, don’t create rules and regulations.

Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

How do we exceed their righteousness? By being righteous out of heart and love and not simply out of duty. To have a holy life in heart and action. Jesus did not nullify the commandments he added to them, don’t murder and don’t be angry, don’t commit adultery and don’t lust in your heart.

At the beginning of this post we looked at scriptures that told us we could live holy. We do not have to live in bondage to sin, we have been set free and there are consequences to continuing in sin for the believer.

As believers we need to understand two things, the consequence of continuing in sin and the reality of sin free living.

If you have received Jesus as savior but have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit to empower you to live Holy and walk in the power of the Spirit, you can do that today. All you need to do is tell the Father you love Him and you want to live a life free and cleansed form the power of sin and to walk in the fullness and power of the Spirit. Ask and you will receive and you will begin to walk in a new level of understanding, holiness, and power.

Holiness

In this video I discuss the subject of Holiness and being set apart as Christians.

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