You Won’t See God Without It

The Bible states plainly that we should “Follow after peace with all men AND HOLINESS without which no man can see God.” (Hebs.12:14)

There is nothing more important yet possibly more unappealing to most than the subject of holiness. To be sure, because some have misrepresented what holiness is, it has taken a bad rap, so to speak, so that in the minds of some holiness is equated more with what you wear or what you do not do and where you do not go than who you are in relationship with God. But holiness is not only good, it is vital in healthy Christian living:

“Holiness is not the way to Christ, but rather Christ is the way to holiness. Holiness is the architectural plan on which God builds up His living temple. The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of the Spirit of God.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

William Penn put it this way: “True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it.”

Another sage said, “The perfume of holiness is instilled in the soul of continual contact with the Rose of Sharon.”

No wonder P.P. Bliss wrote his worshipful song, “More holiness give me, more striving within; more patience in suffering more sorrow for sin. More faith in my Savior, more sense of His care. More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.”  And, yes, it all begins with “More holiness give me….”

We do have a PATTERN of holiness, given to us in the person of our Lord and Savior. “As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” (I Pet.1:15). Our model of holiness is our high priest, Jesus, “for such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners….” (Hebs. 7:26)

Old Testament passages set forth the same verities: “For I am the Lord your God:  ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves and ye shall be holy, for I am holy….” (Lev.11:44,45)

Then, too, we who are His have a PURPOSE in holiness: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Pt.2:9) Ours is a lifestyle that to the world in which we live, a world out of tune with His Word and out of step with His will, seems peculiar; but be that as it may, our life is lived to “shew forth the praises of Him….” We are a book, read of all who know us. Our life is a walk more than a talk. “Holiness vanishes when you talk about it, but becomes conspicuous when you live it.” Therefore, it is imperative that we “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord, abide in Him always, and lean on His Word.”

A.W. Tozer reminds us that “whoever would be filled and indwelt by the Spirit (who is absolutely and infinitely pure) should first judge his life for any hidden iniquities; he should courageously expel from his heart everything which is out of accord with the character of God as revealed by the Holy Scriptures.”

Next, there is a PEOPLE of holiness as enumerated in God’s Word: “Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.” (Ps.30:4)

“So, I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel…and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.” (Ezek.39:7)

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works.” (Ps.145:17)

“O sing unto the Lord a new song…His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.” (Ps.98:1)

“For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our King.” (Ps.89:18)

“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.” (Isa.43:15)

“O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness….” (Ps.96:9)

“Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (I Chr.16:29)

“Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Ps.29:2)

“To the end that He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God.” (I Th.3:13)

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph.4:24)

“…that we might be partakers of His holiness.” (Hebs.12:10)

“Ye also, as lively stones, built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood….” (I Pet.2:5)

“Beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith.” (Jude 20)

Next, do not be naïve concerning the PITFALLS of holiness: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you as becometh saints.” (Eph.3:5) As the long tenured prof at DTS said, “It is foolish to build a chicken coop on the foundation of a skyscraper. If a Christian fails to live a holy life, he fails to utilize the foundation Christ has given him.” (Howard Hendricks)

Finally, here’s a PLAN for holiness: (1) Acknowledge it is God’s will for you: “For this is the will of God even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication.” (I Thess. 4:3) “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.” (I Th.4:7) (2) Abstain from anything which would prevent you from living a holy life. (I Th.4:3; Eph.5:3) (3) Yield to the Holy Spirit: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” (Rom.6:19) (4) Endure God’s chastening: “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” (Hebs.12:10) (5) Learn to possess your body in sanctification by both what you put on it and by what you put into it. (I Thess. 4:4)

C.S. Lewis said, “How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing…it is irresistible.”

Thomas Kelly writing “Praise the Savior ye who know him:” “Then we shall be where we would be; then we shall be what we should be, gladly let us render to Him, all we are and have.”

Editor’s note: The believer is positionally sanctified at the moment of salvation and that position, spiritually, is static, unchanging and unchangeable as we are “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Then, on a day- by- day journey with Jesus, the maturing believer is “being sanctified” practically, which is what Paul meant when he wrote that we should possess our body in sanctification; (I Thess.4:4); finally, there is an ultimate sanctification when we see Jesus and shall be made like unto Him with glorified sinlessness as we occupy our place in the heavenly kingdom of our Lord and Savior.  Much of this post has spoken of a daily, practical sanctification, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor.7:1)

“For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” (Hebs. 12:10)

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