Summary: A sermon addressing a few misconceptions of holiness and what it is or isn’t with the aid of theologian, preacher, and founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth. The inroduction is from my personal experience and can be left out if being used in your c
“Holiness is like a diamond. It has many facets”
– Dr. Roger Green at Holiness Ablaze, 2010
Holiness. Holy is defined by Dictionary.com as, “1. Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred. 2. Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy person, and, 3. Specified or set apart for a religious purpose: a holy place. That’s an easy answer to the following question. What is holiness?
I (Matt Stacy) learned a lot about holiness when attending Holiness Ablaze, a Salvation Army conference in Boston, Massachusetts with Holiness as the theme during the second week in January 2009. I traveled there with my class from Railton School for Youth Worker Training which is located on the campus of SFOT where Salvationists are educated in ministry as well to eventually become ordained ministers. While there, we were required to record notes for a reflection paper as part of a graded assignment. This was done for a couple reasons. First we get to practice taking notes and second it keeps us focused on what was being presented at this retreat for Salvationists. It would have been an obligation if what I learned wasn’t so profoundly intriguing, convicting, and insightful. I gained a lot that will, for quite some time, expand and reveal a truer idea of holiness as my life as a Christian continues. Especially now, that I’m on the frontline of the ministry. As I dig deeper into the concept of holiness, should you join me, we will find that holiness might not be what you have always thought it was.. It’s better…
During the weekend my Railton class attended almost a dozen lectures about the idea of holiness including the history of influences such as Samuel L. Brengle, William and Catherine Booth, John Wesley, and others who’s theology and philosophy helped shape the theology and mission of The Salvation Army and it’s views on holiness.
One- What Holiness Isn’t
The second lecture I attended was presented by Dr. Roger Green, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. His presentation described the development of William Booth’s theology on holiness. Dr. Green presented William Booth touching an important point in his preaching of holiness. Above we have asked the question, “What is holiness”. Finding the answer to this question is integral to a life long faith in God, but I also find that it’s important to find out what holiness isn’t. William Booth gives us a good look at some insights and misconceptions about holiness.
First, holiness is not having a heart that can’t be tempted to do evil. We suggest that being holy or sanctified means that you are never sinning or tempted to sin. This simply isn’t true. In actuality holiness isn’t being invincible to the influence of evil. We acknowledge Jesus Christ as the very Son of God and our divine atonement for our sins and He, out of all of us, is the perfect example of holiness. And still we read in the scriptures of the account when Jesus was tempted by Satan in three books of the Bible. It is in written in Matthew 4:1-11,