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Summary: How Holy can You Get? Be Holy As I am Holy. You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr

HOLINESS

"A holy life is not an ascetic, or gloomily, or solitary life, but a life regulated by divine truth and faithful in Christian duty. It is living above the world while we are still in it" ’T, Edwards’

God repeatedly calls His people to be holy. This is not just a call to moral goodness but to a holiness that, resembles the very holiness of God (see Lev 11:44-45, lPet 1:15-16).

How the people of God have responded to this call to be holy, has sometimes resulted in turning people away from God and His church. The mishandling of this call has even resulted in people leaving the Church.

This mishandling of God’s call has become "legalism", a dictating of what people should do and should not do. Legalism is something Jesus wanted to end among the people of God, Paul said "Christ is the end of the law (see also Rom 6:14, 7:4, l0:4, Gal 5:1).

Legalism only serves to remind people of their sin and does not give any hope of success. The reaction to legalism has sometimes been "licentiousness" this suggests, ’well everything is OK as long as you pray’. Licentiousness is lawlessness which is sin

(see 1Jh 3:). The call to holiness when handled correctly will not bring us into legalism or licentiousness, but holiness will bring the people of God into "liberty" A holy liberty that sets us free from the condemnation of failure (see Jh 8:32-36, Gal

5:1).

By believing in Jesus we have become holy, (see Col 1:22, Act 26:18, lCor 1:2). When the Holy Spirit entered our lives at conversion He began to make us holy unto God (see lPet 1:2) and our heavenly Father disciplines us that we may share in His holiness (see Heb 12:10)

"There is no way that we by ourselves can generate sanctification. Our sanctification is Christ. There is no way that we can be good. Our goodness is Christ. There is no way that we can be holy. Our holiness is Christ" ’A,W Pink’

It is as the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer begins to mould and shape their heart and mind, their character and behaviour that they become holy vessels

unto God (see Heb 12:14). However, not all Christians are willing to co-operate with the Holy Spirit’s moulding and shaping of their lives !

WHAT IS HOLINESS

"Holiness is the visible side of salvation" ’C.H Spurgeon’

Holiness is a family characteristic, as our Father is holy so should be holy. Holiness is the result of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is a gradual process of being transformed to the likeness of Christ (see 2Cor 3:18, Eph 5:1). The process of sanctification involves a continuous separation of our lives from worldliness and unto godliness.

Holiness as a sanctifying separating work of the Holy Spirit is required in our outer character and behaviour in relation to the world and also in our inner heart and mind in relation to God. When all the emphasis of holiness is laid upon the outer man

then holiness can become legalism and result in rebellious licentiousness. The call to holiness must first be laid upon the inner man, for if a person will listen and co-operate with the Holy Spirit working within, it will alter the outer man (see Gal

5:23).

THE WAY TO HOLINESS

The way to holiness must always begin with God, not with a moral sense to be good, Satan has used "good living" to keep people away from God.

Holiness begin by the child of God spending time in the presence of God hungering and thirsting after God and the touch of God upon their lives as Isaiah did in the temple (see Isa 6).

It is in the presence of God that the work of the Holy Spirit is most effective in sanctifying and separating the child of God. Because it is in the presence of God that our spiritual ears are open to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, it is in the presence of God that we become willing to co-operate with the Holy Spirit and to sacrifice any un-holiness in our lives (see Acts 2:28, Ps 16:11)

To be in the way of holiness requires the strength of Christ in our lives to overcome the ways of the world and the sinful nature that leads us away from God.

Strength is to be found in the presence of God, the study of His Word and fellowship with His people.

Strength is to be found by experiencing the filling of the Holy Spirit, it may be a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, it may be a first filling.

Whatever it maybe, to be strong in holiness requires the filling of the Holy Spirit (see Jh 7:37-39, Ps 28:8, 46:1)

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