Summary: What are the benefits of living a holy life by the Grace of God and with His indwelling Holy Spirit? They are many!
Holiness - The Benefits of Holiness
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Today we will be reading from Hebrews 12:14-29
Over the past two weeks we have taken a look at Christian Holiness.
The first week we looked at two competing doctrines. The first being “the carnal Christian” and the second being Christian Holiness.
The doctrine of “carnal Christianity” is defined as a case where a person places his faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and yet there is no change in his behavior. He continues to live in the grip sin just as he did before and yet it is believed that he is still saved.
I must state once again that no one in true Christianity believes that a born again person should live that way; they only believe that it is possible.
The competing doctrine we looked at is what we would refer to as Christian holiness. This would be the case when a person places his faith and trust in Jesus for salvation and he becomes a “new creation” in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This person who is a new creation becomes more and more transformed into the image of Christ and no longer lives in slavery to sin. (Romans 6:22 - Now that you have been set free from …)
From that study we found from God’s Holy Word that His desire for those who are true believers is that they live in holiness. So, last Sunday we took another look at the Bible to see if it is indeed possible for a truly born again Christian to be set free from slavery to sin and to live a holy life.
From that study we found that while a Christian will never achieve sinless perfection in this life they can find a perfect love for God and His will which will lead to a life that is continually growing in holiness and Christ-likeness.
This week we will be examining what benefits come along with living a life of holiness that is empowered by the active presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.
Let’s see what the Word of God has to say in … Hebrews 12:14-29
(Prayer for help)
So, what, if any, are the benefits of living a holy life?
But before we get into that I want to confess that I do not profess to be the great example of holiness. There are times when I am still tempted with desires and attitudes that are not pleasing to God. And, as long as we live on this earth the temptations will continue but with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit we can have victory over those sinful desires and temptations.
Well, the very first thing we see in this Scripture is a command to be holy and a warning of the consequences if we FAIL to live a holy life.
There are two parts to the command found in Hebrews 12:14.
The first part is this; “Make every effort to live in peace with all men”.
Yes, we are called to be peace makers by Jesus Himself. This is recorded in Matthew 5:9 where Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Being a peacemaker is a facet of living a holy life but it is not the completeness of living a holy part, it is only one facet of living a holy life.
Then, after the writer of Hebrews calls us to be peacemakers he call us to full holiness when he writes, “Make every effort … to be holy ….”
This isn’t just talking about “try” or “try harder”. When it says, “Make every effort” it means that we should make EVERY effort.
Other translations say that we should “continually pursue … holiness, and that we should “strive for … holiness”. (Hebrews 12:14 AMP, RSV)
Continually pursue holiness. Strive for holiness. Make every effort to be holy. Why? What benefit could possibly come from living a holy life?
Well, first and most obvious benefit is mentioned in this very verse, we will “see the Lord”. When it says, “without holiness no one will see the Lord” it is a double negative that is perhaps more easily understood when phrased as “only those who are holy will see the Lord”.
So, is seeing the Lord a benefit? Does it mean here in the present age or only in eternity?