Summary: Every major denomination believes in Holiness. Everything in the Bible points to the fact the God expects His people to live a Holy life.
#2 in Holiness Series
May 11, 2003
The Case For Holiness
There is not a major main line Christian denomination in existence that does not believe in holiness. Everyone who believes in God believes in the ultimate holiness of God.
Almost every denomination and theological persuasion also believes that there will be no sin in heaven. Every main-line Christian denomination believes that somewhere between heaven and earth, the sin that was introduced onto this earth in the Garden of Eden will be purged from existence.
The disagreement is in the process and the “when. “ Some believe that we cannot be free from sin in this life and somehow, in the moment of death, the grace of God sanctifies us and we are translated from the sin in this life to the holiness of heaven.
Even the Catholics believe in holiness. However their process of holiness is different. When you are “confirmed,” you are initially sanctified, and then your work out your salvation in this life. Entire sanctification is achieved in purgatory, where we pay the final penalty for sin, and sin is “purged” from us before our entrance in heaven.
However, every scripture reference to the sanctification of the believer is about living the sanctified life now on this earth. Much is written in the scriptures that is the prescription of living out holiness in everyday life.
Everything in the Bible points to the fact that God expects His people to life a holy life. It is:
I. A Promise.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 says, "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."
Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
It has been God’s intention all along that His people live a life of holiness.
II. A Possibility.
Christians, who are convinced that we cannot escape sin in this life, in my opinion, lead defeated lives. They are convinced that since we cannot escape sin, we are condemned live in it. That is a misconception has led to much misery in their lives.
They live in Romans chapter 7. Their lives mirror what Paul is talking about there.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:15-20)
So, day after day, they struggle with sin. They have the desire to follow the Lord, but are enslaved by the sin in their life.
But thank God that the book of Romans doesn’t end there! We don’t have to live in Romans chapter 7; we can go on to chapter 8, which says,
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature
have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.