The Face of Holiness Part 4


“Living the Christian Life”

            The message of the greatest prophet that ever walked on this earth was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.” John the Baptist surely did not hold back in proclaiming the need for repentance. However, it seems like many of us have become such “Cheese-balls” that we are willing to preach a different Gospel for the sake of not offending the world. We have indeed become friends of the world at the cost of assisting people on their way to hell and standing as enemies of God (James 4:4). To make matters worst, we refuse to confront the sin in our own camp; why? Because we are afraid we will loose members in our churches. We are afraid that our numbers will decrease and therefore the money also.

            As the world is filled with political correctness; the church is filling with people that refuse to call sin, “Sin;” people that, under the umbrella of “God loves you;” are befriending the world. Prophets such as G. Craig Lewis have been sounding the alarms for years with his DVD series “The Truth Behind Hip-Hop” concerning the wickedness that we are allowing in our churches. (http://gcraige.blogspot.com) But we, in the spirit of, “Being Nice,” are allowing the devil to take over our youth’s minds. We want to apply grace without truth and mercy without correction. In the process we are opening doors of great confusion and heresy in our local churches.

            When are we going to understand that holiness is offensive to people that do not want to change? The truth of God’s Word will always cause the sinner or the Christian in sin to feel very uncomfortable. That is the reason why many stands as cowers as they rather be “Nice” than to teach and preach about the purity of holiness. Persecution only comes when we want to be holy; people that love sin and are comfortable with sin will not experience such persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us:

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

            Rev. Gerald Cruse in his teachings about holiness points out that “the reason we in America are not experiencing the persecution that other brothers and sisters are experiencing in other parts of the world is because we are not even trying to be holy.” Help us Jesus! We have become, indeed, “cheese-balls” and cower for Christ. We are constantly turning our backs on the Apostles’ teachings. Titus 2:11-16 tells us:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Oh, but we dare to tell anybody to stop doing this or stop doing that. See beloved, “Holiness” is the greatest threat against “Self.” We can teach about prosperity, we can teach about church government, we can teach about the end-time prophesies, the rapture, speaking in tongues, winning the lost, etc. and even as all of these topics are very important; without these teachings, responsibilities and commissions flowing out of holiness we find ourselves on dangerous grounds. But, when we are face-to-face with God’s holiness and His demand for us to be holy, we find ourselves directly facing our mess. It is then that we are face-to-face with the reality that there are things we are doing that we must stop doing immediately. It is here that holiness makes us very uncomfortable; it is here that the world and folk in church that are walking in disobedience manifest their hate towards us. It is all an inner-war of “Self” fighting against the Spirit of God.

To be continued…

7 thoughts on “The Face of Holiness Part 4

  1. I well remember I got fired from a job for trying to walk the walk and talke the talk. The Lord brought me a better job and taught me many things in the process. It was a sweet time when I had to depend on God for my daily bread. james

    Like

    1. Amen James! It will cost; this verse of 2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” really minister to me this weekend!

      Like

  2. Can we ever give thanks enough to our Lord and the One who is indeed our Savior for sharing His holiness with us?

    Like

    1. No we can’t Dennis! I believe that what blesses His heart is our sincere desire to be holy as He is holy; our willingness to surrender to His will and our declaration of dependance on Him. God wants and command us to be holy; we say more than “thank you” when we make up our minds to be holy. One thing is to be in sin and try to hit the Mark again and again; the other is to be right on the Mark by His grace, power and the divine nature that He has given us and miss the Mark every now and then because of our humanity. Our normal should be now to be holy; the abnormal should be to sin. All these the work of the Holy Spirit; our only part is the desire to be…

      Like

      1. I am thankful because I am free. Those things that are not godly weary my soul, but my engagement in those actions that reflect God’s will and way elevate my spirit. I view my sinful actions for what they actually are — rebellion against God. They burden me. I long to rid myself of all the weight that slows me from reaching my goal of growing in holiness.

        But I can’t subscribe to the belief of those who insist that my experience must conform to the ‘pattern’ and prescribe what holiness should look like (i.e. what you should wear, no jewelry, etc). And I am strongly against any notion that works can save a person. But I am convinced that if someone is justified and on their way to perfection, then – filled with the love of God by the Holy Spirit – they will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. They will love God and their neighbor and “good works” will naturally flow out of a life transformed. Rather than legalism, I see the transformed believer as having true liberty – freedom to obey God and live as Christ. Not because they had to, but because they would desire to show their love for God in obedience.

        Such freedom in the Holy Spirit fills us with joy.  Scripture says, “you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Ps 16:11, 21:6), and “the joy of the Lord is my strength”(Neh 8:10).  Jesus promised His joy to those who love and obey Him. When we live in the reality of a daily relationship with Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of the Lord will be obvious.

        The Holy Spirit also enables us with grace.  “Grace is the empowering ability of God to enable you to be what you’re called to be and do what you’re called to do.”  If that grace is overflowing in our lives it will result grace-fullness or graciousness toward others.  If we are full of grace, we should also be filled to overflowing with the love of God.  Scripture teaches that certain evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the love of God flowing through our hearts (see Rom 5:5).  Our love of God compels us to praise and worship Him, and to be obedient to His word.  Love orders our life according to the priorities of Jesus.  The love one another compels us to love His church and to be intentional about edifying the body of Christ. 

        Moreover, the Holy Spirit empowers us with spiritual gifts.  Today, let’s not miss the Divine Giver by obsessing about His gifts. They are meant to lead us to Him. All Christ followers should be gift bearers, allowing any and all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow through us for the benefit of others.  The purpose is to be witnesses unto Jesus and to build up the body of Christ.  Spiritual gifts are discovered in ministry to others.  It will take all of God’s gifts flowing through all God’s people to touch all of God’s creation.  It is the only way that the kingdom of God will ever come on earth as it is in heaven.

        Joyful, grace-gifted Christ followers are saved, sealed, Spirit-filled, and sanctified servants with the same anointing as Jesus (see Luke 4:17-19; 1 John 2:20, 27; 2 Cor 1:21-22).  People  with changed lives are used by Jesus to help change the world!

        Angel, when I first began seeking a closer walk with God and desiring the power of the Holy Spirit, I had an encounter with God that radically changed my life.  Prophetic words of wisdom gave me direction and guidance for my life.  There were healings for my damaged emotions, memories, and relationships.  A new language of praise and prayer intensified my sense of God’s power in my life.  Then, gifts began to flow through me to bless others I found myself speaking hope into hopeless situations and people.

        As Spirit-filled Christ followers, we can live in an experiential awareness of the presence and power of God.  We have the privilege of walking daily with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.  We should learn to expect His presence in praise and worship.  We should live with an expectancy that God will “add daily those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47), and that he will use us as His instruments to lead them into a joyful, grace-gifted experience of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.

        The apostle Paul is clear when he addresses the church and says, “…be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:18-20).

        The work is too great and the time is too short to attempt the work of the kingdom in the weakness of our own flesh… we need to be filled, and filled, and filled, and filled to overflowing, with the Spirit of the living God!  We need to become joyful, grace-gifted people — to the praise of His glory!

        Come Holy Spirit!

        Like

        1. Amen! I hope that you are not saying that I am trying to teach that “works” save us or that I am trying to follow legalism. Holiness, however does has a face; it is a beautiful face of many colors and forms… a face that keeps his eyes on Jesus. Have you ever seen somebody look at a particular direction and you automatically look yourself. That is how the face of holiness operates! However, again… I agreed that we can’t lock holiness into one particular way or look; that has happend, it is very dangerous and painful for many. It is easier however, to determine what holiness is not as we follow the Scriptures. We are ncourage to put off things and to put on others. As we make desiciples we have the responsibility of teaching these things keeping in mind that the Bible is the culture that every Christian must follow!

          Like

  3. Amen! God’s Word will speak to us and transform our lives, if we will come to it in a spirit of prayer and expectancy, The invitation to grow in holiness is for us to seek the living presence of God in the Bible and to come ready to listen and respond. And when we read the Scriptures with openness and trust, we will not be disappointed.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s