The State of Faith
A Study on Holiness
A Need To Abide
that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
The cry of the Bible is repentance - repent of your sins. John the Baptist came preaching the message of repentance:
Matthew 3:1-2 (NKJV)
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
And Jesus picked right up where John left off:
Mark 1:14-15 (NKJV)
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
But repentance has to do with the shedding of what is wrong in our lives. This is an important concept, but it is still the negative side of holiness. Sanctification or consecration is the positive approach of presenting what is good to God. Consecration requires repentance, to be sure, but there is more to it than merely repenting. Repentance is described as turning 180 degrees - away from sin and toward God. One can repent of sin, that is turn from sin, but miss turning to God. When we are fully consecrated, we are ever conscious of the need to always move toward God - to always strive to be holy and always seeking to obey God in love.
This obedience is accomplished only through the power of the Holy Spirit obtained by abiding in Christ (John 15:5). Obedience means to always be in God&s Word where we may be sanctified (John 17:17). But, sanctification also occurs by faith (Acts 26:18), the Blood of the Lamb (Heb 13:12), and the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16). This is all accomplished by abiding in Christ. This is the path to holiness.
The Bible is our guide and friend. The Bible is our source of discipline and pruning. The Bible is our source of faith and power. Only by staying close to God will holiness occur in our lives on a daily, ongoing basis. Holiness is a doctrine to be believed. Then, this doctrine should lead us to understand faith as an experience to be received and enjoyed. This experience will help to demonstrate that holiness is a life to be lived. This life is one of the fruits produced when the believer remains in Christ.
This life produces what might be called positive goodness. The believer becomes self-controlled in all of his actions and decisions. He speaks gently, he thinks soundly. He does nothing to excess and displays an even temper. The believer faces his limitations faithfully and in humility. The believer speaks no ill of his neighbors and exercises moral judgment, appearing pure not only before God but before the world.
The believer maintains pure and righteous relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, business associates and the stranger he passes on the street. The holy person lives in the fear and love of God. This awe and respect is transparent to those familiar with him. The holy believer lives in gracious communion, fellowship, understanding, and agreement with God. He worships God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).