What is holiness, and where is it today?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by preacher4truth, Dec 8, 2010.

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This poll is private and is multiple choice.

  1. I practice personal holiness and am walking with God.

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  2. Personal holiness is a farce, I don't worry about my walk.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I need to get some things right with God in my walk regarding this.

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. Holiness does not need to be preached. Live however you wish.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I used to walk close to God in holiness before Him, and have slipped.

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  6. Holiness is important and the church needs to hear this preached.

    9 vote(s)
    64.3%
  7. I know I am better used of God when I walk before Him in cautious holiness.

    9 vote(s)
    64.3%
  8. Bible knowledge has voided this doctrine and it is not relevant to believers.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. I am free and can and do live however I want and I don't believe in seperation or holiness.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    What makes you different, your walk, or your talk?

    In the past, a lot was said about this. It seems bypassed in today's church for he most part, for intellectualism and ones personal liberty being more important than cautious, careful prayerful, selfless identity with Christ, and choosing to reject personal liberties.

    “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 (note also 6:14-18, and esp. as 6:14 is typically applied to marriage, and left out otherwise, in the believers life) I also am aware of the context of these believers with their current culture. Our culture would not escape this passage and application if Paul were to write this today. The world is idolatrous, so too are professing Christians.

    Here is a list of what was held to, formerly, and practiced by those seeking to be holy acceptable sacrifices to God:

    Nothing profane being spoken

    Modest dress differing from fads of the world

    Abstaining from evil communications, being separate from the crowd , not living in profligacy.

    Abstinence from alcohol.

    Separation from false teachers.

    Separation from the world.

    Separation from the affairs of this world, which entangle, 2 Tim. 2:4

    Abstinence from premarital forbidden intimacy (you get the picture, won't use the 3 letter word, as I am not certain of the limits here)

    Caution as to what is viewed, spoken, suggested, in front of our children especially. Hebrews 5:14 types of Christianity that uses the Word to filter everything through.

    Much time spent in prayer (desirable)

    Much time in the Word (desirable)

    Warring against personal sins, lustful thoughts, malicious intentions, tendencies to pride, haughtiness, slander, evil speaking, any appearance of evil that may make a bad mark upon self, church, Christianity in general, not allowing other idols to be glorified, and instead, seeking to Glory in Christ above all things) guarding heart and mind against any evil thoughts in general, living in such a way that others could tell without words we are walking differently, not engaging in gossip, selfless living in a selfish world and doing so within a selfish self-centered church, yet doing all these things due to already being saved, as a living sacrifice, not in order to enhance, nor to help facilitate, nor to save ones self, instead, wholly leaning upon Christ.

    There are also many other things that could be added here. Some are odd, such as preaching against wire-framed glasses, and long necked bottles, no matter the content, and let's not forget “bobbed hair” sermons.

    Give your thoughts on this. What is holiness to you, and if you are following the Lord to be holy, then what is it you do and/or abstain from? Or, is holiness before God just a farce and unscriptural? What makes you different, and called out, besides going to church?
     
  2. glfredrick

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    I did not vote because there is no choice that works for me, and that largely because of the way you are defining holiness.

    I see it as "being set apart for God's use" rather than "holding precisely the disciplines of the faith" or some separatist sentiment.

    Personal holiness needs to be a part of our walk, and we should not set it aside as if it does not matter, but at the same time (IMHO) chasing "personal" holiness only leads eventually to one living in a stone room in a monastery, doing penance for one's sins, and separating from everything and everyone. That is truly the only way to completely fulfill personal holiness and abject separation unto God, and that has been tried, found lacking (both pragmatically and biblically) and at the end of the day, does not fulfill either the Great Commission or the Great Commandment of Jesus.
     
  3. BobinKy

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  4. preacher4truth

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    Keep in mind I am only reiterating some things that were important to others in the past, and that I did not define holiness. Only fodder for thought, and a Scripture that says what it says. Being set apart I agree with, and don't see where "holding precisely the disciplines of the faith" unless you came up with that part on your own. However, the Bible has given us some precise things to separate from.

    You couldn't find one thing. That is interesting to me.

    I believe 1 Peter is a very good place to start as far as living rightly before God. We have to learn that living holy before God does not supplant our great commision duties, but may enhance it.

    I think perhaps holiness is not understood or you missed the point entirely which is my fault on that.

    Living in a stone room, doing penance, separation from everyone and everything (paraphrasing you) shows how we are afraid to embrace the biblical model and how we just have a total lack of undertstanding about it. Is this the only way you perceive personal holiness brother? Your description is archaic and stereo-typical and goes way into the past with no connection to today, and don't get me wrong, a lot of us think of it this way.

    There are many Scriptures that deal with personal holiness. The problem today, among many pastors, is they can see no clear distinction between their people and the world, other than they go to church on Sunday. One way this is seen is a lack of persons in prayer meetings, setting themselves apart in prayer for God to direct them, purifying themselves through prayer and forgiveness, and dedicating themselves to God for direction and His use.

    I personally feel our churches are in much trouble because "us scholarly preachers" have designated holiness to some archaic way of the past, and have not truly preached what it is, and/or practiced it ourselves. It was very important in the NT. It wasn't as you have described with your words I do not think.
     
    #4 preacher4truth, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  5. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. -----1 Peter 1:15-16


    Not only has God called us for salvation, but also for holiness. Holiness is conforming to Him. Through the Holy Spirit Christ dwells in us and the Holy Spirit works in us. As we grow as Christians it should be less about our fleshy desires and more about Gods will for us.

    Here is a quote from Andrew Murray on the subject that I like. It is long so I will cut out some in the middle.

    "Gods holiness is His highest glory. In His holiness, His righteousness and His love are united. His holiness is the flaming fire of His zeal against all that is sin. This is how He keeps Himself free from sin, and in love makes others also free from it. It is as the Holy One of Israel that He is the Redeemer, and that He lives in the Midst of His people.

    Redemption is given to bring us to Himself and to fellowship of His holiness. And what is this holiness that I might have? Christ is your sanctification. The life of Christ in you is your holiness. In Christ you are sanctified-you are holy. In Christ you must continually be sanctified. The glory of Christ must penetrate your whole life.

    Holiness is more than purity. In scripture we see that cleansing precedes holiness. Cleansing is taking away of that which is wrong---liberation from sin. Holiness is the filling with that which is good and divine---the disposition of Jesus. Holiness is conformity to Him. It is separation from the spirit of the world and being filled with the presence of the holy God. The tabernacle was holy because God lived there. We are holy, as God's temple, after we have God living within us. Christ's life in us is our holiness." ---Andrew Murray



    .
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    Thanks for your reply brother.

    Holiness, personal holiness, is held with disdain today, almost to the point of mocking it.

    When we look at Scripture, we are taught those truly looking for His Coming, purify themselves as in 1 John 3:2-3. This living out a life of holiness is following the NT mandate to do so.

    On a personal note, intellectualism, haughtiness, pride, blurring of truth, disdain for absolute truth that has crept into our churches, and is propagated by ministers, and just plain near hatred for those who preach about living right before God has all but erased this doctrine from the churches, and is at best, in a lot of cases skimmed over.

    The Scriptures are plain on the fact we are to live holy before Him. Without this holiness none will see the Lord, Hebrews 12:14 and I believe that extends to both the holiness he imparts to believers at salvation, and the end result that a truly regenerate person will practice it, out of being saved, not in order to be saved. That we equate personal holiness to monasticism is unfortunate and frankly, silly. This proves we just do not know nearly as much as we think we do, when it comes to "the rubber meeting the road" so to speak. :smilewinkgrin:

    It seems to me ministers are more interested in trying to prove their own intellectual savvy than being interested in practicing true holiness before Him. The Kingdom is becoming all about "us" and less about Him, no matter how sharp we think our theology may be, or how much we say we may hold to a Reformed theology which is alledged to Glorify Him more than other views.

    There is way more glorying in self going on today, than there is glorying in Him, in my opinion and evaluation.

    An unfortunate indictment on the church today is that the world sees no difference in the lives of those who frequent the church than of themselves.

    Go figure.

    Thanks for the quote.

    - Blessings
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
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    Phantom double post (wasn't there a minute ago)
     
    #7 webdog, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  8. webdog

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    Couldn't it be summed up as living by the Spirit or striving to do so in all aspects of life?

    Of course this is coming from someone who hasn't gone to seminary, so anyone can dismiss it if they like :D
     
  9. preacher4truth

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    Yeah, who are YOU? What are your credentials? What???!!! You've not been to cemetery?

    Look, as soon as you become a card carrying, ABSV totin' cemetery grad, then you can comment.

    2 Opinioneth 3:11 sayeth "Thou hast not seminary training, thou shalt not interpret Scripture." ABSV, of course.
     
  10. Steven2006

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    Excellent thought. And you know what, I truly believe we are the most happy when we desire less glory for ourselves, but instead seek only glory for God. Think about it, If God is to be alone glorified, we must desire none for ourselves. And what better example do we have than Jesus of humility. He gave no thought to Himself, but rather wholly glorified the Father.
     
  11. webdog

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    Very true, and just what John the Baptist said (I must become less and less, and He must become greater and greater). Can you imagine what it would be like if we all held to this practice? Well, some day it will come to fruition without the shackles of this flesh attached to us. Maranatha!
     
  12. webdog

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    Oops...I posted before I saw this post. Please forgive me....but I did use a big word from another language in my post, so that should count for something, right? :laugh:
     
  13. preacher4truth

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    Steven and webdog,

    Preachers are so worried about being respected, and even demand it, then have a tantrum when called out for embracing subjective philosophies stemming from their own personal relationships, instead of through Scriptures. How dare anyone expose their error.

    Jesus never once did this.

    The church has adopted the corporate America mentality, adopted the leadership bologna that has literally changed to church into leadership led instead of being servant led.
     
  14. Steven2006

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    While I agree preachers must be especially on guard for this, everyone has this same battle, especially the immature Christian. Is there a sneakier sin than pride? Unlike so many other sins, pride masks itself so cunningly, and seeps into so many aspects of our lives, our very personalities and if we are not careful our service for God. This is why self examination is so important.
     
  15. MB

    MB
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    As I read your post I thought you must be over looking the fact that no one is perfect, therefore no one is holy. There isn't even one of us who can claim holiness as something they can do.

    There is nothing man can do but pray for the lords leading. If a man has any holiness it isn't because of his personal efforts, but because, of the work done by the Holy Spirit. God is the author and finisher of our faith.

    If we could have cleaned our selves up, we wouldn't have needed a Savior or, His Spirit dwelling in our selves.
    MB
     
  16. preacher4truth

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    I am not over looking a thing. You're missing the point entirely. This is nothing about being saved. It is all about being holy before God, as the NT gives us command to do.

    We can keep ourselves pure, or purify ourselves. The NT is clear on this. This isn't saving ourselves.

    I see we have seriously trouble separating being saved by works, with being saved by Him, and seeing where personal holiness comes in.

    This is unfortunate. But I am not surprised at all.
     
    #16 preacher4truth, Dec 8, 2010
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  17. Steven2006

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    Yes of course, but does one not have to desire to become holy? Do we not have to believe in and be open to Jesus working in our lives to be what pleases God?
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    lol...yes, that big 4 dollar word has allowed me to grant unto thee an honorary Doctorate, of your choice!
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    We must all be on guard, you are correct. Ever pray that prayer, "God I want to be right with you and in fellowship with you, please cleanse me from my sin, and show me wherein I have failed you" and He did, and you couldn't believe the things you overlooked, and it kept growing and growing?



    I think one of the ways that is telltale of our walk, is loving Him for the correct reasons, and that loving Him means we love Him because He is holy, just, perfect, and Righteous in all His being, and we recognize that we are not, nor even are we close to being like He is. This is versus the word-faith and it's cousins that love God perhaps for what He gives to them, and that they are little gods, and in Copeland theology, not far from God at all?

    Is our failure to live holy a telling picture that we don't see God Himself as being truly Holy?
     
  20. Thousand Hills

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    I think if we get honest about it we truly cannot comprehend how Holy God is, and how sinful we are. Sin to us is natural, we are such corrupt beings we are used to it. While as Christians, we are no longer slaves to sin, and free from the eternal consequences of sin, we still are in the flesh and have to struggle with our old sin nature. See Romans 7:14-25. I've heard it said our flesh and spirit is like two mad dogs with their tails tied together, constantly fighting each other. Which one will be stronger and ultimately win? The one that is fed the most. We have to feed the spirit in the process to win the daily battles against the flesh, this means, prayer, reading God's word, meditating on God's goodness, confession (he is just to forgive) etc. Personally, the times when I realize I'm not acting like I should usually occur when I fail to spend adequate time in the word.

    BTW. This is a great thread with a lot of great thoughts. Please don't let it digress to another thread about seminary education, etc. There's enough of those threads already. :smilewinkgrin:
     

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