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The Importance of Holiness

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Brother Wayne, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Brother Wayne

    Brother Wayne New Member

    Sep 14, 2012
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    I just put together a little compilation of verses and additional thoughts from the Bible that talk about the importance of a holy living. It is clear in the teachings of the Scripture that no Christian is totally sinless (1 John 1:8-10), but it is also clear that God expects the true believer to not sin habitually. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his sead remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because is born of God.” 1 John 3:9

    To “practice” sin is to sin as a way of life. An unsaved person lives a life of habitual sin. The sin of unbelief is a normal thing for the lost person. A true believer does not live in habitual sin. He may commit occasional sins for which he must repent, but he will not make it a habitual practice.

    The word “holy,” “holiness,” “saint” and “sanctify” comes from a Greek root meaning, “to set apart to God.” The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit. The “saint” is a person set apart for God, enjoying a holy standing before God in Christ Jesus, with the obligation of living a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15-16). The evidence of the new birth is righteous behavior in the life of the believer. Sanctification is evident in a changed life. God changes us from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17).

    1 Peter 2:9
    “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;”

    Holy living demands determination
    Romans 12:1-2
    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    1 Thessalonians 4:4-8
    “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”
    1 Peter 1:14-16
    “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 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.”
    2 Peter 3:11
    “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”

    The Christian is responsible for his inner life and outward walk. All areas of our life should be in the process of being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. Sin is abnormal and unnatural for the believer. The Christian does not experience the sinless life perfectly on this earth (1 John 1:8, 10), however we do overcome sin through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-21).

    Holiness or sanctification can be perfected, i.e., completed or matured (Phi. 3:8-16). A maturing, or growing holiness, is an increased Christ-likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). It is a progressive sanctification, not sinless perfection.

    We will receive glorification when we see Jesus in heaven, and not before then. Until then, we are to grow in His likeness (1 John 3:3). Our responsibility is to yield ourselves to the inner working of the Holy Spirit and keep on growing in His likeness (James 4:8).

    The eternal purpose of God in Christ is for us to be holy. God has saved you by the Holy Spirit to make you His holy people (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 5:25-27).

    Jesus Christ died to make us holy. The purpose of God in the atoning death of His Son for our sins is to save us from the penalty of sin, and to set us apart to God to become like His Son (Rom. 8:29). Our eternal destiny is to be conformed to the image of God in Christ Jesus (1 Jn. 3:3).

    God loved us while we were His enemies and sent His Son to die for us, and we are now His children who are to be like their Father. A Christian who sins is a child sinning against His Father.

    The proof that we sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ is a holy life

    John 14:15 reads, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (v. 21). “If a love me, he will keep my words” (v. 23). The answer to the obedience problem is love. If you love Him, you will obey Him. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (v. 14).

    If you love Jesus, you will be holy. If you love Him, you will become like Him.

    If you do not obey Him, you do not love Him. If you love Him, you will obey Him. You do not love Him if you do not do what He teaches.

    Because the Christian knows God, he must also live a life of obedience and not practice sin.

    The evidence that we are true children of God is a holy lifestyle

    “Everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen Him or known Him” (1 John 3:6, GNT). The child of God does not have the habit of sin because He has God’s divine principle of life dwelling in him. We cannot go on continuing to sin because we now have God’s very nature in us. A person who “abides” in a sinless Person must himself be sinless because he has a sinless regenerate nature.

    God’s children act like their Father. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). The Spirit of God leads to holiness because He will not lead you into sin and disobedience. If we allow the Spirit to lead us, we will live a holy lives.

    Our sanctification is not a personal attainment, but is a state or position into which God in grace has called us (2 Tim. 1:9). It is our responsibility, moreover to “sanctify” ourselves (1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:11). If we are going to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him, we must keep our lives from all known sin. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

    Without holiness on earth we cannot be prepared to enjoy heaven
    Hebrews 12:14
    “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
    1 Corinthians 3:16-18
    “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
    “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appear, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28). The physical changes of our redemption will take place when Christ returns and our bodies are glorified. “We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him” (1 Jn. 3:3; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:52-54). We will have new glorified bodies made for living in heaven. Because Jesus Christ shall return, we can and must keep our lives pure and holy.