Tag Archives: Holiness

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Lifting Those Who Fall

So how do you approach people who need help?

LIFTING THOSE WHO FALL

It’s okay to confront somebody you believe is in the wrong, but not with a self-righteous attitude.  When church leaders insisted a woman “caught in the act of adultery” be stoned (See John 8:4 NLT), Jesus replied, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone” (v. 7 NLT).  Ouch!  One Christian author writes: “Are we aware of other people’s mistakes because they confided in us, or have we appointed ourselves the ‘moral police’ to justify examining the blemishes in everyone else’s behavior?  Is your goal to restore prodigals,,,,or do you have a hidden agenda to evaluate yourself by condemning those around you?  I’ve been confronted twice by other Christians.  One…a red-faced stranger who was furious with me for wearing knee-high leather boots with a short skirt to her church.  She called me a ‘Jezebel.’  The second was…a good friend who tenderly pointed out my pride in a specific situation.  The name-calling left a bruise on my soul….the compassionate rebuke turned me toward the forgiving arms of our heavenly Father.  God alone has the perfect combination of holiness and mercy to stand in judgment of the human heart.  The Bible says, ‘if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.  And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.’  The only one who was worthy to condemn us, chose instead to pardon us…and in light of our own sinner-saved-by-grace (status)-when the Holy Spirit impresses you to confront someone who has messed up, do it with honesty, compassion, and humility.”

From “Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening”

     How many of us are like this?

“Ephraim is a cake not turned.”  Hos_7:8

A cake not turned is uncooked on one side; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: though there was some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left. My soul, I charge thee, see whether this be thy case. Art thou thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very centre of thy being so as to be felt in its divine operations in all thy powers, thy actions, thy words, and thy thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be thine aim and prayer; and although sanctification may not be perfect in thee anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action; there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another, else thou, too, wilt be a cake not turned.

A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side, is dough on the other.

If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of thy love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from thy heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of thy grace, I must be consumed for ever amid everlasting burnings.

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

     We live in a world, and in a culture, where we pay lipservice to God; where we embrace Him in every way except in the ways that mean the most to Him.  We live in a time where there are many spiritual people, and where spirituality runs rampant, but let me ask you something.  Does God still care about Holiness?  Does He expect His children to be holy?  Does He expect His children to be obedient?  There are some hard truths that a lot of people in this world don’t want to see, and that goes for me too.  We’re willing to accept some truth, the parts of it that don’t bother us too much, but when we come across those parts that get in the way, that put walls between us and what we want to do then we go about the business of tearing them down and making them more palatable.  
     We live with a lot of false ideas in this world.  We believe in God, but don’t believe the Bible is His infallible, inerrant word, and the only truth we should live our lives by.  We believe we can love Jesus, and hate the church.  We belive that God is all about love, but doesn’t care about Justice, Mercy, Compassion,  and Holiness.  We believe that God loves us and it’s okay to live any way we want.      We believe we can really know God without spending any time in prayer or in reading His word.  The list goes on and on.  
     So what do you really believe.  Just as an experiment take a sheet of paper and write down the top 5 things you truly believe to be true, then take the rest of your day and try to notice the way you go about living today, your words and actions, and at the end of your evening reflect back upon your day.   How did it go? 

” Submit yourselves therefore to God.”  James 4:7

 

Submission to the Divine will is a great advance in holiness; and this is mainly and effectually attained through sanctified chastisement. In prosperity, how full are we of self-sufficiency! When the Lord asks our obedience, we give Him our counsel. But when He sends the rod, and by the accompanying grace of His Spirit sanctifies its stroke, we learn in what true obedience consists. It was in this school our blessed Lord Himself was taught. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” He learned to obey in suffering- to bring His will in suffering into complete submission to His Father’s will. God has not in His family such obedient children as those who, “passing under the rod,” are “brought into the bond of the covenant.” Oh, what a high Christian attainment is submission to the will of God! The noblest grace attainable upon earth is it.

When our Lord taught His disciples to pray to the Father for the spread of holiness, He embodied the petition, in these words, “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” The universal and complete holiness of heaven springs from the universal and complete perfection in which the will of God is done by angels and glorified spirits. In proportion as the Divine will prevails upon earth, holiness will reign. And, oh, what a beauteous earth and what a blissful world would this be, were the will of God done by every creature! In the new earth, in which will dwell righteousness, it will be so. The original harmony of this fallen universe will then be restored, its pristine beauty recovered, and God, in the person of His Son, will once more reign over, and walk in the midst of, a people whose will shall be but the reflection of His own. Thus to approximate to the Divine will is to assimilate with the Divine holiness. What God will, how God will, and when God will, defines the rule which should govern all the conduct and limit all the desires of the child of God. The instant the overwhelmed heart is brought into this state, the afflicted believer has planted his feet upon the Rock that is higher than he. All is peace, all is composure, because all is submission to the will of God. “The Lord reigns” is the truth whose all-commanding yet gentle whisper has stilled the tempest and calmed the waves. In its intense anxiety that the Divine will might be done, the chastened soul is but breathing after deeper holiness; and every fervent desire for the attainment of holiness is holiness already attained. Blessed chastening of love, that produces in this world, so distant and uncongenial, the buds and blossoms and fruits of heaven! A richer fruit grows not within the Paradise of God than Holiness. And yet, in the experience of a chastened believer, bleeding under the rod of his heavenly Father, there may be obtained such victories over sin, such purification of heart, such meekness of spirit, such Christ-like conformity, and such a discipline of the will, as to make him a rich “partaker of the Divine holiness.”

From Winslow “Morning and Thoughts”

     As christians our view of holiness and our occupation with it’s role in our lives says a lot about our witness and relationship with Christ Jesus.  If you’ve never given thought to the subject of holiness in your life perhaps it’s time to do so.

“As you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

Colossians 2:6, 7

BY simple, close, and crucifying views of the cross of Christ does the Spirit most effectually sanctify the believer. This is the true and great method of gospel sanctification. Here lies the secret of all real holiness, and, may I not add, of all real happiness. For, if we separate happiness from holiness, we separate that which, in the covenant of grace, God has wisely and indissolubly united. The experience of the true believer must testify to this. We are only happy as we are holy-as the body of sin is daily crucified, the power of the indwelling principle weakened, and the outward deportment more beautifully and closely corresponding to the example of Jesus. Let us not, then, look for a happy walk, apart from a holy one. Trials we may have; yes, if we are the Lord’s covenant ones, we shall have them, for He Himself has said, “in the world you shall have tribulation;” disappointments we may meet with-broken cisterns, thorny roads, wintry skies; but if we are walking in fellowship with God, dwelling in the light, growing up into Christ in all things, the Spirit of adoption witnessing within us, and leading to a filial and unreserved surrender-oh, there is happiness unspeakable, even though in the very depth of outward trial. A holy walk is a happy walk: this is God’s order, it is His appointment, and therefore must be wise and good.

Seek high attainments in holiness. Do not be satisfied with a low measure of grace, with a dwarfish religion, with just enough Christianity to admit you into heaven. Oh, how many are thus content-satisfied to leave the great question of their acceptance to be decided in another world, and not in this-resting upon some slight evidence, in itself faint and equivocal, perhaps a former experience, some impressions, or sensations, or transient joys, long since passed away; and thus they are content to live, and thus content to die. Dear reader, be you not satisfied with anything short of a present Christ, received, enjoyed, and lived upon. Forget the things that are behind-reach forth unto higher attainments in sanctification-seek to have the daily witness, daily communion with God; and for your own sake, for the sake of others, and for Christ’s sake, “give all diligence to make your calling and election sure.”