Holiness- God's Vital Work... My latest article
Holiness- God's Vital Work.
One of the things that has appeared to have disappeared from Christianity is a desire and respect for purity and holiness. I was in a conservative church the other day and the pastor said that when we are sanctified we do not become sinless, but rather sin less. The subtle, unintentional message was obvious. It teaches that Christianity can not give freedom from sin. That we have to live with it and be content with it. And if someone says we can have deliverance from sin through Christ, they are derided because they are taught differently by their church, or much worse, really do not want deliverance from sin. And if that is the opinion of the leaders of the conservative churches, what do the members think who usually do not become more righteous than their leaders. And what about those who go to churches with lower standards? such as churches that have homosexual pastors?
To begin with, let us look at what the Bible and Jesus say about sin. It is hard to find a point that is talked about more in the Bible. From the very beginning of time, God talks about sin. In the garden of Eden, there was only one commandment, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God clearly noted the serious of sin. That just committing the one sin of disobedience to his law, would have the death sentence. And because they committed the one sin, death came to all mankind.
God clearly stated that sin was so terrible that the only remedy was the shedding of blood, the death penalty.
Yet even though we have sinned, God loved use enough to pay that cost himself. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life".
Jesus states, "I have not come for the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance." Here we learn that the purpose of Jesus coming was the sin issue. He came so that we repent (or turn from) our sins. Even to the lady caught in adultery he said, "go and sin no more" Do you really think God would have commanded it if it were not possible? Is this not a glorious message that the gospel gives? that we do not have to do wrong and be bad. but rather through the working of the Lord in our lives, we can now be good, righteous and holy. We can have deliverance over sin and death.
Jesus said "unless your righteous exceeds the righteous of the pharisees you can not enter the kingdom of heaven". What did he mean by that? As many believe today, was Jesus saying that righteous living was not important? If that were the case, then why was Jesus saying that we must be more righteous than them. If we read Jesus description of the pharisees, we see that these learned people replaced the laws of God with the laws of their doctrines or beliefs.
Jesus states,"Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." He then elaborates by saying, "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."
Is not Christianity today similar? Do they not say, we will not stop sinning but rather rationalize or excuse our sins with the doctrine of grace? That God forgives? Twist a few verses in the bible that talk about the old life? Use the justification that one day God will remove sins in the afterlife, although ignoring the fact that He desires to save us from our sinful nature today? And I wonder if the reason they say that is perhaps sadly they do not want to give up their sins today. And if they do not desire to give up their sins today, will they really want to in the afterlife. and if what they say is true, then when do they believe God gives them a new heart and saves the person? Also, do they really have the new heart of God?
Is there not a lesson for the learned of our churches? That we too should not misuse the doctrine of grace to justify sin as the pharisees misused doctrines to justify sin? Has Christianity with its doctrines of "sinning less" put at naught the commandments of God and justifying sin? God have mercy on us.
The apostle Paul teaches no different message. Here we also see the same message of sin not being compatible with the Christian life. Paul he says, "the wages of sin is death" and"how shall we who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Of course John also teaches the same message where he states, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
There are very serious consequences of tolerating sin.Throughout the Bible we see the message of the vileness of sin, and the deliverance of sin through our Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, as the church starts to tolerate sin, the sweetness and the power of God disappears. Once we start to believe Christians sin every day, the path away from God starts to happen. Rather than a new life which purges sin, we become a melting pot with the world's ways which slowly tolerates sin and persecutes those who desire deliverance of sin. In the rare instances of those who have found deliverance of sin, those in the church, berates them, isolates them, ignores them and puts them down. The extreme is the liberal churches, but even if we look at reports the lifestyle of those who profess Christianity seem to live very little different life than the world. They watch the worlds entertainments, they commit adultery, they lie, they dishonor the Lords day, and the list goes on and on.
Taking the power of deliverance of sin away from Christianity, its only purpose left is a place of love, forgiveness, and a more moral culture. yet the love is not much different than the world because without a holiness and the love of God, the love is only loving ones friends and their own in the church rather than God,all his people and the world. While the moral culture may be one step above the church, with the culture that all sin, we are slowly catching up with the world, if we have not yet. And the only thing left is forgiveness, yet it is not the forgiveness of the bible which requires repentance or turning from one's sins.
But the worst thing, I'm sorry to say is that even though we have condemned ourself, we have condemned the next generation by not being a light to God's truth. We have sacrificed our children. To our youth, we no longer teach them the importance of being holy, because now we do not believe it is possible. When they sin, we do not view it as serious, because we now believe all sin. When a man wants to tempt a lady to do wrong, it's now not a serious issue, as all sin. When a lady is attracted to a man experienced with women, the man is no longer bad, for after all, all sin. We teach our young women to be attracted to looks, youth power, money, but not godliness, because we don't believe it exists any more. And the Godly marriage of two pure godly people is not important anymore either because all sin. And the pure godly inexperienced young man, who desires God's way, is rejected and not wanted. In many cases, they go to the world or they die alone.
The result is our young women who go into ungodly marriages tend to rationalize, and love their spouse, and love that world, and accept it. And they are brought down. And their children grow up in that world, and they too go the next level down, but since holiness is no longer important, it doesn't matter to us, for we just sin less. (but less than what?) And we end up with a church of children of Christians, grandchildren of christian,and great grandchildren of christian. But how much is truly left of the God? but is Gods ways really a melting pot with the world or deliverance from the world? and does God really have grandchildren?
So to summarize, Let us claim the blessed message of Christ of true freedom from our sin nature. For only a person who is not a slave to his lusts but a child of God is truly free. Let us get back to our roots. Confess our sins. Seek the things of God. Put God and His righteousness first and teach that to our children so that they put him first. For if we don't then we have no one to blame for the power of God leaving the churches but our own turning from Him.