__________________*God’ s Treasure

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“W ha t , How & W hy To Be Hol y”
Philippians 2:13

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Many issues arise today in our generation (year 2010) about the issue of whether a Christian should be holy or not. Is holiness a must in Christianity? Is holiness possible? Is it of God? To answer these questions we must know first what holiness really means. Holiness is an expression of God’s attribute. Since God is absolutely and terribly perfect in Himself (and cannot and has not committed any mistake or evil ever since), God is holy. The question is: “Yes we believe God is holy for He is God, but how about us?” The Bible evidently says that man is corrupt and unholy. The Metaphors of Holiness Although the Word God explicitly includes the word “holy” or “holiness” yet there are some words that mean the same as them. 1. Sacred – devoted or dedicated to God 2. Sanctified – made or declared to be holy

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Perfect - Being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish Mature - Fully considered and perfected Holiness is not sinlessness in the part of a Christian but dedication to God and His Word which requires obedience and faith in Christ.

The Must of Holiness Holiness is not option for a Christian. In fact it is a command from God Himself. 1. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your 2. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of

is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pet. 1:15, 16) 3. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

God.(Lev. 20:7) conversation; Because it

Those who will heed to this command are those whose God is the LORD whom the Bible says is Holy. If you’re a Christian this must be your aim. The Means of Holiness Holiness is possible in a Christian’s life. Many will say that a Christian since he is still in the flesh cannot be perfect and therefore cannot be holy. Paul said that his flesh is sold to sin (Rom. 7:14). But this same Paul said that inwardly he was renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). It must be known that holiness is not the work of man but the work of Almighty God which sinful man can avail at the moment of Salvation. How does God make a man holy or sanctified? If we trace back in the Old Testament, we can see that this is the whole duty of man (Ecc. 12:13) to God since God created man and his life is in the hand of God (John 1:4, Job 12:10). Failure to do our duty is sin, disobedience to God (1 John 3:4). At the moment of regeneration, God’s Spirit makes a man born again and the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of the man (John 3:8, Eph. 1:13). The Holy Spirit’s influence in a saved person will cause him to live a holy life. That’s why He is named as the “HOLY” Spirit because His influence in a man is holiness. A Christian now has the means of living a holy life by submitting his will to the will of the Holy Spirit. Not only that, once the Holy Spirit indwells a man, He will cause a man to bring forth fruits of righteousness and holiness (Gal. 5:22, Eph. 5:9). You may say, “Wait, what if a man decides not to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit because of his weakness? Then what?” Yes, a Christian does have the ability to disobey the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit will be grieved in such a case (Eph. 4:30). Yet if a Christian does this so (and, of a truth, will do for a time), God will lovingly discipline that man. Since a save person is a child of God (John 1:12) and God is his spiritual Father, God will be obliged (will be forced and therefore will certainly do) to discipline or chastise that person (Heb. 12:6-8). The Bible says that if a man is a child of God (saved) God will absolutely discipline Him. The same verses tell us that all children of God are partakers of God’s chastisement.

Chastisement is God’s way of spanking us (with pains spiritually or physically) in order to purge us from our stubbornness and sin. This means that God will not only make us holy but is so determined so. A Christian therefore has no choice but to obey God not because He is strict and harsh but because God is a loving Father that only wants what’s best for His children. Not only God’s Spirit and God the Father is at work in sanctifying a saved man but also Christ, the Living Word. God uses His Living Word in order to cleanse us and give us strength to obey Him (2 Pet. 1:3,4). Also, Christ’s resurrection from the grave will give the saved person the victory over his own sins. Christ purchase the victory for us, we only have to take it by faith. The question of holiness is not really a question of ability but of salvation. A genuinely saved person will be holy or be conformed to the image of Christ (as one Evangelist said). The Rationale of Holiness So, what’s the reason why God works out holiness in us. Surely, it not easy to undergo chastisement or discipline from God (Heb. 12:11). Here are some of the reasons why God wants a person to be holy: 1. God is Holy and therefore His children should be holy. It’s a moral obligation of a father to make sure his children will be led in the right way. God designed it that way. Nature or conscience tells us that way. That’s why the saying “Like father, like son” has a significant truth. A saved person is God’s child. Despite his sins against Him, God still accepts him in the family for the sake of the sacrifice that Christ did on the cross for sin and because that man has repented of his sins and trusted Christ’s salvation. It is a shameful thing for God, considering His holy character, to allow His children to live a life of sin. Since God is holy, and therefore, cannot sin, He is obliged to discipline and sanctify those He accepted in His family. That’s why God’s command is: “Be ye holy for I am holy.” (Lev. 20:7). The emphasis is in the I (God). God’s reputation and character is at stake. I believe only a true saved person can respond such a command. 2. God uses and works through holy vessels. Another issue is God saves a person with a plan to use that person to fulfill His will. That answers the question why a saved person still lives on earth because God wants to use Him. God’s children have a desire to serve Him and to obey His will because God will put that desire in their conscience and heart (Heb. 9:14). The truth about serving God is somewhat a little off-course in our generation. We serve God thinking that it is through our own abilities. We toil and labour in our own means. This is not what the Bible is telling us. The account in Acts 9:15 clearly tells us how the famous apostle Paul became a servant and labourer of God. God called Paul a “chosen vessel unto me [God]”. chosen – It is God’s decision to let us serve Him and not ours vessel – A true servant of God is just a vessel or tool. A hammer is a tool. Yet even though how good the hammer is, it cannot work on its own. In fact it is useless without someone to handle and use it. That is so true about serving God. All labourers of God are useless on their own. God, Himself, has to use them. The power is in God and not in us (Rom. 1:16). unto me – It means that all service rendered to God must be for God and for God alone. This means we cannot work the works of God for our own selfish reasons or measure it in worldly terms. Servants of the Lord must never measure the success of their work because servants are just commanded to obey. The joy of the Christian is His Lord and following His commands whether there are visible results or not. The last truth about service to God is connected to holiness. God cannot use a dirty vessel (and normally, neither will you!). God’s exhortation in His word is if a man will submit himself to God (and thereby allow God’s working of holiness in his life), God will make him a “vessel unto honor” (2 Tim. 2:21). In short God will manifest His greatness in the life of that man. And I believe you will believe if I say that holiness is related to God’s power and God’s working of miracles. God will work miracles thru a man if that man is holy or sanctified by God (Acts 3:12). Working for God is a miraculous task since no power on earth can convict sin except God’s Holy Spirit (John 16:8), no power can change a man’s heart except Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), no power can saved a person except God (Rom. 1:16). If God will not work, it is a useless work. But if God will work, it is a great and mighty work (no matter how small it seems to be)! Holiness is the whole duty of man. You may up this point, “Yeah, holiness is important if you’re saved! What about if I am unsaved?” Don’t ever forget that this is our whole duty as a man to God. There’s no way to live this life to the fullest but to it for God since He is owner and care taker of this life. Surely, God knows what’s best for us. The problem is man doesn’t want God’s way but rather choose to live a life of sin. My friend if you’re not saved today, you cannot deny that deep in your heart and soul is a longing to be holy because God placed it in you in the form of your conscience (Rom. 2:14, Titus 2:11,12). You certainly know that doing good is so good deep within your heart because that is what God is working out in you in more ways than you can imagine. In short, there’s no way to live this life but to live it in holiness.

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JDE