|HOW IN THE WORLD CAN A BELIEVER
BE HOLY IN A LARGELY UNHOLY WORLD?
|THE CALL TO
THE PROVISION FOR
THE PRACTICE OF
HINT to PRINT: Highlight all 3 columns of chart, copy & paste to a word processor document & print to show entire table)
Shortly after Israel was Redeemed as a Nation, what was God's desire for them?
A separated, set apart nation, dedicated & consecrated to God (cf "to be Mine" in Lev 20:26)
What is NT parallel in 1Peter 2:9?
What is the purpose?
Proclaim excellencies of God
God's Call to holiness
Found Primarily in Leviticus
Jesus echoes this call to holiness for those who would be genuine "kingdom dwellers":
"Therefore you are to be perfect (reach the goal for which you were created, attaining moral maturity) as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48-note)
What do you think when you hear that word "holy"?
Do you think of someone who has been stewed in vinegar? Sour? So pious that he is always mouthing "holy" sayings & talking about religious things? Is this what holiness means to you?
This is not genuine God pleasing Biblical holiness.
Stedman defines "sanctify" as "to put to its proper use."
To paraphrase Stedman, when a man or a woman is believing that Christ indwells them and gives them everything they need at every minute, he is being "put to the proper use," the use for which God intended. Stedman feels that "this is holiness, this sense of dependence and availability to God. This is what makes the world sit up and take notice as they see Christian men and women living the kind of life that is always adequate for every circumstance."
There is no sanctification without redemption. There is no genuine redemption that does not result in biblical sanctification. In short, God's will for saints is clear...To be holy as He is holy.
But have you tried and tried to be holy only to encounter failure and frustration at your recurrent powerlessness to progress?
If so, then the liberating truth revealed in a simple study of God's Name Jehovah Mekeddeshem (Jehovah Who Sanctifies) may be what you need to hear and meditate upon. God would not command us to be holy without enabling us to obey that command. Observe Peter's encouraging word:
According to Peter, what is the source of "everything pertaining to life & godliness"?
So let us prayerfully seek to really know Him through the "precious & magnificent promises" revealed in His great name Jehovah MeKeddeshem
Sanctification does not come from keeping the Law, but from God - God’s way is not to take us out of the world, but to take the world out of us - This separateness is not a physical removal from other people but a spiritual relocation into God’s sphere of being
Ponder the Words from the old hymn, Rise up, O men of God, and ask yourself are there some "lesser things" I should (under grace not law) have done with?
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart & mind & soul & strength
To serve the King of kings.
Lift high the cross of Christ,
Tread where his feet have trod.
As followers of the Son of man
Rise up, O men of God.
RBC booklet Why Would Anyone Want to be Holy? summarizes why we should desire holiness:
1) We were designed to find our fulfillment in a life that is set apart for God. [Ed note: holiness finds its essence in wholeness]
3) It makes sense to live in a way that reflects our special identity and purpose. [2Cor 6:14, 15, 16, 17, 18]
4) God has chosen us to be special, different, holy, as a testimony of His love and grace in a world that is infected and enslaved by sin. [1Pe 2:9 - note]
5) Holiness is the appropriate grateful response to the gift of salvation, to the great price God paid through His Son to rescue us from sin. [2Cor 5:14]
"This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Saviour saved upon the cross are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness: they leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the stress of a new nature (Ed note: Jehovah Mekeddeshem now indwelling them), which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as aforetime they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but he called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them. The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. Thus is brought out very sweetly the fulness of the grace of God. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the Author of it: and what motive but grace could move him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is for ever excluded. Such is the believer's privilege-a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it-a holy life." Read that last sentence again...what is the evidence of one who has been called out of darkness into His marvelous light? What implications does this have for the professing church in America?
What is provision for holiness in Ex 31:13?
Ex 31:13 [In Context]
"The Lord Who Sanctifies"
First & only use in Ex vs 7x in Lev
Ex 31:13, Lev 20:8, Lev 21:8, 15, 23, Lev 22:9,16,32, Ezek 20:12, Ezek 37:28
Major Themes of Exodus vs Leviticus
God Redeems Israel from bondage: Ex 6:6, 15:13,16
God Sanctifies Israel for Service:
What does "Sanctify" mean?
Make holy, set apart from secular & from sin unto the sacred
So Jehovah Mekeddeshem is...
THE LORD Who...
separates from the profane
What's the context for this Name?
Israel had just been given the pattern for the Tabernacle & it is possible the 4th commandment of the Decalogue was reiterated @ this juncture to dissuade any zealous builders from profaning this set apart day (worship of the Lord always precedes work for the Lord). It is also worth noting that we first learn of this great name of God at a time when Moses is on the Mountain & the children of Israel are forging a golden calf (Ex 32:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Sabbath means cessation from labor = rest
First described in paradise (Ge 2:2, 3)
Next in Ex 16 in relation to manna gathering
Next in Ex 20:8, 9, 10, 11 in the 10 commandments the longest description being given to the Sabbath: "remember the Sabbath to keep it holy"
Then in Ex 31:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 two new aspects of the Sabbath are mentioned:
1) A Sign between Jehovah & Israel, a perpetual covenant
2) Death to all who profane it by doing any work
The sound doctrinal truth of the Sabbath sadly over time became greatly distorted so that by Jesus' time this day meant to be a delight was an onerous burden, a "heavy load" and not a source of REST (click for Scripture references).
Purpose of Sabbath
It was to be a perpetual reminder (week in & week out) that it is Jehovah, the Great "I Am", Who was sanctifying them. This great truth should have motivated Israel to live sanctified, holy lives the other 6 days of the week so that the unregenerate pagans would see a delightful, attractive difference in their lives & be drawn to "the Way, the Truth & the Life". In so doing Israel would fulfill her glorious purpose as a kingdom of priests & a holy nation (Ex 19:6) as they clearly & unapologetically declared with their lives & then with their lips the surpassing excellencies of Him (cf 1Pe 2:9-note) Who had called them out of the darkness of idolatry, immorality & every other form of abominable, detestable behavior to be pristine, holy lights in the midst of a "crooked & perverse" generation.
Let the light of your sanctified holy life shine before men so that they see your good works & glorify (give a proper opinion of) your Father Who is in heaven. (Mt 5:16 - note) (Resources on Sabbath: Torrey's Topics, Easton's Bible Dictionary)
In summary, the Sabbath was to be a "sign" between the LORD & Israel, which would serve as a perpetual reminder to Israel (and to the pagan nations who did not have the "sabbath") of their separation to God (Exodus 31:13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Every week they were to be mindful that Jehovah was their Sanctifier, their Provider & their Provision Who alone could empower & enable the realization of living holy in an unholy world. Israel's part was to demonstrate they were "mindful" of their dependence on Jehovah's sanctifying power by doing no work on this holy day.
Lev 20:7 'You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 'You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD Who sanctifies you. (see context for what the LORD is able to sanctify us from)
How do we see God as Jehovah Mekeddeshem in Heb 10:10-14? Who is Jehovah Mekeddeshem in this verse?
REMEMBER: You CANNOT sanctify yourself by doing or not doing. or by keeping a long (or short) list of "do's & don'ts". (See Disastrous Detours - page 27 in Why Would Anyone Want To Be Holy?) God has sanctified you (past tense which is your permanent position & eternal possession) & now because you are a sanctified one (a holy one, a saint) you are enabled by His indwelling Holy Spirit to live a saintly life manifest by active volitional pursuit of holiness in everything you say & do. Don't fall into the subtle trap of pursuing holiness in your strength rather than in total reliance on the liberating truth that God is Jehovah Mekeddeshem & it is His good & acceptable & perfect will & His power that enables you to progressively become more holy as He conforms you to the image of the Holy One of Israel, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is to be the practice of believers?
How are believers sanctified according to Jn 17:17, 18, 19?
By the word = Truth (the word does not contain but IS truth)
“This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.”
Truth >Renews Mind > Changed life
C H Spurgeon explains the critical importance of the Word in the saint's progressive growth in sanctification...
What is God's will for His saints according to 1Th 4:3 (note)?
Will of God = sanctification
What is our part in fulfilling the will of God?
How is holiness possible?
How are we to approach Holiness ?
Why? What's important about pursuing holiness?
There are two possible answers according to He 12:14 (note).
(1) If believers fail to pursue holiness, unbelievers will not see God in their "holy life".
(2) As the Bible Knowledge Commentary states "the author may also have had in mind the thought that one’s perception of God even now is conditioned by his real measure of holiness." (cf to the beatitude "the pure in heart shall see God" Mt 5:8-note). (Click for more discussion of this Hebrews 12:14 and the concept of "pursuing holiness").
Why else is holiness important?
God uses holy vessels for His holy work which is every truly good work (what men think is a good work may not be good in His eyes especially if it is "poured out" from an "unholy vessel"!).
God does the sanctifying but because I have been made holy, I will now choose to set myself apart (but even the "will" to do this comes from His indwelling Spirit prompting me to pursue holiness!) -- I do it now not our of legalism but constrained by love, like a son for his Father and in the power of the Holy (sanctifying) Spirit.
You cannot sanctify yourself by doing or not doing. God sanctifies you so that now you pursue holiness because you are already (positionally) sanctified (because He placed used positionally in Christ the moment you believed) (See chart).
In Philippians 2:12, 13 (below) Paul teaches this same truth that a walk of holiness (progressive sanctification) involves the believer's will (but again God gives our will the "want to") and God's power. Read the verses below and note the balance of our responsibility and God's role. The same truth is taught in the parallel OT passage in Ezekiel 36:27. Becoming holy is not "Just letting go and letting God".
Are you pursuing holiness?
Don't get caught in the trap of doing things, keeping rules, etc to become holy. Instead set your mind on things above, fix your eyes on Jesus (not the sins that so easily entangle - see Fix Your Eyes On Jesus - 44 excellent meditations) the Author and Perfecter of our faith and you will find that as Christ continually increases, you (and the sins that entangle) will continually decrease [Jn 3:30] even as His Spirit works in you, progressively transforming you from glory to glory [2Cor 3:18].
The Christian life is not what I do or don’t do that makes me holy. Because I have been made holy (positional holiness), now I chose to do and not to do (progressive holiness). I DO what I DO because I am who I am which is exactly why the Ermine does what he does -- because of "who he is" (read this incredibly convicting illustration).
If you are frustrated by your inability to achieve holiness, you might benefit from the testimony of a great saint from the past, Harry Ironside, who also wrestled with this often confusing topic of personal "holiness". Read Ironside's thought provoking autobiographical account "Holiness: The False & the True" (Part 1) (Part 2)
Sanctification Easton's Bible Dictionary
Sanctification Torrey's Topical (pure Scripture)
Sanctification Nave's Topical
Sanctification ISBE (detailed)
Sanctification & the Refiner's Fire: Read John Piper's sermons...
Holiness by G. Campbell Morgan - these are Mp3's
Holiness Torrey's Topical (>80 cross references)
I cannot read the Bible without desiring to see many believers more spiritual, more holy, more heavenly-minded, more whole-hearted than they are in the present day. I want to see among believers more of a pilgrim spirit, a more determined separation from the world, a conversation more evidently in heaven, a closer walk with God
HOLINESS: THE ROOT OF HIS GRACE (see chapter 6) by Sammy Tippit
Worship God Who Sanctifies:
- Why Would Anyone Want To Be Holy?
- Holiness Quotes
- Holiness: Root of His Grace - Sammy Tippit
- Thomas Watson on- Sanctification - Real, Counterfeit, Necessity, Signs, Inducements, How Attained?
- Jehovah Mekeddeshem: The LORD Who Sanctifies ("Makes Holy") (Part 1) (Part 2)
- Holiness Quotes
- Exposition of 1 Peter 1:15-16 "Be Holy as He is Holy"
- Holiness - J.C. Ryle
- The Attributes of God - His Holiness
- The Holiness of God - by A W Pink
- What God Goes By - Study of 11 Names of God by Brian Bill
- Why Would Anyone Want to be Holy? 33 pp booklet in Pdf
- Holiness: The Root of His Grace - by Sammy Tippit: Part I; Part II; Part III
- Greek Word Studies: Holiness: hagiasmos / Holy: hagios / Holy (One): hosios
- Cultivating Holiness by Joel R. Beeke
- Holiness by Striving or Resting? Jerry Bridges (see also Mp3's related to pursuit of holiness)
- Thomas Watson on- Sanctification - Real, Counterfeit, Necessity, Signs, Inducements, How Attained?
- Integrity - A Few Thoughts
12 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
13 "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that (purpose) you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you (sets you apart, consecrates you, "separates" you, makes you holy ~ Jehovah Mekeddeshem),
14 'Therefore you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
15 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
16 'So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.'
17 "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed."
Ex 31:13 - [In Context] But as for you, speak to to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies you.
Lv 21:15 - [In Context] so that he will not profane (English means to treat something sacred with abuse, irreverence, or contempt) (to pollute or defile ceremonial objects of worship; Sabbath; God’s name; God’s priests; etc) his offspring among his people; for I am the LORD Who sanctifies him.' "
Note that the preponderance of uses of Jehovah Mekeddeshem in the book of LEVITICUS, which focuses on the holiness of God's people.
Lev 11:44 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45 'For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.' "
SANCTIFY or CONSECRATE (to devote to a purpose with deep solemnity or dedication) is the Hebrew verb "Qadash" which means to prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be set apart, be sanctified, be separate. The idea is to make distinct from the common or profane. The verb declares the act of setting apart, being holy (i.e., withdrawing someone or something from profane or ordinary use).
BE HOLY translates the related Hebrew word "Qadowsh" which means "sacred, holy, Holy One, saint, set apart"
Exodus 6:6 - [In Context] "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
Exodus 15:13 "In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.
Exodus 15:16 "Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O LORD, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.
Ephesians 5:25 (note) Husbands, love (present imperative) your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might SANCTIFY her, having CLEANSED her by the WASHING OF WATER WITH THE WORD, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would BE HOLY & BLAMELESS.
Titus 2:11 (note) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to REDEEM us from every lawless deed, and to PURIFY for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Hebrews 10:10 (note) By this will we have been sanctified (perfect tense) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who ARE (present tense = being) SANCTIFIED. (being progressively set apart from the world and unto God)
In Hebrews 10:10 "have been sanctified" is in the perfect tense (click for synopsis of Greek verbs) which indicates that the action of the verb has occurred at some point of time in the past with effects continuing into the present & in the context indicating a permanent effect. Applying this to He 10:10-note we could paraphrase it: "we have been set apart from the world & for God at salvation with permanent effect". This once-for-all change in our status occurred when we were united with Christ by faith & in this way are separated (positionally) from sin’s pollution and qualified for the worship of God & work for God. He 10:10-note then refers to PAST TENSE SALVATION which results in our now being POSITIONALLY HOLY or SANCTIFIED, independent of whether we feel like it or always act like it. In Hebrews 10:14 "sanctified" is PRESENT TENSE or continual action which indicates those who have been made POSITIONALLY HOLY, will habitually or progressively be set apart for the remainder of their life. (See Related Resource - Three Tenses of Salvation)
Holy Blue: "Put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners...that you may remember... and be holy for your God." Numbers 15:38,40
In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives little animal called the ERMINE, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn’t enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life. The Lord wants His people to keep themselves separated from the filth of this world at all cost. In (Numbers 15:38,40) the Lord told the Jews to put a blue thread on the borders of their clothes. When they saw the blue, they were to remember God's holy purpose for their lives and to keep a distance from sin. Do we remind ourselves often of our high and holy purpose for living? The best way to live in the world is to live above it.- Henry G Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Heavenly Father, help us now
At Thy feet to humbly bow;
Take away all thought of sin,
Make us clean and pure within. --Bartels
"Oh worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness,
Bow down before Him, His glory proclaim,
With gold of obedience & incense of lowliness,
Kneel & adore Him, the LORD is His name.
---J. S. B. Monsell