His Without Reserve
Teaching Holiness

The Uncomfortable Doctrine

          J. T. Packer’s assessment of the feeble proclamation of personal holiness (LINK) as the Christian’s way of life challenges Christ’s emissaries to face the situation and in the power of the Holy Spirit solve the problem.

          The problem is four-fold: true holiness is misunderstood; holiness calls for self-denial; and God’s call to holiness can hardly be heard in a noisy, hedonistic society, a society focused on pleasure, convenience, and power. In addition, “none of us takes to holiness naturally. We are all congenitally allergic to holiness” (R. T. Kendall, Once Saved, Always Saved, 103)

          The life of holiness, by its very definition of “set apart,” is a life of self-denial. Jesus taught that those who place loyalty to father and mother above loyalty to Him are not worthy of Him (Matt. 10:37-39). This is a hard saying. 

          The proclamation of holiness, the call to turn away from self-pleasing worldliness, does not fill the pews nor the church’s treasury. But it fills the courts of heaven with anthems of praise, for a holy people are God’s delight!

          Only the warm appeal of the Holy Spirit can take the words of the preacher/teacher and cloak them in the attractiveness of Jesus Christ. Certainly, the teacher of holiness must walk in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25). Indeed, he himself must model Christ.

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