His Without Reserve
Teaching Holiness
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Why Should I Be Holy?       

          Thousands of Christians, having accepted Christ as their personal Savior and in faith believing they will be saved, nestle into a comfortable Christian life style. They are satisfied, but is their Savior satisfied with them? The Lord has provided a means for them to grow:
          in the knowledge of God,
          in trusting Him,
          in victory over besetting sins, and
          in partaking of the divine nature.
                    Are they growing?

          2 Corinthians 6:14 to 7:1 is the most illuminating of all holiness texts in answering the question, “Why should I be holy?”

          After contrasting the characteristics of Satan’s kingdom of darkness with Christ’s kingdom of light and then listing God’s heartwarming promises to the believer, Paul states: Be holy “because we have these promises.” What assurance!

          Reason 1 for being holy (separating from evil thoughts and ways): the promises of God: I will be your God; I will be your Father. With eager love in His voice, our Father says, “I am set apart from all evil. I want you to be set apart from all evil, too.”

          Reason 2: God’s being merciful to us sinners, granting us salvation through His free grace. Our response of holiness is to present our bodies, holy and acceptable as an act of spiritual worship.         

          Reason 3: By our acts of love and concern for others, we glorify God. Holiness, dedication to the cause of God, leads the Christian to do God’s works in society (Matt. 5:16).

          Reason 4: God wishes for a special relationship to exist between Him and His people. As He looked upon the Children of Israel so He looks upon His people today–a people who are His very own (Deut. 4:20). He says, “See! I have delivered you from sin and death. I want you as my very own people. Be devoted to me. Be mine and mine alone.

          Reason 5: Those who love our heavenly Father and are loyal to Him in every way and who have been transformed by the renewing of their minds will know the will of God.

          Reason 6: By teaching holiness to others, pastors and teachers are fulfilling the assignment given us by Ellen White: From the outset every believer “is to make the life of Christ his life and the character of Christ his character” (Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 57, 58).

          Reason 7: In this great controversy between Christ and Satan one’s daily consecration to God makes it clear to men and angels whose side he is on.

          Reason 8: By pursuing holiness each believer is building a Christlike character for eternity.

          Reason 9: When a believer in fervent love eagerly chooses to set himself apart from the world to serve God, all heaven rushes to support him in his personal battle to overcome sin in his life.

          You will enjoy the easy-to-read essay on why we are called to holiness at the Book Page here. Click on Chapter 12, “It’s a Family Trait.”

          Here are some ideas, concepts, and thought builders for teachers of holiness:

          We are God’s tools to “tune up” the world around us, according to His design, blueprint, image. Here’s the idea bridge between holiness and the restoration of God’s image in us. With this thought we can say that a holy life is an education for advanced service, a molding of our personhood to be as effective as Christ was in doing His work. This would produce a diminishing of our sinful nature so that self does not interfere with Christ’s work of reproducing Himself in His people.

          We know now that the purpose of our living a wholly consecrated life is to develop a Christlike character, that is, to invite the Heavenly Three to restore in us the image of our Maker that was lost in the Garden of Eden. That work of restoration is a transformation desired and carried foreword by the Holy Spirit and the believer jointly in fellowship.

          As we go forward in a life of setting ourselves apart for the Lord’s use, we daily receive instruction from the Holy Spirit, as we are willing to receive it. This instruction is spiritual instruction, a quiet work that goes foreword solely in the frontal lobe of the brain. It is a gentle yet powerful development of the believer’s spiritual nature, which resides solely in this inner sanctuary of the soul.

          As a new Christian experiences the new birth, he enters the Christian life with the same physical characteristics that he had before he was born again. As he enters the new life in Christ, he possesses the same intellectual capacities and leanings that he had before, and his social manners and traits also remain as they were before. However, he may be very weak spiritually. Holiness does not come packaged with spiritual strength. Strength in the spiritual life is the product of exercise. It has been rightly said that the Christian life is a battle and a march.

          A person’s spirit functions in both his secular life and his religious life, that is, in his awareness of God, his reaching out to God, his communication with God, and best of all, his development as a Godlike person. Therefore, the health and well-being of the spirit must be nurtured, developed, and exercised with great care. This work is performed with loving skill by our Creator under the banner of “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.”
         The policies of a life of holiness are simple:
                  Making Christ first and best in all things.
                  Nurturing oneself richly with the Word of God.
                  Thinking deeply on the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace . . .
                  Hungering and thirsting after righteousness and instruction about righteousness.

          Above all, self must be taken out of the driver’s seat, so that our prayers are filled with the needs of others, not of self, and with the mission of the kingdom of God, not visions of personal pleasure or self-importance.

          To put it simply, the attitude called holiness–consecration–may be seen as the studio in which the purposes of God for the individual Christian are gradually formed on a canvass which the entire universe can see and by which God is glorified.

          Just as a painting of great value is not the work of a moment, so each person’s canvas is the work of a lifetime. In addition, it is the only artifact that a person can take with him into eternal life.

          We see, then, that holiness is an attitude that is to control all thoughts and actions for Christ, shifting the aim of life away from self and toward our Creator. In all things we are to glorify our heavenly Father.

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