20 Feb 2013 by Tony Dibble-
Holiness is the standard of moral perfection that God requires from His people (Matt 5:48; 1Pet 1:15&16). This perfect “standard of living” requires us to separate our character from the unsaved. Sin is defeated on Calvary. The starting point to holiness begins when we accept Christ as Saviour. We now live a life under the Holy Spirit and within GOD’s Word. We move towards holiness. Perfect holiness is only possible once we are in heaven. This does not mean that we may drop our standards of holiness. We are always under temptation. We must be alert to ensure that GOD is always our centre point. If we drop our guard, we should quickly confess our sin before Christ, getting back in prayer to holiness.
In simple terms, holiness is removing the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:24; I Jn 2:16).To protect ourselves, we build up a very strong and complete devotion to GOD, developing the character that the Holy Spirit gives us (Gal 5:22+23).Living in Christ and in His word, is the way to approach holiness. Wearing a plain robe, walking barefooted with a begging bowl is not the approach to holiness. That is withdrawing from the world. The gospel does not tell us to avoid the world. It tells us to live in the world without being controlled by the spirit of the world. A Christian is the light of the world, an ambassador for the message of the living Christ (Matt 5:16; 28:18-20; 2 Cor 5:20). Jerry Bridges says that the word “holy” is found some 600 times in the Bible.This explains its importance to GOD.
To be holy, we must agree with Christ’s perspective. Whatever pleases God must please us. Our values are the same as Christ’s. We do not bend the rules of GOD to accommodate lowering standards. Agreeing with abortion, mercy-killing, bribery, manipulation and racial prejudice are not signs of cultivating holiness.
Holiness requires us to keep the commands of GOD. The main command is to make sure that GOD’s will for all men to be saved is carried out. We make disciples for Christ by the authority He has given us. GOD’s plan has been to save mankind as He has loved all men and has asked us to love others as ourselves. Holiness requires us to apply this mission completely in our lives. All that we do whether at home, in the workplace, in public or on social networks are towards soul-winning. "You were not saved that you might go to heaven alone; you were saved that you might take others there with you,” wrote Charles Spurgeon.
Developing the character of Christ is another path to holiness. Our prayer life is to be in tune with GOD the Father daily. We must adopt the perspective of Christ so that GOD is glorified and lives are transformed in Christ. We must reflect Christ to all those we know. We do not attack sinners. Instead, we call on them to drop their sin for the love of GOD. We do not judge people: that will be done on the last day. We are to be at peace with everyone. Praying for our enemies and captors is expected as our kingdom is not of this world. The only conflicts we take on are those in the spirit world against satan and demons. Our prayers are also against spiritual strongholds where preaching the gospel is blocked.
Holiness is being dead to our selfish instincts. We do not do things for insecure reasons or to demonstrate our ego, bragging and boasting about our assets and achievements. We are to be humble in our actions and words, as we are alive to Christ and rejoice in the LORD always. We do not grumble, or criticize situations or people. Whether in traffic jams or in bad weather we accept things as they are, remembering that all things work together for the good of those who love GOD. Complaints, unless absolutely unavoidable, are to be done professionally based on facts, without manipulation. Like St Paul, we start on the basis that we are the chief of sinners (1 Tim 1:15) and work upwards.
In seeking holiness, all things are to be done for GOD’s glory (1Cor 10:31) and cheerfully for Him (Col 3:23). The focus of our attitudes is GOD. We must not show any half-heartedness. If we are weary, we call on the LORD to sustain us through.
Lastly, holiness calls for us to set our minds on spiritual things above. The basic physical concerns of our lives should not tie us down. They are only passing matters. Heavenly priorities must be our focus. The love of GOD and adding to GOD’s kingdom are to be our two favourite concerns.
Note: Tony Dibble worships at Endeavour Christian Gathering in Mullaloo Perth, Australia for about 7 years. Prior to this, he was at Church of Our Holy Saviour, Labuan, East Malaysia. When he is in Kuala Lumpur, he now worships at Faith Oasis Fellowship Subang Jaya, Selangor.
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