Wednesday, 6/30/21 – Pressing on… Actual Holiness

Actual Holiness

If you noticed, all the songs we sang in our service this past Sunday were songs about holiness. The holiness of God, and our longing to be likewise holy. This is a most worthy attribute for which we ought sincerely praise our Lord, but we must take heed not to sing ignorantly or hypocritically when we express our desire for personal holiness.

When we imagine personal holiness we tend to think how wonderful it would be to be free of this or that vice, evil, propensity, destructive habit or obstacle to some as yet unattainable virtue. We neglect to realize that holiness also involves sacrificing those sins we still love.

I have a study course I may one day use in a small Bible study group or Sunday School class. The study title quite honestly asks, “Why Would Anyone Want to be Holy?” It directly considers this question and invites us to seriously “count the cost” of desiring holiness.

Please understand, I am not suggesting we aim for anything less than holiness. Years ago God set that goal for all of us: (Lev. 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:8; Ex. 19:6; 1 Pet. 1:16; 1 Thess. 4:7). Rather, I urge you to count that cost and where you may find any area of resistance to surrender any evil, any sin, any selfishness, any pride, begin now to do the work of becoming willing to surrender it. Pray fervently that God will by His Spirit effect the “renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2) making it ever more “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5) that ridding yourself of these things becomes indeed your honest desire.

Counting and surrendering these costs, removing any and all preconceived “conditions” we may have put on our personal holiness, is indeed our work in partnership with God’s work of bringing about our actual holiness.

Press on…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Tuesday, 5/25/21 – Pressing on… He didn’t actually mean “holy” – did He?

He didn’t actually mean “holy” – did He?

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Pet. 1:3

Wait, Whaat? What did that verse at the end of yesterday’s blog just say? Did Peter say it is possible for a believer to actually achieve personal holiness in this life??? Can one truly walk about in this filthy fallen world yet remain unsullied… unsoiled? I know Jesus did, but… well,, He’s Jesus! I know He charged us to, “Be holy, for I am holy,” (Lev. 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:8; Exod. 19:6; 1 Pet. 1:16; 1 Thess. 4:7) But surely He didn’t actually mean “holy” – did He?

Pastor Andrew’s text on Sunday was this:

“14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ [Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27] 17 Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ [Isa. 52:11; Ezek. 20:34,41] (2 Cor. 6:14-17).

The first three verses underscore our urgent need to walk in holiness while the citations from the Law and Prophets reveal how. Peter says the means to personal purity come to us “through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” Paul refers to the scriptures and shows the means to holiness is God Himself “living with us” and “walking among us,” and in our obedience to Him as Lord and God. Because God is with us, even within us, we receive of His enabling Holy Spirit. Peter explains that now, through Christ, we come to this relationship with Him “through our knowledge of him who called us.”

Because of the Spirit of Christ living within the believer he/she now has a CHOICE at every crossroad: righteousness or wickedness, Christ or Belial, God or idols? We have a choice, to serve Christ, or serve self, to “Come apart” from the ways of this world, or be absorbed into them?

Faith and belief in Christ, acknowledging and turning from sin, daily shunning evil and embracing spiritual disciplines – by these we can “Come out” and “be separate.” This, daily, is what it means to live a godly life!

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.