HolinessBro. David Chancellor
8/21/2005 11:00 AM
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Paul wrote to warn, encourage, and direct the Hebrews to be faithful to the gospel of Christ. They were facing persecutions and difficult times. Paul was admonishing them to be strengthened and settled. In tough times it is good to know that you’re not facing them alone. Paul didn’t want these to be turned aside. We want to keep our eyes on the goal - to be with God in heaven. We should work to be at peace with everyone, even if they aren’t peaceable to us.
Holiness needs to be our life. It takes the grace of God to have holiness. We need holiness of heart and life. God is coming back for a pure people.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Peter refers them to the reward that will be ours at the end of the way. Don’t live like you did before, but be holy in all you do. We need to be like God to be with God. We can’t do this without the blood of Christ. God supplies the grace to keep clean once he washes us clean. God will not allow anything that is not holy in heaven. Holy conduct doesn’t happen without a holy heart. Holiness begins in the heart, but it doesn’t stop there.
1 Timothy 2:8-10
I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Paul was talking about prayer when he talked about lifting up holy hands. Prayer is communication between God and us. It is supplication, reaching out to God from a pure heart.
Many people think of holiness in connection with outward appearance. While dress is part of holiness, it’s not everything. You could wear decent clothes and still not be holy, but you won’t find holy people dressed immodestly and indecently. Decency and modesty go together. Holiness begins at home. Modesty should be practiced at home as well as in public. Modesty is more than just covering. Going and spending boatloads of money for the latest fashion or name brand isn’t modest. The problem isn’t buying name brand; name brand is sometimes associated with quality. If you have a goal of quality and durability, then that is different from, "I have to have the designer fashion." The desire to have the latest fashion to be fashionable is what isn’t modest. We want to spend the Lord’s money in a good way.
Modest dress doesn’t put self on display. We need holiness that goes beyond outward appearance to attitudes and action. Holiness isn’t how you dress; it’s how you live. You can get the outside looking good without getting the inside right. Holiness goes beyond the appearance to the condition of the heart.
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Paul spoke of differences of opinion to show how things worked with people. People who are holy go through life concerned more about how they are affecting others than themselves. They don’t want to cause someone else trouble. They don’t want to be the cause for someone else missing out. "But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died." If we take the position, "Well, they just need to get over it; this isn’t wrong," we aren’t letting the love of God work in us. If the love of God is within you, you will consider how what you want to do will affect others. This means we have to stop and consider what we do. Sometimes we do things and don’t even realize it’s a problem to someone else. Paul is talking about how we should be when we do know that it is a problem to that one. We should desire to be pure in our thoughts and actions. We need to walk charitably. Holiness lives to be a benefit to those in its sphere of influence. If we walk charitably, we’ll consider the impact of our lives on others. This doesn’t mean that we go and hide somewhere. Holiness is a life actively lived to produce good. We want our lives to bless those around us. We need a holy heart that produces good works and good behavior. It’s more than outward appearance. Holiness is purity of heart and life. Without it no man will see God. God wants us to be like him. Follow after holiness. It will give you a life that will be a blessing to those around you.