Holiness: True Practical Holiness Part 3

The Question: Are You Holy? 1. Objections a. “I feel much, and think much about these things: far more than many suppose.” The question is not what you think or feel but what you do. b. “It was never meant that all Christians should be holy, and holiness is only for great saints and people of uncommon gifts.” I cannot see that in Scripture. “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” c. “It is impossible to be so holy and to do our duty in this life at the same time: It cannot be done.” People like Daniel and those in Caesar’s house did it. d. “If I were so holy I would be unlike other people.” That’s the point. We are a separate nation set apart by God for salvation. e. “At this rate very few will be saved.” Straight is the gate and narrow the path. Heaven is not “easy” to get in. f. “These are hard sayings: the way is very narrow.” “That which costs nothing is worth nothing.” 2. Do you think you feel the importance of holiness as much as you should? a. A person can go very far in a profession of faith without growth in holiness. When Jesus said that one would betray him they didn’t all just turn and point to Judas. b. We cannot replace the work of Christ with our personal holiness but God has linked them together. We cannot boast of Christ’s work for us if we cannot show the Spirit’s work in us. c. Samuel Rutherford said, “The way that crieth down duties and sanctification, is not the way of grace. Believing and doing are blood-friends.” d. John Owen spoke of people whose whole religion was complaining of their corruptions and telling everyone that they could do nothing of themselves. Ryle says that this is just a cover for spiritual laziness. Paul complained that he was a wretched man but he also said he was pressing toward the mark. e. We should not think of ourselves as better than others. But we should have a desire to see many believers become more spiritual, more holy, more heavenly-minded, and more wholehearted toward God. f. “Is it not true that we need a higher standard of personal holiness in this day? Where is the unmistakable tone which used to distinguish the saints of old, and shake the world? Oh, where is the spirit of him, who by the cross of Christ was crucified to the world, and the world to him!” Advice to All Who Desire to Be Holy 1. You must begin with Christ. You will make no progress until you feel your sin and weakness and flee to Him. You cannot make yourself holy and then come to Christ. It is like the woman who had the flow of blood who tried everything to be better but only got worse until she touched the hem of Jesus’ robe. 2. If you want holiness then begin with these words, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling; Naked, flee to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace.” 3. Say to Christ, “Lord, not only save me from the guilt of sin, but send the Spirit, whom you promised, and save me from sin’s power. Make me holy. Teach me to do your will.” 4. Do you want to continue to be holy? Then abide in Christ. John 15:4-5 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” “Paul was a man of God indeed, a holy man, a growing, thriving Christ – and what was the secret of it all? He was one to whom Christ was “all in all”. He was ever “looking unto Jesus.” “I can do all things,” he says, “through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

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