HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD...........Understand it, Walk in it!



HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD


Introduction

Holiness is one of the commands of God found in the old and new testaments of the bible. Holiness is a work of the Holy Spirit and not a man-made construction. 

In the old testament, it is found in Leviticus 19:2, and Leviticus 20:7. In Leviticus 20:7, the Lord says: Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy, for I am the Lord your God.  Holiness requires personal conviction and decision to be separated unto your God, a holy vessel.  This means you will have to sanctify yourself, cleanse yourself of every filthiness of the spirit and body.  You will have to purify your heart and present your body a reasonable sacrifice unto the Lord.


Holiness is the will of God for His sons and daughters and that is why He the children of Israel further instructions on what to do and what not to do.  In Exodus, the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, saying: " And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. No holy man or woman in the days of old, even until now can afford to eat anything or behave as it pleases him or her.  This is because you are no longer the owner of yourself, you are of the Lord, bought with a price.

What is Holiness:

In the old testament, holiness was associated with people working for God and dedicated to doing the work of God. like the Priests of the Lord.  But in the New Testament, holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Holiness in the new testament is obeying the Lord 100%.  Obey the word of God, practise the word of God and obey every prompting of the Holy Ghost.

You will have to do those things that please God and bring glory to His name.  A holy person must be spirit-filled and discrete.  There are things you will not do, eat or drink, not because they are necessarily sin, or observing the Law, but it is a personal decision to put away weights and close every doorway to sin.  Its a personal decision, and a good example is decide not to take any alcoholic drink or wine.  A holy person is conscious of his or her body, being the temple of the Holy Ghost, and so behaviours like smoking is not contemplated.

Holy people, individuals who have surrendered to the Holy Ghost in every area, and living right, are set apart by God for a divine purpose. A holy person is a unique vessel in the hand of God.  Whether you like it or not, being holy will require that you walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit of Hod.  Being holy is an indication of your sonship - for those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.  You cannot walk in the Spirit without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  So believers who desire to walk in Holiness must be led by the Spirit.  

The nature of Holiness. 
It appears that one of the most important messages that the Tabernacle of the Congregation has for us today is the need for holiness. A holy person follows the Lamb wherever He goes, and as such, he/she is reserved for God’s use. A holy person refuses to be influences of unclean spirits. That means the Holy Spirit is strong in the life of a holy person, through the spirit of discernment, so he will resist unclean spirits and cast them away.

Holiness is a personal condition of purity of motives and deeds, a right attitude of the heart toward God. Holiness apart from being a lifestyle of obeying the Lord, it is a lifestyle of purity and spiritual power. 

We must learn to distinguish between good and evil and then to embrace the good and refuse the evil.  God is interested in the motive behind our actions, imaginations and deeds.  We may be interested in physical success and achievements, but God is interested in the motive and spiritual purity of the person.  Any success achieved without the Holy Spirit is not acceptable before God, and the whole process and achievement is unholy.

Categories of Believers

The bible talks about three kinds of people. According to the bible, men can be classified into three and the reason for this classification is for you to identify where you belong and then walk your way to the desired category.  Men could be categorized into the following:
1. The Natural man
2. The carnal man
3. The Spirit-led man.

1. Natural Man - The unsaved people
“A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

2. Carnal Man - Brothers and Sisters, who have received Christ, but who are living the Christian lives in their own strength and so their lives arefilled with ups and downs...they live in defeat., for it is written: By strength shall no man prevail.

The carnal man is self-directed.  He is in the church but does not have time to study and meditate on the Word of God, so he takes his decisions literally on his human wisdom.  His self directed carnal life makes him a baby in the Lord after many years of knowing the Lord.  His life still exhibits those low lifestyles like anger, bitterness, prayerlessness, self-pity etc.  Apostle Paul describing such Christians says:

“And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to carnal men, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still carnal. For since there are jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” - 1 Corinthians 3:1-3.

3. Spirit-filled Man - One that has received the Lord as Lord and Saviour, guided by the Holy Spirit.  He lives a Christ-like life - He who is spiritual the bible says will have the grace to appraises all things…spiritually because he has the mind of Christ - 1 Corinthians 2:15.

Holiness in the New Testament:
In the new Testament, we are encouraged to pursue holiness as a lifestyle, without particularly mentioning any do and do-not.  You are encouraged to seek and serve the Lord diligently so, you will not fall from grace. In Hebrew 12, we are warned to be careful, lest any root of bitterness spring up from within and defile the person.  Also, fornication and every profane act should be avoided, that is taking the things of God for granted.

Apostle Paul warning Christians in Hebrew 12 says: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.  Looking diligently lest any man fails of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many are defiled.   Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright"- Heb 12:14-16

How to live holy...Walk in the Spirit

The first thing to note about living a holy life is that you must first become a Christian before you can live holy.  You become a Christian through the confession of your lips and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Saviour and then The Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ will enter into you and He,  it is that will empower you to live right.

You can only walk in holiness by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:1-8. From the moment of your spiritual re-birth, the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at all times - John 1:12; John 14:16, 17. Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are Holy Spirit-filled and the Holy Spirit is the source of the abundant life that Christ promised us in John 7:37-39.

It is the will of God that we are filled by the Spirit and not wine, hence the Lord says "Be filled with the Spirit. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

The degree of holiness you manifest is according to your level of knowledge of the Word and of obedience.  It is also a question of your knowledge of the scriptures.  If you surrender you're all to the Lord and depend on Him, you will manifest greater faith. Holy living is a life separated unto God, to do His will and please Him and so the ability to walk in the Spirit is dependent on what you know about God, your level of faith and trust in the Almighty God.

The Holy Spirit will be redundant in the life of a believer who does not know the Word, neither does he labour to study and meditate on it.  To walk in the Spirit, hear the voice of the Lord, you will have to embrace the Word of God, study it to know God and grow in faith. 

When we are filled by the Holy Spirit and filled with faith, then we can experience the abundant and fruitful life which Christ promised to each Christian.  To enjoy this life-changing experience, you must not only confess and forsake your sins, but you also will have to present every area of your life to God according to Romans 12:1-2.  Let the Holy Ghost take over your life and direct you.

When we order our steps right by allowing the Holy Spirit to take over our lives, one of the benefits of salvation, which encourage spiritual growth and progress, which is answered prayer will be your portion.  His has promised that He will always answer when we pray according to His will and when we yield our issues to Him, we embrace His life, the life of the Spirit and think and see things as He sees them, and our prayers will be in accordance with His will for our lives and we will receive answers.

This is the confidence we have in Him that  “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

The man or woman who walks in the Spirit is the man that enjoys the abundant life that Christ has promised us. He says " I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

The carnal man, carnal Christians cannot experience the abundant and fruitful Christian life because he trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life.  He is either uninformed about, the power of God, his spiritual experience is epileptic because he is not able to trust in God's infallible words.

Works of faith
To walk in the Spirit and live holy, you should be a man or woman of faith.

1. Faith (trust in God and in His promises) is the only means by which a Christian can live the Spirit-directed life. As you continue to trust Christ moment by moment:

2. Let your life demonstrate more and more of the fruit of the Spirit.  Purify your hearts, sanctify yourselves and be more and more conformed to the image of Christ.

3. Your prayer life and study of God’s Word will become more meaningful.

4. Do the work of evangelism.  Go share the gospel with people and you will experience His power in unique ways.

5. Be ready to battle two stubborn forces namely: The world, Satan and his demons and human agents, the lure of fashion, power, and worldly influence. Be ready for spiritual conflict against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).

6. You will experience His power to resist temptation and sin if you honestly seek for it, else He will allow you to make your own choice of what you want to do.

HOLINESS - Live a 'Separated life'

Holiness is striving for peace with everyone, without which no one will see the Lord, according to Hebrews 12:14.  We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people have chosen to proclaim the excellencies of Him, who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.

The Lord has called us to good works, towards one another and according to 1 Thessalonians 4:7 - For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.  

We are to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. We have to know how to control our emotions and hold our body in holiness and honour.  Apostle Paul asked believers "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.

The bible says we are bought with a price, to glorify God in our body -1 Corinthians 6:20.  So we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you -  2 Corinthians 6:14-17
  
We have been washed by the blood of Jesus, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  Though we were at one time in darkness, now we are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

We are to put on the heart of compassion, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved. Be kind-hearted, humble, meek, and patient, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful


FIRE...

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