HOLINESS........And grace that produce righteous living!

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Holiness and Holy Living!

There are topics that frighten and excite me at the same time.  One of them is Holiness. The bible told us that God is holy and He says “I will be treated as holy by anyone that comes close to Him, that is by those that will serve and worship Him. 

As believers, we have a duty to discover what God says about holiness, what He considers holy… and how we can relate to Him as a Holy God. The first lesson is that as His children and worshipers, we should be Holy. The second lesson is that as born again Christians, we have the image of God in us and can be obedient and live a separated life that is pleasing to Him, which is our reasonable service to Him.  This is our responsibility after salvation.

The word holy means “sacred, set apart from the profane (unholy) and for God.” The Old Testament word for holiness means ‘to cut or to separate.’ Fundamentally, holiness is a cutting off or separation from what is unclean, and consecration to what is pure.” 

It’s interesting that God gave the children of Israel the Law in the wilderness because He did not want them to carry the behaviour and doctrines they learned in Egypt into the Promised land.  He camped them at the foot of Mt. Sinai for a month of instruction on how they are to live as His holy people, God says for the first time, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy”- Leviticus 19:2. 

Importance of Holiness
The importance of holiness for me and you is that, if we worship God in our own way, there may be consequences.  Nadab and Abihu were worshiping God their way, not His way. They offered fire–but it was a strange fire–not what God had ordered. Can God be worshiped any way we want? Or is He to be treated as holy and worshiped His way? 

God is holy. God is to be obeyed and holiness can be demonstrated or lived out. Holiness can also be seen in our lifestyle.  Holiness is therefore living and worshipping God according to His word and instructions.  It is lifestyle separated unto pleasing God in every possible way.  It is a lifestyle of worship God for who He is - The Almighty.  It is a life of obedience to God's word.

No one can live holy and end up in hellfire. Holiness cannot fail to deliver results of power with God and eternal life. It is a lifestyle of devotion to God and doing His will.

We are called to be Holy

From the scriptures, anything holy is dedicated to the service of God's kingdom, and this is why the High Priest and the Prophets of old were people who separated themselves from worldliness (Many of them served God as Priests all their lives, they walked as strangers on earth) and were dedicated to serving God and doing His Will all their lives, and I must add with contentment.

This piece is presented to show that a believer cans walk in holiness, though we were conceived and born in iniquity. It is expected that when we give our hearts to Jesus Christ, which is the reconciliation to our God, we should follow through and walk our confession.

Jesus's death on the cross has made us righteous, so we are expected to walk in obedience to God's word, observing to do all it says in faith.  When we do this, we have the courage and boldness to step out of the wilderness of sin of this world into a life of purity, righteousness, and holiness.

This is new life in Christ which is after the new man created in the image of God the superhighway of victory over the devil, his influences and oppression. It is also the path to power with God, prosperity and destiny fulfillment.  Holiness is an important key for all Christians sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Salvation is the entry into the pathway to eternity and we are commanded to be holy because our Father in heaven is holy.  Not only that, heaven is a holy place and eternity either in heaven or in the new earth is meant for only the holy and righteous ones.

Jesus lived in holiness - He separated himself from the things of this world unto God in prayer and supplication, presented His body blameless to the father;  He spoke and did only what he heard from the Father and by so doing he pleased God and fulfilled his destiny on earth - doing the will of the Father and completing it. 

All believers are expected to walk in holiness and by so doing, have power and favor with God.  No wonder many children of God have never tasted the goodness and power of God.  “You shall decree a thing and it shall be established unto you... is strange to them”, yet everything that heaven has assigned us to do can only be successfully accomplished in a state of holiness.
Holiness makes us stand for the things of God always.  We teach to correct wrong doctrines, we encourage poor people in the church and show compassion to them, in order to build their faith in God.  Holiness makes a child of God love his brethren in the Church as the Lord commanded us, so as to build their faith and establish them in the Love of God.  A holy brother cannot hear bad news about a brethren and walk away...NO!

Holiness makes us crave for life in the Spirit and to walk in Spirit and not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  That we give our life to the Holy Ghost and be filled by Him.  When we walk in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit brings every thought of vanity and lust which the enemy will post to your heart to captivity.

Holiness translates to a humble life
The Lord hates the proud because pride is the character of the devil.  Humble life means that you have submitted your life to God
Holiness is demonstrated by the love for the Word of God and studying it daily to know our God deeper.  Studying and meditating on His word sheds the light of the word of God upon our lives so we see who we are. When the hidden filths are revealed, amendments are possible and easy.
Holiness requires that we keep the right company for evil communication corrupt bad manners.  If you move with and around the wrong people, one day, you will do what they do. If you move with people that tell lies, one day you will begin to tell lies.  Holiness is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength as it is commanded and practised by our Saviour Jesus Christ - Mark 12:30  “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
This is achieved by -   By separating ourselves from the world; Serving God in a bible believing church and doing His Will; Living in obedience to His Word and Voice like praying and fasting when led by the Holy Spirit; Also, by loving your neighbor and showing such love to people in need irrespective of their faith.  Holiness is a difficult thing for lazy Christians because it requires dedication to the things of God, good works, continuous forgiveness of offenses, studying the word to obey and live by it.
Why Holiness 
Holiness is a commandment, not advice.  For without holiness, no eyes shall see the Lord.  Eternity in heaven is the goal of salvation.   So, whatever is required for us to do in order to enter eternity in Christ is paramount.
Holiness starts from the heart and flows outwards to affect people with the goodness of God.  Holiness will be manifested in your body, your communication, conduct and the choices you make.  Holiness, when it flows down to the body, make you value yourself as you should, and give you the wisdom to carry your body in sanctification - In your body is your mouth, your tongue, your eyes, and ear - gateways to your heart.  In your body also is your legs and hands which must be used to glorify God.

Holiness in your body means the body will be free from anything that defiles. The body is not used to serve the devil in any way.  No fornication, no adultery, no Tattoo, nobody enhancement surgery.  Your body is kept in holy deliberately, and as a living sacrifice unto God.  This is usually the lot of a holy child of God.  Your heart is kept pure and your body undefiled. 

Holiness and Deliverance
Holiness requires daily self-examination to make sure there is no guile, envy, malice, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger etc that will open the door for the devil to oppress.  The opposite of holiness if filthiness and sin.   Let briefly look at sin and what needs to be done to get to be free.

In Obadiah 17, the bible says but upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possession. The bible went ahead to say that the house of Jacob shall be fire, the house of Joseph shall be a flame…

Holiness is required to maintain your deliverance and possess your possessions. Having deliverance without holiness is an effort in futility because the person will soon return to the same sin that put him in that bondage. Without holiness, the benefits of deliverance will be lost.

Living Holy and Righteous

Holiness is the life of God.  Holiness is living the life of Christ - a life of obedience to the Word of God and doing THE Will of His Father.  God is holy and demands holiness from His children because it is in a state of holy living that God is glorified. It is in a holy state that a man’s life will shines before men and bring glory to God; it is in a holy state that His will can be done.  Holiness requires that we train our minds, eyes, and ears to yield to Jesus Christ and follow after Him, just as our body should.

Die to sin - Holiness requires that we die completely to self.  Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24).  Holiness is worked out daily.  It is like sanctification, you sanctify yourself daily by examining yourself and your ways.  You brush your teeth every day till you die.  If you brush it today, you will still brush it tomorrow and any day you fail to brush your teeth, your mouth begins to smell.  

Holiness is lived out daily in the things we do, the choices we make in a relationship, business. The beauty and enjoyment of a holy life are that it can always be improved upon. We can live in all the light that shines upon us from the word of God today, but tomorrow we find them shining a little brighter and fuller light so that we shall have to live a little more holy than we are living today. 

Acts of Righteousness - out of a Holy heart: 

Holy men or women of God are known for their righteous behaviour.  They are the people who do not need another person to preach to them before they do things for people in need, or fix things in the house of God.  A holy man or woman is usually happy at nothing, happy all the time, when others are complaining in the office, they are busy doing their work and rejoicing...They are contented. 

When you begin to think and do things in the church as though the Church of Christ belongs to you, and the people of God there, are your sheep to take care of their needs as much as you can, know for sure, you have risen to the next level, the level of the beloved.

Kindness - A holy man or woman is ever kind to others.  There are sisters that buy most of their things in pairs, hoping to give the second item to another sister in need.  Others, take some needy people for shopping un-announced and ask them to pick a few necessaries for their family at their expense.  That's the meaning of the scripture: “And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Let this law of kindness get into your life as its very essence.  Be willing and ready to share the little you have with someone as occasion demands, don't wait till you have an abundance.

A tender heart is the groundwork of kindness. Kindness perfumes our lives and makes it worth living for the person giving help and those receiving it. This is the lifestyle God recommended for us to live.  Can you be more kind in your daily life?  Will you decide to share the good things of life with others today.

Affection - When you see statements like this in the bible, it is telling you there are many things and issues that will be demanding your attention daily, but you have to decide on what and what that should get your attention. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” - This is a clear direction to help believers know what things to focus on after salvation, on spiritual things, things of eternity like love and kindness, and other godly virtues.  We are to be separated from the lust and pride of this world and focus on the things of God.

Giving Thanks - “In everything give thanks.” “Giving thanks always for all things.” Thankfulness is a duty of gratitude.  It is a good habit to recognize help done to us and to appreciate it with thanksgiving.  Whether it is to God or to man, every kind gesture, gift, and other blessings should be acknowledged and appreciation is shown.  Holy men and women give thanks for anything you give them.  Giving thanks is an attitude thing, so we should cultivate it as a lifestyle and then try to show appreciation always.

Rejoice - “Rejoice evermore.” “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” “Rejoice always: and again I say, Rejoice.” “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” This is the power of the Christian life. We can always rejoice. We can be contented and happy, whatever our circumstances in life. God’s grace will sustain us. Every day can be and should be, a day of rejoicing. God is pleased to see us happy, and whenever we rejoice in adversity, we are indirectly saying that He is our strength and our stay.  It means, we are rejoicing in Him and not in His blessings. To rejoice in the midst of trial is health to the soul.

Praying Continually - “Pray without ceasing.”  “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”  “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” If you value freedom from darkness, and success in what you do, you will not neglect to pray. It is the prayer that keeps us up above the clouds and brings heaven down. Prayer makes things happen for us and a believer that does not pray is going to suffer a lot of spiritual attacks.

Prayer makes it easy for us to obey the word of God.  Prayer tends to make us more obedient than we would have been if we are not praying.  Praying is a duty of believers who desire to see things happen in the supernatural.  It is not those who have plenty of time to pray that do the most praying, but those who take the time. 

Caring or others - “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” We should be as much concerned about others’ welfare as on our own. He who is looking out for himself and neglecting others has not advanced very far in the Christian life. A believer in life is characterized by love and kindness. He will overlook his own needs and see his brother’s needs.

Well Doing - “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good both among yourselves and to all men.”  “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”  To go about doing good out of a heart full of love is the way to live. Heaven is going to reward us according to our works

Burden Bearer - “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” To lift a load from off the shoulders of another is noble service. To remove a burden from another’s heart is truly Christlike. He who goes through life bearing the burdens of others has found the easiest road; he who goes through life refusing to aid others travels a road of hardest toil.

Hatred of Evil - “Abhor that which is evil.” God is holy; consequently, He hates that which is evil. holy person must hate sin and all iniquity. The bible recorded that Jesus loved righteousness and hated sin, so God gave Him a name above all other names.  This is why righteousness and hatred for sin go together, and holy men and women are disgusted by every appearance of evil. 

Charity - “And above all these things put on charity; which is the bond of perfectness.” Throw the mantle of love over every act and thought in life. Love purely, love sincerely, love fervently. Nothing is so great as love. All the graces have their seat in love; you cannot be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, or forbearing without love.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” Let the peace of God act as umpire, deciding every case. Let it have the ruling power in your heart and life today and every day. Whatever matters may arise, let the peace of God take it in hand and dispose of it. If it shows any resistance, then let the peace of God cast it out.

Brotherly Love - “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.” Brotherly love is precious in the sight of angels. It is the most convincing proof of the Christian religion. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.” But in addition to brotherly love, there should be kind affection. This is love felt and expressed. There are those who really love, yet whose nature is such that they do not feel much love. Kind affection, like every other grace, is capable of cultivation.

“In honour preferring one another, not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” These words contain a depth of experience, but only by prayer and deep meditation can we descend to their depth.

In Galatians 2:20, we have the account of Paul’s willingness to yield when he said “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” 

What to Do
Beloved, a close look at these practical steps will show clearly that no man can live holy by his or her power, but by His grace alone, trusting and resting on God's help.  Jesus said, "with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible".

You must also, understand that the devil is annoyed by holy living because of the power it confers on the believer and the fire of protection, the hedge it provides around us.  

It is my prayer that all believers are holiness conscious and work-out their salvation daily with good works.  You should desire to live holy and take appropriate steps in that direction every day and the Lord will strengthen you to succeed, to live right!


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