Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Holiness II

We are studying the doctrine of holiness. Last time we began looking at the booklet called Holiness, God's call to holiness by Joel R. Beeke. Beeke is the President and a professor at Puritan Reformed
Theological Seminary, He is also a pastor and speaks at various conferences.
We will finish up looking at information he provides in his booklet this study.
How does the Spirit work holiness? First, He shows you your need for holiness through conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). Second, He implants a desire for holiness. His saving work never leads to despair but always to sanctification in Christ. Third, He provides strength to live a holy life. Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of your sinful nature (Gal. 5:16). Fourthly, through humble feeding on Scripture and the exercise of prayer, the Spirit establishes an ongoing realization that holiness remains essential for being worthy of God and His kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12; Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; Phil. 1:27) and fitness for service (1 Cor. 9:24-25; Phil. 3:13).
This is what holiness is all about: Christ must increase; I, decrease - that is sanctification in a nutshell. Then our prayer shall be:" Gracious God, conform us to thy character, to the image of Christ, to the mind of the Spirit. Help us to see our need for holiness, to desire holiness, to pursue holiness."
Holiness: Our Greatest Need
1. God has called us to holiness. (1 Thess. 4:7)
2. Holiness gives evidence of your justification and election. (1 Cor. 6:11)
3. Holiness fosters assurance. (Matt. 7:16, 2 Pet. 1:10)
4. Holiness is essential for effective service to God. (2 Tim. 2:21)
5. Holiness makes you resemble God.
How must we pursue holiness?
1. Know and relish Scripture -(John 17:17)
2. Strive for constant faith in Christ
3. Pray for holiness (Job 14:4) (Psa. 51:10)
4. Regard yourself as dead to the dominion of sin and as alive to God in Christ. (Rom. 6:11)
5. Develop a biblical formula for holy living.
Does this glorify God? (1 Cor. 10:31)
Is this consistent with the lordship of Christ? (1 Cor. 7:23)
The impediments to holiness
1. Our attitude to sin and life itself is prone to be more self-centered than God centered.
2. We fail when we do not consciously live with our priorities fixed on God's will
3. Our progress is dampened when we misunderstand "living by faith" (Gal. 2:20) to imply that no effort towards holiness is commanded of us.
4. We are generally too prone to avoid the battle of daily spiritual warfare.
True holiness obeys God, and obedience always trust God. We are called to practice holiness. Are you heeding this call? Have you been persuaded that pursuing holiness is worth the price of saying "no" to sin and "yes" to God? Do you know the joy of walking in God's way? The joy of experiencing Jesus' easy yoke and light burden? The joy of not belonging to yourself, but belonging to your "faithful Savior Jesus Christ" who makes you sincerely willing and ready, to live unto Him.
May it be our prayer: "Lord, grant that I might practice holiness today - not out of merit, but out of gratitude, by the grace of the Spirit and through faith in Christ Jesus."
Beeke provides some excellent guidance, sound biblical guidance. God is a holy God, He has not changed, when man fell into sin and the whole human race was condemned to misery and sin, God intervened right away in the garden of Eden. He promise a Savior. He has provided rescue for His people and He makes the call to them "Be holy for I am holy" As a loving Father He guides us into holiness by His Spirit in and through His Word. Let us seek Him daily in His Holy Word.
Next study: continuing our look at the doctrine of holiness.
Grace and Truth are from Jesus Christ.


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