Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Four Points of Holiness. Part 2

Holiness is an inflexible standard. It never changes. Be like the One who called you. God HATES sin and He ALWAYS hates it.

That makes sense doesn’t it? One can find passages of scripture which flat out say that. How does that fit in with Justification by faith alone? The above statement is second in a Four Points of Holiness sermon a friend of mine heard.

"You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16b ESV

St Peter quotes a statement which is a command of God. If a person wishes to earn a place with Him for eternity that is what he or she must do. Religion, other than biblical Christianity, teaches that as well. By obedience and sacrifice one can manipulate eternal life out of the god of that religion. Sadly some Christians have this idea that somehow they can earn it as well. Or perhaps remain in God’s favour and not suffer any punishment here or in the next life. Others seek greater reward by striving hard to avoid sin and do extra works for God such as evangelism, teaching Sunday school, attending church services, feeding the poor and so on. Those things are helpful for a Christian and his or her neighbour but do nothing for his or her relationship with God.

To claim to be holy as God is holy would be to do everything perfectly. All would be done with 100% proper motivation. Nothing would remain undone at any time. All thoughts would be perfect. And each and every word would have to be sinless. No one can live in that way. What is more a person could have never sinned in his or her past. God has never sinned.

Psalm 51: 5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. ESV

Before we even leave our mother’s womb we are sinners. Not guilty of actual sin we are guilty of original sin and alienated from God. The penalty for this alienation is separation from God. Our forbear, Adam, sinned which condemned all who come after him to death. Romans 5:12. However, God became flesh and Jesus was obedient and we are justified before God in His blood. His holy life of obedience fulfilled the requirement for us to be holy as God is holy. By grace God looks upon us as if we never sinned. This is received by the hand of faith which is also the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-10. Now we have this forgiveness and holiness given to us we respond with doing things for our neighbour and thankful praise to God.

The second part states that God hates sin. Yes He does. It killed those who He created. The admiration of sin will condemn many to eternal separation from God. Those will not repent of their evil deeds whether immorality or self righteousness. God hates it so much He bore it all to Calvary to remove it from humanity. God grant us the desire to cease from sin and repentance when we do sin or trust our ability to be holy.

Thanks be to God. †

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