Welcome To The
Battle Bow
Bible Teaching Series
Kraig Josiah Rice


A Bible Study On
Christian Holiness

"And He (Jesus) said to them all, "If any one wants to be my follower, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (of self denial) daily, and follow me"
(Luke 9:23).

Some Teaching on Sanctification
Hebrew and Greek Words for Sanctification
Temporal Aspects of Sanctification
Biblical Doctrine of Perfection
Balance Needed in Sanctification
A Few Problems Associated with Sanctification
The True Motive for Sanctification
Article on "A Life of Holiness"
Sanctification Is A Serious Matter to God
Departure From Depravity- The need for sanctification (personal holiness)
What God Through the Bible Teaches About Holiness
Facing Choices- (A brief look at Romans chapters 12 and 15)
Scriptures Regarding Holiness
Some Do's and Don'ts of the Christian's Walk Through Life
Absolute Conduct- What All True Christians Have In Common
Relative Conduct- Personal Convictions Regarding Holiness
Hold The Line- A challenge to the church to stand firm on holiness in these wicked last days
Relevant Articles Concerning Sanctification
We're All Toads by Barbara Johnson
Understanding Your Value by Joel Osteen
You Were Created to Become Like Christ by Rick Warren
The Greenhouse of the Mind by Max Lucado
Sloppy Living by Marilyn Meberg
Israel feared Baal (rather than God) by Bob Deffinbaugh
Teachings on Sanctification by J. Vernon McGee
Sanctification, The Provision For Personal Righteousness by L. Thomas Holdcroft
No Guts, No Glory by Patsy Clairmont
Sanctification by Billy Graham
Tract on Holiness by Trey Kerux
God, Faith and Politics by M. Pete
Dr. Charles Ware's Article on Holiness
Rev. George Parsons Article on Holiness
Commissioner S.L. Brengle's Article on Holiness
The Reality Of Holiness by Craig Luper
Christian Holiness by Craig Brophy
The Holy Spirit and the Holy Life by Chester K. Lehman
Born to Holiness by John MacArthur
Holiness In Practical Living By Lewis T. Corlett
Understanding Christian Holiness by Al Stefan
David and Jonathan by Safe Place Fellowship
A Few Sanctification Quotes by Piety Hill Design
sanctification by Concordia Lutheran Conferance
Sanctification- A Christian Responsibility by All About Following Jesus


What in the world is sanctification? Well, it's just a big fancy religious word for Christian holiness. Holiness and sanctification are words that can be used interchangeably. In this Bible study I teach you the need for holiness, some of what God through the Bible teaches about holiness, some of the different views of theologians and churches regarding holiness, some of the do's and don't's of a Christian's walk, and I share with you some relevant articles about this most interesting and necessary Bible doctrine. I present to you a balanced perspective on personal holiness- what it is and how it is to be applied to one's life and how it is to be lived.

"Sanctification means to set apart for special use or purpose, that is to make holy or sacred. Therefore sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart or made holy.

The term is used to refer to objects which are set apart for special purposes, but the most common use within Christian theology is in reference to the change brought about by God in a believer, begun at the point of salvation or justification and continuing throughout the life of the believer. Many forms of Christianity believe that this process will only be completed in Heaven, but some believe that complete holiness is possible in this life. Protestants call the completion of sanctification: "glorification".

The term has gathered special uses by the different Christian denominations. For many Protestants, sanctification is tied closely to grace and can be applied to people and to objects.

In the contemporary Holiness movement, the understanding that holiness is relational is growing. In relational holiness, the core value is love. Other concepts of holiness, such as purity, being set apart, perfection, keeping rules, and total commitment, are seen as contributory aspects of holiness. These contributory aspects find their true value when love is the motivation."1

I was saved when I was 21 years old. I came from a pagan family so I knew little if nothing about God, Christ, the church, or the Bible- much less personal holiness. There were about 8 sailors or so saved in my division aboard the aircraft carrier in 1967 (please read my testimony if you so desire). Nearly all of us came out of pagan backgrounds and needed to be discipled. One of the most wasteful of all activities is to hold an evangelistic meeting where many folks come to Christ for salvation but then there is no follow up for the new converts and they flounder around in the world like fish out of water. Fortunately, this didn't happen to me.

After my conversion to Christ, Navy Chief Petty Officer, J.W. Richards, kept inviting me to attend his church but I was a little reluctant because I knew the Chief would expect me to attend with him on a regular basis thereafter and I did not want to feel obligated to go to the church in case I did not like it. But I was really curious to see what his church was like and then the perfect opportunity presented itself for me to do so.

The Chief and his family went on a vacation to Tennessee from Virginia. When Sunday morning came I took a bus to Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Rev. David A. Berquist pastored this church and he preached the Word of God emphatically in the power of the Holy Spirit. He had a booming voice and his face got red when he got excited about what he was preaching. He waived his arms and stomped his feet from time to time during the sermon as the anointing of God came upon him. This is the first time I had ever been to one of these kinds of church services. For some reason I loved it. But I felt a little out of place.

When the Chief returned from vacation I told him that I would be attending church services at his church. He was delighted. He introduced the other sailors and me from the Bible study group to Cleo, his wife, and his three children. During the next six months after my conversion to Christ, when we were not at sea, we were invited nearly every weekend to their home for fellowship, food, and discipleship training. We would attend church services also. This family had a lot of love and practiced Christian hospitality. I was very grateful to this precious family for times like that which gave me a chance to learn how to be a Christian, and to get away from the war ship.

Activities with the Richard's Family in 1967 included badminton games, skateboarding on the sidewalks, eating watermelon, visiting local historical sites, and one time we picked strawberries on a local "U-pick" farm. These visits also proved to be times of practical learning. Cleo counseled us on the ABC's of practical Christian living. Because Christians were different from the world we were expected to act differently than the world. (The world refers to the evil world system). She taught us the proper modes of Christian conduct, explained Christian convictions, and taught by example Christian hospitality. Church attendance was highly stressed as was being a good Christian witness, not only by living for the Lord but also by working for the Lord.

So my point here is that it is very important that new Christians be taught sanctification or personal holiness so each one can get started off on the right foot in his journey in this life for the Lord. Making an investment in the lives of new converts is God's wish and will. I can't emphasize or stress this enough...

Some Teaching on Sanctification

Let's take a look at this important Bible doctrine.

Sanctification has two parts to it:
1. A believer's holiness toward God, and
2. A believer's separation from evil.

The Hebrew word for sanctification is Qudosh. The root of this word means "to cut" or "to separate."

The Greek word for sanctification is Hagios. The root of this word means "consecration", "devotion", and "a separation to God".

These two words have two senses (of meaning) each: the formal, and the ethical-moral.

The formal sense of the words refer to ceremonial items dedicated to God's service such as the cups and bowls for use in God's Tabernacle in the wilderness or in the Temple of God at Jerusalem.

The ethical-moral sense of the words refer to righteous people living for Christ and dedicated to His service.

The nature of sanctification includes disassociation and dedication. A believer is in disassociation from sin and evil. This is also called purification. A believer dedicates himself to God. This could take place in a dedication ceremony. An early believer taking the Nazarite Vow is one example of this.

The Temporal Aspects of Sanctification:

1. Positional Sanctification. This takes place at the same time as the new birth experience. Because the believer is given a new nature, this enables him or her to begin their walk of holiness with the Lord's help.

Scriptures to study for positional sanctification include:
1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10; and 2 Corinthians 1:2.

2. Progressive Sanctification. This is holiness learned and experienced as a believer walks along with the Lord in holiness during his lifetime. It includes the perfection and the maturity of the believer.

Scriptures to study for progressive sanctification include:
2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12; Romans 12:1-2;
John 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 4,5, and 10.

3. Future Sanctification. This includes the glorification of one's body in Heaven with the Lord.

Scriptures to study for future sanctification include:
1 John 3:2; Hebrews 12:23

What is the simplistic Pauline theology concerning the doctrine of sanctification? In a nut shell Pauline theology simply declares "in Christ" for sanctification.
John 14:20; John 15:1 and following; John 17:23.

The Biblical Doctrine of Perfection:

The doctrine of perfection is taught in the Bible. Here are some of the key scriptures:
1 Peter 1:16; Matthew 5:48; 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 3:6 and 9.

Christ loves and honors His perfect saints. Here are some of the key scriptures:
Hebrews 5:14; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Genesis 6:9; Job 1:1

Because Christ has perfect saints, He has a church without spot or wrinkle...

The original word for perfect does not mean without sin. It means mature and complete. Therefore, sanctification does not include sinless perfection. Why not?

1. Because there was only One without sin and that was Jesus Christ. He was the One and only without sin who God approved of and said so about it.
(Matthew 3:17).

2. Because Noah and Job were considered to be perfect yet each of them had sinned.

3. 1 John 1:8-10 allows for the possibility for sin in a Christian's nature.

4. Matthew 6:12-13 is a model prayer from our Lord to "forgive us our trespasses"

Balance Needed In Sanctification

There has to be balanced sanctification in every believer's life. God does His part and each believer does his part. God won't do it for you on His own without your help, and you can't do it alone without God's help. It's a partnership effort.

A Few Problems Associated With the Bible Doctrine of Sanctification

The Catholic Encyclopedia in it's section on Holiness has this to say:
"Sanctitas in the Vulgate of the New Testament is the rendering of two distinct words, hagiosyne
(1 Thessalonians 3:13) and hosiotes (Luke 1:75; Ephesians 4:24). These two Greek words express respectively the two ideas connoted by "holiness" viz.: that of separation as seen in hagios from hagos, which denotes "any matter of religious awe" (the Latin sacer); and that of sanctioned (sancitus), that which is hosios has received God's seal. Considerable confusion is caused by the Reims version which renders hagiasmos by "holiness" in
Hebrews 12:14, but more correctly elsewhere by "sanctification", while hagiosyne, which is only once rendered correctly "holiness", is twice translated "sanctification".

Part of the Romanist view of sanctification includes adding the name of "saint" to a deceased person.

In the English language the word "perfect" leaves a lot to be desired. The misuse of this word has caused Biblical error to enter into some of our most cherished Christian institutions. Some Christians are called Perfectionistic Christians and they believe in sinless perfection. They believe that a Christian can live above sin and not commit it. However, only Jesus Christ was and is sinlessly perfect.

The antinomianism view of sanctification includes the false notion that Christians ought to sin in order to experience more of God's abounding grace.

Another problem is the teaching that the believer is under the law (Jewish Law) as a rule of life and as a means of sanctification. Scofield countered this false teaching in his note which is found under
Galatians 1:6, "The test of the Gospel is grace. If the message excludes grace, or mingles law with grace as the means either of justification or sanctification
(Galatians 2:21; 3:1-3), or denies the fact or guilt of sin which alone gives grace its occasion and opportunity, it is "another' gospel, and the preacher of it is under the anathema (curse) of God."2

The Motive For Sanctification

"And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength"
(Mark 12:30).

"We love Him because He first loved us"
(1 John 4:19).

The only motive for sanctification that a believer must have is his or her love for the Lord. The Christian's walk through life is a love walk. It's a relationship built on respect. It's not a walk of legalism or of fear. Trying to stay sanctified due to the fear of hell will avail a person for a short time only.

The best sermon
is a good example

A Life Of Holiness

Key Thought: Holiness flows out of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven for you..."
(1 Peter 1:3-4).

Three Action Steps To Living A Holy Life

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed"
(1 Peter 1:13).

1. Be mentally alert (be careful what you read, watch, look at, etcetera)
2. Be self controlled. (self disciplined)
3. Be Focused (there are lots of distractions around us and a lot of voices not from our Father)

Three Reasons For Living A Holy Life

1. The character of God: He is Holy
"As obedient children, do not conform to the devil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
(1 Peter 1: 14-16).

2. The discipline of God
"Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear"
(1 Peter 1:17).

This doesn't mean all the problems in our life is God trying to punish us. If we are too comfortable in the world we need to ask ourselves some questions because we are strangers and pilgrims passing through this world and we do not belong to the evil world system.

3. The price of our Salvation
"For you know that it was not with perishible things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God"
(1 Peter 1: 18-21).

We were not bought with money, a renewable resource, but with the blood of Jesus.""3

A believer's obedience to God
is a natural result of
A believer's love for God

Sanctification As A Second Act of Grace

Some churches believe that sanctification is a major Bible doctrine and that it is to be handled doctrinally according to Christian orthodoxy. They don't believe that sanctification is a second act of grace.

Some churches believe that sanctification is a second work of grace by God. The first work, of course, is justification.

Some churches believe that sanctification is a third work of grace by God. The first work is justification. The second work is the Baptism In The Holy Spirit (according to Acts 2:4).

Each of these positions have scripture to prove their doctrinal position. My advice to you, if you are a believer or preacher, is to accept your denomination's teachings on this matter. If you disagree then don't preach it or leave your denomination for one that has doctrine that you agree with.

You are never too bad to come in to the church
too good to stay out of the church

Sanctification Is A Serious Matter to God

If you're a pagan don't mistreat Christian people or Christian items of worship that have been dedicated to God.

This is the true story about a man who treated as common some gold and silver cups that were sanctified to God. It involves God's prophet, Daniel, and God's judgement upon King Belshazzar. Here is the story written in the Bible in Daniel Chapter 5.

The Writing on the Wall

"A number of years later, King Belshazzar gave a great feast for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver cups that his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem, so that he and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought these gold cups taken from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank toasts from them to honor their idols made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. At that very moment they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king's palace, near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote, and his face turned pale with fear. Such terror gripped him that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way beneath him. The king shouted for the enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers to be brought before him. He said to these wise men of Babylon, "Whoever can read this writing and tell me what it means will be dressed in purple robes of royal honor and will wear a gold chain around his neck. He will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom!" But when all the king's wise men came in, none of them could read the writing or tell him what it meant. So the king grew even more alarmed, and his face turned ashen white. His nobles, too, were shaken. But when the queen mother heard what was happening, she hurried to the banquet hall. She said to Belshazzar, "Long live the king! Don't be so pale and afraid about this. There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. During Nebuchadnezzar's reign, this man was found to have insight, understanding, and wisdom as though he himself were a god. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, made him chief over all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers of Babylon. This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has a sharp mind and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means."

Daniel Explains the Writing

So Daniel was brought in before the king. The king asked him, "Are you Daniel, who was exiled from Judah by my predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar? I have heard that you have the spirit of the gods within you and that you are filled with insight, understanding, and wisdom. My wise men and enchanters have tried to read this writing on the wall, but they cannot. I am told that you can give interpretations and solve difficult problems. If you can read these words and tell me their meaning, you will be clothed in purple robes of royal honor, and you will wear a gold chain around your neck. You will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom." Daniel answered the king, "Keep your gifts or give them to someone else, but I will tell you what the writing means. Your Majesty, the Most High God gave sovereignty, majesty, glory, and honor to your predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar. He made him so great that people of all races and nations and languages trembled before him in fear. He killed those he wanted to kill and spared those he wanted to spare. He honored those he wanted to honor and disgraced those he wanted to disgrace. But when his heart and mind were hardened with pride, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven from human society. He was given the mind of an animal, and he lived among the wild donkeys. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God rules the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them. "You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone- gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny! So God has sent this hand to write a message. "This is the message that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. This is what these words mean: Mene means `numbered'- God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end. Tekel means `weighed'- you have been weighed on the balances and have failed the test. Parsin means `divided'- your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Then at Belshazzar's command, Daniel was dressed in purple robes, a gold chain was hung around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed. And Darius the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of sixty-two."

Another instance is found in Acts 5:1-11 regarding Ananias and Sapphira. Here is the true story:

"There was also a man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, but he claimed it was the full amount. His wife had agreed to this deception. Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God." As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?" "Yes," she replied, "that was the price." And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this- conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too." Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and all others who heard what had happened."

My late friend and former Four Square minister, Cal Midgley, once told me this story:
He had physically built a church building for a congregation during the Great Depression times in the South. Then he preached there until they could hire a regular preacher to replace him as he was there only temporarily. In the congregation there was a lady witch who had infiltrated the congregation in order to divide it and bring it down. Rev. Midgley kept an eye out for anything that might arise when the snake might stick it's head up to try to strike the fatal blow.

One day a man in his congregation came and told Rev. Midgley that this woman had called a meeting at her house of the major members of the congregation that night at 7 p.m. The preacher, Cal Midgley, was not invited or informed about it. Well, at 7 p.m. Cal Midgley also went to her house unannounced. She was shocked that he showed up. The church members there said that she was trying to destroy his church. Rev. Midgley confronted her about her rebellion and disobedience to the Lord and that she was doing spiritual damage to his congregation, but she defied him to his face and hurled verbal accusations at him. She said that she was in the right. So Rev. Midgley, right then and there, gathered his congregation around him and the woman, and said that they were going to have an instantaneous prayer meeting. Using God's wisdom he told the woman to get on her knees and Rev. Midgley did the same. He said that God killed King Belshazzar in the Old Testament and also He killed Ananias and Sapphira in the New Testament for their disobedience to God. So, he said, now we are going to pray, and let God decide this matter. We are going to ask God to strike dead right now the one that is in the wrong. I am wrong or this woman is wrong. We will ask God to strike one of us dead like He has done in the past times. So, now let's all pray. This price was more than the evil woman was willing to pay. Rev. Midgley said as they started to pray the woman jumped up and ran out her back door. He went to her back door to see where she went. He said she was running as fast as she could out across her back field to get as far away as she could. She didn't bother his flock any more and he never saw her again. Another wolf in sheep's clothing had been defeated by the wisdom and power of God.
More Rev. Cal Midgley stories

There is an unforgiveable or unpardonable sin, but I don't want you or me to commit it, so let's stay in love with the Lord and let's stay obedient to Him.

"Without God, we can not
Without us, God will not"
-Saint Augustine

Departure From Depravity

The need for sanctification (personal holiness)

Have you ever wondered why it is not so easy to live the Christian life? Just when you seem to be so holy then you sin and fail God...and appear and feel so unholy.
Legalism can set in and this doesn't work, either.
You turn and toss like a fish out of water trying to do what is right but just get so frustrated in your Christian walk when you fail at this also.

Why did God make it so hard? Isn't there some kind of easy way that one can discover to make things more simple for himself?

Well, join the club. All Christians struggle with this same problem so you are not an isolated case. The problem is depravity and as long as we live in a body of flesh then we are going to have problems in this regard. Why is this?

I. What is this thing called depravity? Where did it come from, and, if I am suffering with it, how do I deal with it?

According to Webster's Dictionary depravity means morally corrupt or perverted. That is the natural condition of mankind. I think that the best analogy that I can give is that of an invisible snake living in your heart that is at war with God and influences you in that direction. In other words it is a part of your "self" or your "flesh" that is inclined to do evil or inclined toward evil. The origin of depravity goes back to our distant parents- Adam and Eve. God created Adam and Eve perfect in every respect. They had no fleshly depravity. However, all of that changed with the fall of mankind.

What is the sin nature that each of us inherits from Adam? Simply put, it is wanting our own way. Each of us always wants our own way- a way that is not God's way! It is a way of disobedience and sinful resolution. It is the way that Adam and Eve chose rather than obedience to God. The scripture says, "All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own..."
(Isaiah 53:6a) (NLT).

In the Garden of God Adam and Eve chose Satan to be their master rather than God by an act of their free will. This set off a "chain reaction" in the spiritual realm resulting in God kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and placing a curse on mankind and on the earth. From then on every human child would be born with a depraved nature or the nature of Adam as some Bible scholars term it. So, in a nut-shell, we inherited this depraved human nature from our grandfather, Adam. Each of us is born with depravity and there is nothing that we can do to change this- it is just the way that it is.

Why did God kick Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden after they had sinned? Because if they ate of the fruit of the Tree of Life they could live forever with a depraved human nature. It was not God's will for this to happen.

At this time I am sure they were eating the fruit of the tree of life. Here is the Biblical account of this action:

"And the LORD God planted all sorts of trees in the garden- beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the center of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."
(Genesis 2:9, 15-17).

However, after they had sinned: "Then the LORD God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will live forever!" So the LORD God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life."
(Genesis 3:22-24).

W.T. Purkiser is his writing titled, The Biblical Interpretation of Holiness, had this to say about this matter,

"ALL CHRISTIAN TRUTH must be based on the teaching of the Bible. God has spoken in the Scriptures and has made known to us both His will for our lives and His provision for our needs.

"The doctrine of Christian holiness is based upon the total thrust of the Scriptures. It is not merely a thread or line of truth running through the Word of God. It is rather a network of teaching which is an essential part of the fabric of the whole.

The Bible is an amazingly realistic Book. It describes with great faithfulness the sorrows and sins, the struggles and hopes, the weakness and pain of the men and women who walk its pages. Yet through it all there shines a light of redemption and victory, the light of that "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"
(Hebrews 12:14).

In swift strokes, the early chapters of Genesis paint the picture of creation and catastrophe, holiness given and holiness lost.

Genesis chapter 3 tells us of the source of that corruption of our moral natures for which sanctification is the divine cure. Created in the image of God, but using the freedom which was part of that image to seek to "be as gods"
(Genesis 3:5) themselves, Adam and Eve brought upon their descendants the corruption that comes to a branch cut off from the source of spiritual life in the Vine
(John 15:1-6).

The man created in the image of God "begat a son in his own likeness, after his image"
(Genesis 5:3) whose "every imagination [yetzer, tendency, propensity, direction] of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually"
(Genesis 6:5; 8:21). The sinful condition of the race is due to the depravity that comes from "deprivity," that is, human nature apart from the life of the Spirit.

Yet such is the marvel of God's love and patience that the very scene of human rebellion was the occasion for the first promise of divine redemption, of One who at the cost of His own suffering would crush the serpent's head"
(Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20).

We don't know exactly why God did this or why He chose to do it this way. One thing we do know is that this fallen nature (also called the Old Man or the evil sin nature) is inclined toward evil.

"But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire."
(Job 5:6-7 NLT).

King David wrote of his depravity as coming on the scene at the time of his birth, "For I was born a sinner- yes, from the moment my mother conceived me."
(Psalms 51:5 NLT or New Living Translation).

King David was not the only Old Testament saint that had trouble with his depraved human nature. King Saul, before King David, got fired from his kingship role by God, "But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you from being king."
(I Samuel 15:22-23 NLT).

"...for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..."
(Genesis 8:21).

In reference to the knowledge Jesus had about it: "...and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man."
(John 2:25).

Wow! By now you are probably saying that this depravity stuff sounds mightly powerful and that it seems like it can get a person into some pretty serious trouble. So right you are! But it does not have to bite you too badly if you handle it correctly. You have to use the power of God to stomp it down daily.

The Jewish folk in the wilderness journey under the leadership of Moses really did not understand it. Yet, their depravity kept getting them into all kinds of trouble so God had to teach them about it. By teaching them about it then, God was also teaching us about it today via His word. Remember the Bible rule: reasons for events were concealed in the Old Testament but revealed in the New Testament. That means that the saints who lived in Old Testament days (before the cross) did not, necessarily, understand why an event from God was happening to them. But the saints who are alive now (after the cross) know why and we study these events. The "depravity doctrine" is a nugget of truth for us to mine out of God's word and apply it to our lives today to avoid all kinds of trouble.

II. Let's examine how God taught His people, Israel, about this important doctrine.

"Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient along the way, and they began to murmur against God and Moses. "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they complained. "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this wretched manna!"

"So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among them, and many of them were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes." So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole. Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!" So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to the top of a pole. Whenever those who were bitten looked at the bronze snake, they recovered!"
(Numbers 21:4-9).

This true story may not make a lot of sense to us if we just casually read it and gloss over it. However, it starts to make more sense when we understand the symbolism involved. From God's point of view in this story the snake is a symbol of man's depravity and the pole is a symbol of the tree or cross of Jesus Christ.

It's not a downhill coast
to get into Heaven
but an uphill swim

III. What does all of this mean for a Christian?

The picture here before us means that if you have Jesus Christ living in your heart then your "old man" or depraved nature is crucified on the cross of Christ.

Now, here is an irony- when Jesus Christ comes to take up residence in your heart He takes away most of this depravity but not all of it. He leaves a slice of depravity in every saved heart- just enough for us to deal with and then gives us the power over it.

Why Did God Leave That Slice of Depravity In The Heart of Each Saved Individual?

David P. Scaer in his writing titled, Sanctification: By Grace Alone, had this to say:

"As magnificently monergistic as our sanctification is, that is, God works in us to create and confirm faith and to do good to others, we Christians are plagued by sin. In actual practice our sanctification is only a weak reflection of Christ's life. Good motives often turn into evil desires. Good works come to be valued as our own ethical accomplishments. Moral self-admiration and ethical self-absorption soon replace total reliance on God. The sanctified life constantly needs to be fully and only informed by Christ's life and death or our personal holiness will soon deteriorate into a degenerate legalism and barren moralism. God allows us Christians to be plagued by sin and a sense of moral inadequacy to force us to see the impossibility of a self-generated holiness. Our only hope is to look Christ in whom alone we have a perfect and complete sanctification. "He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption"
(1 Corinthians 1:30).
Here are some scriptures for us to examine in this regard:

"Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you."
(Colossians 3:9-10).

"Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes."
(Ephesians 4:21-23).

"Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin"
(Romans 6:6-7).

Paul the Apostle wanted to identify with his congregations (to help them) who were dealing with this same depravity issue problem- I think that he can speak for each Christian believer today:

"The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."
(Romans 7:14-25 NLT).

The Apostle Paul also had this to say to the Christians of the Galatian church:

"So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another."
(Galatians 5:16-26).

We have nailed our flesh to His cross by the power of His spirit. Our love for Him keeps our "old man" nailed there and this is shown by our obedience as a love slave to Him in a daily Christian walk. We don't know why God leaves some of this depravity inside of us but we are meant to struggle against it. We struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Here (in this teaching of mine) we are dealing with the flesh. And this flesh can get us into a lot of trouble if we don't keep it down (keep it crucified)-- also known as stomping down the "old man" daily. In theology this is known as self-mortification or the mortification of the flesh. A simple formula for remembering this is to spell the word "flesh" backwards in English and then take off the letter "h". The word changes from flesh to self which is so accurate.

IV. Here is my answer to our depravity problem:

1. First of all, the natural man without Christ is totally depraved. This is a big problem from God's point of view. That means that your nature is seen from God's point of view as an evil, biting, venemous snake in total rebellion against God. You are owned by Satan (who appeared to Eve in the Garden of Eden in the form of a snake). If you are not saved then you need to invite Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart.

2. Christ's mighty power will give a death blow to one's depravity! Once we have Jesus Christ living in our heart we need to stay on our knees in deep prayer and we need to stay in God's word continually. If we don't then we might sin and fail God. We might appear and feel so unholy. Legalism might set in but this won't solve a depravity issue. One can get so frustrated in his or her Christian walk if we try to walk in our own strength without help from God. We have to rely on God's power and strength to help us walk a holy and self-sacrificing life. We have to make a choice to live in the spirit and not live in the flesh. We can't let the flesh have it's own way.

3. Use the power of God's Spirit and your own will-power to stomp down the "old man" nature. Keep it stomped down lest it get away from you. I like to think of a balance scale with one's spirituality on one end of it and one's flesh-life on the other end of it. With the flesh down the spirituality is elevated. With the spirituality down the flesh is elevated. I believe it is just that way in our lives. We need to always keep the flesh down or "crucified".

4. "Flee temptation and avoid hurtful lusts" (2 Timothy 2:22).

5. Don't give up if we fail. "If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong."
(I John 1:8-9).

6. Take one day at a time. There is an old saying, "Take life by the inch, it's a cinch, but take life by the yard, it's hard."
(Matthew 6:34).

7. Be careful what movies that you watch. Be careful what music that you listen to. Your mind is a repository of what you place there. If you place the Word of God there you will think and act after that fashion. However, if you place garbage there... well, garbage in and garbage out, as they say. Don't be feeding your "lower man." Instead, feed your soul on soul food which is the Word of God. This is great advice for every Christian.

So far in the above teaching I have been dealing with some simple truths of basic Christianity in reference to depravity and how to deal with it. The milk of the word of God, if you please.

V. Now let's get into some deeper teaching- into the meat of the word of God.

What is the sin nature that each of us inherits from Adam? Simply put, it is wanting our own way. Each of us always wants our own way- a way that is not God's way! It is a way of disobedience and sinful resolution. It is the way that Adam and Eve chose rather than obedience to God. The scripture says, "All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own..."
(Isaiah 53:6a) (NLT).

Here is what J. Vernon McGee says about it in his commentary about human depravity in regards to
Numbers 21:4-9.

"Unfortunately this is characteristic of many of us today. When life is hard we complain and murmur...They are murmuring again about the manna. You will recall that the mixed multitude were the ones who had led them in rejecting the manna earlier in the march. Manna was a wonderful food, by the way. God reminds them in the book of Deuteronomy that their feet did not swell. A missionary doctor in the Philippines told me that the foot will swell and beriberi results from a diet deficiency. So they were getting all the correct nutrition in the manna, and it was a very tasty sort of food. Yet they complained...

I think, frankly, that the Lord is getting just a little tired of all of their murmuring. They say that their soul hates this manna. They don't want it. They charge God with bringing them into this wilderness to die. The Lord is tired of all their complaining and He is going to judge them for it. Then God sends in the serpents.

They are now ready to to admit that they have sinned against the Lord and against Moses. Now, that is a problem with many folk today. They want to begin with God as a church member, as a nice little girl or boy. We all must begin with God as sinners. The only way that God will begin with us is as sinners. You see, Christ died for sinners, and He loves sinner. If you can't come in under that category, then Christ is not for you. He came for sinners.

These people are going to have to give evidence of faith because they have no good works. They can't come to God with the promise that from now on they will be good because they won't be good. But they can believe God, and God is going to let them come to Him by faith.

There is a marvelous lesson here, you see. They are to look at the brazen serpent, and they are to look in faith. In fact, they would not look if it were not in faith. I can well imagine some of the folk saying that this was just nonsense. They would want something else, something more tangible than just turning around to look at a serpent of brass. But, of course, if a man would not turn to look at the serpent of brass, he would die.

Now, we don't have to guess at the meaning of this and the lesson for us. When our Lord was talking to Nicodemus on that dark night He said, "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life."
(John 3:14-15).

How was the Son of Man lifted up? You say, on a cross. Yes, but He was dying on the cross of Barabbas, and Barabbas was a thief and a murderer. Barabbas was guilty, and was worthy of death. Jesus was not. Our Lord was made sin for us. On that cross, He not only has taken the place of Barabbas but also your place and my place. God permitted this and did this because He loves us. But God cannot save us by His love. It doesn't say that God so loved the world that He saved the world. Not at all. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Now what God asks you to do, my friend, is to look and live. Look to Christ! He is taking your place there. You are a sinner and it is you who deserves to die. Christ did not deserve to die. He died for you.

We read here that this serpent of brass was made, and those who looked to it lived. Those who did not look to it died. It is just that simple today. Either you are looking to Christ as your Savior because you are a sinner, or you are not doing it. If you are not doing it, I don't care how many times you have been baptized, how many ceremonies you have been through, how many churches you have joined, or who your father and mother happened to be, you are a lost, hell-doomed sinner. You must look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is just as simple as that. And by the way, it is just as complicated as that.

What a problem people have today. They would rather look to themselves and to their own good works, trusting that somehow thier own good works might save them. It is a problem for people to admit they are sinners and to look to Christ and trust Him."4

VI. My concluding remarks about depravity:

"These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did or worship idols as some of them did. For the Scriptures say, "The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged themselves in pagan revelry. And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don't grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them. All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close."
(I Corinthians 10:6-11).

In this study we learned that our depravity came to us from our forefather, Adam, at the beginning of the human race. Our depravity is viewed by God as a serpent and is hostile to our living a holy life for Christ. In other words our sinful nature from Adam is like a snake- evil and dangerous (deadly) and is full of venom against God unless put to death. Our depraved human nature has been crucified in Christ on the cross. We must put to death our self-nature and crucify the flesh daily, the mortification of the flesh.

We deal with this depravity by personally accepting Christ and then, personally, we crucify it daily. By this we take up our daily cross of self-denial and self-indulgence. We die to self daily. The pull of depravity is always downwards so a Christian must be careful when fellowshipping with the unsaved. It is easier for an unsaved person to pull a Christian downward than for a Christian to pull an unsaved person upwards.

Snakes in this picture are not only symbols of depravity but also symbols of Satan. Like the snakes, the devil was among them killing them spiritually unless they looked to Christ to save them. Satan was defeated at the cross of Christ.

The devil victimizes people. He is the perpetrator of all abuse. A victimized person can look to Christ for help in healing and restoration.

I invite you now to turn to Christ. If you are not in love with Jesus Christ then I ask you now to go to Him in prayer, repent of your sins, invite Him to come and live in your heart, and turn your life over to Him. If you are in love with Jesus then I ask you to walk in holiness before Him crucifying the flesh on a daily walk with Him. And when you fail at this turn to Him in repentence and keep trying. Lean on the Lord and let Him be strong through you.

What God Through the Bible Teaches About Holiness

Facing Choices-
(A brief look at Romans chapters 12 and 15).

In all things choose to know and do the will of God.

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is"
(Romans 12:1-2).
God has given each person gifts to share for the wider good. Choose to discover and use your gifts.
"As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly"
(Romans 12:3-8).
Following the Lord's example, choose compassion. Sincere love shows itself in service.
"Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night"
(Romans 12:9-13).
Choose to serve one another so that all may praise God together.
"We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn't please himself. As the Scriptures say, "Those who insult you are also insulting me." Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other- each with the attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"
(Romans 15:1-6). NLT5

Scriptures On Holiness

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven"
(Matthew 5:44-45).

"Live to Please God"

"Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already, and we encourage you to do so more and more. For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor- not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways. Never cheat a Christian brother in this matter by taking his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you"
(1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). (NLT New Living Translation)

"As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature"
(2 Peter 1:3-4).

Also See Romans 1:18-32; 6:1-15; 8:1-3,31-39
See Colossians 1:12-20
See 1 Peter 1:13-25
See Leviticus 18:1-30
See Ezekiel Chapter 28: 12-17 where Satan is seen as Unholy

I believe in the sun,
even when it's not shining;

I believe in love,
even when I feel it not;

I believe in God,
even when He is silent.


"I am the Vine, ye are the branches"
(John 15:5)

"...that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life"
(Romans 6:4).

"Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).

"For to me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).

"Christ in you, the hope of glory...when Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory"
(Colossians 1:27; 3:3-4).

"That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body...that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh"
(2 Corinthians 4:10-11).

"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you"
(Galatians 4:19).

The Christian life is Christ manifesting and outworking His life in the believer!


"For He dwelleth with you and shall be in you"
(John 14:17).

"He shall testify of Me...He shall glorify Me" (John 15:26; 16:14).

"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you"
(Acts 1:8).

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all"
(Acts 4:33).

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"
(Romans 8:2).

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"
(Romans 8:4).

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh"
(Galatians 5:16).

"That ye might know...what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power"
(Ephesians 1:18-19).

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us"
(Ephesians 3:20).


"Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

"That no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:29 and also in verse 30 I learn that Jesus Christ is my sanctification or my holiness).

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them"
(Ephesians 2:10).

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature"
(Galatians 6:15).

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"
(Philippians 2:13).

"Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily"
(Colossians 1:29).

"Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen"
(Hebrews 13:21).


The key is not what I do but what Jesus Christ has already done. We all know that this is true when it comes to our salvation. We rest upon the finished work of Christ. When it comes to Christian living many believers stop doing this. Jesus Christ has done the work. We simply need to believe it and claim it.

"Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin"
(Romans 6:6).

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20).

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"
(2 Corinthians 5:17).

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him"
(Colossians 3:9-10).


To be saved I believed the glorious fact that Jesus Christ died and rose again for me. To live the Christian life I must believe the glorious fact that I died with Christ and rose again with Christ. Both of these facts have been accomplished. The truth that relates to my salvation (justification) involves SUBSTITUTION (Christ died for my sins!). The truth that relates to my Christian life (sanctification) involves IDENTIFICATION (I died with Christ!). Notice the following verses which involve IDENTIFICATION:

"How shall we that have died to sin live any longer therein?"
(Romans 6:2).

"Knowing this that our old man was crucified with Him"
(Romans 6:6).

"I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live"
(Galatians 2:20).

"Ye died with Christ" (Colossians 2:20).

"For ye died and your life is hidden with Christ in God"
(Colossians 3:3).

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness"
(1 Peter 2:24).


"Likewise reckon [count on the facts!] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord"
(Romans 6:11).

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead"
(Colossians 2:12).

"I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me"
(Galatians 2:20).

"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love"
(Galatians 5:6).

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief....Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief"
(Hebrews 3:19; 4:11).

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"
(1 John 5:4)

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith"
(Ephesians 3:17).



"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him"
(Colossians 2:6).

"For we walk by faith, not be sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

"Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
(Galatians 3:2-3).

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith...Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
(Galatians 5:5-7).

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith"
(Hebrews 12:1-2).


"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal"
(John 12:24-25).

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world"
(Galatians 6:14).

"I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20).

"Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him"
(Romans 6:6).

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified"
(1 Corinthians 2:2).

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death"
(Philippians 3:10).

"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake"
(2 Corinthians 4:10-11).

"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again"
(2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

"For ye died and your life is hidden with Christ in God"
(Colossians 3:3).

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind"
(1 Peter 4:1).


The law cannot give life. The law cannot make a person holy. It cannot sanctify. There is no problem with the law
(Romans 7:12) except that sinful persons cannot keep it
(Romans 7:14). Those who put themselves under law will certainly experience bondage because sin will have dominion over them
(compare Romans 6:14). Jesus Christ is our rule of life: "For to me to live is Christ"
(Philippians 1:21). Our fleshly struggles and striving to keep God's holy law can only end in failure. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"
(Romans 8:2). The law can never be fulfilled by us, but it can be fulfilled IN US by the power and working of God, appropriated by faith: "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"
(Romans 8:4). Salvation is "by grace through faith" and so is sanctification.

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace"
(Romans 6:14-15).

"This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
(Galatians 3:2-3).

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law"
(Galatians 5:18).

"The just shall live by faith and the law is not of faith: but the man that doeth them shall live in them"
(Galatians 3:11-12).


"Paul and Barnabas...persuaded them to continue in the grace of God"
(Acts 13:43- we are not just saved by grace but we must continue in grace. The Christian life must continue as it commenced)

Grace means that God gets all the credit! It is His salvation! It is His LIFE! It is His working! It is His power! To God be the glory! Worthy is the Lamb! May Christ be magnified in our bodies
(Philippians 1:20)! May the beauty of the Lord God rest upon us! May Christ be formed in us
(Galatians 4:19)! May His fruit be to His glory
(Philippians 1:11)! May we be trophies of His grace
(Ephesians 2:7)! OH TO GRACE HOW GREAT A DEBTOR DAILY I'M CONSTRAINED TO BE! "By the grace of God I am what I am!"
(1 Corinthians 15:10). "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth (boasteth), let him glory (boast) in the Lord!"
(1 Corinthians 1:31).

"That no flesh should glory is His presence"
(1 Corinthians 1:29).

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"
(1 Corinthians 15:10).

"For by grace are ye saved through faith...For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them....For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God"
(Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 6:15-16).

"What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid"
(Romans 6:14-15).

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world"
(Titus 2:11-12).

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work"
(2 Corinthians 9:8).

"His grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus"
(2 Timothy 2:1).

"That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord"
(Romans 5:21).

"We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain"
(2 Corinthians 6:1).

"I do not frustrate the grace of God"
(Galatians 2:21; and see Galatians 5:4 and Hebrews 12:15).

"But grow in grace" (2 Peter 3:18)."6

God's anointing
is more important than
man's appointing

Some Do's and Don'ts of the Christian's Walk Through Life

Absolute Conduct- What All True Christians Have In Common

All true Christians obey the Ten Commandments. We obey them out of love, not out of force. Why? Because they are a measure of God's holiness and we are to be as much like Him as we can.

The Ten Commandments

Then God instructed the people as follows: "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.

1. "Do not worship any other gods besides me."

2. "Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations."

3. "Do not use the name of the LORD your God in vain" (in profanity). The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

4. "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy."

5. "Honor your father and mother." Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.

6. "Do not murder."

7 "Do not commit adultery."

8. "Do not steal."

9. "Do not testify falsely against your neighbor" (with your tongue in slander or in a court of law).

10. "Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."
(Exodus 20:1-17).

Some Commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment"
(Matthew 22: 37-38).

Also Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings- and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me"
(John 14:23).

Jesus also said, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love"
(John 15:9 & 10).

God loving us gives us the capacity to love others because "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us," and "we love him (God), because he first loved us"
(Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:19).

The Bible says, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love"
(I John 4:7-8).

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved)"
(Ephesians 2:4-5).

"Ye that love the Lord, hate evil". (Psalms 97:10).

"Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face"
(Deuteronomy 7:9-10).

Jesus' teachings are in the Sermon On The Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. And He has other teachings throughout His four gospels. If you wish to study more of His teachings I have some located on my Christology web page.

However, on the other hand, there are sins that a true Christian does not commit. Christians don't commit habitual sin. Christians don't act like the devil. We are to live holy lives using Jesus Christ as our permanent example. Therefore, there are certain absolute behaviours listed in the Bible that we don't do. If you profess to be a Christian and live a lifestyle of wickedness many will think that you are not saved (justified). So the kind of sanctification holiness that you believe and practice is very important. Why? To serve as a good example. Also so that you don't make others stumble from their faith in following Christ.

Infiltrators into the church from witchcraft and satanic covens often profess one thing and then live a life contrary to holiness. Why? Because they believe in unholiness. They actually belong to Satan while pretending to belong to Christ. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. Jesus said that you will know them by their fruits- in other words you will discover them by examining their secret and wicked lifestyles. Let's examine some of the unholy deeds of the unsaved:

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another"
(Galatians 5:19-26).

"Nothing evil will be allowed to enter (into New Jerusalem)- no one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty- but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life"
(Revelation 21:27).


The Bible says a sinful person swears "whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness"
(Romans 3:14).

Are You Living A Lie?

The Bible says that "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone"
(Revelation 21:8).

Is Your Lifestyle One of Being A Drunkard by Choice?

The Bible says that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(I Corinthians 6:10)

Is Your Lifestyle One Of Continually COMMITTING SEXUAL INIQUITY?

The Bible says that the following shall not inherit the kingdom of God:
(1) single people who commit sexual iniquity (called fornicators),
(2) married people who commit adultery, and
(3) homosexuals
(Galations 5:19, 21; Romans 1:27,32).

Jesus said, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies"
(Matthew 15:18-19).

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"
(Romans 3:23).

"Don't you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can't be a friend of God"
(James 4:4). NLT

If you have made a shambles of your life, feel sorry about sinning against God, and have lost your self-respect, then you need to experience Jesus now. Jesus gives you the power and daily ability to not commit these sins once He lives in your heart
(John 1:12).

"Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool"
(Isaiah 1:18).

What do we do after we have sinned against the Lord?
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong"
(1 John 1:9).

Won't you invite Jesus Christ as Saviour into your heart now and experience the forgiveness of your sins and feel Christ living there? And then start living the life of holiness...
(Ephesians 3: 16-19).

Your stand on Holiness depends on which side you are on:

  I am on Satan's side so therefore I act unholy like he is
  This tree produces evil fruit

  I am on God's side so therefore I act holy like He is
  This tree produces righteous fruit

  "A righteous tree cannot produce evil fruit"- Jesus Christ

Relative Conduct- Personal Convictions Regarding Holiness

What is a conviction? According to Webster's Dictionary a conviction is an act of convincing. Convince means to vanquish, defeat, or rule over. Therefore, a conviction is an act (or behaviour) that you are convinced (in your own mind and soul) to conquer for your own good.

There are areas of moral conduct not specifically mentioned in the Holy Bible. These areas are called personal convictions. What areas? Some of these holiness areas include but are not limited to: masturbation, the drinking of alcoholic beverages, going to movie theatres, going to bars and night clubs, going to dances, body piercings, tattoos, mixed swimming (for males and females at the same time), smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, the length of a woman's hair, the use or misuse of lipstick or cosmetics, whether or not a woman can wear slacks (men's clothes), etc.

What is the Biblical rule of sanctification or personal convictions for the above? The rule is: where the Bible is silent the conscience must rule.

If you are not a member of a church denomination then you can let your conscience be your guide on any of the above topics of holiness.

However, if you join a church denomination then that denomination will have you adhere to it's tenants of faith. The denomination will tell you how you are to believe and act on the above relative topics of holiness and then it is no longer a matter of personal conscience for you but legalism. This is part of the teaching of Churchanity rather than Christianity. And these matters of holiness can vary from denomination to denomination. Some groups serve alcoholic wine in the taking of Holy Communion while others only take non-alcoholic grape juice. Some groups allow dancing and others don't. Some groups allow band music and others don't. One group uses "the hook and eye" on their shirts because they believe that the use of buttons is worldly.

Denominations are in competition against each other to see which one is more holy. So they pass more regulations in regards to holiness issues. This does not make them more holy, it only makes them more legalistic. Satan has used these denominational regulations as a weapon of guilt against church members who have violated any of them. The church member then feels condemned to hell by God. Some have quit going to church because of their internal conflicts in this regard.

Many years ago some denominations had what they call "Clothesline Preachers." They would preach to the members of a congregation into not acting against the established order of holiness of the denomination. Some would preach that when the Lord Jesus came back in the rapture of the church- if you were in a movie theater, a bar, or on the dance floor when He came back- then you would be left behind. Another church group excommunicated one of it's members for washing his car on the sabbath day.

Problems can arise in this area when a church member of a group violates those sacred tenants. The violator can be falsely judged NOT to be a Christian and church action taken against him or her. This might involve rebuke, rejection, or excommunication. Some churches have been accused of "shooting their wounded" in this respect. Some churches have been accused of having too much legalism in this area. Some churches have been accused of showing conditional love rather than unconditional love in this area, and so forth. My advice to you is- if you are a church member, then abide by your denomination's teachings on it's holiness-sanctification issues. If you don't like them or don't agree to abide by them any longer, then resign your church membership.

I don't smoke. I don't chew
I don't date girls who do

Sometimes true Christians of one denomination do not show tolerance, kindness, or unconditional love for true Christians in another denomination who have differing beliefs and behaviors about this doctrine. Sometimes today there can be problems in this area.

What does the Bible say about how true Christians are to treat each other on these holiness sanctification issues?

Paul deals with this church problem in
The Law of Love Regarding Weak and Strong Christians in
1 Corinthians Chapter 8 (New Living Translation NLT).

Paul explains that there are strong Christians in their faith. There are also weak Christians in their faith. Both are right in what they believe to be their relative convictions. This is also true for today, as well, in regards to holiness issues.

The problem at that time was in regard to eating food sacrificed to idols. The Bible didn't say anything about it so their conscience ruled. Some Christians there had a conscience to eat it while others had a conscience not to eat it. There was a problem. Paul states that the law of love must be placed into action so Christians don't hurt each other. We yield to others rather than demand our own way. By acting in love we serve as a good example and we don't cause others to stumble. This is how we should act today, as well. Here is the Biblical account:

1 Now let's talk about food that has been sacrificed to idols. You think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church.

2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much.

3 But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for.

4 So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other.

5 According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth.

6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

7 However, not all Christians realize this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.

8 It's true that we can't win God's approval by what we eat. We don't miss out on anything if we don't eat it, and we don't gain anything if we do.

9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble.

10 You see, this is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat this food will see you eating in the temple of an idol. You know there's nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to the idol.

11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak Christian, for whom Christ died, will be destroyed.

12 And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong.

13 If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live- for I don't want to make another Christian stumble.

Hold The Line

Militant Japanese studied the United States before World War 2 to make a realistic assessment for it's conquest. They reported that the strength of America was in it's churches. I hope that America can still say that today.

What's the problem? Is the Christian church in these last days headed towards apostasy? Is unholiness going to win over holiness? Not if the soldiers of the cross hold the line. I encourage you NOT to retreat from your stand on personal holiness when confronted with unholiness. I encourage you to continue to hold the line of holiness.

There is a song titled: "Hold the Line" and here are the lyrics:

"The night is slowly fading and the morning's coming fast
There's a hundred thousand men who want us dead beyond that hill
You can almost see the glint of rifle barrels through the grass
They'll soon be charging, baying for the kill

We are all that stands between them and the end of all we know
There will be no quarter given- there's no turning back this time
We must hold the enemy until our reinforcements show
So hold the line, my boys, just hold the line

Hold the line- don't retreat and don't surrender
Hold the line- though around you others fall

We will give our last full measure
May the fates all treat us kind
So hold the line, my boys, just hold the line

You and I have fought together, many lifetimes, many lands
On Athens' plains, at Waterloo, in Flanders' fields so fine
Anyone can wield a weapon- the real test is if he stands
So hold the line, my boys, just hold the line

The church is doing many things right. We are holding the line on foreign missions, prayer, revivals, training sessions for evangelists, special times for fasting and prayer, developing sister churches, we can organize to boycott sponsors of anti-christian movies, and we are doing good in other areas, as well. Now, it's time to hold the line on holiness.

The church is under attack today in this area of holiness. Some pastor may want to remove the altar of repentance and healing from his church. Don't do it. One might say that sin is rampant inside and outside of the church. Preach against it. Live the life. Wear the Bible. Stand on God's Word.

The dictionary meaning for apostasy is: "the abandonment of one's religious faith." In theology it is called "the great falling away." The vast majority of humanity is not interested in personal holiness, much less in following it. But it is very important. Why? Ancient Israel battled continually against unholiness. Whenever Israel lost the battle against unholiness- whenever the people didn't hold the line- then God stepped in and judged them. We don't want to be judged by God. That's why it is important to you and to me.

There is a teaching in the church that God always warns before He judges. This is true. God warned us in advance about these days that we now face:

The Dangers of the Last Days

"You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.

They are the kind who work their way into people's homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires. Such women are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth. And these teachers fight the truth just as Jannes and Jambres fought against Moses. Their minds are depraved, and their faith is counterfeit. But they won't get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as happened with Jannes and Jambres"
(2 Timothy 3:1-9).

"For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed- the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy every god there is and tear down every object of adoration and worship. He will position himself in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God"
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Why did He warn us? So we would hold the line in regards to His holiness.

What's the problem with violence and with the problem of abortion? It's unholy. What's the problem with a man and a woman shacking up together without being married? It's unholy. What's the problem with homosexuality? It's unholy.


There is a lot of violence in the world today. It's not holy to shoot someone in a drive-by shooting. Rape and armed robbery is not holy conduct. Murder is not holy.

Why did King David NOT get to build God's temple for Him? Because God told him that he was a man of war. In other words, a man of violence. Violence is contrary to God's peace. When David was violent he was not acting holy.

"There are six things the LORD hates- no, seven things he detests:
haughty (proud) eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord among brothers."
(Proverbs 6:17-19).

Abortion is considered an act of violence and is therefore unholy. It's the shedding of innocent blood. The church should continue preaching the gospel of peace through Christ and continue it's stand against abortion.

Unrepentant Homosexuals:

Practicing homosexuals are not to be in God's church, much less be in a leadership capacity, unless there's a special outreach to the unsaved and the new converts are in the process of changing to lives of holiness. If a political government tries to force the church to yield in this area then Christians are called upon by God to practice obedient disobedience. In times past homosexuals have been instrumental in Christian persecution.

How is the church supposed to treat a repentant homosexual? Just like any other sinner who repents. Church folks are encouraged to love the individual yet hate their sin.

Israel and Judah battled against unholiness. Each of those nation failed when they lost the battle against unholiness. Sodom, Gomorrah, and the five cities of the plain were judged by God after they lost the battle against unholiness.

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem:

"Then David mobilized thirty thousand special troops. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring home the Ark of God, which bears the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the hillside home of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab's sons, were guiding the cart with the Ark of God on it, with Ahio walking in front. David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments- lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the Ark of God. Then the LORD's anger blazed out against Uzzah for doing this, and God struck him dead beside the Ark of God. David was angry because the LORD's anger had blazed out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means "outbreak against Uzzah"). It is still called that today"
(2 Samuel 6:1-8).

Uzzah thought that what he was doing for God was right. But it was wrong. Uzzah violated God's express rules on holiness-sanctification and he paid the supreme price for it. You may think that the practicing homosexuals are correct and that they have a place in the church- that government, politics, and business are fine with them. The militant gays can cry discrimination. However, if you move in that direction to embrace this unholiness into the Christian church then you are violating God's will and violating God's holiness-sanctification. In your misguided zeal you may do a lot of damage to God's kingdom. And God will judge you for it. My advice to you is to hold the line of holiness.

Why is this a holiness-sanctification issue? God will never change His mind on holiness. Why? Because it's one of His attributes. Holiness is who He is. And, unholiness is who Satan is. Satan is never supposed to get a foothold in God's church.

Let's not be luke warm in our stand on holiness-sanctification. God had a message to the Church in Laodicea concerning this matter:

"Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen- the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation: "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, `I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy gold from me- gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."
(Revelation 3:14-22).

The white robes represent holiness-sanctification. .

How do we win this battle? The answer is one heart at a time. The goal of the Christian life is to be restored to God's likeness, to be holy as God is holy, to be like Christ in character. I challenge the Christian church universal to do battle against the forces of unholiness and to hold the line of holiness.

Relevant Articles Concerning Sanctification

All of the following authors present a little different aspect of sanctification. I think that we can learn a lot from these men and women of faith. It's good to look at different view points of this important doctrine within Christian orthodoxy. If you study everything on this web page then I think you should have a pretty good understanding of this subject.

We're All Toads by Barbara Johnson

"Aren't you glad God loves us for what we are...and not for what we should be?

Do you remember the story of the princess with the golden ball, and the toad who tormented her? In the popularized version of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, the princess kisses the toad and voila! The toad turns into a prince.

Most of us identify with the toad in this story hoping to be kissed by a princess and be rescued from toad-ness. But that was not the original ending. In the original version, the princess gets fed up with the toad's demands, picks him up, and hurls him headlong against the palace wall. Splat! Encountering the wall � encountering truth � toad becomes prince.

An encounter with truth is what changes you and me into royal beings who are full of grace. And one of the most soul-transforming truths is looking in the mirror and discovering that we're ordinary toads� with warts just like everyone else.

I sometimes wear a little button that says, "Someone Jesus loves has AIDS." By wearing it, I remind myself that any kind of outcast deserves my compassion, not my judgment. Jesus said, "Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang!"
(Luke 6:37). We all have problems and hang-ups. Grace is at its best when its shared with the least loved or most undeserving.

Have you ever considered that the very last words in the Holy Bible are about grace? The beloved apostle John's last recorded statement is, "The grace of Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen"
(Revelation 22:21). Paul knew all about the "toad-ness" inherent in God's people (he claimed he was the ugliest toad of all). And he knew that what we most need in order to represent Christ on earth is grace.

Jesus knew that, too, which is why he modeled it for us in everything he did. He mingled with all kinds of people, and he loved them all. I wonder, did those who loved him back always go on to live triumphant, glorious lives? Were they always courageous evangelizers? Did each of their offspring grow up to be successful and popular? Did they overcome all of their personal weaknesses? What about the double-minded Peter? The doubter, Thomas? The betrayer, Judas? Even Jesus was considered a criminal at the end of his young life. Does accepting Jesus as Lord mean that your life will be forever perfect?

In Jesus' day, many people believed sickness was a result of sin in a person's life. Religious people especially shied away from cripples or lepers, thinking they had brought misfortune on themselves. Whether or not that was true didn't matter to Jesus. He healed as many as called on him. He forgave them. too.

The truth is, we are all born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse. We all need grace at its best! Grace is simply knowing all about someone and loving them just the same. Jesus extends that grace to us every moment- and his Spirit in us enables us to graciously overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and oulast the unbearable in ourselves and other people.

Splat! That is grace in action. Grace is God's reality check in a phony-baloney world. When we no longer deny that we're ordinary toads, we don't need to judge anyone for living in a scummy pond instead of a palace garden, for we have been there, too. We offer grace to all the way King Ahasuerus extended the golden scepter to Queen Esther as a token of acceptance and mercy
(Esther 8:4). We don't have to patronize anyone. We just accept toads, lepers, the homeless, AIDS victims, the mentally ill, and our next-door neighbor.

Remember, friend, your arms are the only ones God has to hug other people, and he may want to use your lips to kiss a few toads. Let him. And pray that each time you err in discernment, it may be on the side of grace!

"May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all"
(2 CORINTHIANS 13:13). NLT.8

Understanding Your Value by Joel Osteen

"...Certainly, you should always be open to wise counsel. I'm not suggesting that you be foolish or rebellious. Nor am I suggesting that you move from liberty to license in your spiritual life. We never have permission to live an ungodly life."9

"My dad went to a high school football game with a dear friend of ours named Jesse. Jesse's son, Jeff, played on the defensive squad, so he rarely touched the ball during a game. But on one particular play, the punter kicked a short punt and Jeff fielded it. He ran over, caught the ball, took a half step to his right and a half step back to his left, his eyes darting in every direction, searching for some daylight. But there was no running room to be found. Just then, about ten guys from the opposing team clobbered him. I mean, he didn't advance the ball one inch.

For a long, awkward moment, Daddy sat silently staring out at the field as the referee untangled the pile of players climbing off Jeff. Daddy was feeling badly for Jesse, and he was trying to think of something good to say, but the play had been a disaster. Even Daddy couldn't come up with anything positive. About that time Jesse punched Daddy in the ribs. He had a big smile on his face as he nodded toward the field where Jeff was just getting to his feet. Jesse said, "Pastor, did you see those two good moves?" Only a loving father could see his son's two good moves, rather than the fact that his son just got tackled by everybody but the cheerleaders!

God Sees Our Two Good Moves

But friend, that's the way our heavenly Father looks at us. He's not dwelling on the times we get knocked down. He's not dwelling on our faults. No, God sees our two good moves. God focuses on the things you're doing right; He sees the best in you. You may not always control your temper as you know you should. Or you may slip and say things you wish you hadn't said. Seek forgiveness from God and from anyone you may have offended, but don't go around beating yourself up, living in condemnation. As long as you are pressing forward, you can hold your head up high, knowing that you are a "work in progress," and God is in the process of changing you. He's looking at your two good moves.

That's not to condone wrongdoing, but the truth is, we all have areas in which we need to improve. We can't become so focused on our faults that we cease to enjoy who God made us to be. You've got to be happy with who you are right now and accept yourself, faults and all.

An important factor in seeing yourself God's way is to understand your intrinsic sense of value, whether you make the right moves or the wrong moves. Too often we focus on our faults, weaknesses, past mistakes, and failures. Rejection and other painful experiences steal our self-esteem and make us feel unwanted and insecure.

Your sense of value cannot be based on your achievements, how well you perform, how somebody else treats you, or how popular or successful you are. Your sense of value should be based solely on the fact that you are a child of the Most High God. As His unique creation, you have something to offer this world that nobody else has, that nobody else can be.

It's vital that you accept yourself and learn to be happy with who God made you to be. If you want to truly enjoy your life, you must be at peace with yourself. Many people constantly feel badly about themselves. They are overly critical of themselves, living with all sorts of self-imposed guilt and condemnation. No wonder they're not happy; they have a war going on inside. They're not at peace with themselves. And if you can't get along with yourself, you will never get along with other people. The place to start is by being happy with who God made you to be.

Learn to be happy with who God made you to be.

You may not be perfect� nobody is! Sure, you've got some flaws� we all do! But to be truly free, you must have a healthy respect for yourself in spite of those "imperfections."

Some people are always putting themselves down. "I'm so slow." "I'll never break these bad habits." "I'm unattractive. Look at my nose; what am I ever going to do with my hair?"

Don't be so hard on yourself! Certainly, there may be some things in your life that you aren't happy about; you may have some bad habits you need to break. But remember, God is not finished with you. He's in the process of changing you.

The Scripture says we are God's workmanship
(Ephesians 2:10). The word workmanship implies that you are not yet a finished product; you are a "work in process." Throughout our lives, God is continually shaping and molding us into the people He wants us to be. The key to future success is to not be discouraged about your past or present while you are in the process of being "completed." The Bible indicates that we go from glory to glory as we are being transformed into God's image
(2 Corinthians 3:18). Whether you realize it or not, right now God is moving you onward toward greater things. The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter
(Proverbs 4:18).

When you are tempted to get discouraged, remind yourself that according to God's Word, your future is getting brighter; you are on your way to a new level of glory. You may think you've got a long way to go, but you need to look back at how far you've already come. You may not be everything you want to be, but at least you can thank God that you're not what you used to be.

Our value is intrinsic. It is not something you or I have earned; indeed, we cannot earn it. God built value into us when He created us. To God, we are His ultimate creations. That means you can stop obsessing about all your faults and give yourself a break. Every person has weaknesses. Even the great men and women of the Bible made mistakes. They all had shortcomings, but that didn't stop God from loving them, blessing them, and using them to accomplish great deeds. Besides, we need to learn how to keep our flaws in perspective. You may think there is a lot wrong with you, but there is also a lot right with you.

The great news is that God knows everything about you, both good and bad, and He still loves you and values you unconditionally. God does not always approve of our behavior. He is not pleased when we go against His will, and when we do, we always suffer the consequences and have to work with Him to correct our thoughts, words, actions, or attitudes. And while you should work to improve in the areas where you fall short, nothing you do will ever cause God to love you less ... or more. His love is a constant you can depend on.

Understand, your value in God's eyes never changes. Some people want us to think that the moment we do something wrong or get off course, God gets His big marker out, crosses our name off His list, and says, "I knew they couldn't do it. I knew they didn't have what it takes." No, God is a forgiving God. He is a God of second chances. No matter how many times you fail Him or how many mistakes you make, your value in God's eyes remains exactly the same.

Imagine that I am handing you a new, crisp one-hundred-dollar bill. Would you want it? Probably so! Suppose I crumpled it up so it wasn't quite as good-looking as it was the day it came from the mint. Would you still want it? Sure! But wait, what if I took it out in the parking lot, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it until the picture on the bill was barely perceptible? It's now dirty, stained, and soiled. Would you still want it?

Of course. Why? Because it is still valuable despite the rough treatment it has experienced. A hundred dollars is a hundred dollars (forgetting about exchange rates, inflation, and other factors, for the moment). It doesn't lose its value simply because it has aged, is not as pretty as it once was, or has taken some bumps and bruises in life.

That's the way God sees each one of us. We all go through challenges and struggles. Sometimes we feel like that hundred-dollar bill, all crumpled and soiled. But just as that hundred-dollar bill still has value, we do, too! In fact, we will never, ever lose our value. Our value has been placed in us by the Creator of the universe, and nobody can take it away from us.

Don't let other people, systems, or circumstances influence your estimation of your value. You may have gone through some traumatic, painful experiences in which somebody mistreated you, used you, or rejected you. Maybe your husband or wife walked out on you and you went through a bitter divorce. Maybe a good friend turned on you for no reason, and you now feel alone and worthless. Or, maybe you felt rejected as a child, and you are living with feelings of guilt and shame. Perhaps you've even convinced yourself that the negative things that happened in your past are all your fault, that you deserve nothing but heartache, pain, guilt, and condemnation. Friend, nothing could be farther from the truth..."10

You Were Created to Become Like Christ by Rick Warren

God wants you to grow up.

"God wants us to grow up...like Christ in everything"
(Ephesians 4:15a). (Msg)

How We Grow

"We are not meant to remain as children"
(Ephesians 4:14a). (Ph)

"Your heavenly Father's goal is for you to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Sadly, millions of Christians grow older but never grow up. They are stuck in perpetual spiritual infancy, remaining in diapers and booties. The reason is that they never intended to grow.

Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing. Discipleship� the process of becoming like Christ� always begins with a decision. Jesus calls us, and we respond: "'Come, be my disciple,' Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him."
(Matthew 9:9).

When the first disciples chose to follow Jesus, they didn't understand all the implications of their decision. They simply responded to Jesus' invitation. That's all you need to get started: Decide to become a disciple.

Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you. Tell me what you are committed to, and I'll tell you what you will be in twenty years. We become whatever we are committed to.

It is at this point of commitment that most people miss God's purpose for their lives. Many are afraid to commit to anything and just drift through life. Others make half-hearted commitments to competing values, which leads to frustration and mediocrity. Others make a full commitment to worldly goals, such as becoming wealthy or famous, and end up disappointed and bitter. Every choice has eternal consequences, so you had better choose wisely. Peter warns, "Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living"
(2 peter 3:11).

God's part and your part.

Christlikeness is the result of making Christlike choices and depending on His Spirit to help you fulfill those choices. Once you decide to get serious about becoming like Christ, you must begin to act in new ways. You will need to let go of some old routines, develop some new habits, and intentionally change the way you think. You can be certain that the Holy Spirit will help you with these changes. The Bible says, "Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
(Philippians 2:12-13).

This verse shows the two parts of spiritual growth: "work out" and "work in." The "work out" is your responsibility, and the "work in" is God's role. Spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit works with us, not just in us.

This verse, written to believers, is not about how to be saved, but how to grow. It does not say "work for" your salvation, because you can't add anything to what Jesus already did. During a physical "workout," you exercise to develop your body, not to get a body. When you "work out" a puzzle, you already have all the pieces� your task is to put them together. Farmers "work" the land, not to get land, but to develop what they already have. God has given you a new life; now you are responsible to develop it "with fear and trembling." That means to take your spiritual growth seriously! When people are casual about their spiritual growth, it shows they don't understand the eternal implications.

Changing your autopilot. (Don't practice stinking thinking).

To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude. God revealed this thousands of years before psychologists understood it: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts."
(Proverbs 4:23).

Imagine riding in a speedboat on a lake with an automatic pilot set to go east. If you decide to reverse and head west, you have two possible ways to change the boat's direction. One way is to grab the steering wheel and physically force it to head in the opposite direction from where the autopilot is programmed to go. By sheer willpower you could overcome the autopilot, but you would feel constant resistance. Your arms would eventually tire of the stress, you'd let go of the steering wheel, and the boat would instantly head back east, the way it was internally programmed.

This is what happens when you try to change your life with willpower: You say, "I'll force myself to eat less ... exercise more ... quit being disorganized and late." Yes, willpower can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress because you haven't dealt with the root cause. The change doesn't feel natural, so eventually you give up, go off your diet, and quit exercising. You quickly revert to your old patterns.

There is a better and easier way: Change your autopilot� the way you think. The Bible says, "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."
(Romans 12:2). Your first step in spiritual growth is to start changing the way you think. Change always starts first in your mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act. Paul said, "There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes."
(Ephesians 4:23).

To be like Christ you must develop the mind of Christ. The New Testament calls this mental shift repentance, which in Greek literally means "to change your mind." You repent whenever you change the way you think by adopting how God thinks� about yourself, sin, God, other people, life, your future, and everything else. You take on Christ's outlook and perspective.

We are commanded to "think the same way that Christ Jesus thought."
(Philippians 2:5). There are two parts to doing this. The first half of this mental shift is to stop thinking immature thoughts, which are self-centered and self-seeking. The Bible says, "Stop thinking like children." In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. Babies by nature are completely selfish. They think only of themselves and their own needs. They are incapable of giving; they can only receive. That is immature thinking. Unfortunately, many people never grow beyond that kind of thinking. The Bible says that selfish thinking is the source of sinful behavior: "Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want."
(Romans 8:5).

The second half of thinking like Jesus is to start thinking maturely, which focuses on others, not yourself. In his great chapter on what real love is, Paul concluded that thinking of others is the mark of maturity: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."
(1 Corinthians 13:11).

Today many assume that spiritual maturity is measured by the amount of biblical information and doctrine you know. While knowledge is one measurement of maturity, it isn't the whole story. The Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions; it includes conduct and character. Our deeds must be consistent with our creeds, and our beliefs must be backed up with Christlike behavior.

Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of that lifestyle is thinking of others, as Jesus did, instead of ourselves. The Bible says, "We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them. Even Christ did not try to please himself."
(Romans 15:2-3).

Thinking of others is the heart of Christlikeness and the best evidence of spiritual growth. This kind of thinking is unnatural, counter-cultural, rare, and difficult. Fortunately we have help: "God has given us his Spirit. That's why we don't think the same way that the people of this world think."
(1 Corinthians 2:12).11

"The Christian is a Holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God. Satan never knows from where the danger will come"
- A.W. Tozer

The Greenhouse of the Mind by Max Lucado

"Jesus guarded His heart. If He did, shouldn't we do the same? Most certainly! "Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life"
(Proverbs 4:23). Jesus wants your heart to be fertile and fruitful. He wants you to have a heart like His. That is God's goal for you. He wants you to "think and act like Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 2:5). But how? The answer is surprisingly simple. We can be transformed if we make one decision: I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus.

To have a pure heart, we must submit all thoughts to the authority of Christ. If we are willing to do that, He will change us to be like Him. Here is how it works.

Your heart is a fertile greenhouse ready to produce good fruit. Your mind is the doorway to your heart- the strategic place where you determine which seeds are sown and which seeds are discarded. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter. He can help you guard your heart.

He stands with you on the threshold. A thought approaches, a questionable thought. Do you throw open the door and let it enter? Of course not. You "fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ"
(2 Corinthians 10:5). You don't leave the door unguarded. You stand equipped with handcuffs and leg irons, ready to capture any thought not fit to enter."12

"The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy"
- A.W. Tozer

Sloppy Living by Marilyn Meberg

Thomas A Kempis: "In the cross there is safety"

Many people tend to fear that if human behavior is not strictly monitored and restrained by the law, we will all simply run amok. Certainly we aren't to be trusted with the freedom and security grace offers to us; we're afraid that if we relax in that doctrine we will get in a mess.

I love the old German monk's contrasting statement to that fear: There is safety in the cross. The cross unwraps many promises and states of being for us. To list a few: it secures our salvation; it assures us of a place in heaven; it speaks of God's incomparable love for his children; and it releases us from the confines of the law and its impossible demands upon our behavior. And on top of all that, it keeps us safe from ourselves.

What do I mean by that? I'd like to suggest that safety comes from knowing a Father who not only loves and forgives by his inexhaustible grace but also instructs and disciplines when we get in a mess. First Peter chapter 1 promises: "You call out to God for help and he helps� he's a good Father that way. But don't forget, he s also a responsible Father, and won't let you get by with sloppy living."

Now if your humanity is anything like mine, you've probably tried your hand more than once at "sloppy living." But my safety, and yours, comes from knowing that God our Father keeps tabs on us and "won't let us get by" with living at a level below that to which he calls us. At some point, something or someone will come along as an instrument of God's love and discipline to lead us back to obedience. Never during that process is God's grace exhausted or his love extinguished. He simply manipulates our circumstances in such a way that our attention and direction are drawn back toward him. That knowledge of his steadfast commitment to keep us ultimately "on track" makes us feel secure ... and keeps us safe.

A number of years ago when my first book, Choosing the Amusing, was released, I was invited to appear on the Jim Bakker television show, PTL, to talk about the book. In an effort to acquaint myself more fully with that ministry, I began to watch the show. I found myself not quite trusting Bakker's television persona but at the same time touched by a subtle vulnerability that I sensed in him. A few weeks before I was due to fly to Charlotte for the program, Bakker's ministry collapsed under a barrage of moral and legal accusations that ultimately landed him in prison.

Bakker's experience has been an inspiring study to me in the steadying, disciplining hand of the Father as Jim's jail time led him from suicidal despair to repentance, victory, and, once again, ministry. Bakker maintains that the horror of his public humiliation, conviction, and incarceration was the best thing that ever happened to him. Through it all Jim experienced the Father's refusal to let Sloppy living take precedence over the call to obedience.

Jim learned the hard way, but in the learning he was held safely in the grip of his Father's sustaining grace.

John Piper, in his excellent book, Future Grace, writes: "Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it holds out some promise of happiness." When we swallow the lie that this life and its earthly experiences can provide greater enrichment and deeper happiness than following God, we're headed for sloppy living. We know better, but most of us don't live out of what we know; we live out of what we want. That sinful human characteristic makes God's extravagant grace even more astounding when we fully embrace it.

Grace frees us not only from the "never-being-good-enough" mindset but also from the fear that our sinful inclinations will ruin our life and sever our relationship with God. He has provided a place of safety for us... it's the Cross. That is where we go to confess our wrongdoing and to be reminded that our sin is not only forgiven but forgotten as well.

Friend, if you "know" in your head about the tenacious grace that keeps you safe but you need to experience it today in your life, dig a little deeper into the gift God has given you. Unwrap the treasure of the grace that will never let you go. A good Father never lets us get by with sloppy living. Experience that safety for yourself.

"And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him"
(HEBREWS 13:20). NLT13

Circumstances change
God doesn't

Israel feared Baal (rather than God) by Bob Deffinbaugh

"Nathan Stone in Names of God writes:
"Israel could not appear to realize its destiny as a special and separate people, set apart to Jehovah's service and purpose in the midst of the [pagan] nations. They seemed unable to rise above a material conception and plane of living. To live, to multiply, to inherit the land- this seemed to them a sufficient fulfillment of their function, an error common to this very day. It is not difficult to understand, then, the attraction of the grossly materialistic gods of the heathen for them. Without a sense of mission there was no common purpose of uniting as one people. Without spiritual vision they fell an easy prey to the appetites and lusts of the flesh. Every apostasy brought punishment and misery- a chastening of Jehovah to awaken them to their spiritual calling...."

"Every succeeding apostasy called for even severer chastening by means of the surrounding nations- chastenings which not only deprived them of the fruits of their land and labors, but brought them into slavery. Without obedience to Jehovah they had no right to the land. His people must be more than mere tillers of the soil and dressers of vineyards (in any age); otherwise they should not enjoy the land. They tilled & planted, but they did not reap. As Jehovah had sown spiritual seed in their hearts, and they had allowed their idolatrous neighbors to trample and tear it out by the imitation of their corrupt idolatries, so now these same heathen embittered and endangered Israel's physical existence."14

As a born again Christian
crucify the flesh on a daily basis

Teachings on Sanctification by J. Vernon McGee

"The LORD also said to Moses, "Say this to the entire community of Israel: You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. Each of you must show respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest, for I, the LORD, am your God. Do not put your trust in idols or make gods of metal for yourselves. I, the LORD, am your God"
(Leviticus 19:1-4).

We are in that section of the book (of Leviticus) where the Ten Commandments are explained in terms of the social life of the nation. I can't think of anything more practical than this particular section. God's Law is to tell us this one thing: ". . . Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy"
(Leviticus 19:2). This was fundamental and basic to all facets of the life of Israel. It explained everything which God commanded or demanded. It entered into their daily routine. Holiness in daily life with all of its relationships was paramount in the everyday living of God's people. That is something that needs to be reemphasized today, by the way. This is not just theory. God intended it to be brought right into our lives.

The Law can not produce the holiness which it demands. It demanded but it did not supply. It revealed the righteousness of the Law, but the high level which it demanded could not be attained by human effort. "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin"
(Romans 3:19-20).

How wonderful it is that God has given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us. This is the dynamic that is needed for Chnstian living.

The reason given in this chapter, "I am the LORD your God" or "I am the LORD" occurs sixteen times in this chapter 19. God draws the line between right and wrong. He alone makes the sharp distinction between the holy and unholy. No other reason needs to be given.


"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them. Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy"
[Leviticus 19:1-2].

God gives these instructions to Moses the lawgiver, and they amplify a portion of the Ten Commandments. God exacts holy conduct on the basis that He is holy. It is well to note that God still enjoins the same conduct today. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"
(1 Corinthians 10:31). "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"
(2 Corinthians 5:17). "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written. Be ye holy; for I am holy"
(1 Peter 1:13- 16).

The major difference between the conduct required under law and under grace is that today the dynamic is supplied to the believer in the person of the Holy Spirit. We are joined to the living christ. Old things have passed away. We are no longer joined to Adam, and we are no longer joined to a legal system. We are joined to Christ and we are to seek to please Him. You see, under the Law they tried to keep the commandments by their own effort. They were to learn that the flesh will always fail. In contrast to this, we have the Spirit of God in us. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"
(Romans 8:3-4). "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law"
(Galatians 5:22-23). The Law never went as far as this. The Son of God wants to bring us up to a high plane.

Now, in emphasizing certain of the commandments they were to keep, God will emphasize those particular areas in which they were weak. The history of Israel will show us that God understood their weak points. They were instructed about the sabbath, the avoidance of idolatry, the bringing of proper offerings to God. These are areas in which they later broke down. God is asking them to be holy in their daily life.

"Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God
[Leviticus 19:3].

One might think it is strange that God should begin with the commandment to honor father and mother. But it is not so strange when we consider that the parent stands in the place of God for the child and that the child learns to obey God by first obeying the parent. When you are going to get down to the nitty-gritty, you must begin at home.

Then He adds, "And keep my sabbaths." God demanded one-seventh of man's time as well as one-tenth of his possessions.

These two commandments mentioned first encompass the two major divisions of the Ten Commandments. There is duty to man and duty to God. The Lord Jesus Christ summed it all up as love to God and love to man. He said this is the sum total of the law
(Matthew 22:36-40).

The sabbath law does not rest upon a moral basis but was an arbitrary command of God given to Israel. Israel, in apostasy and decline, sinned at this point. They refused to observe the sabbaths. "Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?"
(Amos 8:5).

This was God's charge and case against the nation."15

"Worship for us today is no longer by ritual or in a specific place. You remember that the people of Israel had been going through ceremonies and they had their rituals, but Jesus said to the woman at the well in Samaria, ". . .Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth"
(John 4:21-24).

The keynote to the book (of Leviticus) is holiness unto Jehovah. The message of the book is twofold:

1. Leviticus teaches that the way to God is by sacrifice. The word atonement occurs 45 times in this book. Atonement means to "cover up." The blood of bulls and goats did not actually take away sin. It covered over sin until Christ came to take away all sins. This is what Paul is referring to in
Romans 3:25: "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."

The sins that are past are the sins back in the Old Testament. You see, God never accepted the blood of bulls and goats as the final payment for sin, but He required that blood be shed. It was an atonement to cover over the sins until Christ came. In other words. God saved "on credit" in the Old Testament. When Christ came, as the hymn accurately states it, "Jesus paid it all." This is true as far as the past is concerned, and as far as the present is concerned, and as far as the future is concerned.

One of the key verses in Leviticus, dealing with atonement, is found in
Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." The way to God is by sacrifice and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.

2. Leviticus teaches that the walk with God is by sanctification. The word holiness occurs 87 times in this book. "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine"
(Leviticus 20:26).

God gave strict laws governing the diet, social life, and daily details involving every physical aspect of the lives of His people. These laws have a greater spiritual application to His people today. That is the reason I think we ought to study Leviticus."16

"Then Elkanah and Hannah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy (Samuel) became the LORD's helper, for he assisted Eli the priest"
(1 Samuel 2:11).

In Regards to Hannah's Prophetic Prayer-

"Salvation comes in three tenses:

(1) We have been saved. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath [right now] everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life"
(John 5:24). That means that God has delivered us from the guilt of sin by the death of Christ. That is justification, and it is past tense.

(2) God has also delivered us from what the old theologians called "the pollution of sin," which is present deliverance. We are being saved. It is a deliverance from the weaknesses of the flesh, the sins of the flesh, the faults of the mind, and the actions of the will. This is the present deliverance that Hannah is talking about. It is sanctification and is in the present tense.

(3) Finally there is the deliverance from death in the future� not physical, but spiritual death. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is"
(1 John 3:2). This is a future deliverance. We shall be saved. That will be glorification, which is future tense. We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Hannah was rejoicing in her salvation.

You remember that Jonah said, "Salvation is of the LORD"
(Jonah 2:9). The psalmist repeats again and again that salvation is of the Lord. The great truth of salvation is that it is by the grace of God. That is, we have been justified freely by His grace. The word freely means "without a cause." God found nothing in us to merit salvation. He found the explanation in Himself� He loves us.

"There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God"
[1 Samuel 2:2].

The Lord is spoken of as a "rock" in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Lord Jesus Christ is called the "chief corner stone"
(1 Peter 2:6). In Matthew 16:18 Christ spoke of Himself when He said, "... upon this rock I will build my church." That Rock upon which Hannah rested is the same Rock upon which we rest today. There is no Rock like our God.

"Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed"
[1 Samuel 2:3].

When we come to God in prayer, we need to be very careful, friends, that we do not let our pride cause us to stumble. We need to recognize our weakness, our insufficiency, and our inability, and the fact that we really have no claim on God. Sometimes we hear people ask, "Why didn't God hear my prayer?" To be quite frank, why should He? What claim do you have on Him? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, you have a wonderful claim on God, and you can come to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. As His children we have Jesus' right and claim. However, we must remember that our prayers must be in accordance with His will.

"The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up"
[1 Samuel 2:4-6].

The whole thought in this passage is that God gives life. As Job said, ". . . the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD"
(Job 1:21). Only God has the power to give life, and only He has the right to take it away. Until you and I have the power to give life, we have no right to take life away. So far only God has that power. Believe me, God will take the blame (if that is what you want to call it) for the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5. He does not apologize for the fact that He intends to judge the wicked. They will go down into death and be separated from God. God does not apologize for what He does. Why? Because this is His universe; we are His creatures; He is running the universe His way.

Not long ago I talked to a young university student who had received Christ as Savior but who was still unwilling to accept many things. I said to him, "If you do not like the way God has worked out His plan of salvation, and you don't like the things He is doing, you can go off somewhere and make your own universe, set up your own rules, and run it your own way. But as long as you are in God's universe, you are going to have to do things His way." It is a most wonderful thing that you and I can bow to Him and come under His blessing if we are willing to do things His way.

"The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up"
[1 Samuel 2:7].

This verse brings up a question that many of us have: "Why are some people rich and some people poor?" I cannot understand why God has permitted some folks to be wealthy and others to be needy. I think I could distribute the wealth a little bit better than He has done it, I will be frank with you. But, you know, He did not leave that to me. That is His business and He will be able to explain it some day. I am going to wait for the explanation, because I know He has the answer."17

"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart"
[Psalm 73:1].

"Psalm 73- In this section are very wonderful psalms, and we begin with psalms of Asaph. Like David, this man was a musician. The first series of eleven psalms (73-83) was written by Asaph.

Immediately our attention is drawn to the fact that "God is good to Israel." Does that mean that He is good to every Israelite? No! His goodness is limited to those who are of a clean heart. Who would they be? Those who have come with their sacrifices, those who have a desire to serve God and walk with Him. My friend, if you are saved, you want to walk with God and fellowship with Him. You want to have a clean heart. That follows just as day follows night. You cannot come to Christ and accept Him as your Savior, and continue to live as you did before. If you do, I cannot believe that you were saved in the first place. That is the explanation, and I feel that we need to hold to that rather tenaciously in our day.

We are in the presence of God on the basis that He has cleaned us up. When we receive Christ, we have forgiveness of sins; we are washed� it is a washing of water by the Word of God. We are not only washed by the blood of Christ, but we are washed by the Word of God. The Word of God sanctifies us, and then we want to walk well-pleasing to Him."18

"This is what the LORD Almighty says! Ask the priests this question about the law: If one of you is carrying a holy sacrifice in his robes and happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?" The priests replied, "No." Then Haggai asked, "But if someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then brushes against any of the things mentioned, will it be defiled?" And the priests answered, "Yes."
(Haggai 2:11-13).

"Keep in mind that in the Book of Haggai we have come to the post-Captivity period. God's people had already spent seventy years in captivity in Babylon. Only a small remnant had returned to the land, and those people were discouraged. God raised up three prophets to encourage them; and, since Haggai was the very practical prophet, God sent him to the priests to ask the two questions which were not specifically covered by the Mosaic Law.

Remember that when the captives first returned to Jerusalem, they had the enthusiasm to build, but after fifteen years in the debris of Jerusalem and with their enemies outside, they had done nothing about building the temple. They consoled themselves because they had lost their "esprit de corps"; and sinking into complacency, they were saying, "It's not time to build the Lord's house," and so they did nothing about building it. Haggai spoke into this situation. He encouraged the people; they began to build, and then some of the old-timers, who had seen the first temple, began to weep and say, "This little temple isn't worth anything." However, for three months the people worked. Then a mercenary spirit entered in, and the people said, "You told us to go to work and build the temple, and if we did, God would bless us. We have obeyed, but God is not blessing us." It was at this juncture that God sent Haggai to the priests with a two-fold inquiry. It is actually one question with two facets. Here are the questions and the answers he received:
Is holiness communicated by contact? "No," is the answer: The holy cannot make the unholy holy by contact. Holiness is noncommunicable.
Is unholiness communicated by contact? "Yes," is the answer. Uncleanness is communicated to the clean by contact. When holy and unholy come in contact, both are unholy. In therapeutics, measles is communicated by contact. In the physical realm, dirty water will discolor clean water� not the opposite. In the moral realm, the evil heart of man cannot perform good deeds. In the religious realm, a ceremony cannot cleanse a sinner.

For God's application of this principle to Israel, we'll have to move ahead to pick up verse 17: "I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD." God says that when the remnant returned to the land, they didn't turn to Him. They went through the rituals, and they brought sacrifices, and they expected God to bless them, but He did not. Religion, you see, is not a salve you can rub on the outside. Friend, you can swim in holy water, and it won't make you holy. You can go through a ritual, you can be baptized in water and be held under until you drown, but that won't make you a child of God. We sometimes put too much emphasis on a rite. Don't misunderstand me, I think baptism is very important, but it does not impart holiness. It will not change a man's heart.

Now let's look at the second inquiry again; "If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean?" And the priests gave this answer: "It shall be unclean." Perhaps the key passage that deals with this matter is
Leviticus 22:4-6. The Word of God is quite specific. Uncleanness is communicable; unholiness is transferable.

An evil heart cannot perform good deeds. A bitter fountain cannot give forth sweet water. Grapes are not gathered from thorns. Figs do not come from thistles.

There is a syllogism in philosophy where you state a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. In the Book of Haggai the major premise is this: holiness is not communicated. The minor premise is this: unholiness is communicated. The conclusion is that when the holy and unholy come into contact, both are unholy. The Lord Jesus Christ asked the question, ". . . Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
(Matthew 7:16). As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. An act or a ritual cannot change the heart. A good deed is actually tarnished when an evil heart performs it. This is ceremonial law, friend, but it is applicable to every phase of life� just like the law of gravitation, it is universal.

Let's go into a chemistry lab. I fill two large beakers with water. One container I fill with good, clear, clean water, and the other one I fill with the dirtiest water possible. I begin to pour the clean water into the unclean water. How long will I have to pour the clean water into the dirty water before it becomes clear? I will never make the dirty water clean by pouring clean water into it. What happens when I put one drop of the dirty, black water into the clean water? The clean water becomes unclean. So it is in the material world.

In the world of medicine, how do you cure the measles, and how do you get the measles? Do you take a well boy and have him rub up against the sick boy to make him well? Will that cure the boy with the measles? Of course it won't. What happens? The boy who was well will probably have a good case of the measles.

This principle is also true in the moral realm. The liquor industry gives money to charity, and the race track has a day in which they give all their proceeds to charity. Hollywood produces biblical stories, and we are supposed to applaud them� well, you might applaud, but I won't. The liquor industry can never cover up the awful thing it is doing to human lives by giving a few dollars to charity. Why? Because, when a clean thing and an unclean thing come together, the unclean always makes the clean unclean. May I say to you, young man and young woman, you cannot run with the wrong crowd and stay clean. If you are running with an unclean crowd, one of these days you are going to find out it has rubbed off on you. If you are going to play in the mud, you are going to get dirty.

And this great principle certainly holds true in the religious realm. Most of the religions in the world teach that if you go through their prescribed rituals and ceremonies, you are acceptable to God. However, the Word of God is clear on the fact that going through a ceremony� baptism or any other rite� or doing anything externally will not meet the conditions which God has put down for man.

After all, man's condition is a sad one. We read in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" What a picture this is of the human heart! No one but God can know how bad it is. If we could see ourselves as God sees us, we could not stand ourselves. We don't realize how bad we really are. The Lord Jesus made this abundantly clear in
Matthew 15: 18-20, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." Just because you wash your hands, have been through a ceremony, or have performed a ritual does not make you right with God, you see.

I often think of a man I played golf with several years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He told me, "I was a church hypocrite for years. I was a member of a big downtown liberal church. I had been through the ceremonies and had served on every committee. To tell the truth, I was not a Christian, and during the week I was practicing things which no Christian should do. I was a typical hypocrite. Then one day I found out that I was a sinner and needed a Savior. That is the thing that transformed my life." You see, the heart must be changed. Listen to the Lord Jesus as He talks along this line: "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. This is the principle at work. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them"
(Matthew 7:16-20). Out of the heart proceed the issues of life. The heart must be changed. Trying to make yourself acceptable with God through ceremonies and all of that sort of thing is like pouring a gallon of Chanel Number 5 on a pile of fertilizer out in the barnyard in an effort to make it clean and fragrant. My friend, it won't work. The apostle Peter said to Simon the sorcerer, ". . . thy heart is not right in the sight of God"
(Acts 8:21). God demands a clean heart."19

"Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!"
(John 17:24).

...God made man a creature with whom He could have fellowship. God created man with a free will and even though man sinned, God wants his fellowship. Heaven is going to be wonderful, and it will be important that every one of His sheep is there with Him. Each one will have his contribution to make.

To behold the glory of the Lord Jesus will be the satisfaction of the believer. Moses asked to see the glory of God. Philip asked to see the Father. Sometimes we get a glimpse of glory in a rainbow or a sunset. Think what it will be when we come into His presence and behold His glory! That is the goal to which we are moving.

"0 righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me"
[John 17:25].

Being sent from the Father actually embraces His entire mission of redemption. Anyone who is a believer knows that the Father has sent Him, and the purpose was for Him to die for our sins.

"And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them"
[John 17:26].

The last thing He mentions is that His love might be in our hearts and in our lives. We talk so much about grace and about faith, and rightly so; yet the great desire of His heart is that His love should be manifested in the lives of those whom He has redeemed. That should put us down on our faces before Him. My friend, how much of His love is manifested in you?

In review, this is what this prayer says about believers and the world:

1. Given to Christ out of the world (verse 6)
2. Left in the world (verse 11)
3. Not of the world (verse 14)
4. Hated by the world (verse 14)
5. Kept from the evil one (verse 15)
6. Sent into the world (verse 18)
7. Manifested in unity before the world (verse 23)
These are the requests of Christ for His own:
1. Preservation (verse 11)
2. Joy� fullness of the Spirit (verse 13)
3. Deliverance� from evil (verse 15)
4. To be set apart� "sanctify" (verse 17)
5. Unity� "be one"� (this is not union) (verse 21)
6. Fellowship� "be with me" (verse 24)
7. Satisfaction� "behold my glory" (verse 24)
The Lord Jesus Christ is our great High Priest. This is the great truth of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In the Old Testament economy the high priest wore an ephod of beauty and glory, which was joined on each shoulder by two onyx stones with the names of the tribes of Israel engraved on them. Thus he carried the names of the children of Israel with him when he went into the presence of God. This speaks of the strength and power of the high priest.
Hebrews 7:25 tells us about Jesus Christ, our High Priest: "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Christ is able save us, you see. He has strength and power."

Also on the breastplate of the high priest were twelve precious stones, arranged three in a row in four rows across his breast. On each was the name of a tribe of Israel. When the high priest went into God's presence wearing the breastplate, he pictured the Lord Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of God interceding for us. The Lord not only carried us on His shoulders, the place of strength and power, but He also carries us on His breast, on His heart, which speaks of His love. He has all power, and He loves, us!"20

"So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God- all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God"
(Romans 5:11).


"We have seen the salvation of the sinner; now we are coming to the sanctification of the saint. In salvation we are declared righteous, but God wants to do more than declare a person righteous. Justification does not make a person righteous. It means that before God's holy court, before the bar of heaven, a lost sinner is now declared righteous, but his heart has not been changed. My friend, if you think God intends to leave a sinner in his sin, you are wrong. God wants to make us the kind of folk we should be. So God also has a plan in salvation whereby He not only declares a sinner righteous, but He is also going to make a sinner righteous. That is, God provides a way that a sinner may grow in grace and become sanctified (set apart) for God."21

"Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God"
(2 Corinthians 7:1).

"Paul tells us, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves." How can we cleanse ourselves? We cannot cleanse our own conscience from the guilt of sin. I am unable to wash out the stain of a guilty conscience, but God has done that through the death of Christ and the shedding of His blood. After we have been cleansed from our sins by the blood of Christ, our hearts still need a daily cleansing from the contamination of each day. When I receive the Word in faith and I act upon that Word, I am cleansed from all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit. This is what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth"
(John 7:17). The best bar of soap in the world is the Word of God. It will really clean us up. The Holy Spirit enables us to deal with the sin in our lives.

Paul says we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. All sin is filthiness in the sight of God. Then what is the difference between the sins of the flesh and the sins of the spirit?

The filthiness of the flesh are those sins which we commit in the body. This has to do with unholy lusts, unbridled appetites, drunkenness, gluttony, licentiousness, inordinate affection. These are the sins of the flesh. These are the dirty things. You and I need to be aware of the fact that we are living in a world today that is giving a respectability to the sins of the flesh.

An illustration of this is the attitude of the world toward liquor. Most people today say that alcohol is all right. It is well advertised in the media. The other day I heard an advertisement which said, "The mark of a mature, sensible, and successful man today is one who is able to drink cocktails." What propaganda! What brainwashing of the people! No political dictator has done a more thorough job. The liquor interests do a fantastic amount of brainwashing. But wait a minute! The ad which I was quoting was not for Southern Comfort or Old Crow or some other brand of whiskey. It has an advertisement from an organization which deals with alcoholics. They added, "There are some people who just don't know how to handle their liquor." I'll say there are! There are a whole lot of them� several million of them� and we, the taxpayers, are paying the hospital bills that the liquor interests create. This is an example of the sins of the flesh.

What does the Bible say about this? Listen to Habakkuk 2:15: "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!" God have mercy on you if you serve cocktails in your home and tempt your neighbor to drunkenness. The Word of God rebukes that.

Another illustration of the filthiness of the flesh is the bookstands filled with the vilest pornographic literature that is imaginable which glorifies the human body and sex. In this permissive society God's Word still condemns the sins of the flesh. If you as a Christian are going to indulge in them, my friend, then God cannot act toward you as your Father. Although you may actually be His son, He cannot treat you as a Father would like to treat His son.

Now Paul mentions the filthiness of the spirit. What are some of those sins? Well, how about gossip, my friend? How about vicious slander against some Christian brother? There are a great many people who would never take a gun and pull the trigger to shoot a man down, but they will take the dagger of gossip and put it in his back when he is not listening. Some of the dear saints in the church engage in that kind of practice.

There are the secret sins of the spirit such as vanity and pride. Conceit, haughtiness, unbelief, and covetousness are the dirty sins of the spirit. There are a lot of saints in the church who live by a series of "don'ts"� don't drink, don't smoke, don't play cards. Not one of them would have a cigarette on the end of his tongue, but the words on the end of his tongue burn more deeply than a cigarette could burn. These are some of the sins of the spirit.

Now Paul says that we should "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." The writer to the Hebrews puts it this way: "And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"
(Hebrews 12:13-14).

Christ is my righteousness. Christ is my holiness."22

"So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, obligated to the law. We are children of the free woman, acceptable to God because of our faith"
(Galatians 4:31).


"This brings us to the third major division in Galatians after the Introduction. The first section was personal, and it was important for us to know the personal experience Paul had had. Following this was the doctrinal section of justification by faith in which Paul insisted that our salvation must rest upon God's salvation and that there is only one gospel.

We come now to the practical side, which is sanctification by the Spirit. Justification is by faith; sanctification is by the Spirit of God. Scripture tells us, however, that the Lord Jesus Christ has been made unto us sanctification� that is, God sees us complete in Him. Regardless of how good you become, you will never meet His standard. You will never be like Christ in this life. Christ is the only One about whom God said, ". . . This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"
(Matthew 3:17). But the body of believers, the church, has been put in Christ. He is the Head of the body; those of us who are believers are His body in the world today� and we should represent Him, by the way.

The method of sanctification is by the Spirit. In this section we see the Spirit versus the flesh. Either it is a do-it-yourself Christian life or somebody else will have to do it through you. His method is doing it through you."23

"And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory"
(Colossians 3:4).


"If we are truly risen with Christ this will be evident in two areas of our lives:
(1) our personal holiness, and
(2) our fellowship with others who are about us.

If seems that Christians are frightened of this matter of holiness. When I was a young preacher, I heard the late Bishop Moore of the old Southern Methodist church make this statement: "If Methodists were as afraid of sin as they are of holiness, it would be a wonderful thing." This isn't true of Methodists alone; it is true of most Christians. Somehow we don't like this term holiness. It is a very good word, and that is Paul's subject here� personal holiness.

Christ was born as a little Babe in Bethlehem, but He is no longer in that inn. He is up yonder at God's right hand at this very moment. He's on a throne� not in a cradle and not in an inn but in heaven itself. And He's there for you and me today. Now, if you are in Christ, if you have accepted Him as your Savior, then that is going to show in your life down here. Friend, if it doesn't tell in your life down here, then maybe you are not in Him up yonder!

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry"
[Colossians 3:5].

Mortify means "to put to death, or put in the place of death."

Fornication means "sexual immorality." Is that your sin today? Let's not kid ourselves� there are a great many folk who are covering up this sin, and yet they still talk about being dedicated Christians! Paul brings this right out into the open and tells us that we are to put our physical members in the place of death. Do your eyes cause you trouble? Do you look with the eye of covetousness, or the eye of lust? Put those eyes in the place of death, and now use them as the eyes of Christ to look upon Him. My friend, that will change things, will it not?

Uncleanness includes thoughts, words, looks, gestures, and the jokes we tell.

Inordinate affection means "uncontrolled passion or lust." Every now and then someone will confess to me a sin in his life, and he will say, "Well, I couldn't help myself." My friend, you ought not to get in that spot in the first place. It's like the little boy whose mama called to him one night when she heard him in the kitchen, "Where are you?" He said, "I'm in the pantry." He had the cookie jar open. She called, "What are you doing?" He answered, "I'm fighting temptation!" My friend, that is the wrong place to fight temptation. Don't fight it there at the cookie jar, if you're not to have the cookies. The same thing applies to inordinate affection.

Evil concupiscence� that means "evil desires." Put them to death, my friend.

"Covetousness, which is idolatry" means when we always must have more. Is the mighty dollar your god today? Are you more interested in the dollar than you are in the living Christ? These questions can begin to hurt! Our bodies are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, and they are to be used for God.

When I drove to my office this morning there were a great many people on their way to work. Many of them were professional men and business executives. One man went by me in a Cadillac. He didn't see me or anyone else because he was in such a hurry. I don't know why he was hurrying, but I can guess. We see pictures of people in other lands going to heathen temples and worshiping there, and we feel sorry for them in the darkness of their idolatry. But I suspect that the fellow in the Cadillac was also in darkness, that he was on his way to worship his idol and to bow before it. His idol was the almighty dollar, and he was rushing to work to see how many he could make. A great many folk are overcome by this matter of covetousness. They covet the material things of this world� they want more money.

I would venture to say that covetousness is the root of most of the problems in our country today. ". . . the love of money is the root of all evil. . ."
(1 Timothy 6:10). Money is not the problem� it can even be used for the glory of God. But there are many men, even Christians, who are working on that second million, and they don't need it. It is because they worship an idol. If you are in Christ, He will come first and you will seek those things which are above.

"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience"
[Colossians 3:6].

"For which things' sake"� Paul means the things he has just been speaking of, the things which the world does.

"The wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." Men are not lost simply because they do these things, neither are they lost because they haven't heard of Christ. Men are lost because they are sinners, sinners in their hearts. And, because they are sinners, they do these things.

"In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them"
[Colossians 3:7].

Those of us who now know the Lord practiced these sins in our lives at one time. I hope that we are not still doing them.

I met a young millionaire in Florida quite a few years ago. He very frankly admitted that before he was saved he worshiped the almighty dollar. He was always after the next dollar and then the next one. When he came to Christ, he decided to retire. He had already made a million dollars and any more that he made he wanted to put into the Lord's work. He wanted to spend his time seeking the things of Christ.

Oh, my friend, do we put Him first? Or are we engaged in the very things that the world is engaged in and for which God intends to judge them? Well, how then can we expect that we shall escape the judgment of God? If you are in Christ, seek those things which are above, and you will not find yourself involved in the things of the world.

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth"
[Colossians 3:8].

These are the habits that we are to put off as we would put off a garment. We call a garment a habit, do we not? Many folk have a riding habit or a golfing habit. I have an old pair of slacks that I play golf in� that's my golfing habit. (I don't look very good, but that is what I wear.) Different people have different habits they wear. Paul says that we are to put off these old practices as you'd put off a dirty garment. You don't send it to the laundry- you throw it away! You put it in the garbage can. You "put off all these."

The first is "anger." There is a place for anger that is justified. You remember that the Lord Jesus was angry at the Pharisees because of the hardness of their hearts. That is not a sinful anger. The problem is that we me angry over the wrong things.

Anger becomes "wrath" when we develop an unforgiving spirit.

Someone has said that "malice" is congealed anger. It is an anger that has been nursed along. It is an anger that tries to take revenge and get even. Paul says that a Christian is to put that off like an old, dirty, filthy garment. That kind of behavior does not represent Christ.

"Blasphemy" can be of two kinds. There is a blasphemy against God and a blasphemy against man. The first type of blasphemy is to defame the name of God. It is not just taking His name in vain, but it is to misrepresent Him, to hate Him. I received a letter from a lady that tells about the death of her little three-year-old child and how she hated God because of that. Somebody gave her our little booklet, The Death of a Little Child, and she was brought to the Lord. She realized that she had been only a church member before and had not really been born again. You see that hating God for something that has happened is really blasphemy.

Did you know that you can also blaspheme another Christian when you make a statement about him that is not true? I remember years ago a statement that was made by a man about a preacher who was Arminian in his theology. The man who made the statement was a Calvinist, and he said that the preacher was "of Satan." Well, my friend, when you say things like that, untrue things about a child of God, you are guilty of blasphemy.

"Filthy communication out of your mouth" means foul communication and includes both that which is abusive and that which is filthy. I can't believe that Christians would want to indulge in that, but I am told that there are certain little groups which meet together and share dirty jokes. Some Christians use swear words. In fact, I have heard of Christian leaders doing that. I do not believe that you can be a child of God, friend, and live like that. These are things that are to be put off.

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds"
[Colossians 3:9].

To whom is Paul speaking? He is writing this to believers, because he says, "seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds." Is it possible for a Christian to lie? It certainly is. That doesn't mean that you have lost your salvation when you do� otherwise many of us would have lost ours a long time ago. It does reveal that you don't reach a place of perfection, my friend, nor do you get rid of the old nature, when you become a child of God.

I believe one of the first sins a little child commits is to lie. I heard the story about the little boy who came running into the house and said, "Mama, Mama, a lion just ran across our front lawn." The mother said, "Willie, you know that was not a lion. That was a big dog that ran across the lawn. You go upstairs and confess to the Lord that you lied about that." Little Willie went upstairs and after a while he came down again. His mother asked, "Did you confess your lie to the Lord?" He answered, "Yes, I did. But the Lord said when He first saw him, He thought he was a lion, too!" Lying is something that is deep-rooted in the human heart, and many Christians still indulge in it.

"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him"
[Colossians 3:10].

"Put on the new man." If you take off the old garment, the old man, you put on the new garment, the new man. Nature abhors a vacuum. Putting off is not enough, we must live in the new man by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You and I have an old nature which has controlled us for so long that we have set up certain habits. That is why garment is such an effective term here� it's a habit. We have developed certain patterns in the way we say and do things. We also have within us a complex nervous system that is conditioned to respond in a set fashion. If I put my hand down on a red hot stove, a message travels through the nervous system to the brain. The message gets switched over to a motor nerve which goes back down to the hand and says, "Say, you crazy fool, take your hand off that red hot stove. You're getting burned!" And you jerk your hand off the stove. Of course, it all happens more quickly than I can tell it. It is a reflex reaction that occurs very quickly. In the same way, our habit patterns are formed.

It is psychologically true that we are able to put off old habits and form new ones. But it is especially true for the believer because he has the power of the Holy Spirit within him. We are to "put on the new man."

"Renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." You are to put on the new man, and that new Man is Christ. In that way the church is able to represent Him on this earth."24

"God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin"
(1 Thessalonians 4:3).

"Sanctification of the believer is a work of the spirit of God. We need to review the threefold aspect of it, because this is so very important:

Positional sanctification means that Christ has been made unto us sanctification. We are accepted in the Beloved, and we will never be more saved than at the moment we put our trust in Christ. We are never accepted because of who we are, but because of what Christ has done. This positional sanctification is perfection in Christ.

Practical sanctification is the Holy Spirit working in our lives to produce a holiness in our walk. This practical sanctification will never be perfect so long as we are in these bodies with our old sinful flesh.

Total sanctification will occur in the future when we are conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. Then both the position and the practice of sanctification will be perfect.

The literal meaning of the word sanctification is to be "set apart for God." The moment a lost sinner comes to Christ and accepts Christ as Savior, that person is set aside for God's use. This is clearly taught in the Old Testament in the tabernacle. God taught the Old Testament believers great doctrinal truths through very simple, practical lessons. In the tabernacle there were vessels and instruments which were used in the sacrifices. After they had gone through the wilderness for forty years, those pots and pans and forks and spoons were pretty well beaten and battered. I don't think they were very attractive. I think that any good housewife would have said, "Let's trade them in on a new set. Let's throw these away." However, God called them holy vessels. They were holy because they were set aside for the use of God. That is what made them holy.

In the same way this applies to a person. When he comes to Christ, he is saved. He is redeemed; he belongs to Christ. Paul says, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." You have been set aside for a holy purpose, for God's use. Every child of God� not just preachers or missionaries or Christian workers, but every believer� is set aside for the use of God.

"That ye should abstain from fornication." Don't think it was only the Thessalonians who needed this admonition from Paul. Don't think they were the only ones who engaged in sins, especially the sins of the flesh. Don't think it was only in Roman times that idolatry involved sins of sex. Today we are seeing the rise of the worship of Satan and the practice of the occult. There are all kinds of amulets and rituals connected with such worship. Also there is astrology which seeks to tell people about themselves. And there is always sex involved in all of it.

The great tragedy today is to hear of some Christian worker who has become involved in sexual sin. And, unfortunately, there are even churches that will defend a minister who has been guilty of such. We are people who are supposed to be set aside for the use of God! Paul says that you cannot be involved in sexual sin and at the same time be used of God. One cannot live in sin and be a preacher or singer or Sunday school teacher or an officer in the church. I don't care who you are, if you do, you will wreck the work of God.

Now, should a Christian strive for holiness? I think so. But you and I need to recognize that it is only in Christ that we can be acceptable to God. Paul says that we have been sanctified, brought to this high state, set apart for the use of God. Now what?

"That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God"
[1 Thessalonians 4:4-5].

All around these Thessalonian believers were the pagans who combined sex and religion. Sex was a religion among the Greeks. You could go to Corinth and find that out, but you didn't have to go to Corinth� you could find it out right in Thessalonica.

Paul says that we are to live a life that commends the gospel. The loose living that we find among some believers today brings the gospel into disrepute. Such people are not living for God or serving God. You cannot serve God and live in sin. He doesn't accept that.

"That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour." The immorality that exists in our day is absolutely astounding. A very fine Christian leader who holds Bible classes on the campus of a college here in California told me that the boys' dormitory is Sodom and the girls' dormitory is Gomorrah. These poor kids know all about sex, but they don't know about love. God says that the body should be saved for the marriage relationship, and this applies to men and women. There are all sorts of reasons given for the fact that there is so much unhappiness in marriage. The problem is that the marriage partners are not people who have been set apart for the use of God and who are faithful to each other in a love relationship. When a person saves his body for marriage and is faithful to his partner, he is possessing his vessel "in sanctification and honour." Such should be the practice of every child of God. Believe me, Paul puts it on the line.

"That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified"
[1 Thessalonians 4:6].

"That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter." You have to be honest if you are going to be a child of God.

"Because that the Lord is the avenger of all such." I've lived long enough as a Christian and as a pastor to see this principle worked out in the lives of many believers. I've observed certain believers who have been dishonest in their dealings with others, and God is an avenger� He moves in and judges them.

"For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness"
[1 Thessalonians 4:7].

A child of God cannot continue in sin. The Prodigal Son may get in the pigpen for a time, but he won't live in the pigpen.

"He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit"
(1 Thessalonians 4:8).

A child of God is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He cannot continue to live in sin because the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The time will come when the child of God will long for holiness in his own life.

The Holy Spirit is the only means by which we can live for God. We see in Paul's Galatian epistle that the child of God is not to indulge in the sins of the flesh. Instead, there should be the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in the life.
In Romans 8:3, Paul makes it very clear: "For what the law could not do...." Why? Is the Law wrong? No, the Law is not wrong; the Ten Commandments are not wrong. The problem is with man, not with the Law. Man cannot attain to the level of the Ten Commandments, nor can he live by the commandments in the New Testament (with his total depravity and self sufficiency on his own merits). It is the Holy Spirit within the believer who has been given to him to enable him to live a life for God."25

"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ"
(1 Peter 1:13).

"...when the Lord Jesus comes to take the church out of the world, He will bring plenty of grace with Him. By His grace, He will take out every believer. And each believer's works are to be judged at Christ's judgment seat (Bema Seat). At that time we will either suffer loss or receive a reward� and that certainly will be by His grace!

The fact that we will be judged someday is another incentive to endure the trials of this world. How we live down here upon this earth is very important. Today believers are confronted with the demand to lead transformed lives which only the Word of God can produce in us. One of the reasons God lets us go through trials and troubles is because He wants to fashion us according to His plan. We are to yield to Him in all our tribulations.

"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance"
[1 Peter 1:14].

"As obedient children." The Scriptures will lead us to obedience. You may recall that James said, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. . . "
(James 1:22). The Word of God not only brings us hope, but it also leads to our obedience. The Word of God is to be obeyed; we are to yield to its instruction.

"Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance"� that is, not conforming your behavior to what it used to be before you knew better. We are to live lives which reveal that we have been transformed from the inside.

Holiness is something that is really misunderstood. To the average person, holiness means to assume a very pious attitude, to become almost abnormal in everyday life. It is thought to be a superficial thing.

My friend, the Lord wants you to be a fully integrated personality. He wants you to enjoy life and have fun� I don't mean the sinful kind of fun, but real delight and enjoyment in the life He has given to you. Holiness is to the spiritual life what health is to the physical life. You like to see a person who is physically fine, robust, and healthy. Well, holiness is to be healthy and robust spiritually. Oh, how we need folk like this today!

Then what does it mean to be holy as God is holy? Our God is a complete, wonderful personality. Although you and I are mere human beings, we can be full grown; we can reach maturation. A beautiful little baby in a crib may win a blue ribbon, but if he is still a little baby in a crib seventeen years later, something is wrong. He should be a healthy young fellow turning out for football practice. As Christians, we should be growing spiritually like that. What can produce this kind of growth? The Word of God.

"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear"
(1 Peter 1:17).

"Without respect of persons" means without partiality. God judges every man's work impartially. God doesn't have little pets. God is going to judge the work of every Christian fairly. This has nothing to do with your salvation; it has everything to do with the kind of life you are living down here on this earth. The fact that God is going to judge us ought to cause us to become very sober minded and to give a little more attention to the life that we are living. My friend, let's make sure that we are not superficial. Are you trying to keep a smile on your face and radiate happiness and sunshine everywhere you go? The gospel does not sprinkle rosewater on a bunch of dead weeds. The gospel transforms lives and brings with it a living hope which rests upon the resurrection of Christ. Believers have life from the living Savior who is up yonder at God's right hand."26

"He is no fool who
gives what he cannot keep
for that which he cannot lose"- Jim Elliot


"Sanctification is that aspect of salvation that has to do with conduct. Whereas other provisions of salvation are objective and judicial, this provision is personal and experimental. Scripture repeatedly expresses the pursuit of holiness as the ideal of the Christian life. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness as the ideal of the Christian life. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
(Hebrews 12:14); "God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness"
(I Thessalonians 4:7). The two words "holiness" and "sanctification" found in the English Bible represent the same word in the Hebrew and Greek originals; the word in the Greek is five times rendered "sanctification" and five times "holiness." The word "saint" also comes from the same root. In English (though not in the original) the word "holiness" literally means "wholeness" or "spiritual health."

The doctrine of sanctification has not always been of interest to Protestant theologians, and there are long gaps in the story of its development. The Protestant Reformation so whole-heartedly reacted against the doctrine of works of Romanism that the early reformers deliberately avoided setting forth any requirements for Godly living. Within ten years of Luther's break with Rome, Erasmus wrote, probably with justification, that Luther's followers sought two things only: wealth and wives. Not until two centuries later, in the time of Pietists, and through the concepts emphasized by the Wesleys, was the trend reversed. Although John Wesley, personally, came from an Episcopal background, he was influenced by the Moravian movement to launch, in 1734, his remarkable holiness doctrine that became the foundation of the Methodist Church. Wesley's teachings concerning the necessity for experimental sanctification halted the antinomianism of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches. Many concepts of practical Christian living, that are virtually taken for granted today, result from these influences.

1. The Nature of Sanctification

The word "sanctification" always includes a twofold idea of separation and dedication. There is a separation from the secular and unworthy, and a dedication to the purposes and goals of God. "Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, wherein we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and to live unto righteousness."
(Westminister Shorter Catechism).
(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 27).

(a) Purification from moral evil. Sanctification involves a departure from the life of sin and a thoroughgoing separation from all that is evil. "Hear me ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the place"
(2 Chronicles 29:5). In its root meanings sanctification means "to cut off" or "to separate," and thus the process includes the removal of sin as the motivating principle in daily behavior. The Westminister Confession explains this aspect of sanctification, "The dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified." Saint Paul encourages believers, "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God"
(2 Corinthians 7:1). Sanctification entails the believer's deliberate rejection of evil, and places him under solemn obligation to separate himself from all that defiles.

(b) Separation to God. The sanctified one places himself at the disposal of God in full submission and yieldedness. As it were, the believer is bound either to God's altar or to God's instrument of service by love and affection. "As ye have yielded your members as servants to righteousness and holiness"
(Romans 6:19). In the sense of being set apart for usefulness for God, not only may the individual be sanctified, but also his possessions and his loved ones. "For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine...on the day I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself"
(Numbers 8:17). "Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it"
(Exodus 19:23). "Thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt-offering and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy"
(Exodus 40:10).

(c) Imputation of Christ's holiness. God's provision includes a process of imputation whereby Christ is made the believer's holiness, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification..."
(I Corinthians 1:30). A specific outcome of genuine faith in Jesus Christ is that the believer is thereby reckoned holy. The Scriptural recognition of this fact leads to the designation of a believer as a "saint" which means "sanctified one." "Unto the church of God...to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints"
(I Corinthians 1:2). God's provision for every believer includes the bestowment of entire sanctification. "The very God of peace sanctify you holy"
(I Thessalonians 5:23). "That they might receive forgiveness, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith"
(Acts 26:18).

2. The Instantaneous and Progressive Aspects of Sanctification

Sanctification is both an act and a process. Though it is bestowed provisionally upon the believer the moment he is saved, he enters into it progressively as he lives his daily life. A man who is not a saint is not a Christian, but saints must grow spiritually to become more mature saints.

(a) The initial attainment of sanctification.

Experimental sanctification begins in regeneration. From the divine standpoint, the only nature manifested by the new creature in Christ Jesus is the spiritual sanctified nature. Believers are designated as "saints" (sanctified ones) because their sanctification is an accomplished fact. "...ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God"
(I Corinthians 6:11). "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...for by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified"
(Hebrews 10:10 and 14). "...because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the Spirit and belief of the truth"
(2 Thessalonians 2:13). "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit..."
(1 Peter 1:2).

(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 28).

The instantaneous sanctification provided by God is depicted in Scripture as depending for its merit upon the perfect life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, there is a personal and applied aspect to this sanctification; it is experimental righteousness in distinction from justification which is judicil righteousness. Furthermore, sanctification is actively mediated to the believer by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is not merely a declaration of God in His heavenly court. Thus, instantaneous sanctification, though it depends for its merits upon that done for the believer is, nevertheless, a process done in the believer. It includes an impetus to righteousness, and in fact, only thus is it actually validated in the personal experience of the believer. There can be no sanctification except there be a subjective change in the believer's life, but neither can there be sanctification except God declares it to be so.

(b) Growth in Experimental Sanctification

The believer is challenged to manifest the supernaturally implanted divine impulse. Clark calls this process "the Christianizing of the Christian" and for the believer it involves purposeful effort, earnest prayer, and continual dedication and surrender to the Holy Spirit. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification...That every one of you should know how to possess his vessell in sanctification and honour"
(1 Thessalonians 4:4-5). The basis of the possibility of experimental sanctification is the believer's new nature and the fact of his spiritual sonship. Saint Paul prayed for his readers, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly"
(1 Thessalonians 5:23). Our Lord prayed for His followers, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth"
(John 17:17). In describing believers as "they who are sanctified"
(Hebrews 2:11), the writer employs a present participle and thereby implies continual action. The pursuit of progressive sanctification is a necessary requirement for the continuation of the Christian life.

The limits of sanctification lie beyond the grave. As long as the Christian lives on earth he is expected to continue his spiritual growth, "But grow in grace"
(2 Peter 3:18); "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another"
(1 Thessalonians 3:12). Saint Paul reported his experience, "but we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed in the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"
(2 Corinthians 3:18). It was his testimony "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after"
(Phillipians 3:12). A believer must grow because only by this means can he be delivered from his natural carnality. Progressive sanctification often has been described as a process whereby "we are enabled more and more to die" (in other words to die out to self). Saint John taught, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us"
(1 John 1:8). The believer is exhorted to "...lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us"
(Hebrews 12:1). God provides ministers in the Church for the basic purpose of "the perfecting of the saints"
(Ephesians 4:12).

(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 29).

(c) Complete and Final Sanctification

The goal of the spiritual growth involved in progressive sanctification is perfection itself. Only the absolute perfection of the divine nature, as exemplified in the incarnate Christ, will satisfy the divine standard. Thus, a number of theologians, notably A.J. Gordon, have popularized the Biblical doctrine that sanctification begun in this life on earth has its final completion at the appearing of Christ. "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"
(Philippians 3:20-21 NLT). Many scriptures confirm the fact of the future consummation of the process of sanctification. "To present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight"
(Colossians 1:22); "We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is"
(1 John 3:2); "To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints"
(1 Thessalonians 3:13). Only in the eternal stage will there be no further possibility of sinning. "He that is holy, let him be holy still"
(Revelation 22:11). Instantaneous sanctification now delivers the believer from the power of sin; future glorification will deliver the believer from the presence of sin.

3. The Attainment of Sanctification

(a) The Triune God Effects the Believer's Sanctification

From time to time in the Scripture, the achievement of sanctification is related to direct works of the persons of the Godhead. Thus, God the Father: "Whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast; it is mine"
(Exodus 13:2); "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly"
(1 Thessalonians 5:23). The Son sanctifies: "Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered with the gate"
(Hebrews 13:12); "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that He might sanctify it"
(Ephesians 5:25-26). The Holy Spirit plays a large part in sanctification: "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief in the truth"
(2 Thessalonians 2:13); "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience..."
(1 Peter 1:2). Sanctification is achieved by the declaration of the Father, through the agency of the Son, and by means of the direct power of the Holy Spirit.

(b) The Believer Must Appropriate Sanctification:

Sanctification cannot be expected to be an inner process of nature accomplished independently of the believer. It constitutes a process whereby the Holy Spirit works with the human to make him what he ought to be for God. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God"
(2 Corinthians 7:1); "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh"
(Galatians 5:16).

(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 30).

In appropriating sanctification, the believer is seeking to be conformed to the image of Christ. To this end he must cooperate with the grace of God. R.A. Torrey once wrote, "The more completely we appropriate Christ, the more completely we are sanctified." Among the new practices that the believer must acquire are obedience to the Word, and yieldedness to the divine being. "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you"
(John 15:3); "As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness...even so now yield your members servants to righteousness and holiness"
(Romans 6:19). The achieving of new practices means the rejection of old ones. "...Put off ...the old man...And be renewed in the spirit of your mind"
(Ephesians 4:22-23). All that is involved in the pursuit of good works is necessary both as the fruit and the evidence of sanctification. Comments Stump, "Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works."
Joseph Stump, The Christian Faith, Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1942, page 285.

(c) The Crucifixion or Mortification of the Old Nature:

The believer is intended to achieve a life of practical holiness, not so much by an excruciating effort to practice holiness in a being not suited for the task, but rather by a process of reckoning in relation to his old nature. This principle is set forth by Saint Paul: "Knowing this, that hence forth we should not serve sin"
(Romans 6:6). The word translated "destroyed" in this verse is katargeo. It does not mean to annihilate but rather "to leave unemployed," "to make barren," or "to abolish." The implication of Scripture is not a once-for-all destruction of the old nature but a continual reckoning that the old nature is inert so that it is persistently denied expression.

The believer discovers that although sin within his being is not destroyed it is robbed of its power. The believer sees his identification with Christ in each of His redemptive acts. He thus sees his old nature as crucified with Christ so that he needs simply to appropriate and submit to this fact. J.D. Purdie describes the believer's relationship:

"The first thing is that we are to put our two feet spiritually on the fact that our old man, our troubler, was actually crucified with Christ on the cross
(Romans 6:6). The second thing is that while we stand upon this fact by faith we are to reckon or calculate ourselves "to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God." The third thing is to see, and believe in our minds and hearts, that the power and authority of the work of Christ on the cross seperates us from the power and dominion of sin. The fourth thing is that we must see our death to sin in Christ's death for sin. The secret of victory is seen in
Romans 6:6-11, and is associated with Christ's death and resurrection
(Colossians 3:1-3)."

J. Eustace Purdie, Concerning the Faith, Toronto: Full Gospel Publishing House, 1951, page 48.
(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 31).

The attainment of the mortification of the carnal nature is the outcome of yieldedness to God and an appropriation of faith rather than a difficult struggle. "But if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live"
(Romans 8:13). This mortification or crucifixion is intended to be the normal attitude of the believer. "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affection and lusts"
(Galatians 5:24). R.A. Torrey describes the implementation of this principle in the case of a believer who recognizes in himself carnal conduct in the form of "irritability of temper." He says, "I can go to God and confess it, renounce it, and then instantly, not by my own strength but by looking to Jesus and claiming His patience and gentleness overcome it and never have another failure in that direction."
R.A. Torrey, What the Bible Teaches, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1933, page 348.

For the believer it is a process of dying to sin and learning to live unto righteousness. "...we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness"
(1 Peter 2:24).Mortification remains simply a matter of yieldedness and the past estate of the convert should prepare him for his new relationship in Jesus Christ. "...as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity...even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness"
(Romans 6:19).(Also see for reference Romans 6:12-13).

4. Sanctification as Christian Perfectionism

A significant segment among evangelical believers is committed to some form of a doctrine of Christian perfectionism. This view holds that it is possible in this life to attain a state of sinless perfection whereby, in day to day behavior, one is totally without sin. In most instances, perfectionists understand that God provides the special divine work that instantaneously erradicates the carnal nature to provide for the perfect life thereafter. Since this instanteous divine work is separate from conversion, it is often described as "a second work of grace."

(a) Sanctification as Seen by the Perfectionist

The perfectionist speaks of being delivered from a divided life as the accepted pattern from the Christian believer. They believe that this fundamental deliverance is to be achieved early in the Christian's life and at such a time that he becomes aware of his need. The attainment of the undivided life is the outcome of full consecration. Full sanctification is described as being "made perfect in love"
(1 John 4:18). The Evangelical Association Catechism says, "Entire sanctification consists in purification from all sin or irradication of all evil affections and desires." Gamertsfelder, a representative writer, declares, "The essential element of entire sanctification is the removal of certain carnal remains that occasionally becloud the consciousness of being a child of God, or weaken the disposition of holy love implanted in regeneration."

Solomon J. Gamertsfelder, Systematic Theology, Harrisburg: Evangelical Publishing House, 1921, page 532.

Such writers usually mention representative expressions of the carnal nature such as: malice, self will, uncleanness, evil affections, covetiousness, and the "unfilial" in general, and all of these they declare to be removed in entire sanctification. They see entire sanctification as a definite state of Christian experience that clearly should characterize the life of the soul.
(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 32).

Nevertheless the perfectionists make clear that entire sanctification is neither absolute perfection, which belongs to God alone, nor even the perfection that Adam knew before the fall. "Such perfection is impossible for us, for the Fall has rendered us imperfect both in mind and body..."
"Our best service is imperfect, but it is acceptable to God, provided it is prompted by pure love."

Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, London, 1940, page 129.

Buck writes, "Creature perfection is always relative, and its various stages are but rungs on the ladder by which man ascends to even greater heights."
F.M. Buck, Christianity in Doctrine and Experience, New York: Methodist Book, 1917, page 251.

A version of perfectionism is set forth by Field who says, "The perfection enjoined in the Bible is limited by the capacities and susceptibilities of fallen human nature. It does not, therefore, raise man to the perfection of the Godhead, nor of angels, nor of Adam."
Benjamin Field, Student's Handbook of Christian Theology, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1878, page 202.

Field proceeds to assert that Christian imperfection does not include infallibility, exemption from errors of judgment, intellectual perfection, freedom from improprieties and irregularities, freedom from temptation or exemption from the danger of falling away. Neither does perfection preclude the possibility of further advancement.

Charles G. Finney adds his voice to the definition of entire sanctification as seen by a perfectionist:

"I shall use the term entire sanctification to designate a state of confirmed, and entire consecration of body, soul, and spirit...to God -- confirmed, not in the sense
(1) that a soul entirely sanctified cannot sin, but that as a matter of fact, he does not, and will not sin...nor, do I mean by entire sanctification a state in which there will be no further struggle or warfare with temptation...nor do I use the term as implying a state in which no further progress in holiness is possible, nor...that the entirely sanctified soul will no longer need the continual grace and indwelling spirit of Christ to preserve it from sin..."

Charles G. Finney, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Whittier: Colporter Kemp, 1944, pages 405-406.
It is evident that these who teach Christian perfectionism are not setting forth the demand for an absolute perfection, but simply asking that the believer does the best that he can. The perfectionists feel that the goal of achieving the highest level of holiness attainable by humans is much to be preferred than no goal at all. They believe that sanctification is the privilege of the believer in this life, and take issue with non-perfectionists whom they consider believe that holiness cannot be attained until the believer dies. Non-perfectionists criticize these claims and hold that their presentation of holiness so weakens this attribute that it is not the genuine virtue that Scripture sets forth. They liken it to the possibility of jumping over the church steeple by virtue of building the steeple low enough. To a measure, the outcome of the controversy depends upon a further controversial issue: the definition of sin. If sin is any departure from the spotless purity of God, non-perfectionism is indicated; if sin is not more than the deliberate violation of the known will of God, perfectionism is fully vindicated.
(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 33).

(b) Finney's Doctrine of Sanctification at Conversion

The position of Charles G. Finney (1792-1875), and of Germany's Count Nikolaus von Zingendorf (1700-1760) and his Moravians, was that entire sanctification was accomplished at conversion. Inasmuch as sanctification was a process of consecrating or devoting all of the powers of one's being to God, the occasion of such a consecration must properly be the moment of conversion. At that time the convert does indeed, they argued, achieve an all-comprehending and exhaustive submission, and nothing more is asked. Finney wrote, "Sanctification consists in the will's devoting or consecrating itself and the whole being, all that we are and have, so far as powers, susceptibilities, possessions are under the control of the will, to the service of God, or, which is the same thing, to the highest interests of God and of being." Thus, he saw sanctification as an accomplishment of the human will, and it was simply the outcome of a complete surrender to God. One cannot become converted except he yield completely, and therefore, Finey reasoned, the same yieldedness also achieved sanctification. He says, "Sanctification, then, is nothing more or less than entire obedience, for the time being, to the moral law." His error, clearly, is mistaking a phase or aspect of sanctification for the whole of it, and in being willing to define sanctification exclusively in terms of human achievement rather than according to divine absolutes.

(c) The Wesleyan Position of Sanctification Subsequent to Conversion

This school of thought holds that a convert continues to retain his carnal tendencies and that only through a deeper Christian experience can these be rooted out. Wesley described this experience as a "Second Blessing" which was to augment the original blessing of regeneration. The significance of the "Second Blessing" was described by Wesley, "This implies that no wrong temper, none contrary to love, remains in the soul; and that all the thoughts, words, and actions are governed by pure love." This doctrine was accepted in the nineteenth century by the Salvation Army, and thus they affirm, "We believe that after conversion there remain in the heart of the believer inclinations to evil, or roots of bitterness, which, unless over-powered by divine grace, produce actual sin; but that these evil tendencies can be entirely taken away by the spirit of God, and the whole heart, thus cleansed from everything contrary to the will of God, or entirely sanctified, will then produce the fruit of the Spirit only."
Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, page 122.
(L. Thomas Holdcroft, Soteriology, loose leaf booklet, end of page 34).

Various groups emphasize particular aspects of the process of obtaining the destruction of the carnal nature. Some make it merely a matter of the experience of daily living with the increasing and finally total acceptance of some fundamental principle of conduct. Thus, the Evangelical Association teaches that believers must come to the place that holy love becomes the dominant power in the life so that the soul is made perfect in love. Others look for a moving, crisis experience and they place great stress upon this one-time event. It is likely to be stirring and profound and intensely mystical and ecstatic in its nature. In either case, whether in a gradual realization or in a stirring crisis (or both), Wesleyan perfectionists believe that experimentally one must come to the place of permanently attaining the realm portrayed by Saint Paul "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body..."
(Romans 6:12). In general all perfectionists agree that the sign or evidence of entire sanctification will be the fruits of the renewed life. Field describes the situation, "There will be an inward consciousness that the body of sin is destroyed, a deep and constant current of love flowing out towards God and all mankind, a perfect submission to the will of God, a life of faith in the Son of God, and intimate fellowship with Him."
Field, op. cit., page 210.

5. Concluding Remarks

A number of facts about sanctification seem defensible on Scriptural grounds even though aspects of the subject evoke controversy. Sanctification is experiential; it reaches to the individual's life and constitutes the implantation of a new, divine, holy impulse. This impulse is able to express itself because the former impulse- the believer's carnal nature- has been made inoperative. The Christian life necessarily is a continual process of encouraging the new life and denying the old; righteous deeds by the believer are not automatic, he has to do them as deliberate acts. For most believers, Christian growth continues throughout their mortal lives. Since sanctification is an original divine implantation, in itself, from the very outset, it constitutes perfection. Inasmuch as the believer's life principle is the life of Christ Himself, all demands of perfection are met. In eternity the believer will personally and irrevocably appropriate as his own that which is potentially his throughout this life.

It is clear that sanctification is set forth in the Bible from a dual standpoint. On the one hand, man is challenged to achieve the loftiest and most circumspect Christian life possible; on the other hand, God wants man to know that provisionally He has made it possible for the believer to live in triumphant victory over the realm of sin. Sanctification cannot objectively rest upon any human experience of blessing, but such an experience may be an important motivation to practice the sanctified life. The fact that the convert discovers that God expects him to exercise his will actively on behalf of a virtuous personal life may be a realization that drives one to a crisis of desperation (see for reference Saint Paul in
Romans 7:18 to 8:4). There are many possibilities contained within the over-all Biblical presentation of the dual aspects depending on the individual needs of the believer and those aspects of Scripture that he chooses to emphasize."

Justification is receiving something we never had
Sanctification is getting rid of something we have always had

No Guts, No Glory by Patsy Clairmont

"Grace under pressure" was Hemingway's response when someone asked him what he meant by the word guts.

What an elegant definition for such a sweaty, life-wrenching word. I tend to think of a word like grace as a woman's word, and a word like guts as a guy's word. But the truth is, Mike Utley was a picture of grace when he faced the toughest tackle life could challenge him with, and he stood to take another step.

Les and I sat with our eyes glued to the television as the big, strapping ex-football player took hold of the fore-arms of two of his teammates, using them as balance bars. With their help and his determination, he stood to his feet and prepared to take his first step in seven years. The man, Mike Utiey, had been injured in a football game. Since severely damaging, but not severing, his spinal cord, he fought his way back to health. Seven years of grueling physical therapy. Seven years of maintaining an "I can do it" attitude.

I remember when Mike was carried out on a stretcher, and I remember breathing a prayer on his behalf. Les and I followed up on news reports about Mike's injury until, after a time, more current events filled the airways. Then our own challenges filled our minds and, quite honestly, we hadn't thought about Mike for a long time. But when the newscast showed him taking his first step, we watched in admiration as Mike dedicated himself to the task before him. Jaw set, eyes focused on his goal, with support people in place around him, the giant clutched his friends, and with tremendous courage and all the guts he could muster, he took his step. Exhausted from the effort, he was lowered back into a wheelchair. What a gutsy man!

Our willingness to embrace grace is more difficult when it's depicted in such a costly manner. But grace wasn't the injury Mike sustained; the injury was simply life's parcel. Grace was Mike's ability to accept wherever life took him and to continue to move forward.

This grace was evident in Joseph's life as well. Joseph was rejected and abandoned by his brothers, then falsely accused and imprisoned by his employer. He sat forgotten in jail for years. What a potential breeding ground for hostility, resentment, and anger! But instead of steeping in self-pity or seething in indignation, Joseph became an exemplary prisoner and a trusted leader in the jail. Forgotten by others, but not by God, Joseph was granted unmerited favor in his captors' eyes. Eventually, Joseph was released and elevated to the second highest in command over Egypt.

I believe God's fortitude and grace sustain the Josephs and the Mikes, the Josephines and the Michelles of this world. Even the Patsys.

For I, too, was a prisoner, an emotional prisoner. For several years I was held hostage in my home by fear and anger. Not knowing how to deal with the inequities of life, I stuffed my splintered emotions. Unlike Mike or Joseph, I wasn't courageous, nor did I know how to handle life's pressures. Still, in my extreme weakness, God extended his grace to me. I embraced grace like a balance bar and gradually got back on my feet. Then with my jaw set and my eyes focused, I took the first gutsy steps out of my home.

God wants you to experience his grace whether you have faced your life with courage or with cowardice. Grace is not about us; it is about God. He will meet you wherever you are to help you take the next gutsy step. Understanding God's grace and appreciating it will change your approach to life's pressures. You will begin to see the injustices as opportunities for you to watch God at work.

By the way, God is not often in a hurry to move us on before we benefit deeply from our experiences. So don't be disheartened when others forget your long, hard struggles. He will never forget...and His grace will exalt you in due time.

"Timothy, my dear son, be strong with the special favor God gives you in Christ Jesus. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus"
(2 Timothy 2:1,3)."27

Sanctification by Billy Graham

The word sanctification comes from the Greek word which means "to be separate" or "set apart for a purpose." Paul speaks of the believer as having been "sanctified by the Holy Spirit"
(Romans 15:16). He wrote to the Corinthians saying that they, having been sanctified, are called to be saints
(1 Corinthians 1:2). We Christians are to be "progressively sanctified" or "made righteous" in holiness as we daily abide in Christ� and obey His Word. Abiding and obedience are the keys to a successful Spirit-dominated life. We are as much sanctified as we are possessed by the Holy Spirit. It is never a question of how much you and I have of the Spirit, but how much He has of us.

The Scriptures teach that "sanctification" has three parts to it. First, the moment you receive Christ there is an immediate sanctification. Second, as we progress in the Christian life there is a "progressive sanctification." Third, when we go to heaven there will be total and "complete" sanctification, which is called "glorification."

We have a friend on one of the Caribbean islands who purchased the ruins of an old mansion. In his eyes he sees it as it will someday be, beautiful, restored, perfect. It is "sanctified." In the meantime, he is working on it with his limited resources, his ingenuity, and his love. To the average beholder it may look like something out of a horror movie, with its scraps of lumber, patched tin roof, fabulous tile floor. But to our friend it is special. Loved. He sees it as it will be someday. Perhaps the world sees the body of Christ (the true Church) as others see this mansion. But God sees it as it will eventually be. Perfect, complete. It is being sanctified. In our friend's eyes, the mansion is already beautiful, because he sees in his mind's eye the finished product. When he begins work on it, it will be in the process of being restored. And someday our friend will complete his work, and the mansion will be in reality what he always hoped it would be.

In a far greater way, God looks on us in Jesus Christ. He sees us now as fully sanctified, because He knows what we will be some day. Also He is at work in us restoring us�we are being sanctified. And some day that process will be complete when we go to be with Him throughout all eternity. We will be fully sanctified.

J. B. Phillips says that God predestinates us "to bear the family likeness of his Son"
(Romans 8:29). That is what is happening to us now as believers. We are being progressively sanctified� to spiritual maturity� to bear the family likeness of His Son. Remember that Jesus Christ was perfect� and we are to strive for perfection. While this will be complete only in heaven, it should be our goal right now. This is what the Bible means when it commands us, "Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am Holy' "
(1 Peter 1:15-16). Whether we realize it or not we are growing spiritually through the conflicts, turbulence, troubles, temptations, testings, and so on that afflict all Christians slowly or rapidly. But there is coming a day when all of this will be past, and we will be completely sanctified, "We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is"
(1 John 3:2).

In the meantime, Christians, day by day, week by week, and month by month, are told to walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit means being led and directed by the Holy Spirit. This comes as we progressively yield various areas of our lives to the Spirit's control. Paul said, "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh"
(Galatians 5:16). Now desire in itself is not wrong, it's what we desire or lust for that is wrong� and when we yield.

The Old Self-Life

When Eve had a desire to "know" (but based on self), Satan turned healthy desire into unhealthy. And Eve disobeyed God. Flesh is the Bible's word for unperfected human nature. Leaving off the "h" and spelling it in reverse we have the word self. Flesh is the self-life: it is what we are when we are left to our own devices. At times our self behaves itself very well. It can do good things, it can be moral, and it can have extremely high ethical standards. But sooner or later your self and mine will show itself to be selfish.

We try to educate self, to train and discipline it. We pass laws to compel it to behave. But Paul said that the flesh has a mind of its own and that "the natural mind" is not subject to the law of God. God clearly says He has no confidence in our flesh. Paul declared, "I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh"
(Romans 7:18). The moment we realize this and yield to the dictates of the Holy Spirit in our lives, greater victory, greater spiritual maturity, greater love, joy, peace and other fruits will manifest themselves.

Recently, a friend of ours was converted to Christ. He had previously led a wild life. One of his old friends said to him, "I feel sorry for you. You now go to church, pray, and read the Bible all the time. You no longer go to the nightclubs, get drunk, or enjoy your beautiful women." Our friend gave a strange reply. He said, "I do get drunk every time I want to. I do go to night- clubs every time I want to. I do go with the girls when I want to." His worldly friend looked puzzled. Our friend laughed and said, "Jim, you see, the Lord took the "want to" out when I was converted and He made me a new person in Christ Jesus."

St. Augustine once said, "Love God and live as you please." If we truly love God we will want to do what pleases Him. It is as the Psalmist says in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart" (verse 4). Delighting in the Lord alters the desires.

The Battle with the Flesh

If we as Christians try to make ourselves better or good or even acceptable to God by some human effort, we will fail. Everything we have and are and do comes through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us, and God does His works in us by the Holy Spirit. What we have to do is yield ourselves to the Spirit of God so that He may empower us to put off the old and put on the new.

Paul makes all of this clear in Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another." This indicates what the real conflict is in the heart of every true believer. The flesh wants one thing and the Spirit wants another. The black dog and the white dog are often fighting. As long as there is not the surrender of mind and body every moment of the day, the old nature will assert itself.

Conscious of my own weakness, sometimes on rising in the morning I have said, "Lord, I'm not going to allow this or that thing to assert itself in my life today." Then the devil sends something unexpected to tempt me, or God allows me to be tested at that exact point. Many times in my life the thing I never meant to do in my mind I did in the flesh. I have wept many a bitter tear of confession and asked God the Spirit to give me strength at that point. But this lets me know that I am engaged in a spiritual warfare every day. I must never let down my guard� I must keep armed.

Many of the young people I meet are living defeated, disillusioned, and disappointed lives even after coming to Christ. They are walking after the flesh because they have not had proper teaching at this precise point. The old man, the old self, the old principle, the old force, is not yet dead or wholly renewed: it is still there. It fights every inch of the way against the new man, the new force, that God made us when we received Christ. Only as we yield and obey the new principle in Christ do we win the victory.

"Yielding" is the secret! Paul said, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies� presenting all your members and faculties� as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship"
(Romans 12:1, Amplified Bible). When total surrender occurs, there is another "experience." For most Christians it is not just a second experience� but it comes many times throughout our lives.

The Works of the Flesh

Thus, we see that there is a continuing conflict going on in every one of us between the flesh on the one hand and the Spirit on the other. When Paul uses the word "flesh," he really means human nature in all its weakness, its impotence, and its helplessness. The flesh is the lower side of man's nature. The flesh is all that man is without God and without Christ. Paul lists the works of the flesh in
Galatians 5:19-21. When we read this terrible list, we should also read
Romans 1:17-32. In these passages the depravity of human nature is pictured for us. We see it for what it is.

Every day we read about this depravity in our newspapers. We watch it on the newscasts on our television screens daily. Everywhere, unregenerate human nature calls the signals and produces the works of the flesh. The sins of the flesh are flaunted shamelessly. They are committed blatantly and without repentance by unregenerate men. However, the Christian can sometimes temporarily yield to one or more of these terrible things. He is immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit and quickly repents and finds forgiveness.

In Galatians chapter 5 there is a catalog of fifteen works of the flesh which range from sexual sins to drunkenness and include idolatry and sorcery. What strikes terror in every Christian heart is the knowledge that these sins can easily creep into our lives unless we are spiritually vigilant and strong. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall"
(1 Corinthians 10:12). With this in mind, let us look at the list of sins Paul lists in
Galatians chapter 5, so we will be better prepared to fight against the flesh.

Some have suggested that these can be divided into three categories, or sets. The first set are sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality
(Galatians 5:19).

1. Immorality. The Greek word here is broad enough to cover all kinds of sexual wickedness and is, incidentally, the word (porneia) from which the word "pornography" comes. Premarital sex, extramarital sex, abnormal sex, incest, prostitution, and surely sex sins in the heart are part of what the apostle has in mind here.

2. Impurity. Here the Greek word suggests any kind of impurity, whether in thought or deed. It might even include unnatural lust as described by Paul in
Romans 1:24. It surely would cover some of the modem films, pornographic literature, and "evil imaginations." William Barclay describes it as the pus of an unclean wound; a tree that has never been pruned; material that has never been sifted.

3. Sensuality. This Greek word can be thought of as wantonness or debauchery. But there may be more to it than that. It has in it the notion of reckless shamelessness, or even an open indulgence in impurity. The same word is used in
2 Peter 2:7 when the apostle speaks of the licentiousness of Sodom and Gomorrah. It can be no less than lewdness and sensuality of any kind.

The second set of the works of the flesh enumerated by Paul are these:

1. Idolatry. The Greek word for idolatry is the worship of false gods of which there are many today. By implication we think of it as including anything that comes between us and God. Money can become an idol if we worship it above our worship of God. Pleasure can become an idol, even a relationship to another person can become an idol if it takes the place of God.

2. Sorcery. The Greek word here can be translated witchcraft; the idea especially is the administering of magical potions and drugs. Thus it is related also to the use of drugs; we get our word "pharmacy" from this Greek word, pharmakia. Throughout Scripture, witchcraft and sorcery are condemned. This evil is spreading rapidly in Western societies at an alarming rate.

3. Enmities. The Greek word for enmities has to do with hatred. Hatred contains within it the idea of something latent, like an animal ready to spring on its prey. Hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, and intense dislike are all comparable terms for what is translated here as hatred.

4. Strife. The Greek word refers to variance, contentions, strife, fighting, discord, wrangling, and quarreling. Many churches are hard hit by internal discord that divides laymen from pastors, and laymen from laymen. When members of a congregation do not speak to each other and when they fight with one another, this sin is at work and the Spirit of God is quenched. Numerous families are infected by this spirit. Many marriages, even Christian ones, are being destroyed by this sin.

5. Jealousy� a very common sin. It involves envy when someone gets an honor we wanted, or it can mar a marriage relationship when a husband or a wife is jealous of his or her partner. We read of murders being committed because of jealousy, of friends who have not spoken for years. On the other hand, there is the beautiful example of Jonathan who was not jealous of David
(1 Samuel chapter 20).

6. Outbursts of anger. The Greek word for wrath means unrighteous fits of rage, passionate outbursts of anger and hostile feelings. John uses the same root word in the Apocalypse about the righteous wrath of God. Man's wrath can be righteous or unrighteous, but God's wrath is always righteous for He cannot sin. There is a righteous wrath, but it is not a fit of anger. Here anger or wrath is a sin we must cast out of our lives. Someone has well said, "Righteous indignation is usually one part righteous and nine parts indignation."

7. Disputes. This Greek word for disputes or strife means selfish ambition, self-seeking, and selfishness. This violates both parts of the Ten Commandments
(Exodus chapter 20). First it is a sin against God when selfish ambition replaces the will of God for our lives. Then it violates the command to love our neighbors, for acts of self-seeking are always committed at someone else's expense.

8. Dissensions. The Greek word means seditions, dissensions, or divisions. Believers are to be of one mind. "He is the God that maketh men to be of one mind in an house" is the Prayer Book version of
Psalm 68:6-5. Unless principles are at stake or the Word of God is threatened, then discord can become sinful. We are to contend for the faith, but even when doing so we are not to be contentious. Truth often divides, but when truth is not at stake, God's people should be able to live together in love by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

9. Factions. The Greek word for factions, or heresies, has to do with sects and sectarianism. It means to choose that which is bad, or to form an opinion contrary to the revelation of God in Scripture. This is the same word found in
2 Peter 2:1 (NIV): "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them� bringing swift destruction on themselves." Thus this is a serious sin. As Alexander said, "Error is often plausibly dressed in the outer garb of truth."

10. Envyings. This Greek word means resentment at the excellence or good fortune of another, a jealous spirit. We may envy someone his beautiful voice, his great wealth, his superior position, or his athletic attainments. Or we may begrudge a girl her beauty, a person his position in public office. Envy has been the downfall of many a Christian. Normally, there can be no envy that does not involve covetousness.

11. Drunkenness. This Greek word means overindulgence in alcohol. Alcohol may be used for medicine, but it can also become a terrible drug. The way it is used in our world is probably one of the great evils of our day. It is a self-inflicted impediment that springs from "a man taking a drink, a drink taking a drink, and drink taking the man." Distilled liquors as we have them today were unknown in Bible times. This modern use of alcohol is far more dangerous than the use of wine, which was also condemned when taken to excess. Teetotalism or nonteetotalism cannot be proven from Scriptures. Whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of God
(1 Corinthians 10:31).

I had a wonderful Christian friend in England many years ago. He was a godly man with a great knowledge of the Scriptures and a deep and holy walk with God. Once when we had a meal with him he said, "I serve wine at my table to the glory of God. I know you don't take wine, to the glory of God, so we have provided ginger ale for you." He continued, "We are taught to respect each other's liberty and each other's conscience."

12. Carousings. In the Greek this means orgies. In
Romans 13:13 and 1 Peter 4:3 it is associated with illicit sex, drunkenness, and other evils in which no Christian should indulge.

There may be someone reading this who has been guilty of one or even all of the sins listed here. Does this mean you can never enter the kingdom of Heaven; that the door is forever closed to you? Certainly not. The Bible says that by repentance and faith anyone can be forgiven
(1 John 1:9).

However, Galatians 5:21 constitutes the most serious warning to those who may think they can sin that grace may abound. The apostle sternly says, "Those who practice such things [i.e. those things just enumerated] shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Paul's whole terrible list when practiced by men violates God's will for them. God hates these things so much that He will judge those who do them. People whose lives are characterized by such deviations from the will of God will be separated from Him and lost in outer darkness. The reason I have listed all this is because millions of professing Christians are only just that� "professing." They have never possessed Christ. They live lives characterized by the flesh. Tens of thousands have never been born again. They will go into eternity lost� while thinking they are saved because they belong to the church, or were baptized, and so on.

But there is another truth we should not forget. Today people do many of these forbidden things in the name of freedom. What they fail to see is that such activities actually enslave those who become involved in them. And when liberty becomes license, liberty not only is misconstrued� those who misconstrue are themselves shackled so that they lose the liberty of which Scripture speaks. True freedom consists not in the freedom to sin, but the freedom not to sin.

Another truth is that those who live in the flesh can be changed only by the Spirit of God. This is why a deep spiritual awakening is so desperately needed today. You cannot legislate successfully against these problems. No matter how many laws are passed, or how many good intentions there may be, in those persons outside of Christ the old nature is in control. It may be subdued at times; it may be controlled by sheer discipline on other occasions, but there will come times when these works of the flesh will manifest themselves by boiling over in strife and eventually war.

However, the Christian has become a new creation. He can come under the control of the Holy Spirit and produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is a whole new set of principles that develop a new man and could eventually produce a new society.

Paul says, "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"
(Galatians 5:24). During the lifetime of our Lord Jesus Christ, He lived as a man, He was tempted as a man, yet He kept the whole law of God and had victory over the flesh. Those of us who are bound to Him by faith are, in principle at least, finished with all that belongs to the flesh. Yet Paul recognizes that these old fleshly tendencies still lurk within us and that we must almost hourly yield to the Holy Spirit to have total and complete victory.

The Scripture does not say, "They that are Christ's should crucify the flesh." This took place positionally and legally when Jesus Christ hung on the cross.
Galatians 2:20 reads, "I have been crucified with Christ."
Romans 6:6 says, "Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him." It is a completed action, a settled matter. Since we believers have already been crucified even as we have already been saved, we are now called upon to work out that crucifixion in the flesh so that we do not make provision for the works of the flesh. We have been buried with Christ and now are raised from the dead unto the new life in Him.

Many people say, "I cannot live a life like this. I cannot hold out." If it were up to you and me, we could not. The apostle Paul says, "Consider yourselves to be dead to sin"
(Romans 6:11). He also said sin shall no longer reign in our mortal bodies. This means that "by faith" we accept what Jesus Christ has done for us at the cross. By faith we turn over our lives totally and completely and without reservation to the Holy Spirit. Christ sits on the throne of our hearts. No one, or anything, is going to push Him off. The Holy Spirit produces the "fruit of the Spirit." While the works of the flesh would like very much to manifest themselves� and sometimes do� they no longer reign, they are no longer in control. It is no longer a practice; it is no longer a habit; we are transformed by His grace and live the new life in Christ. But this is only possible as we are filled with the Holy Spirit..."28

I Encourage You To Live The Life
Worthy Of Your Call

Tract on Holiness by Trey Kerux
The Principle of Separation

"Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy."
(Leviticus 19:2).

"Webster's Dictionary defines holiness as "the quality or state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity."

Since the Lord actually commands His people to become holy because He is holy, the question arises: How does a sinful person receive the holiness of God in order to become as holy as God is?

In the Old Testament God imputed His holiness to the priesthood, commanding them to engrave the words "Holiness to the Lord" upon a plate of pure gold and to place it upon the "forefront of the mitre."
(Exodus 28:37). This sign of imputed holiness allowed the priest to come into the presence of God without dying.

...in the New Testament, man's holiness is God's character inborn into his nature by the infilling presence of the Spirit of God.

The birth of the Spirit makes a person a new creature. His old life is exterminated, obliterated, and buried; the power of sin in the flesh is destroyed. In the Old Testament "Holiness to the Lord" was written across the priest's mitre; in the New Testament "Holiness to the Lord" is written on the heart of the "new creature."

Old Testament Separation

Holiness is not only an inward presence of God but it is also reflected in the outward life of the Christian in his conduct in this world. Holiness was a demand placed upon the Israelites that had to do with almost every act of their daily performance. For example, an Israelite could not sow different seeds in his vineyard, for to do so was an act of defilement against Almighty God.
(See Deuteronomy 22:9-11.) This command reminded the Israelites that they were different from other people in the world.

"The principle of separation unto God was almost a continuous experience for the Israelites: in their working, dressing, eating, and fellowship, they were not to mix with the heathen or to indulge in the customs of heathenistic nations. This command from God was for the purpose of holiness: "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God."
(Deuteronomy 7:6).

The New Testament is clear and certain about the necessity of holiness. The apostle Paul wrote, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication."
(I Thessalonians 4:3). A Christian who commits an act of fornication or adultery loses his sanctification. Thus Paul explained that every Christian "should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of the concupiscence" which means unbridled sexual desires. It is the Holy Spirit within a human heart that gives a person the assistance he needs in restraining the forces of lust. Another thing taught in this passage is that Christians are to be honest in matters of business and daily duties. Christians are so to practice the highest ideals of principle in monetary matters and social relationships that they will not be a reproach to God or the church." 29

God, Faith and Politics by M. Pete

"God, Who is holy, requires holiness in men. Man�s holiness is accomplished when he receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and as a result becomes born again through the washing of regeneration.
(Titus 3:5) As a result of the new birth, man�s spirit is recreated in the image and likeness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) The recreated spirit of man is holy and therefore man becomes holy.

The regenerated man�s holiness is demonstrated by consecrated living. The regenerated man lives a life of separation unto God. Jesus is his Lord. The regenerated man entered into a relationship with God the Father through acceptance of Jesus Christ�s atoning sacrifice for him at Calvary. He then separates himself unto God to fulfill God�s purposes and plans for his life.

The regenerated man is the holy temple of God. God dwells in him through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost empowers the regenerated man for service.

1. God is righteous (Psalm 7:9). God is just. He is the standard of ethics and morality.

2. God is always right. He always does what is right
(Psalm 19:9).

The regenerated man is made the righteousness of God as a result of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This righteousness is not based in any way on what man has done. It is based solely on the atonement of Jesus Christ. As the regenerated man continuously lives a life of obedience to God�s will for him, he becomes more and more Christ-like
(2 Corinthians 3:18). As his mind becomes renewed as a result of studying the Word of God, his thoughts and perspectives change. His motives are elevated. His decisions reflect the teachings of the Word of God."30
(Romans 12:1-2)

"Every man is as holy as he really wants to be" - A.W. Tozer

Dr. Charles Ware's Article on Holiness

"Holy means to be set apart. Biblical holiness means that we are set apart from evil unto God.
(Romans 12:1-2). Holiness is more than a code, i.e. list of do's and don'ts, it is character. The code, or law of God, is an expression of the character of God.
(Exodus 15:11; Romans 7:12,14; I Peter 1:15-16). Therefore, true holiness is conformity to the purpose and person of God."

Obedience to the commands of God makes one happier and healthier. Imagine a community where no one bore false witness, committed adultery, murdered or committed any other act contrary to the law of God. Such a community would obviously be a happier environment than the sin-ridden communities in which we live today.

Standing upon our position in Christ gives us the security to accept God's standard of holiness that clashes with our natural desires.
(Romans 7:4-13). We are free to admit our sinfulness without fear of rejection from a Holy God. We acknowledge the fact that a war rages within us.
(Romans 7:14-24). Yet we accept the possibility and provisions for victory, i.e. practical, personal, progressive holiness through Christ.
(Romans 7:25-8:13) Walking in holiness is not a matter of sinlessness, as some erroneously teach. Rather, it is a matter of sinning less as time passes and we apply the provisions of our new identity in Christ.

Walking in holiness is a faith walk.
(I Peter 1:5-8; Hebrews 11:6; Colossians 2:5-7).

We must constantly choose whether to believe what God declares of us or our feelings or Satan's lies. True faith is always a response to God and His revelation, the Bible
(Romans 4:1-8; 13-21). A practical process for continual growth in holiness is represented by the acronym MADE:
(I Timothy 4:1516).
The M represents mediating on God's Word.
The A represents activation or seeking to live what one is meditating on.
The D represents demonstrating through progressive sanctification the power of truth to transform.
The E represents continual evaluation of one's self and doctrine.
The promise is that this process will deliver one from an unholy life.

Saints have three biblical enemies: Satan, the world and the flesh. Public enemy number one is the flesh or the desire within that motivates us to disobey God.
(Romans 1:24,26; 6:12; 7:7-8; 13:14; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:3; 4:22;
1 Peter 1:14; 2:11; 4:2-3; 2 Peter 1:4; 2:10,18). The flesh must be radically denied. Yet walking in holiness requires more than the denial of unholy desires; there must be the positive walking in the Spirit. The Spirit of God replaces fleshly desires with holy character. The Spirit of God conforms us to the Son of God and this is holiness.
(Galatians 5:15-18, 22-24; Ephesians 5:18). Let us continue walking in holiness." 31

Rev. George Parsons Article on Holiness

"The RULE for living the Christian life is to be found in the New Testament Epistles. It is there that we must find our answer.

How did Paul live? What was his rule of life? Did he live by the works of the law? Did he find his rule of life at Mount Sinai? Notice what the great apostle says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20). This is how Paul lived! He lived "by faith of (in) the Son of God." [Note that in
Galatians 3:2 Paul contrasts faith with the works of the law.] Paul�s life was centered upon the Person of Jesus Christ with Whom he had been co-crucified. The focus of
Galatians 2:20 is upon Mount Calvary. The cross is central. Paul was able to live because he had died! He was able to live because Jesus Christ was HIS LIFE: "For to me to live is Christ"
(Philippians 1:21). "For ye died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."
(Colossians 3:3-4). Yes, JESUS CHRIST is the believer�s rule of life!

...the emphasis is upon KNOWING and LOVING and PLEASING a PERSON, even the Lord Jesus Christ.

"So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God's holy people, who live in the light."
(Colossians 1:9-12). NLT

Notice the emphasis of this great prayer:
to know His will (verse 9),
to walk with Him (verse 10),
to please Him (verse 10),
to increase in my knowledge of Him (verse 10),
to be strengthened by Him (verse 11),
to be joyful in Him (verse 11),
to thank Him! (verse 12).

Consider again the illustration of the marriage relationship. There are many things the husband must do and there are many things the husband must not do. There are duties he must carry out, responsibilities he must meet and obligations he must perform. But why does he do all these things? It is because he has decided to love a person- namely his wife. The wife does many things as well. She prepares meals, washes the dishes, cleans the floor, vacuums the rugs, washes the clothes, etc. Why does she do all these things? Is it because her husband has given her a long list of "THOU SHALT�s" and "THOU SHALT NOT�s"? Hopefully this is not the reason. She is doing these things because she is responding to the love of her husband. The marriage relationship is based on love, not law.

What then is the Christian life all about? The Christian life is simply knowing a Person, loving Him, seeking to please Him, walking with Him, honoring Him, obeying Him, thanking Him, rejoicing in Him, delighting in Him, trusting in Him, growing in Him, talking to Him, talking to others about Him, abiding in Him, learning of Him, learning from Him, sitting at His feet and enjoying His presence. Note the emphasis on Him (on a PERSON).

As we go through each day, are we walking with a Person and enjoying Him or are we following a religious, ritualistic, legalistic routine? If we really have that unique, intimate, personal LOVE RELATIONSHIP with the Lord Jesus Christ, then this will change everything we do. This will change PRAYER because PRAYER is talking to the Person I love. This will change BIBLE STUDY because I want to get to know this Person better. This will change WITNESSING because I want to introduce others to this wonderful Person. I want others to know the Christ that I know.

Are we walking with a Person or are we working at a religion? "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to Another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
(Romans 7:4). In light of John 17:3, can we each say from our hearts: "I know this Person as my Saviour, as my Lord, as my Friend, as my Sovereign Master, as my Helper, as my Shepherd, as my ever-present Companion, as my Advocate, as my Comforter. (So many more things could be said!)."32

Commissioner S.L. Brengle's Article on Holiness

"Righteousness is conformity to the divine law, but holiness is conformity to the divine nature.

Holiness is that state of our moral and spiritual nature, which makes us like Jesus in His moral and spiritual nature. It does not consist in perfection of intellect, though the experience will give much greater clearness to a man's intellect and simplify and energize his mental operations. Nor does it necessarily consist in perfection of conduct, though a holy man seeks with all his heart to make his outward conduct correspond to his inward light and love.

Well, how can you get it? From Jesus, the very same Jesus that saved you and spoke peace to your troubled conscience, when you feared you were going to sink into hell. The very same Jesus that died for you. But how? By asking. By giving yourself freely and for ever to Him, to be not only your Savior, but also your Lord and Master; to do and suffer all His blessed, wise, tender will. By believing and receiving.

Now you would be a candidate for holiness. If the Holy Spirit should now reveal to you the hidden corruption of the human heart, and show you that it was out of this bad soil that grew the bad weeds of hatred and pride, selfish ambitions and envy, lies, adulteries, murders, drunkenness, thefts, and such like, you would cry to God to rid you not only of the weeds, but to entirely change the condition of your heart out of which such unholy things grew. And there would be only one way to get this done, and that would be to ask God to do it for Jesus' sake; trust Him to do it, and wait with full expectation till He did do it.

And He would do it. He would purge your heart of all unholy conditions by the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, as surely as fire purges gold of dross. Glory to God! This is just what He wants to do. He wants all His children to be like His well-beloved Son, Jesus. It was for this that He sent Jesus into the world, and it is for this that He baptizes with the Holy Ghost and fire."33

The Reality Of Holiness by Craig Luper

"If a pure heart, or holiness is what we wear or how we comb our hair or having facial hair, or whether women wear make-up or not; let's just all get plastic surgery and go from there. Silly, isn't it! We all know that it is a work of God in our hearts not the externals.

But let me address what I think grieves the heart of God, especially concerning leadership in the church (leadership is defined: Pastors, elders, deacons, Youth Pastors, Associate Pastors, etc.) God has called his watchmen, pastors, shepherds to a higher calling. We can no longer wink at sin and laugh and justify our weaknesses of the flesh. Over the last several years, I've had the opportunity to pray with and over many people, even pastors, teachers, and evangelists who have confused their call with a license to do whatever they want. They were "above it all", so it would seem.

God�s call to holiness is still very much for today, except it's not about the external. It�s about our hearts, getting right with God and staying right. It�s about if your eye causes you to sin, you pluck it out. I'd much rather hear a one eyed preacher that's dealt with his sin and won the victory than to hear a pride filled two-eyed preacher only preach about what he�s heard and not what he�s experiencing.

It�s about returning to your first love; remembering from the heights you've fallen and turning your heart back to Him. It�s about allowing God�s grace to break those holds over you and walking in His grace, not condemnation. It�s about being men and women of integrity even if it hurts, even if people talk, even if the sin is embarrassing."34

Christian Holiness by Craig Brophy

"Concerning the concept of Christian Holiness, as a Wesleyan-Arminian, I believe that true holiness, entire sanctification, is not merely having high moral standards and being detached from the ungodly things of this world. Neither is it a modification of man's behavior. The above qualities are a necessity in living a holy life, and can be found even in the lives of Buddhist monks, fundamental Muslims, and pious Jews. Certainly the presence of these qualities does not qualify them to be called holy Christians.

The difference between Christian Holiness and the holiness of for example, a Muslim, is in the Person of Jesus Christ. Christian Holiness is found in the holiness of Christ. Being in Christ is a prerequisite to Christian Holiness. Christian Holiness is not man's attempt to please God, since it is not a matter of 'what' we can do to achieve holiness. It is a matter of 'who'. The 'who', referring to God, who through His grace enables man to be holy.

Holiness is born of a relationship with Jesus that is nurtured and grows as we become seekers after the mind of Christ. Holiness is Christ-likeness.

Another term used for Christian Holiness is Christian Perfection. Christian Perfection to John Wesley was Perfect Love. It means that when we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, then our love for our neighbor, our words, our actions, and our thoughts, will be governed by pure love.

The way in which the believer will be able to retain this blessing and actively oppose anything that will reduce one's love for God and fellow man is to constantly walk in God's light. This would include being bold enough to witness about the sanctified life, never to neglect the reading and meditation of God's Word, and having a consistent prayer life. It is when we walk in His marvelous light, the light of His Word, which is the lamp to our feet and a light to our path, that the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses us from all sin.
(Psalm 119:105; 1 John 1:7).

Christian Holiness is indeed both the goal and beginning of the Christian life. It is a goal in that God calls every believer unto holiness."35

The Holy Spirit and the Holy Life by Chester K. Lehman

"The way to holiness, described in positive manner, begins with considering ourselves alive to God. This is the counterpart to reckoning or treating ourselves dead to sin. Following the punctiliar discharge from the law and a death to that which held us captive, the result follows "that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter." Here the powerlessness of the law and the dynamic of the new life in the spirit stand in contrast.

As Garvie says, "Life in the spirit is a life maintained and controlled by the Holy Spirit"
(Walter F. Adeney, Gen. Ed., op. cit., Romans, edited by Alfred E. Garvin, p. 173).

It is a "walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." These are two laws of life; they are opposite and antagonistic. "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit."
(Romans 8:5).

One is mindful of the flesh if his heart delights in its pleasures; he is mindful of the Spirit if he loves the way of righteousness and of holiness. The core of the problem lies in the seat of the affections, the heart. The positive measures for attaining holiness must center in the heart."36

"Spiritual things have been rejected to make room for things artificial. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized, and worship converted into a form of entertainment"
- A.W. Tozer

Born to Holiness by John MacArthur

"Hebrews 12:14 says that without holiness no one will see the Lord. To have a relationship with God, one must become holy. Jesus emphasized that the goal of every believer is holiness, saying, "Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father, who is in heaven, is perfect."
(Matthew 5:48). Peter quoted God's command in
Leviticus 11:44 when he said, "Be ye holy; for I am holy."
(1 Peter 1:16).

Men are not holy- that's obvious. They are sinful. They do not think right, speak right, or act right according to God's perfect standards. They do not rightly perceive God, His truth, His will, or themselves. Most people are oblivious to the fact that they are unrighteous. They do not willingly agree with the diagnosis of Scripture that they are sinful and are in need of holiness. Indirectly, men push off onto God the responsibility for their sinfulness.
But verses 13-17 of James chapter 1 have shown us that we have no one to blame but ourselves for our own sinfulness.

James 1:18 says, "Of his [God's] own will begot he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." That simple verse speaks of the richness of the new birth. James introduces the subject of regeneration in verse 18 to show that God doesn't lead people into sin, but into a life of holiness.

The question is asked: What can man do to change his situation? Scripture makes it clear that external changes are not enough. Man cannot by some resolution determine that he's going to obey the law of God and work his way out of his spiritual deadness. Because he cannot give himself new life, he needs to be recreated. He needs a new heart, a new nature. In the words of Jesus, he needs to be "born again."
(John 3:3).

He needs to start over as if, in the words of Nicodemus, he could crawl back into his mother's womb and come out with a different nature.
(John 3:4). Since holiness is the condition for fellowship with God, sinful man in his fallen condition cannot experience that fellowship. And because God won't accept his corrupt nature, he needs a new and holy life."37

Holiness In Practical Living By Lewis T. Corlett

"The sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross was a twofold answer to man's need. First of all it bridged the gap between sinful mankind and the holy God; and, secondly, it provided the way and means whereby men could both come into harmony with the divine will and at the same time be "partakers of his holiness."

The individual is placed in a position where his past record is cleared and he is given a clean sheet before his Maker. But more than that, "being justified by faith," he has "peace with God." The guilt of unconfessed sin is gone. The uneasiness of a condemning conscience has been removed. God has met him in response to His promise, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(I John 1:9).

As man is considered without taking holiness into proper consideration, he cannot be understood for his real worth. A holy God made man free from sin so that he could have fellowship with his Maker. God made man in the divine image, and regardless of how far into sin man may go, there is still a depth of his nature crying out for the living God. He may not understand this or know what it is; yet there is the emptiness of the spirit of man calling for the only Spirit who is able to understand and explain.

Holiness has never countenanced laxity in morals or immodesty of thought, attitude, or dress. Holiness always exalts the pure, the chaste, and the clean. This is true today as well as yesterday; and it will be true tomorrow, for God's ideals and laws never change. This generation needs to bring its moral laxity into the presence of the pure light of the holiness of God in order to judge itself properly.

Holiness is the source of ideals and standards for relationships of one with another. It gives ideals regarding death and gives ideals for after death. In fact, every good ideal and standard of humanity comes forth from the character of God. For every problem that man has had or may have God has placed within His revealed truth, the Bible, a principle for solving that problem.

Holiness, being the essence of God's moral nature, is as eternal as God himself. In this sense holiness is eternal; it never began and it will never end. It is not something which was provided merely for time; it is the atmosphere and essence of God's eternity.

This view of the holiness of God brings man face-to-face with the realization that there is a connection between the created and the creator- that man is not an individual who is not responsible to anyone for his selfish indulgences, but that he must finally give an account to a holy God for his unholy acts.

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol; cast out every foe;
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
As long as the believer keeps his contract of abandonment to God, God keeps him pure. As long as the individual walks in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses him from all sin. The sanctified soul has only to keep himself unreservedly in the hands of the Master with firm purpose to live for Him, whether it be for sacrifice or service. As long as these conditions are maintained, he will enjoy the blessing and the fellowship of the abiding Holy Spirit, who will comfort, strengthen, guide, teach, illuminate, and endow for any needed work or service for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasized the importance of doing the will of the Father. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine."
(Matthew 7:21-28).

Paul exhorted the Christians at Philippi to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
(Philippians 2:12-13).

Paul admonished the young man Timothy to "stir up the gift of God."
(2 Timothy 1:6) and to "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15). Jesus, before He ascended to heaven, commanded His disciples, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even into the end of the world. Amen."
(Matthew 28:19-20). This Great Commission was given to all the followers of Christ, as He desires to have all of His children participate in the spread of His gospel. Each Christian should have a strong sense of belonging to the kingdom of God and a keen consciousness of personal responsibility toward all of the interests of the Kingdom."38

Is it harder
to die for Christ
to live for Christ?

Understanding Christian Holiness-
The Believer�s Call and Destiny by Al Stefan

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all the defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God"
(2 Corinthians 7:1).

"Entire sanctification is a term I have used in this writing to describe holiness of heart.

To the serious follower of Christ the scriptural call to holiness is a real one. It is something that is not taken for granted and dismissed, but prayed over, discussed, sought after, and agonized about. It is also true that the deeper sincere believers walk with the Lord, the more they realize how far from holiness they are. Although they watch and pray, keeping themselves pure in all manner of behavior and speech, and continue to grow in thankfulness to Christ for all he has saved them from; yet, in their spirits they find themselves lacking in inward holiness. During the natural course of life they often experience an inward pull towards self and this world. In the middle of situations where they know what the will of God is, they find an inward pull to self-will and or another way. Or, when they interact with their "neighbor," they at times do not find an inward love, but wrestle with jealousy, envy and even hatred. These natural inward tempers are just some examples of the tendency to sin and self each of us are born with. We might fight this inward pull to self and sin with our best efforts, yet continually we find ourselves in a state of defeat more often than not. So, many believers have agonized and prayed that somehow they could be free from these unholy tempers and desires and find a peace to the war within. Not content to live this way, the serious believer cries out with the Apostle Paul, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"
(Romans 7:24).

We have come to define this inward war as remnants of the "old man" or "carnal nature" that was passed on to all humanity in the "Fall." Many have discussed the remains of the "carnal nature," its ramifications and how to deal with it in our lives. Unfortunately, many of the common remedies are less than effective in curing or at least conquering these inward tempers. In fact, some have come to the opinion that God has ordained or cursed humanity, so that we must struggle with the "old man" until this body puts on immortality. However, the serious believer is never content with this kind of thinking, realizing that in its essence it places God not as a deliverer of evil but as a co-conspirator with it; therefore, making empty the words of Christ when he prayed, "Thy kingdom come they will be done on earth as it is in heaven... and deliver us from evil." No, as followers of Christ, we are admonished time and again through scripture and confirmed by the teaching of the Holy Spirit to: "Be holy, as your Father is holy."
(Matthew 5:48). The scriptural directive to "Be holy" is not something we can argue away or pretend does not exist. It is a clear pronouncement and one God has intended for all his children here on earth.

Genesis chapters 1�3, give us a clear picture of humanity�s design and creation. We were not created to be angels or little gods or anything other than flesh and blood. In fact our bodies and all the systems that they contain were designed to interact with this world, and during this interaction we would live, learn, grow, and develop, in all the ways God had intended. Adam and Eve, as our original parents were created perfectly. The systems in their bodies worked perfectly. Their minds worked perfectly. Their reasoning skills worked perfectly in accordance to their knowledge. In human terms they were completely perfect in all that God had designed them to be. Their physical creation, though perfect, did not stop at this point. God had also designed humanity with an inward nature possessed of a spirit and a soul. This inward nature was a copy of God�s nature or "image." So, the result of this image of God upon the soul of man meant that Adam and Eve filtered all they experienced through the matrix of God�s holiness. Their tempers were in fact fashioned after the very tempers of God. Their natures possessed the very essence of God�s pure love. Therefore, they were not only perfect in physical terms; they were completely holy in their inward natures as well.

This spiritual condition of holiness produced in Adam and Eve all those spiritual fruits of God�s own nature: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, gentleness, kindness and self-control; in a word, all that was good and holy. Adam and Eve never experienced from within even a glimmer of thought to jealousy, pride, hatred, murder, envy, sexual impurity or any other temper we consider evil. No, they existed in a realm of ultimate human innocence and holiness, a condition we call "Adamic Perfection." They lived not only in perfect harmony with the world; they lived in perfect harmony with God. They loved him and experienced absolute fellowship and acceptance from him. They existed perfectly, right where he created them to exist. They did not concern themselves with the perfection of angels, for they were not created to be angels. They operated in perfect holiness inside and out, living perfectly according to their created design. As long as they chose to live in harmony with God�s law, they remained in all ways perfect. In fact, their introduction to evil was from an outside source, Satan. It was not something innate in them to choose evil. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and his will they poisoned their natures and broke their relationship with him. The curse of the �Fall� of our first parents not only placed the judgment of death on each of us, both physically and spiritually, but also, passed on to us a rebellious and self-willed nature. While a remedy for our full spiritual redemption came in the Atonement of Christ, humanity will never regain their original state of Adamic perfection on this earth.

...every day I need the atonement of the blood of Christ for my misjudgments that occur as a result of my infirmities, or this broken flesh. The latter refers to the restoration of my inward nature back to the very image of God and the holiness designed for me from the beginning of creation, creating in me the "clean heart" that King David cried for.

We need to recognize that we will never reach a physical or mental perfection on this earth. This is not only a reality experienced by us daily but also a fact. This fact is illustrated by God�s action when he saw the �Fall� of humanity and made the choice to keep humanity from the �Tree of Life,� Genesis 3:22, which was Adam and Eve�s key to eternal life. His reason was simple: love. It would be cruel to let humanity live forever with the destructive effects of sin in their bodies. God determined that our bodies would die but our spirits would live forever. He also decided that those who believed in him and accepted his plan of salvation would receive a glorified (i.e. perfect and holy) body to house his children�s spirits in the world to come. So, once again we come back to the issue before each of us, that in spite of human limitation and the destructive force sin has had on our flesh, God still calls us to be holy. Therefore, if he calls us to such a spiritual state, he must have a plan to see it accomplished in the believer�s heart.

God�s planned path of holiness must then come through a different way than either a physical or mental path. Much like our personal "born again" experience, to find holiness we must move beyond mere fact and principle, to faith and experience. For our initial and complete salvation was destined to come through one Person, Jesus Christ, and our salvation in him begins in faith and is perfected through faith. He becomes our righteousness and hope. Through him we have our being and it is by him we live and move. We regain in salvation a relationship with him not based on the fear of judgment, but on love and freedom. It is in this continued walk of freedom, through the Holy Spirit who is sent to lead us into all truth, that our inner natures are exposed. This enlightenment from him is not so much to convict us, for we were born with this condition, although we do feel a sense of remorse that we do not love God with our whole hearts. He is aware that we cannot change from this self-centered nature that has been passed on to each of us, through our natural father, Adam. As the scriptures state: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."
Romans 5:12. This "death" is the loss of our spiritual holiness or the image of God, which led each of us to rebel against the laws of God. It was not only for those acts of rebellion that Christ came and died but also to restore the image of God in the human heart, in fact �perfecting holiness in the fear of God." "I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh," declares the Lord in
Ezekiel 36:26. His plan for believers is to conform them to the image of His Son, and we know in
John chapter 1, that Christ is the very image of God. His will for us is this conformity, "for this is the will of God, even your sanctification."
1 Thessalonians 4:3. Entire sanctification then, is a restoration of inward holiness purchased by Christ for the heart of every Christian.

Entire sanctification or holiness of heart is not something to be attained through acts of contrition or repentance, but something to be experienced by faith. Like justification by faith, no works of righteousness can effectively deliver the soul. No, there is only one way and that is through the atonement of Christ. For it is by that same Grace by which you were saved that you find your heart renewed in the image of God. As Paul says in
Romans 2:29: "But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." This application is not something that can be accomplished through knowledge and learning, but it is attained only by faith and submission. Faith and submission to the One who brought you this far in your Christian walk, for "Faithful is he who promised, who also will do it."

Are you willing to be crucified with him, to give him your old-nature that he might renew it in his love? Then forsake your way, and put your heart and life on the altar of his Love and you will soon find that "peace that passes all understanding," and that "holiness without which no one will see the Lord." "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification"
(1 Thessalonians 4:3a).

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope"
(Jeremiah 29:11).39

David and Jonathan by Safe Place Fellowship

"...a covenant between two people, was established between David and Jonathan. Of course, we now have a whole false theology perpetrated which says these two men were homosexuals. Yet, the Scriptures say that they loved each other; surpassing the love of women. This did not mean they were homosexuals; it meant they were brothers. To read more into this covenant is less than Biblical interpretive honesty. The picture of covenant between two is clearly framed due to the love these two men had for each other. You can read about this covenant relationship in
1 Samuel chapter 20. Upon Jonathan's death in battle, David makes his statement concerning his love for Jonathan surpassing the love of women in
2 Samuel chapter 1. Again, to interpret this as homosexual in nature violates every hermeneutical rule concerning Biblical interpretation of a text. Of course, you have no problem with the simple interpretation of this story unless you have an unholy agenda you are attempting to promote."

"God�s Three Steps:
Paul explains the three steps of God�s plan: "Those whom he predestined, he also called; those whom he called, he also justified; those whom he justified, he also glorified"
(Romans 8:28-30).

All Christians are called to this perfection of charity. "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"
(Matthew 5:48)."In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength given them by Christ�s gift. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance� (Second Vatican Council).

Holiness comes only by the way of the cross. Progress comes through discipline and mortification which lead to peace and joy. "He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end" (Saint Gregory of Nyssa)."40

A Few Sanctification Quotes by Piety Hill Design

"Tell me not of your justification, unless you have also marks of sanctification. Boast not of Christ's work for you, unless you can show us the Spirit's work in you."
by J.C. Ryle

"God preserves the saints, but He does not pickle them."
by Vance Havner

"God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way."
by Max Lucado

"The nature of Christ's salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness."
by A.W. Pink41

Sanctification by Concordia Lutheran Conferance


"While Scripture uses the term "sanctification" in a wider sense, referring to the entire work of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of men
(I Corinthians 6:11), nevertheless, Scripture also speaks of sanctification in a narrower sense, namely, with reference to the Christian life. We teach that sanctification or Godly living follows justification as the result and necessary fruit of saving faith. It never precedes faith, for the Bible states plainly: "Without faith it is impossible to please (God),"
(Hebrews 11:6). Sanctification, however, is not a self-produced and self-motivated process of renovation in the believer, but the creation of a new man within him who is able, by God's grace, to avoid sin and do works pleasing to God, walking in the fruits of the Spirit, moved by the Spirit, led and enabled by the Spirit of God through the means of Grace. Good works in Christian sanctification cannot be produced by compulsion of the Law, but only by the sweet urgings of the Gospel, which remind us of God's great love for us in Christ Jesus. It is that love which "constrains" us to be rich in good works, walking in accordance with His holy Law, as evidence of our love for Him. Sanctification is progressive in the Christian, but perfection in sanctification will not be attained until he enters eternal life."42

It's hard to live a life of holiness
you like to live a life of unholiness

Sanctification- A Christian Responsibility
by All About Following Jesus

"Sanctification is one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian walk. Our natural tendency is to embrace sin, yet God in His divine wisdom has chosen to give us the responsibility of working out our own sanctification. "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work," says
2 Timothy 2:21.

But how do we pursue sanctification? How are we personally responsible? Lovingly, God has sent His Holy Spirit and His written Word, the Bible, to guide us. Though every person's sanctification is unique and personal, there are common disciplines in the pursuit of sanctification that are unchanging.

Sanctification- Practical Steps:

Prayer is of utmost importance. When we are suffering or facing temptation, our mind and body are weak. Satan knows this and tries to take advantage of us. When we pray, we are in spiritual union with God. Not only will prayer comfort us in our hardship, but it will also give us the strength to overcome sin. Through prayer, we are also more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

God has also given us the written Word- the Bible. The Bible is not merely a history book, but its words have the power to sanctify us. When Satan tempted Jesus in
Matthew chapter 4, Jesus used the Word of God to overcome temptation. "But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'"
(Matthew 4:4).

God's Word also has the power to transform our mind, convict, and bring to light the darkness that is within our hearts. It is the instrument which God uses to develop in us knowledge, faith, and personal holiness; all of which are essential elements of sanctification. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"
(Hebrews 4:12). Whether by studying or listening to teaching, the sanctifying work of God's Word is enormous to a believer who recognizes its truth and power.

Believers are also sanctified in worship. True fervent worship is what God desires from His people. When our worship is genuine, it transforms our hearts and brings us into close union with God. John 4:23 says, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."

Additionally, before Jesus ascended into heaven he tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for a gift God will send
(Acts chapter 1). This is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate helper and sanctifier. When we yield to His leading, He has the power to help us resist sin and make positive change. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh"
(Galatians 5:16).

When we sin and ignore the Holy Spirit's leading, we break fellowship with the Him, thereby cutting off the life-changing power.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 commands us: "Do not quench the Spirit."

Sanctification- Key to Spiritual Growth:

Sanctification is both a matter of position and progression. We are sanctified because Jesus Christ has saved us and yet sanctification continues to work within to transform us unto the likeness of Christ. Sanctification is the responsibility of every believer in Christ. When we choose to pursue sanctification in our life, positive growth occurs. The pursuit of it involves the surrender of the body and the will to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It takes time and is a working progress that cannot be hurried. Like a newborn baby that gradually matures unto adulthood, so is the work of sanctification in the life of a new believer. The work of sanctification will ultimately be completed in every believer's life when Jesus Christ returns. This is the hope of every Christian.

Paul puts it best in his epistle to the Thessalonians: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"
(1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Go Deeper With God Now!"43


I hope you have enjoyed reading and studying my article on holiness to God. It is an awesome study and I have gotten a blessing out of writing it and putting it all together. All issues of life come from the heart- the intentions of the human heart. Since I am an evangelist I like to write articles that unbelievers will read in the hopes of winning each one to Christ. However, once in awhile, I write an article like this to teach or encourage other Christian believers.

I think that holiness is a major factor in one's walk with the Lord. It is essential, not optional. Through the studying of the truths on this web page I hope that you get a balanced perspective on one's holiness, find out what it is and how it is to be applied to one's life and how it is to be lived.

I thank each contributor for the above article. Each one appears to love Jesus Christ and is concerned about helping others and the Lord will reward you for your efforts and for your kindness. I have quoted your work and given the reference or the web address at the bottom of this page.

I have tried to physically make the web page colorful as well as attractive and easy to read and use. I also think of each web page as a creation of artwork and I enjoy creating each one.

On the Firing Line,
Kraig J. Rice

For parting comments I like what J. Vernon McGee had to say:

"A holy God cannot look upon evil and iniquity. That is the reason no one can go to heaven with his sin on him. That is why we must all have the forgiveness for our sins. We all need the cleansing power of the blood of the Lamb. We must be given a new nature. We must be born again. Even Nicodemus, a very religious man, needed to be born again and to receive a new nature. Religion will not wash away sin. It is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ who died and rose again that will wash away sin. God cannot look on iniquity, and He never will look on iniquity. That is why there is no entrance into heaven for you until your sin has been dealt with.

You see, when God forgives you, it is because the penalty for your sin has been paid for by His Son. God is not a sentimental old gentleman who doesn't have the heart to judge little man down here on this earth. God is a holy God who will not look upon iniquity. Your sin will have to be confessed and forgiven before you can be accepted by Him."
(reference: Habakkuk 1:13).44

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God"
[2 Corinthians 5:20].

"Who is an ambassador? Webster says an ambassador is a minister of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the official representative of his own government or sovereign. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." We are in a foreign land� Peter says that we are pilgrims and strangers down here. Paul says, "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ"
(Philippians 3:20). Since our citizenship is in heaven, we are ambassadors down here.

When one government sends an ambassador to another government, it means they are on friendly relations. God is still friendly with this world. He has sent us as His ambassadors. One day He will call His ambassadors home. Then judgment will begin.

When man sinned, God in His holiness had to turn away from the world. But God loved man, so He sent His own Son to die on the cross. Now God can hold out His arms to the world and say, "You can come." We are His ambassadors. As His ambassadors, we are to tell folk, "God will save you!" All God is asking any man to do is to come to Him. God will not try to get even with you. He doesn't want to punish you. He doesn't want to lay a hand on you. He invites all people everywhere to come to Him.

This is a great day. We have the privilege of saying to you, "Be ye reconciled to God." All He asks you to do is to turn to Him. How can He do this? It is because Christ bore it all for us.

On Him almighty vengeance fell
That would have sunk a world to hell,
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our hiding place.
God is reconciled. You don't need to do one thing to win Him over. You don't have to shed tears to soften the heart of God. He loves you, He wants to save you. Why?

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him"
[2 Corinthians 5:21].

Jesus Christ took my place down here. He, who knew no sin, came that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He has given me His place, clothed in His righteousness. He took my hell down here so that I might have His heaven up yonder. He did that for me.

Christian friend, have you been able to get out this wonderful Word to anyone else? Whoever you are, wherever you are, however you are, what are you doing today to get this Word of reconciliation out to a lost world? God is reconciled. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He feels toward you just as He did the day Christ died on the cross for you and for all mankind. This is what the world needs to hear from you. The world is reconciled to Him, but they will have to turn around and by faith come to Him. Let's get this word out, my friend."45


1Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, included some of this information about Sanctification
2I got this information at the Assemblies of God Bible College (Bethany University) that I attended many years ago. The info is just as relevant today as it was back then and it is my delight to share it with you.
3A web author at [email protected]
4J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 1, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 506 & 507.
5American Bible Society Tract, New York, N.Y., 1976, English Selection TEV 860P
6The pastor of Middletown Bible Church in Middletown, Connecticut, had these scriptures to share with us:
7Music and Lyrics of Hold The Line, 2001, Terence Chua, http://www.khaosworks.org/filk/line.html
8Extravagant Grace, Women of Faith, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000, pages 177-179.
9Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, Warner Faith, New York, N.Y., 2004, page 92.
10Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, Warner Faith, New York, N.Y., 2004, CHAPTER 8, pages 65-69
11Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002, pages 179-183.
12Max Lucado, A Heart Like Jesus, W Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee, 2002, pages 61-62.
13Extravagant Grace, Women of Faith, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000, pages 53-54
14Quoted from Bob Deffinbaugh from Precept Austin Ministries (2006)
15J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 1, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 411-412.
16J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 1, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 322.
17J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 2, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 125 & 126.
18J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 2, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 792.
19J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 3, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 898-899.
20J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 4, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 482.
21J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 4, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 677.
22J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 121.
23J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 182.
24J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 356-358.
25J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, pages 391-392.
26J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 684-685.
27Extravagant Grace, Women of Faith, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000, pages 104-106.
28Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, Word Books, Waco, Texas, 1978, pages 86-95
29Trey Kerux's Tract on Holiness, http://www.treysdomain.org/biblestudy/holiness.html
30God, Faith and Politics by Dr. M. Pete, http://www.revempete.us/AFreshStart/Inspirational/GodFaithPolitics.html
31Dr. Charles Ware's Article on Holiness, http://www.ifca.org/voice/01Jul-Aug/ware.htm
32Rev. George Parsons Article on Holiness, http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/rulelife.htm
33S.L. Brengle's Article on Holiness, http://www.revivaltheology.com/EarlyOberlinCD/CD/Preachers/BrengleHoliness.htm
34The Reality Of Holiness by Craig Luper, http://www.crossandcrownchurch.org/reality_of_holiness.htm
35Christian Holiness by Craig Brophy, http://www.nazarene.org/iboe/riie/Didache/didache_vol3_1/holiness1.html
36The Holy Spirit and the Holy Life by Chester K. Lehman, http://www.bibleviews.com/holyspirit6.html
37Born to Holiness by John MacArthur, http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg59-8.htm
38Holiness In Practical Living By Lewis T. Corlett, http://pastorpedro.org/HDM0080.htm
39Pastor Al Stefan, 1999, Hope Christian Church, http://www.eternalsecurity.us/understanding_christian_holiness.htm
44J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 3, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 843.
45J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee," Volume 5, Thru the Bible Radio, Box 7100, Pasadena, California, 91109, page 114.

Additional Articles at BOW on Holiness and Sanctification

Sanctification As A Jehovah Name for Jesus Christ (Christ is our sanctification. Study to see how...)
Take the Holiness Test (See if you can ace it...)
Sanctification article
Resisting temptation
God's Stop Signs article
Testimonies (Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith)
A Bible Study About Miracles
     Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles. Maybe He has one for you...
A Man Trying To Get Away From God
     Here is a true story about a wounded Christian who threw it all away and how he came back to God.
     This story may give you hope if you need it because God never stops loving and reaching out
     to those who are wounded.

Ministerial Encouragement
     If you are a discouraged pastor, pastor's wife, or Christian leader then this article may help you.
What About Your Life? (One of my tracts on sanctification)
Showing Through article
Nothing Is Hid article

Additional links you might be interested in:
Proof for the Existence of God The Bible Is Special
Teaching Creation Versus Evolution Testimonies of Former Homosexuals

Take A Look


The Battle Bow Bible Teaching Series

If you want to study the Holy Bible online then this is the place to go to.


started on July 16, 2006