Weekly Devotional 6-20-22 / Holiness a.k.a. Righteousness Needed
Have you ever considered the holiness of God and what that means to you and me, to all people from Adam forward? It is impossible of course for the finite mind to fully grasp the holiness of God. The unregenerate person considers the holiness of God from his logic and rational, a view that is distorted by sin. This view permits man to approach holy God on his or her own terms, by their own merit. The regenerate person views the holiness of God as being far above themselves. This view permits the regenerate person to approach holy God only because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The unregenerate man believes that he may win favor with holy God by some deed or deeds (good works). The regenerate person knows that He has gained favor with God only because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his behalf. The unregenerate man holds that God is a loving God and will, at his death, accept him into His presence not knowing that the holiness of God will not permit it. The regenerate man knows that God is a loving God, but also a just God, a God’s whose justice demands that man be holy; to be holy a man must be declared holy not because of his own merit, but because of the work of Christ in his life.
Unregenerate man believes that he can live life in a moderate way and be acceptable of Holy God. He believes that God will wink at his “peccadilloes” (offenses) and still commune with and have fellowship with him. He does not understand that the holiness of God will not permit it. For instance, Jesus said to His disciples, “2If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). At this point in His earthly ministry (His ministry of first advent) Jesus had begun telling His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and be killed. Peter rebuked Him for this and in response Jesus spoke the above words. His point was (and is), for one to be a true follower he (or she) must forsake self-rule and come under Jesus’ authority. The holiness of God demands it. Why? Because in self-rule man is subject to, and will fulfill, the desires of the flesh which is at enmity (war) with God.
To be holy the unregenerate man must be regenerated to newness of spiritual life. He must put on the new man which has been created in true righteousness and holiness. He must put off his former conduct of life “fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language. He must leave behind lying and deceit. He must seek to be holy, living a life of mercy, kindness, humility, and meekness, He must strive to be long-suffering as he bears the short comings of others. He must be forgiving as Christ was forgiving of him. He must not give place to the devil, and he must not grieve the Holy Spirit. What-ever he does he must do as Christ would do (See Ephesians 4:17-30).
To be holy as described above is an impossibility someone might say, and they would be correct if it depended on man himself, but with the new birth comes the Holy Spirit to indwell him. The regenerate man must live in and by His power. Considering what Paul added in his message to the Ephesians. “16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25).
God has declared that there is no fellowship between righteousness and lawlessness, there is no compatibility between spiritual light and spiritual darkness, and that there is no accord between Christ (God) and the evil one (2nd Corinthians 6:14b-15a). Because God is holy no unrighteous, no unholy persons can be in His presence. of holy God But to overcome this God became man and in the person of Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross of calvary paying the price of cleansing and redemption.
I close with these words from the writer of Hebrews: “1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’ 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me– To do Your will, O God.’ 8 Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:1-10).
Because no law, sacrifice or work of man offered to God can obtain holiness, God freely gives it to man through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His only begotten son. It was the shedding of His holy unblemished blood that satisfied God’s judgment against sin. Because of His sacrifice God can impute His righteousness to those who turn to Him for cleansing and forgiveness. The ques-tion is, have you so turned?
stevelampman.com / Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man