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Don’t Let Your Daughter Send an Invitation to Her Party – Revive Our Hearts

By Trent Griffith

If I remember right, the year was 1985. As a pimple-faced high-school senior, I attended a Christian youth convention along with 7,000 other bundles of exploding hormones (otherwise known as teenagers). The keynote speaker was a young and impressive black preacher who held us on the edge of our seats with his high energy, constant motion, and vivid word pictures. His assignment that day was to call us to a life of moral purity. His passion for the subject was evidenced by the fact that with each point, his voice would raise an octave. At the climax of his message, he turned his attention toward the girls among us. Unhindered by what seemed like gravel on his vocal chords and sweat beads on his forehead, his voice crescendoed with a plea I will never forget: “IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO COME TO YOUR PARTY, THEN DON’T SEND ME AN INVITATION!”

The phenomenon produced by that statement was amazing. Hundreds of young ladies began crossing their arms and tugging at their skirts to try to conceal something that was exposed by immodest clothing.

Proverbs 7 introduces us to what the King James Version calls a “strange woman.” The first characteristic identified in her is that she was “dressed as a harlot.” Whatever that means, it is certainly something no parent wants his daughter to be characterized by. So why are parents so reluctant to prevent their daughters from “dressing as harlots”?

1. Many parents are using the wrong standard of comparison. Paul warns us of this when he says, “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12b, ESV). Some parents honestly feel that their daughters are modest compared to what they see in the world. And compared to the immorality they could be involved in, the way they dress seems pretty innocuous. What they fail to understand is that immodest apparel now could be the door to immoral behavior down the road.

2. Moms may have seen their daughters wrongly in competition with other girls, and they may actually be encouraging their daughters not to be outdone by the external appearance of their peers. They may have fallen for the lie that external beauty is of supreme value. They have mistakenly communicated to their daughters, “Pursue all the attention you can get through the way you dress.” Proverbs contrasts the value that God places on internal beauty versus external beauty: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (11:22, NASB).

3. Dads are usually depending on their wives to regulate their daughters’ apparel. However, as sincere as a mom may be in helping her daughter dress appropriately, she simply cannot see through the eyes of a man. Dads understand in a way moms can’t how the slightest indiscretion in a woman’s dress can place impure thoughts in a man’s mind. Therefore, Dad must get involved.

4. Some dads have such a fragile relationship with their daughters that they are afraid to risk a confrontation that may widen the gap in their relationship. They don’t want to be accused of being the “fashion police” or be viewed as the “bad guy.” Many dads have neglected to invest “parental capital” they can spend when they need to speak the truth in love to their daughters. Girls whose dads who have not given them proper amounts of attention may try to seek the attention of other guys through the way they dress. Dads must recognize how this can set up a young lady for moral impurity.

5. Other dads tragically have been desensitized to the way their daughters dress because of a stronghold of pornography in their life. They simply fail to notice seductive clothing on their daughters because they have so often let their eyes feast on impure images.

Now, as the father of three pre-adolescent girls, I have been convicted by God of my responsibility to prevent the invitations from going out with my return address on them. So I’m starting early! I have established the Daddy-Gets-To-See-It-First policy. Every time one of my girls gets a new outfit, we have a little fashion show. You should see how they gleefully eat up the attention of their daddy as I tell them how elegant and beautiful they are, strolling down the runway. But my purpose is not to see if they are in fashion. That’s Mom’s expertise. I am looking to see if they are wearing anything in a way that would cause rounds of hormones to explode in a guy as he looks at my daughters. I ask myself, “Is it too low, too high, too tight, or otherwise too revealing? Would what they are wearing cause the eye of a man to be drawn to any part of their body he has no business dwelling on, thereby sending an invitation to a guy I don’t want at their party?” If an article of clothing doesn’t pass the test, it finds a new home.

The “Why, Daddy?” questions are answered with a simple, “It’s just not best,” usually followed by an, “Okay, Daddy.” Frankly, I have found little that would fall into the “not best” category on my one, four, and eight year olds, but I realize that if I try to implement my policy when they are eleven, fourteen, or eighteen, I will probably have difficulty coaxing them down the runway. I figure starting now will ensure they still value my input when “Okay, Daddy” is harder to get!

Recently I was asked to address the issue of modesty at a local Christian school board meeting. Several parents had been pressing the school to enforce its dress code. In the midst of the meeting, one man threw up his hands in frustration that the local churches had not addressed the issue in their youth groups. That same week I had a discussion with pastors who were appalled at how parents could allow their children to dress so immodestly when they came to church. It was a cycle of irresponsibility. The parents pointed their finger at the school; the school blamed the church; the church leadership pointed their finger (and rightly so) at the parents.

Let’s break the cycle! Otherwise, Dads, don’t be surprise when unwanted guys start showing up at your daughter’s party!

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com [email protected]



Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

Modesty Quote

Attire of a Harlot !?!

A Church In Need of Prayer – (Part 2) Specifically the comments

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Modesty Quote

What would it mean if our churches stopped encouraging our own teenage and preteen daughters to dress like Hooters Girls? What would it mean if we insisted that our young girls insist on being treated with the dignity with which they were created? What if fathers and brothers and uncles took seriously the command to guard such dignity, even to the point of turning away from buying someone else’s daughter as a “product” on the cover of a sports magazine or a fashion catalog? What would it mean if our senior adult ladies took time to share the Gospel and a cup of coffee with the young woman who thinks all she has to offer is a tight T-shirt and a miniskirt?
~~~~~~
Russell D. Moore
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The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Take this test by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and see what you think.

1. According to the Bible, the primary purpose of clothing is to cover the body.

2. There’s nothing right or wrong about particular clothing styles. It’s all just a matter of taste and personal opinion.

3. The Bible tells us what styles of clothing Christians should wear.

4. Since the Bible says God looks on the heart, what we wear and how we appear aren’t that important; it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

5. Our clothes and appearance reveal a lot about our values, our character, and beliefs.

6. What I wear is not really anyone else’s concern. I should be free to wear the kind of clothes that I like and that I feel comfortable wearing.

7. Modesty means dressing in a way that is outdated, dumpy, and unattractive.

8. If a girl doesn’t wear trendy clothes that are at least a little revealing, guys won’t notice her.

9. Except for guys who are “over-sexed,” most men are not really affected by the way women dress. Most guys don’t even notice how women dress.

10. I can’t help it if guys struggle morally because of what I wear. It’s up to the guys to control their minds. I shouldn’t have to change the way I dress just because they can’t control themselves.

11. Parents shouldn’t impose their standards or beliefs about clothing on their kids. They should let them make their own decisions, even if they don’t approve of what their kids are wearing.

12. Christians are free to dress as they wish, because we’re not under the law, but under grace. It’s legalistic for parents or youth leaders to establish guidelines or standards for the way young people dress.

13. Christian women should never wear clothes that are revealing or that look sexy (i.e., clothes designed to arouse sexual desire or interest).

14. There are some public settings where it is okay for Christian women to wear clothing that exposes their private parts (e.g., thighs, breasts).

15. A woman can be covered from head to toe and still be dressed immodestly.

16. A woman can wear modest clothing and still be an immodest woman.

17. Most girls and women do not understand the meaning, the power, or the benefits of true modesty.

The Style Quiz Answer Key

1. True. God designed clothing to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, which became shameful after they sinned.

2. False. Choosing clothing styles is not just a matter of personal taste and opinion. Clothing choices should be based on biblical principles (e.g., modesty, moderation, and gender distinctiveness).

3. False. The Bible doesn’t spell out specifics of “right” and “wrong” clothing choices.

4. False. You can’t separate what’s on the inside from what’s on the outside. The external is a reflection of the heart.

5. True. A woman’s clothing and appearance are powerful non-verbal communicators of what she believes.

6. False. Everything we do—including the way we dress—affects others. As believers, we have an obligation to be sensitive to others and to avoid anything that could put temptation in the path of another.

7. False. We may not be able to wear all the most popular trends, but it is possible to be fashionable and modest.

8. False. It’s a matter of what kind of attention you want, and from whom. The right kind of guys will be drawn to women who are modest—inside and out!

9. False. Even godly men can be easily enticed to lust by the sight of an immodest woman.

10. False. We may not be completely responsible for how guys think, but we are responsible for modest appearance so we do not tempt them to sin.

11. False. Parents are responsible to provide guidelines, instruction, and, where necessary, restraint for children who are still in their home. (This does not mean that parents should not give their children freedom to express their own tastes, when those preference do not violate biblical principles.)

12. False. Every area of a believer’s life is to be lived under the authority and lordship of Jesus Christ. Grace gives us the desire and ability to please God. Parents and spiritual leaders are responsible to provide wise, biblical leadership for those under their authority.

13. False. It is absolutely appropriate for a woman to be sexy (in private settings) with her husband!

14. False. “Place” does not determine modesty. Unfortunately, when it comes to swimwear and formal wear, many Christian women do not even consider the issue of modesty, or they are content to settle for a standard that is “relatively” modest—i.e., modest compared to what “most people wear”—rather than asking, “Is this truly modest?”

15. True. A woman can be dressed from head to toe and still be immodest, if her attire is revealing, clingy, or too tight.

16. True. Modesty involves more than just our clothing. It includes our attitudes, the way we talk, and our behavior—how we walk, use our eyes, engage with others, etc.

17. True. Unfortunately, many Christian girls and women have never taken the time to discover God’s will concerning biblical modesty. They do not realize the great rewards and blessings modesty will bring to them and to others.

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com. [email protected]

Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

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Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“I do not so much have to pray up when I’m preaching under a tent in inner-city San Anton[io], but I have to pray up and know that I am walking with the Lord when I walk into an average Baptist church because of the way most people dress. And you say, “It’s legalism.” No it’s not. They’re commands in the Bible. It doesn’t say we’re all supposed to dress like a Puritan, but it does say we’re supposed to be decent and cause no offense or stumbling. “Well you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yes you can! Jesus said you can; by their fruits you will know them.”
~~~~~~

Paul Washer

Quote from Defending.Contending.

Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

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Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

Calvin Klein’s clothing idea is selling and advertising the body with the clothes that one wears.

Klein moved on to design the tight fitting jeans that would sell 200,000 in the first week thus simultaneously launching him into fashion designer/celebrity status in the clothing design industry.

…he had created a designer-jeans craze by putting his name on the back pocket. The jeans were famously advertised with a commercial featuring a 15-year-old Brooke Shields cooing in 1979/80 that “nothing comes between me and my Calvins” and “I’ve got seven Calvins in my closet, and if they could talk, I’d be ruined.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_Klein

Here are a few of John Calvin’s thoughts about Clothing

“Where is our gratefulness toward God for our clothing if in the sumptuousness of our apparel we both admire ourselves and despise others, if with its elegance and glitter we prepare ourselves for shameless conduct?”

“Where is our recognition of God if our minds be fixed upon the splendor of our apparel? For many so enslave all their senses to delights that the mind lies overwhelmed.” From Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.

So whose ideas are closer to yours in your choice of clothing?

I have had several people comment on the fact that I said the Bama Twins were immodest young ladies and should not be held up as an example before the church and our daughters. I am shocked at how little professing Christians know about modesty. This is something that all preachers and fathers should be teaching their church and daughters.

Just yesterday a commenter said that “a turtleneck sweater” and “wearing a dress to the floor” could not be considered immodest. That is incorrect and over the following series of posts I will show that yes, a “turtleneck” and a “dress to the floor” can be immodest.

I’ll caution that the modesty posts will have a frank discussion of clothing and the attitudes behind clothing choices. It will be suitable for women, fathers and church leaders in order to help us as women to not be stumbling blocks to others. But please do not let a discussion on clothing be a stumbling block to you. If this is an area in which you might stumble please avoided the modesty posts.

Modesty Posts:

Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald

The Style Quiz by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Paul Washer on Modesty in the Church

“Modesty Heart Check” by Carolyn Mahaney

Calvin Klein vs John Calvin’s Opinions on Clothing

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Have You Made a Covenant With Your Eyes?

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?   KJV

Here are a couple of other versions.

Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?  ESV

Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? NASB

The NIV translation is very poor here. They added a word that was not in the original.

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” NIV

The Message does a typically terrible job here. The Message does not translate the verse (it only paraphases verses, anywhere) but in addition it totally changes the meaning of the verse.

Job 31:1 “I made a solemn pact with myself never to undress a girl with my eyes.” MSG

The Hebrew word is not lust. It is the root word biyn (bene) which is translated as to consider, perceive, regard, think, and view.

There is no lust involved here, it means to not look upon a maiden.

etbowneen – to look upon or consider.


Just a note of warning avoid all MSG – it is bad for you!

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Principles of Holiness – Principle 9

Holiness Principle #9 – I will be a slave to nothing except Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

12 “Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything.
13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”-but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
(NIV)

Before we begin studying these verses, the first thing that I want to say is that although this passage is directly written against sexual immorality, you can apply it to many other sins that we commit with our body besides just sexual immorality. You are not off the hook if you don’t have a problem with sexual immorality.

In the beginning of verse 12, Paul says that all things are lawful for him. Another way of saying this same phrase is that all things are permissible. Paul is not saying that sin is permissible. Within the context of 1 Corinthians, what Paul is saying is that the Christian is not bound by legalism, either to the Mosaic law, or to the customs of their culture. In particular, the letter of 1 Corinthians is written in large part to address the matter of whether or not it is right to eat meat which had been sacrificed to idols and then sold in the market.

But even though Paul says that all things are lawful for him, he goes on to say two things in contrast to this freedom. First, Paul says that even though all things are lawful for him, not all things are beneficial to him. Another way to say this is that not all things are helpful or expedient. It is easy to think of some parallels in our society today. Such might be smoking or alcohol. Second, Paul says that even though all things are lawful for him, he will not be brought under the power of any of these things. Paul says that he will not be mastered by anything. In a similar vein, Paul writes in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (NIV)

In the first part of verse 13, Paul gives a specific example of what he is talking about in verse 12. “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them.” (NKJV) Two things that need to be pointed out here. First, notice that all material things have their appropriate use. Food is made for the hungry stomach, not as a drug for depression or loneliness. Drugs are made for healing, not for recreation. Sex is made for marriage, not for experimentation. Second, notice that all material things have their appointed end. Food and the stomach are not worth being mastered by because they will both pass out of existence before too long. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on this verse, makes a very good point. “The expectation we have of being without bodily appetites in a future life is a very good argument against being under their power in the present life.

In the last half of verse 13, Paul extends the discussion of freedom to the matter of sexual immorality. Just as food and the stomach are suitable to each other, the body and the Lord are suitable to each other. And then natural extension of this fact is that the body is not suitable to sexual immorality. Just as the Corinthian church had a problem with what to do with meat offered to idols, it had an even worse problem with sexual immorality in the church. In 1 Corinthians 5:1 Paul writes this: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father’s wife!” (NKJV)

Now, we must ask the question “Why?” Why is it that the things we do with our bodies – things like gluttony, illegal drugs, excessive drinking, and particularly sexual immorality – have an eternal impact? In verses 14-20, Paul gives us seven reasons why the things we do with our bodies in the here and now have an eternal impact. Allow me to give you a brief overview of the major theme of these verses. Look through them and see how many times you see the words “fornication”, “sexual immorality”, “harlot”, and “prostitute”. These are all forms of a single Greek word – “pornea”.

The first reason our actions have an internal impact is because we will be resurrected, just as Jesus Christ was resurrected. Verse 14 says “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” (NKJV) Even though Jesus had a new body that was able to do miraculous things, he still bore in him the marks of his crucifixion. Is it unreasonable to think that we might also bear the marks of what we have done with our bodies into eternity?

The second reason our actions have an eternal impact is because our bodies are members of Jesus’ body. This is seen in verse 15. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” (NKJV) We learned in our study of spiritual gifts that we are all parts of one body, and Jesus Christ is head of that body. When we do stupid things with our body, we do stupid things with the entire body of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s specific example, if one Christian participates in sexual immorality, its effect is that the entire body of Christ has participated in sexual immorality.

The third reason our actions have an eternal impact is because our bodies are inseparably made one flesh with whatever – or whoever – we choose to join them with. This is seen in verses 16-17. “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (NKJV) Two examples are given in these verses. First, anyone that chooses to participate in sexual immorality with another person has made themselves one flesh with that other person. That was God’s rule from the beginning, and while it is blessed in marriage, it is still true outside of marriage. Second, anyone who has made the decision to join with Jesus Christ is one in spirit with him. Do you see the word “joined” twice in verses 16-17? Or perhaps your version of the Bible has the word “united”. It is the Greek word “kolloa”. It is the verb form of the noun “kolla”, which means “glue”. Verses 16-17 might have been much more graphic if the translators had used the literal meaning of the word. You may choose to be glued to another person in sexual immorality, or glued to the Lord. Take your pick.

The fourth reason our actions have an eternal impact is because there are certain sins – particularly sexual immorality – that are sins which directly defile our own bodies, and also the body of another person. In verse 18 we read “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (NKJV) Another thing to note in this verse: there are many temptations that we are told to stand up against, and to fight. Sexual immorality is a sin that we are told to flee.

The fifth reason our actions have an eternal impact is because we have the eternal Holy Spirit living inside our bodies. We read in verse 19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (NKJV) When we as Christians choose to sin, we desecrate the temple which the Holy Spirit lives in within our bodies.

The sixth reason our actions have an eternal impact is because our bodies no longer belong to us. That is the message of verses 19-20. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (NKJV) Our bodies were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. They belong to God. And when we sin with our bodies, we dishonor God who owns our bodies. Take for example a new car. If you wrecked a brand new car, which would be worse, if it was yours or if it were a friend’s? Of course it would be worse if it were a friend’s. Because it does not belong to me.

The seventh reason our actions have an eternal impact is because of the price that was paid for our bodies. We read in verse 20 “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (NKJV) The word “bought” near the beginning of verse 20 is the Greek word for “market”, and here carries the idea of being bought in the slave market. The idea is this: we were a slave to sin, but God paid the price of the blood of Jesus Christ to buy us away from sin and to his glory. When we sin, we run away from God to serve our old master. Go back to idea of wrecking a friend’s brand new car. Would it be worse if it cost $300 or $30,000? The latter, of course. But that is not the order of magnitude we are talking about. When we sin, it is like we are wrecking a friend’s $3 million dollar one-of-a-kind Rolls Royce. Because that is just a hint of the price God paid for you.

This is the conclusion of the Principles of Holiness.

By Berean Husband

Here are the links for the previous Principles for Holiness posts.









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Principles of Holiness – Principle 4

Holiness Principle #4 – The truth about the holiness of my life will be revealed at the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:9-13

9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
(NIV)

Here’s a mental picture to begin with today. Suppose you have committed a very serious crime and have been arrested. You are in jail and your trial date has been set. In your jail cell there is another person who has been accused of a crime just as serious as yours. And it turns out that his trial date is the same as yours. As the both of you languish in jail, your trial dates get closer and closer. It’s a month before your trial. Then it’s the week before your trial. Now it’s the day before your trial. And you look over to your cellmate, and say, “I’m worried about you. I don’t think you’ve got a very good defense. You need to spend some time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and get ready to face the judge tomorrow.” It’s 24 hours before YOU are going to trial for YOUR crime and you’re worried about someone else’s defense? You should be worried about your OWN defense.

But do we Christians not do the exact same thing? Every day every one of us gets closer and closer to facing Jesus on his judgment seat to give an account for our lives. But we spend our time pointing out the faults and failures of other people instead of examining our own lives. That is the point Paul is making in verse 10. “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” (NIV) We should be a lot less concerned about judging others and pay more attention to judging ourselves. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:31 “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” (NIV)

Let’s go back to the example of the courtroom. If you have ever been in court before, you know the feeling of respect and awe that the judge holds. You are very careful with every word you say. You are never disrespectful to the judge. Why? Because the judge has a position of authority over you. The judge could make your life very miserable, or he could be lenient. Is this any less true with Jesus Christ? Every time we make a decision in our life, we should realize that we will have to give an account for that decision before Jesus Christ. Will I be able to defend the actions that I will take today and the decisions I make?

Maybe someone reading this has figured out a plan. They say, “I’m not going to the judgment seat of Christ.” Well, my friend, I don’t think you’ll have the option. Hebrews 9:27 tells us “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (NKJV) And again, we read in 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (NIV) Now, I want to make it clear that I believe that this judgment is not for the purpose of condemnation, but rather is for the purpose of commendation. We are told in Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV)

So if we all must face the judgment seat of Christ, what will we be judged for? There are three things that Jesus will judge each and every Christian based on: our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. This is not a complete list, but is representative of the level of holiness that God expects from every Christian. Let’s look at these three in reverse order.

First, every Christian will be judged based on their deeds. That is, we will be judged based on the works which we do. Read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
(NIV)

Notice that the foundation is all-important. We can do good works for an entire lifetime and it is nothing but filth before God unless it is built on the foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Philippians 3:4-9). But also notice that the quality of the works built on the foundation of Jesus Christ is important. Some works are compared to precious metals and fine jewels. Other works are compared to sticks and hay. Paul then uses the imagery of light and fire that will test the quality of the works. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus likens the heat of the sun to times of testing and trials in our lives. If what we have built on the foundation of Jesus Christ survives the fire that tests the quality of our works, then we will receive our reward. But if our works are destroyed, then we lose our reward, but we will still be saved.

Second, every Christian will be judged based on their words. Read Matthew 12:34-37:

34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
(NIV)

Why are the words we speak so important? After all, they have no substance. They are spoken, and then they are gone. Very little of what we say gets recorded here on earth. Most of our words have little lasting effect. In verse 36, we are even told that we are judged based on our “careless” words. The Greek word is “argos”. It doesn’t mean “careless” as in “hurtful”, it means “careless” as in “inactive”. The KJV uses the word “idle”. The Bible recognizes that most of what we will say is nothing but careless, idle conversation. So why are these words so important that we will be judged based on EVERY ONE of them? The answer to this question is found at the end of verse 34. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (NIV) The best indication of the state of a person’s heart is what comes out of their mouth when they speak. And yes, that means when you are giving a speech, or delivering a sermon, or teaching a class, or testifying about your faith. But it also means what you said about last Saturday’s football game Monday morning at work. And what you said Tuesday morning when your car wouldn’t start. And what you told your wife when you were an hour late coming in from work on Wednesday. And what you told your mom when you came in from your date on Friday night. I imagine we should all do a better job monitoring what comes out of our mouths.

Third, every Christian will be judged based on their thoughts. We are told in Romans 2:16 “On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts).” (AMP). And again, in Hebrews 4:12-13 we are told “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (NIV) Someone may object, “I can’t control my thoughts! How can I be judged for something I have no control over?” I respond that your premise is not true because it is not Biblical. You can, and in fact, are advised to control your thoughts. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV) The person who claims to have no control over their thoughts has probably not tried to have any control over their thoughts. Again we ask the question: Why are my thoughts so important? They hurt no one. Wrong. They hurt you. And they hurt others also. Did not Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount tell us that lust is just as bad as adultery and hatred is just as bad as murder? (see Matthew 5:21-28).

As we move toward a conclusion of this principle, let’s turn our attention back to Romans 14:12. “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (NIV) We will not be called upon to give an account for someone else. We will be called upon to give an account for ourselves. And it will be on an individual basis. Each one of us will have our own opportunity to stand for judgment. Actually, I think verse 11 says that we will kneel. “It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.‘” (NIV) We will be required to give an account for every thought, word, and deed that has made up our lives. And we will give this account directly to God. What is my goal? It is to be found faithful. To hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

By Berean Husband

See also:

Principles of Holiness – Principle 1

Principles of Holiness – Principle 2

Principles of Holiness – Principle 3

Principles of Holiness – Principle 4

Principles of Holiness – Principle 5

Principles of Holiness – Principle 6

Principles of Holiness – Principle 7

Principles of Holiness – Principle 8

Principles of Holiness – Principle 9

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Principles of Holiness – Principle 2

Holiness Principle #2 – The Christian is called to be separate from worldliness.

    

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

 

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (NIV)

 

First, let there be no misunderstanding by what is meant by the word “separate.” Some might think that this means we must withdraw ourselves from society and live our lives in a monastery or a convent. That is not what is meant by the word “separate.” And others might think that this means we should shun all modern technology and conveniences and go back to a pioneer lifestyle, like the Amish. Although this seems attractive at times, like when everything you have breaks, that is not what is meant by the word “separate” either. The word “separate” here is the Greek word “aphorize”, and it means to “set off by a boundary.” If you look closely at the word, you can see our word “horizon” in it. In other words, we as Christians are called to have a set of godly convictions which sets up a boundary to separate us from the ungodly activities which occupy the attention of the rest of the world. With this is in mind, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and understand the nature of the separation from this world which the Christian is required to have.

 

We often hear the first part of verse 14 lifted somewhat out of context and applied to the matter of marriage. It is usually quoted from the KJV. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (KJV) We have been told that this means that a Christian should not marry a person who is not a Christian. But that is just one application of the underlying principle found in verses 14-18. Let’s look at this idea in context.

 

The first part of this underlying principle is that there are some things that just do not mix. Just like oil and water do not mix physically, there are also things which do not mix spiritually. This first idea is found in these verses in a series of five questions that Paul poses to the reader. We see these five questions in verses 14-16. Let’s look at these five questions and determine how the Christian should answer them.

 

The first question asks us: What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? If you as a believer desire to have the righteousness of Christ, how much room is there in your life for wickedness?

 

The second question asks us: What fellowship can light have with darkness? It is impossible for light and darkness to commingle. This is true physically. But this is also true spiritually. Listen to the words of Jesus from John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (NIV) It is impossible for the believer to love the darkness one day and the light the next day.

 

The third question asks us: What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? The word “belial” is a Hebrew word that means “worthless” and “lawless”. In this context, the reference here is probably to Satan. So ask yourself this question: Do you think Jesus and Satan ever get together to talk about the way things used to be and try to find a common ground that they can both agree on? I don’t think so. There is no harmony between Jesus and Satan. In fact, the word “harmony” here is the Greek word “sumphonesis.” It is where our word “symphony” comes from. Can you imagine Jesus and Satan trying to play the same music together?

 

The fourth question asks us: What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? I’m afraid that the answer to this question in America today is “far too much”. In most circumstances it is impossible to pick out a believer from an unbeliever because we watch the same movies, drink the same beer, have the same cable TV channels in our home, laugh at the same jokes, share the same gossip, listen to the same music, wear the same clothes. I think that I must paraphrase Paul’s question to make it make sense to us today: “What should a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”

The fifth question asks us: What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? When the Antichrist erects an image of himself in the temple in Jerusalem, it will be called the “abomination of desolation”. There is no room in the temple of the living God for even just one idol.

 

The second part of the underlying principle is to define the people of God as the temple of God. This is seen in verse 16. “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (NIV) Now we just answered the question, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (NIV) So, if we are the temple of God, how much room is there for idols in our life?

 

Let’s ask ourselves a question here. What exactly does it mean for the Christian to be the temple of God? This question is not addressed specifically here because Paul has already written to the Corinthian church before about this issue. Listen to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (NIV) Notice three things from these verses.

 

First, the Christian’s body is a temple of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit dwells in you. We are told in 1 Kings 8:11 that when Solomon dedicated the first temple to God, the glory of God came and filled the temple. “And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.” (NIV)

 

Second, the Christian should consider himself a slave to God because he was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

And third, and the most important point as related to our discussion, we serve God spiritually based on what we do with our bodies physically.  If you were to look back at verses 14-18 in 1 Corinthians 6 you would find the context of this passage relates to the sin of going into a prostitute.

 

Things are much more complicated today than they were for the nation of Israel. When the Old Testament writers warned the people about worshipping idols, they generally meant idols – things made out of wood or stone or metal. Today, we think we are far too sophisticated to ever think of worshipping such an idol. So instead, we have set up other idols, and these new idols we have set up in our lives are far more insidious than the idols of stone and wood precisely because they cannot necessarily be seen with the physical eye. They require spiritual vision to perceive the fact that they are idols.

 

Look at the end of verse 16. “As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (NIV) Notice the relationship that God wishes to have with each and every Christian. There are four distinct ways that God wants to relate to you.

 

First, God wishes to live with you. There are two applications here. God wants to be part of your family, live in your house, so to speak. There is an old story about the day Jesus came to live in my house. How there were things on the coffee table that needed to be done away with, rooms that needed to be cleaned out, and rooms that were locked up that needed to be opened. But God also wants to live inside you. Not only to be part of your family, but to be part of you.

 

Second, God wants to walk with you. That doesn’t mean he wants to get an hour of exercise with you every day. That means he wants to accompany you as you live your life every day.

 

Third, God wants to be your God. Let me remind you of the first commandment here, from Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (KJV)

 

And fourth, God wants you to be his people. Now what exactly does it mean to be God’s people? In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was frequently referred to as “God’s people.” But what about for us today? Let me share a couple of verses with you from Titus 2:13-14 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (KJV) This verse describes us a “peculiar” people. That word does not mean strange, it means “one’s own special.” We are to be a special people belonging only to God.

 

The third part of this underlying principle is that there is action required on our part to prepare ourselves to be the temple of God. This is seen in verses 17-18. “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (NIV) Notice that there is a three-fold command found in verse 17. And also notice how these three commands parallel the experience of the nation of Israel.

 

We are commanded to come out from among the unbelievers. Just as the nation of Israel was called out the nation of Egypt, so are believers called out of the wickedness of the world.

 

We are commanded to separate ourselves from unbelievers. Again, just as the nation of Israel was called to separate themselves from the pagan nations in Canaan, so are believers called to separate ourselves from the wickedness of the world.

 

We are commanded to touch no unclean thing. And once more, just as the nation of Israel was commanded to refrain from being defiled by things which God considered unclean, so are believers called from defiling themselves with the wickedness of the world. This word “unclean” occurs over 200 times in the Bible. Many of these references are found in the book of Leviticus and deal with animals that were not to be eaten, dead carcasses, leprosy, and bodily discharges. That is not quite what Paul has in mind here. I believe that idea Paul has in mind here are the words of the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 7:19-20 “They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be an unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the LORD’s wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin. They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them.” (NIV)

 

Now, let me ask you – and me – a question. Do you think God would be pleased to walk with you in the life you lead right now? Would he like to go where you have gone this week? Would he like to see what you have seen? Would he like to hear what you have heard? We say that our conscious doesn’t convict us of the impure activities in our life. But our conscious doesn’t convict us because we haven’t spent the time we need in God’s word establishing in our mind and our heart what is right and wrong.

 

 

By Berean Husband

 

See also:

Principles of Holiness – Principle 1

Principles of Holiness – Principle 2

Principles of Holiness – Principle 3

Principles of Holiness – Principle 4

Principles of Holiness – Principle 5

Principles of Holiness – Principle 6

Principles of Holiness – Principle 7

Principles of Holiness – Principle 8

Principles of Holiness – Principle 9


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Principles of Holiness – Principle 1

Principles of Holiness

I believe that the primary challenge facing the evangelical church in America today is that it has set itself free from the shore of holiness and is adrift in an ocean where the boundaries of separation that should exist between the church and the world have become blurred. In an effort to reject legalism of the hyper-fundamental church, the modern evangelical church has instead become entangled in licentiousness. However, most of the modern evangelical churches which have drifted so far from shore did not need to worry about legalism. To paraphrase a sermon I heard recently: Unless your church has had a few horses and buggies tied up in the parking lot on Sunday morning lately, legalism is probably not a problem in your church. I firmly believe that the only hope for the survival of the modern evangelical church in America is a return to holiness. And this return to holiness requires that each and every Christian live their lives based on a set of convictions. Every decision made which is not based on a conviction stands a good chance of being unholy and displeasing to the Lord. Right, good, and pleasing decisions are easy to make when they are based on a foundation of convictions built on holiness.

What does the word “holiness” really mean? In the New Testament, the word “holiness” is derived from the familiar Greek word “hagios”, which, according to Strong’s Dictionary, means ‎”sacred, pure, morally blameless, or consecrated”. The idea of holiness in the Old Testament often involved something that was set apart for the exclusive use of the Lord. The book of Exodus mentions a gold plate which was engraved with the words “HOLY TO THE LORD” and placed on the clothing of the high priest (Exodus 28:36). I believe that one reason things were set apart for exclusive use by the Lord is so that they would not be defiled by the world. How many Christians who should be holy and set apart for the Lord have made themselves useless to God because they continue to live a life which is defiled by the world?

I have prepared this paper to describe a set of convictions which I resolve to hold to build a foundation of holiness in my life. I realize that my time here on earth is short. So I resolve not to waste it doing things which are displeasing to the Lord. After all, it is in His presence that I must spend eternity. I also realize that the world is watching me. Will they see anything different in my life? Will anyone be convicted of their ungodliness because they see me trying to live a life of holiness, dedicated and pleasing to the Lord?

Holiness Principle #1 – There must not be even a hint of impurity in the life of a Christian.

Ephesians 5:3-5

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
(NIV)

As I write this, I am holding in my hand a bar which is one troy ounce of pure silver. Well, not exactly pure. It says on the bar that it is .999 pure, which means that it has .1% impurities in it. 999 parts of 1000 of the silver bar are completely pure. Now, that’s pretty pure, isn’t it? What do you think God would think about your life if it contained only .1% impurities? Of the 1000 things that make you who you are, only one of them isn’t really all that pure. Would he say you’re doing a pretty good job? No, He would say that you are going to Hell. Sometimes some things that seem to be pure are not really pure. It might be this bar of silver. Or it might be the life of a Christian.

The truth we learn about purity from Ephesians 5:3-6 is that the opposite of purity is perversion. In these verses, Paul gives us six examples of the impurity that can defile our lives. Let’s look at these one word at a time.

First, there is immorality. This is the Greek word “pornea”. This includes all forms of sexual sin such as adultery, fornication, pornography, and lust.

Second, there is impurity. Some versions of the Bible use the word “uncleanness”. It is used elsewhere in the Bible to describe a body decaying in the grave.

Third, there is greed. This is also called covetousness. This is wanting something that does not belong to you.

Fourth, there is obscenity. This is any talk that is degrading of another person. It might have to do with sex or maybe with race or with social status.

Fifth, there is foolish talk. The Greek word here is “morologeo”, literally “moron-words”. This is what you hear coming out of the mouths of some teenagers sitting in a fast food restaurant, where every other word these days is “Oh my God”. Those are the words of a moron.

Sixth, there is coarse jesting. This is turning every comment into something obscene or suggestive.

If we read the end of verse 3, we understand the relationship that should existing between the Christian and impurity: “because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (NIV) What is the proper separation of the Christian from these impurities? They are all improper for God’s holy people. I like the way the KJV puts it “let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (KJV) More than not being in your life, they should not even be a hint of any of these things among the lives of God’s people.

So just how serious is this matter of purity? Surely God doesn’t expect complete purity in our lives. See if any of these statements characterize your life.

I have a habit or two that I just can’t seem to shake. I used to be more pure, but I’ve allowed a couple of impure things to slip into my life. There is a coarse word or two in my vocabulary that I should probably not say. Every once in a while I watch a movie or a television show that has a suggestive or sexual scene or perhaps some vulgar language.”

Just how serious is this matter of purity? Look at verse 5. “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (NIV) God’s word says that the person who gives harbor to impurity in their lives has no place in the kingdom of God. Impurity is an idol. The result of prolonged, unrepented, unchanged impurity in our life is a ticket to Hell. Let’s be rid of the impurity in our lives.

At this point someone in here is saying to themselves something like this: “No one is perfect. Everyone has some impurity in their lives.” Yes, both of those things are true. Someone else is thinking: “Isn’t God going to forgive me?” If you are a Christian, yes he will. Thank God that the righteous blood of Jesus Christ washes away all our impurities. However, even if we can’t be perfect, and even if we will be forgiven, that does not mean we can coast here on earth. Hebrews 12:14 tells us “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (NKJV) I want to make it clear that being a Christian means that you have repented of your sins and have been given a new heart by Jesus Christ. But repentance is to be a continual thing – a continual transforming of your heart and life into a thing of holiness, a fragrant offering to God.

by Berean Husband

See also:

Principles of Holiness – Principle 1

Principles of Holiness – Principle 2

Principles of Holiness – Principle 3

Principles of Holiness – Principle 4

Principles of Holiness – Principle 5

Principles of Holiness – Principle 6

Principles of Holiness – Principle 7

Principles of Holiness – Principle 8

Principles of Holiness – Principle 9

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