Tag Archive | Holiness

Accepted on Your Own Worth?

Are you accepted on your own worth?

Have you done all you needed to make yourself acceptable to God?

Hate to break the news but that is impossible.

We can never do enough, clean up enough or be holy enough for an infinitely Holy God.

Thank goodness we don’t have to.

We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization,

I’m accepted by God,

not on the basis of my personal performance,

but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.

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Gerald Bridges, Jerry Bridges from Holiness Day by Day


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It Is Finished – Pink

“It Is Finished”

Arthur W. Pink

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,

It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 19:30 (KJV)

How terribly have these blessed words of Christ been misunderstood, misappropriated and misapplied! How many seem to think that on the cross the Lord Jesus accomplished a work which rendered it unnecessary for the beneficiaries of it to live holy lives on earth. So many have been deluded into thinking that, so far as reaching heaven is concerned, it matters not how they walk provided they are “resting on the finished work of Christ.” They may be unfruitful, untruthful, disobedient, yet (though they may possibly miss some millennial crown) so long as they repudiate all righteousness of their own and have faith in Christ, they imagine they are “eternally secure.”

All around us are people who are worldly-minded, money-lovers, pleasure-seekers, Sabbath-breakers, yet who think all is well with them because they have “accepted Christ as their personal Saviour.” In their aspiration, conversation, and recreation, there is practically nothing to differentiate them from those who make no profession at all. Neither in their home-life nor social-life is there anything save empty pretensions to distinguish them from others. The fear of God is not upon them, the commands of God have no authority over them, the holiness of God has no attraction for them.

It is finished.” How solemn to realize that these words of Christ must have been used to lull thousands into a false peace. Yet such is the case. We have come into close contact with many who have no private prayer-life, who are selfish, covetous, dishonest, but who suppose that a merciful God will overlook all such things provided they once put their trust in the Lord Jesus. What a horrible perversion of the truth! What a turning of God’s grace “into lasciviousness“! (Jude 4). Yes, those who now live the most self-seeking and flesh-pleasing lives, talk about their faith in the blood of the Lamb, and suppose they are safe. How the devil has deceived them!

It is finished.” Do those blessed words signify that Christ so satisfied the requirement of God’s holiness that holiness no longer has any real and pressing claims upon us? Perish the thought. Even to the redeemed God says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). Did Christ “magnify the law and make it honorable” (Isa. 42:21) that we might be lawless? Did He “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15) to purchase for us an immunity from loving God with all our hearts and serving Him with all our faculties? Did Christ die in order to secure a divine indulgence that we might live to please self? Many seem to think so. No, the Lord Jesus has left His people an example that they should “follow (not ignore) His steps.”

It is finished.” What was “finished? The need for sinners to repent? No indeed. The need for turning to God from idols? No indeed. The need for mortifying my members which are upon earth? No indeed. The need for being sanctified wholly, in spirit, and soul, and body? No indeed. Christ died not to make my sorrow for, hatred of, and striving against sin, useless. Christ died not to absolve me from the full discharge of my responsibilities unto God. Christ died not so that I might go on retaining the friendship and fellowship of the world. How passing strange that any should think that He did. Yet the actions of many show that this is their idea.

It is finished.” What was “finished?” The sacrificial types were accomplished, the prophecies, of His sufferings were fulfilled, the work given Him by the Father had been perfectly done, a sure foundation had been laid on which a righteous God could pardon the vilest transgressor of the law who threw down the weapons of his warfare against Him. Christ had now performed all that was necessary in order for the Holy Spirit to come and work in the hearts of His people; convincing them of their rebellion, slaying their enmity against God, and producing in them a loving and obedient heart.

O, dear reader, make no mistake on this point. The “finished work of Christ” avails you nothing if your heart has never been broken through an agonizing consciousness of your sinfulness. The “finished work of Christ” avails you nothing unless you have been saved from the power and pollution of sin (Matthew 1:21). It avails you nothing if you still love the world (I John 2:15). It avails you nothing unless you are a “new creature” in Him (2 Cor. 5:17). If you value your soul, search the Scriptures to see for yourself; take no man’s word for it.



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Guilt of Sin

What do you do when confronted with your own or another’s guilt over sin?

Do you make light of it?

Do you seek to appease your own or their guilt?

Or do you agree with the guilt and point out that guilt is there for a reason?

Do you share how a Holy God looks at sin?

Load Your Conscience with the Guilt of Sin

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John Owen from Mortifying Sin: Bring Your Lust to the Gospel


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Sinful Man Did Not Devise the God of the Bible

Herein we find proof for the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. The unregenerate do not really believe in the holiness of God. Their conception of His character is altogether one-sided. They fondly hope that His mercy will override everything else. “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether as thyself” (Ps. 50:21) is God’s charge against them. They think only of a “god” patterned after their own evil hearts. Hence their continuance in a course of mad folly. Such is the holiness ascribed to the Divine nature and character in Scripture that it clearly demonstrates their superhuman origin. The character attributed to the “gods” of the ancients and of modern heathendom are the very reverse of that immaculate purity which pertains to the true God. An ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of all sin, was never invented by any of Adam’s fallen descendants! The fact is that nothing makes more manifest the terrible depravity of man’s heart and his enmity against the living God than to have set before him One who is infinitely and immutably holy. His own idea of sin is practically limited to what the world calls “crime.” Anything short of that, man palliates as “defects,” “mistakes,” “infirmities,” etc. And even where sin is owned at all, excuses and extenuations are made for it.

The “god” which the vast majority of professing Christians “love,” is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the “indiscretions” of youth. But the Word says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity “(Ps. 5:5). And again, “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11). But men refuse to believe in this God, and gnash their teeth when His hatred of sin is faithfully pressed upon their attention. No, sinful man was no more likely to devise a holy God than to create the Lake of fire in which he will be tormented for ever and ever.

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Attributes of God – AW Pink


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For One Sin …

For one sin …

For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden. For one sin all the posterity of Ham fell under a curse which remains over them to this day (Gen 9:21-22). For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan, Elisha’s servant smitten with leprosy, Ananias and Sapphira cut off out of the land of the living.

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Attributes of God – AW Pink

For my one sin ……

And my other sin ……

And …….

And …….

……………………………….

…..   the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Another having borne his punishment ………

that which His holiness demanded His grace has provided in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attributes of God – AW Pink


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Expositor’s Conference – Session 3 – Preaching the Holiness of God (R.C. Sproul)

Session 3 – Preaching the Holiness of God (R.C. Sproul)

Moving on to Tuesday morning and the third session of the conference. The subject of the session is the Holiness of God. The text is Isaiah 6:1-13.


The attributes of God as contained in the confessions of most major denominations are uniform. However, the most unique characteristic of reformed theology is the doctrine of God. That is because reformed theology does not forget on page 2 what it learned on page 1. Theology goes astray when it departs from one the attributes of God.

Of all the attributes of God, the one most neglected but most needful is the simplicity of God. That is, God differs from all creatures in that he being is simple, not compound or complex. We are complex creatures. God is simple, He is not made up of parts. God is completely all of His attributes. God’s attributes cannot be set against one another. Love does not prohibit wrath. Therefore, we can use every attribute of God to define His holiness. His holiness is eternal. His holiness is immutable. And therefore, we can say that holiness captures every attribute of God.

The vision of Isaiah came in the year king Uzziah died (by the way, the same year Rome was founded). King Uzziah was perhaps the greatest king since David, but is also the king who usurped the role of the priest. Uzziah profaned the holiness of God.

In verse 1, Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on the throne. The word Lord here is the word Adonai. This is juxtaposed with LORD in verse 3, which is Yahweh. Adonai is the title given to God in the Old Testament, the sovereign one. This title is also given to Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In Greek, it is rendered kurios. And how did Isaiah see the Lord? High, lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. The length of the robe determined the status of the king.

Above the Lord are the seraphim. They are constructed in a way that fits their habitat, just as are all creatures. The habitat of the seraphim is the immediate presence of God. Therefore, they must have three sets of wings, for they must cover their face and their feet, and they must fly. Compare the record of Moses requesting to see the glory of God. Even the sinless seraphim cannot look upon the holiness of God. Also consider the beatitudes – only the pure in heart will see God. Again, compare the events of Moses at the burning bush. Our feet symbolize our status as creatures.

But most striking is the message of the seraphim – holy, holy, holy. Thrice repeated because of the overwhelming magnitude of God’s holiness. Not just holy. Not just holy, holy. But holy, holy, holy. This is the only attribute of God described this in this superlative manner in the Bible.

The whole earth is full of the glory of God. Why is it that the world does not know who God is, seeing that His glory fills the whole earth? It begins with the fact that the church does not know who God is.

And notice the effects of the presence of the Lord. The thresholds shook, the temple was filled with smoke. But the greatest effect was upon Isaiah himself. He did not proclaim himself blessed for having seen the Lord. In contrast, Isaiah pronounces doom, judgment, curses upon himself, through the use of a single word – Woe. Not upon his enemies, but upon on himself – Woe is me. Isaiah understood who God is, and Isaiah understood who he is. This is why sanctification is such a gradual process.

What does Isaiah become aware of? His unholiness. Specifically, his unclean lips. We are taught that our first petition is the hallowing of the name of God. Isaiah realizes that his lips have profaned God, and that he dwells amongst a people of unclean lips. But God has grace upon Isaiah. God cleanses Isaiah in the way in which Isaiah recognizes his unholiness. And in this cleansed state, Isaiah then becomes ready to become a servant for the Lord. Isaiah becomes a messenger of God’s judgment. One that had received mercy was then given a message of judgment. But Isaiah is also told that there will be a remnant left in Israel, as a seed left in a burned stump.






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Psalm 11 – Treasury of David Commentary

I thought this might be helpful since there was some question as to my explanation of Psalm 11. Mine doesn’t compare to Spurgeon’s by any means, but it is not different in the gist.

Psalm 11

1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain,
2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

This is quite long because it goes verse by verse and includes several different notes from other preachers.  Well worth reading, but I’ll just give a few quotes.

“Treasury of David” – Psalm 11 by Charles H. Spurgeon

… When Satan cannot overthrow us by presumption, how craftily will he seek to ruin us by distrust! He will employ our dearest friends to argue us out of our confidence, and he will use such plausible logic, that unless we once for all assert our immovable trust in Jehovah, he will make us like the timid bird which flies to the mountain whenever danger presents itself.

“Jehovah’s throne is in the heavens;” he reigns supreme. Nothing can be done in heaven, or earth, or hell, which he doth not ordain and over-rule. He is the world’s great Emperor. Wherefore, then, should we flee? If we trust this King of kings, is not this enough? Cannot he deliver us without our cowardly retreat? Yes, blessed be the Lord our God, we can salute him as Jehovah-nissi; in his name we set up our banners, and instead of flight, we once more raise the shout of war.

Look at the black mark upon the faces of our persecutors, and we shall not run away from them. If God is in the quarrel as well as ourselves, it would be foolish to question the result, or avoid the conflict. Sodom and Gomorrah perished by a fiery hail, and by a brimstone shower from heaven; so shall all the ungodly. They may gather together like Gog and Magog to battle, but the Lord will rain upon them “an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone:” Ezekiel 38:22.

Are we tempted to put our light under a bushel, to conceal our religion from our neighbours? Is it suggested to us that there are ways of avoiding the cross, and shunning the reproach of Christ? Let us not hearken to the voice of the charmer, but seek an increase of faith, that we may wrestle with principalities and powers, and follow the Lord, fully going without the camp, bearing his reproach. Mammon, the flesh, the devil, will all whisper in our ear, “Flee as a bird to your mountain;” but let us come forth and defy them all. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” There is no room or reason for retreat. Advance! Let the vanguard push on! To the front! all ye powers and passions of our soul. On! on! in God’s name, on! for “the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”


We don’t have to flee from the enemy but we can stand strong with the Lord as our refuge.  Now that does not mean we take sin lightly.  There are many ways to stand firm without risking falling into sin.  (We’ll look at some ways later.)

But let the Light shine in a dark world.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
14  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The disciples did not spread the Gospel to the world by running away, but by advancing forward with the Gospel.  Not with Conservatism.  Not with Moral Values.  Not with Political leverage.  But by sharing the Gospel with sinners.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.



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Loving the Members of the Church

Richard Baxter said, “Don’t pretend to love your people if you favor their sins.” Any pastor who says, “We don’t deal with sin here” doesn’t love his people, and it’s questionable whether he loves his God. Anybody who loves God loves what God loves, and what God loves is holiness and God loves His people to be holy, and if you’re indifferent toward their sins, then you don’t love people. If you say . . . as you hear preachers say, “God loves you, God loves you, God loves you,” then you have to immediately say, “And if you don’t turn to receive His Son you’re going to Hell.” If you love God and you love people you say that. And if in the church you say, “God loves you, God loves you so much that He gave His Son,” you’re going to have to also say, “God loves you so much that He wants you to stop that sin, He wants you to abandon that sin or you’re going to be put out of His Church. He’s a man who expresses the true and the pure, not some mushy sentimentalism. 

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 John MacArthur

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Do You See Growth?

I’m not much of a gardener nor do I do well with houseplants. I have just a few that I have been able to keep alive over the years. Many times my houseplants just sorta stagnate for years before succumbing to death. What do I mean by stagnate?

No growth.

Gradually loosing leaves but not replacing them.

Leaves becoming more and more yellow.

Never flowering.

No fruit.

Some Christians are like my houseplants. They are stagnant and dying instead of growing and producing fruit.

“The Christian who is always at a standstill,

to all appearance the same man,

with the same little faults, and weaknesses,

and besetting sins, and petty infirmities,

is seldom the Christian who does much good.

The man who shakes and stirs minds,

and sets the world thinking,

is the believer who is continually improving and going forward.

Men think there is life and reality when they see growth.”

Holiness by J.C. Ryle – pp. 103-104

 

Do you see growth?


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