A Cut Above
legalism v. holiness
my old church dress code v. is what I am wearing an affront to God’s holiness?
legalism and religiousness of attending church v. I am called to be holy
The FREEDOM you are searching for IS only FOUND IN HOLINESS
1 Peter 1:15-16
Holiness Defined–To be holy is to be distinct, separate, in a class by oneself.
The primary meaning of holy is ‘separate.’ It comes from an ancient word that meant, ‘to cut,’ or ‘to separate.’ Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase ‘a cut above something.’
A cut above meaning it is in an all together higher class, superior to others
This means that the one who is holy is uniquely holy, with no rivals or competition.
“When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way. The same basic meaning is used when the word holy is applied to earthly things.”-Sproul
When we use the word holy to describe God, we face another problem.
We often describe God by compiling a list of qualities or characteristics that we call attributes.
We say that God is a spirit, that He knows everything, that He is loving, just, merciful, gracious, and so on.
The tendency is to add the idea of the holy to this long list of attributes as one attribute among many. But when the word holy is applied to God, it does not signify one single attribute.
On the contrary, God is called holy in a general sense. The word is used as a synonym for his deity. That is, the word holy calls attention to all that God is. God is love, not God is love, love, love
BUT the Word tells us God is holy, holy, holy
It reminds us that His love is holy love, his justice is holy justice, his mercy is holy mercy, his knowledge is holy knowledge, his spirit is holy spirit.
Exodus 15:11New King James Version (NKJV)
11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
1 Samuel 2:2New King James Version (NKJV)
“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
To be holy is to be morally pure.
When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity.
They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as a separation from all that is impure.
Psalm 24:3-5New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Isaiah 6:3-5New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
Isaiah having come into the presence of a holy God, comes “undone” because he realizes his sinfulness, his impurity
Habakkuk 1:13New King James Version (NKJV)
13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
A person more righteous than he?
We CANNOT see God without being holy.
Hebrews 12:14New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
And, we cannot attain this holiness of our own efforts.
Isaiah 64:6New King James Version (NKJV)
6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
righteousness defined as a righteous act, quality, deed or conduct
So God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us in order that we might be holy as HE is holy.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
2 Corinthians 6:16
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
To be holy is to be morally pure. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as separation.
1 Peter 1:13-16New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[a]
Holiness is being separated from sin and set apart for God
It is to be close to God, to be like Him and to seek His presence
Holiness means that we are a cut above others in our manner and conduct
Not in any sense that we think we are better than anyone else, far from that, but our conduct must reflect a HOLY GOD.
Holiness is God’s priority for His people!
21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[a] for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[b] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
What does this mean to you?
YOU put off your former conduct when you lived according to the flesh
YOU put on the new man
There is a war going on in my spirit- the spirit against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit
If I YIELD myself to the Spirit, then the process of sanctification begins.
Sanctification means than the holiness of Jesus becomes mine and is being exhibited in my life.
Living a holy life is not me trying to imitate Jesus, but in letting the perfect qualities of Jesus exhibit themselves in my flesh.
This sanctification towards holiness is an impartation, not an imitation- I take on the very nature of Jesus
EX: the nature of God is to forgive
We live by the letter of the law and say we have forgiven, but all we have really done is cut them out of our lives and stopped talking to them. True forgiveness flows from the heart and is the very nature of God. If you have truly forgiven, then you do not hold that offense against someone.
you cannot become holy of your own doing, or in the following of any laws and commandments-
It is ONLY THROUGH the Holy Spirit working in me, am I able to become holy in all my conduct
Matthew 5:20New King James Version (NKJV)
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
These guys knew and followed the law, they fasted and prayed, they wore sacramental robes, they tithed, THEY DID ALL THE RIGHT THINGS but Jesus said they were not righteous enough to enter heaven.
In all that, they were still not holy.
They needed a nature change!
Holiness is not in that we do good things, but that our motives are PURE
We must not only be pure in our actions, but also in our motives, and the deep thoughts of our mind and heart.
Remember, a cut above
Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire
Matthew 5:27-28 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,[c] ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[d] 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart
We can obey scripture- it is easy enough to literally do what the Word tells us to do, but if our heart and mind is not changed, then it is useless
1 Cor 13:1-3- The love of God is a holy love that requires a true and genuine heart change
Notice Paul says- “though I give all my goods to feed the poor”
It is not mere actions, but the heart condition behind it
So, when I see someone feeding children and orphans, but treating their brothers and sisters in Christ horribly, not forgiving others, holding grudges, I have to wonder
Matthew 15:18-20New King James Version (NKJV)
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
We need to obey scripture with our mind and our heart
Our heart must be holy and pure-
we don’t obey because it is what we “must do” and Jesus will never insist that we obey,
BUT “woe is me!” if I don’t obey a HOLY God
We obey because He is HOLY and we are to be like Him
We CANNOT be holy without the Holy Spirit in us
Did you know that 80% of people that do something radical to lose weight, gain it all back?
Why? because they have not got to the root of their problem- the mind has not changed therefore eating and exercise habits have not changed
There is no sin that we can completely conquer without getting to the root of the problem, which the root being our sinful nature.
EX: You can stop drinking, but without the power of the Holy Spirit in you to change your heart and nature concerning drunkenness, you will either go back or live a life always trying to put restrictions on yourself
Does your life look a cut above others?
Do you hear others say, “that person is different”?
Do your actions and conduct reflect holiness?
is your mouth reflecting holiness?
EX: my step dad was a framer for 40 years, cussing on the jobsite is a norm, but he refused to speak like the other workers around him. He would bless and not curse
What is coming out of your mouth? Do you curse and tell dirty jokes? Do you lie and slander your brother in Christ? This is not holiness
Are you habitually living in sin?
This is not holiness.
Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Do not try to imitate Jesus- PUT ON THE LORD JESUS
WALK in the Spirit- you cannot live according to the flesh and inherit eternal life
Want to know how holy someone is- look at their fruit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
how peaceful are they? how joyful are they? how kind and gentle are they? how loving are they?
how much self-control do they have?
If you are struggling with this-
Have you been born again?
Have you walked away from the Lord?
Are you daily in prayer and the reading of the Word?
Are you in church service and the fellowship of the brethren on a regular basis?