Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ
Holiness is ours when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior because the Holy Spirit takes residence in us. It's the job of the Holy Spirit to shed truth to us about what is in our hearts revealing what is of God and what is not of God.
Before we were saved, we lived by our conscience at best, but when the Holy Spirit takes root in our lives, we live by our conscience and what the Holy Spirit teaches you. That is why things seem to be hard at times to be a Christian because now you get to "see" all that stuff and the work is on because whatever you see that is not of God, has to go. This is when the flesh begins screaming. But really, it's the sin in us screaming because it doesn't want to leave. But, as you allow the purging to take place (as discussed in other sessions), you will be made freer - resulting in being made more holy.
Holiness is of the Lord. This what I read over and over in passages regarding Holiness that it's "His" Holiness, it doesn't say anything about it being us. However, we are made holy because of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We need to realize understand that righteousness causes us to be Holy. But, the Bible says there is none righteous. So how then do we become Holy? By believing in Jesus and His life. We "put on" righteousness as a robe when we "believe" and "receive" all that Jesus is. That is what it means to be "hid" in Christ. Another scripture says, "To live is Christ, to die is gain."
This is why many Christians struggle. They are now seeing what is unholy in them and it makes them feel condemned which results in anger, self-hatred, and the like. But we have to realize that it's "HIS" Holiness and will always be His. So you need to know that you will never be completely holy until you are resurrected into life everlasting. We need to understand that our lives are hid in Christ, and it's His Holiness that we live in. We need to understand that our righteousness is as filthy rags and there is none righteous, no not one. (Romans) Once we understand this, we will find more peace, we will be able to forgive ourselves easier, and love ourselves, others and God because we are no longer "driven" to be perfect.
Perfectionism doesn't lead to holiness. I minister to so many who want to be perfect. The Bible even says, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." But you need to read what that perfection is - it's loving unconditionally. It doesn't say anything about "doing" everything right or having others do things right. Perfectionism comes from legalism (rules and regulations for holiness), and is not of God! We are not made holy because of what we do, we are made holy because of His Holiness in us shining the light on that which is not holy so we repent. That's what we do. We repent for what we see that is not of God, and when we do that, more of His Holiness shines in us. When that begins to happen consistently, our lives begin changing into His image. We begin doing things right, we begin making better choices.
It's important to get it down in your hearts once and for all. Holiness doesn't come by what you do but who you believe. Because Holiness only manifests in us when we "know" we are righteous - right now.
- Romans 6:22 - But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
It's clear that when we are cleansed from sin and submit to God, our fruit is holiness.
In ministry, most of the people I work with are Christians who have anxiety and stress related problems. I discovered one main theme in each one - they have a desire to do what is right but they find themselves messing up. Because of this they can't seem to forgive themselves, they think they have to punish themselves, they think they aren't worthy to be loved by God, they are filled with regrets, doubt and unbelief toward God, guilt, shame, unforgiveness and depression. These individuals don't know that holiness was imparted to them when they received Jesus Christ and that when they sin, they can go directly to God and confess their sin to be restored to holiness again. Holiness isn't perfection, Holiness is "in" Christ Jesus. Holiness is a clean heart. Holiness is not perfectionism, nor is it keeping all the rules and regulations. I may not do everything right, but I'm still a Saint! A Saint is a holy person, and regardless what you think about yourself, if you are a believer (even if you are an un-believing believer) you are a Saint, which makes you partakers of Holiness.
So then why do things seem to get worse when we become a Christian if we have the Holy Spirit in us to make us holy? Because the Holy Spirit sheds light on what is in us that doesn't belong to God. This is where we get uncomfortable in our own skin. Now that we have been given a desire to be Holy we now expect our flesh to be PERFECT. So we get mad at ourselves when we don’t say things right, do things right, make a perfect cake, have perfect hair, perfect size, perfect kids, and perfect husband. We wonder what is wrong with us? How can I be a Christian and think and do these things? We have to understand and believe this truth. The Holy Spirit living inside us gives us a desire for holiness, I am right in God’s eyes because I have accepted His Son. I many not DO everything right, but that’s not what makes me righteous and perfect. Because no flesh will ever be made perfect no matter how long we live on this earth. We fall short of God’s perfectness. If we understand that "It is not I that does it but the sin that dwells in me doing it" (Romans 7) we then will be able to move on in our life without guilt and condemnation. We will love ourselves, we will understand ourselves, and we will not be disappointed in ourselves, we may even laugh at ourselves knowing that we are loved, forgiven and perfected by God's love.
See, we are "being perfected" which is a process. So by God's grace and mercy, He sent His Son so when we didn't do everything right, we have a Savior to redeem us.
The Bible says to cleanse our flesh AND spirit. So this tells me that our spirit could be dirty too. Where does the Holy Spirit live? Within our spirit man. And because He's in there along with all those other creatures, the battle is on! That is why things seem to get worse when we become a Christian (after the honeymoon is over) because the Holy Spirit is shining a light on the junk. And since we have a desire to be holy now and yet we see all that junk, we get condemned! But that's where we need understanding. We aren't to let ourselves fall under guilt and condemnation, but rejoice that God showed you what is there so you can be purged. We need to separate ourselves from the sin inside knowing that we are "Free" from the bondage of sin. Our flesh and spirit is needing to be transformed, and that is a process. And in that process we need to exercise forgiveness. Receive forgiveness from God, forgive ourselves, and forgive others.
In order to exercise forgiveness, we need to have the manifestation of Jesus in us to be able to do so. We are saved through the forgiveness of our own sins, and we will continue to stay free and become more free the same way. The # 1 block to unrest in our spirit and enmity with God is Unforgiveness.
As the Lord begins to expose sin in your life it may be something you never knew was there. Some people have said to me that it just jumped on them. But I have to tell them the truth. The stuff was in there all along, it just took the situation they are in to bring it to the surface. God is orchestrating everything in your life for one reason only, to bring you into relationship with Him. And in order to do that, you have to be holy. God cannot fellowship with darkness. So He made us a way to be holy in the midst of our unholiness... through Jesus Christ.
God doesn’t show us everything at once because we won’t be able to bear it. So as He shows us something like self-righteousness, we may even be shocked. But after we see it, we can repent. Then He shows us another thing, then another, then another. After awhile, we could start to get depressed because of all the junk we see in us. It could cause us to become fearful thinking that others saw what we see. I remember one day when God showed me- me... I was almost embarrassed to go outside thinking others saw all that junk. But God reassured me that He had mercy on me and caused me not to fear.
During the purging, we could get a bit uncomfortable. The flesh begins to scream and say, “I don’t like it, stop, this hurts, it’s uncomfortable, I don’t think I can bare this pain”. So instead of allowing God to go THROUGH with the purging, we shut down, we turn away, we go call a friend, we eat, we watch TV, we shop, we avoid it, at any way possible. This reminds me of the scripture, "Be not weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you don't faint."
So as things get a bit hard, rejoice knowing that you are just about on the other side of things. Because unfortunately, it doesn’t leave any other way, so the best thing to do is to ENDURE the pain for A LITTLE WHILE and it will be done with. You will need to know that if you choose to not allow God to purge you, because He doesn't do anything against your will, it will visit you again another day. So just take the purging when it’s happening and get it over with once and for all.
There is a scripture that says, “Go through the narrow gate, it leads to life, the wide gate leads to death”. I always thought it said, the narrow road and the wide road, but it doesn’t. It’s a gate. A place of PASSING THROUGH. But we cannot pass through with that JUNK. There’s only enough room in the gate for you and the Lord to pass through. We cannot take the excess junk through. So what happens, is that people choose to keep their junk and turn back. Or they try to find another way, therefore the word “alternative”. Alternative methods, medicine etc., is rampant now. Trying to find the “easy” way or the “less painful way”, but that’s not GOD’s way. (I teach more about this in "the Gate" session.)
Holiness is the manifestation of knowing you are righteous. If we knew we were righteous, our actions will follow - which is doing things right (holy). It's not the other way around. And so if you make a mess of things, confess them to God and as you do this, you will become more holy!
As I began running references in the bible on Holiness, I discovered something quite interesting. In the Old Testament, holiness always accompanied "his" holiness, or the "Lord's" holiness. Then as I read the New Testament, holiness was something we could have. Why? Because in the OT the Holy Spirit wasn't imparted to every person (only a select few at times) but in the NT, all those who received Jesus Christ also receives the Holy Spirit!
I want to share some of the scriptures that talks about holiness. I think the Bible does a much better job than I could:
- Romans 6:19 - I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
When we yield to righteousness - only found "in" Christ Jesus, the manifestation is holiness.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 - To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Holiness is something that comes from a heart condition By dealing with your heart issues you become more holy. Remember, holiness is the manifestation of righteousness within.
- Titus 2:3 - The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
In this passage their actions display holiness because they aren't speaking badly against each other, etc. Again, a heart condition. When we confess our sins because we understand we are free from sin, our "behavior" begins to display holiness. Again, it starts in the heart.
To bring this home, for holiness to be a reality to us, we have to understand that we are forgiven of all our sins. And when we do sin, we have an advocate, Jesus Christ, that cleanses us from all sin. We need to know that by being Christ's we are no longer bound to sin, even though sin is still there. Paul says it eloquently, "Who can save me from this body of sin? Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ can" (Romans 7).
- Hebrews 12:14 - Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Again, restored relationships is required to experience holiness. Love and forgiveness is holiness and holiness is the "ticket" to seeing the Lord.
But don't get condemned. We have an advocate, Jesus Christ. We will see the Lord because we have "put on" Christ through salvation. Becoming Holy is the process we now live on this earth. It's a process, process, process. This has nothing to do with your salvation! You aren't saved one minute and because you see something in you that is not of God, you aren't saved the next. No, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:4)
- Luke 2:23 - As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;
- Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
We are holy people, we just don't know it. Holiness is being pure before God within our heart. Holiness is of the Lord when we take on His righteousness. It's called "imputed" (Romans 4:24) (Dictionary meaning for imputed: to ascribe to or charge (a person) with an act or quality because of the conduct of another over whom one has control or for whose acts or conduct one is responsible.) Jesus is the responsible one and because of His conduct, we are made righteous.
- Romans 16:16 - Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
A holy kiss means to love and receive love from each other with a pure heart.
- 1 Corinthians 3:17 - If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Very clearly put, we are the temple of God which is holy! I urge you to pray God give you revelation on holiness so you can find your peace with Him, with others and with yourself.
- 1 Corinthians 7:14 - For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
Interesting that holiness doesn't come by what we do, but what He has given us if we are in the Lord.
- Ephesians 1:4 -
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
- Colossians 3:12-13 - Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved (us), bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
I read in these verse that holiness is manifested in our lives when we walk in love. Love is holiness, and when we walk in love we are walking perfectly!! But the truth is, we are holy because the Holy One lives within us. As you read in some of these scriptures, God puts holiness upon on because of His holiness... Just believe it so you can receive it!
Are you still not convinced you are holy? 1 Thessalonians 5:27 - I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. YOU!
Prayer for you:
"Father, I come before you with this dear Saint who desires to be holy. Let them know they are righteous right now and to accept all that Jesus has done to bring that holiness upon them. We discovered that holiness is the manifestation of righteousness. Help them to know they are righteous right now even in the midst of their mess. Let them confess their sin of doubt and unbelief and begin to be the person you created them to be. Let them see past their own noses and see the glory you have for them. We are changed from glory to glory, and with that we become more holy. Let them be at peace with you Father and find their joy again, release them from all fear by pouring your love into them. Remove all condemnation from their lives and replace it with acceptance and forgiveness. Help them to understand the truth of who you are and who they are. In Jesus Name, Amen."
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