Holiness: In Living Color or Black And White?

December 9, 2011 in Bro. Heath's Blogs, The Holy Bride

colorpopThe Mis-Concepts Of Holiness

Today, the word “holiness” almost seems to be a dirty word in the Church. The reason for this is primarily due to false notions or misconcepts associated with it.
For years the Church has been saturated with teaching that holiness is long hair, long dresses and long faces. Many preachers emphasize outward conditions of lifestyle as the evidence or fruit of holiness. A “black and white” holiness has been painted which is neither accurate nor has any appeal to a generation living in color.

Women seemed to get the brunt of this teaching as they were religiously coerced to grow their hair down to their ankles, parallel to the length of their dresses. They were strictly admonished that even the least bit of make-up on the face was a sign of a heart full of vanity. Any outward adornment such as earrings and jewelry was also a sign of unholy vanity.
Many preachers have reduced themselves to nagging about standards from their pulpits instead of preaching Jesus and Him crucified. Emphasis on outward standards is dead formalism which will eventually bring death to any church. Although outward modesty, unworldliness and setting standards in your life is very important as a Christian, they themselves do not constitute what true holiness is.

Now, although I believe that much of this type of teaching on holiness is an extreme view that needs to be reconsidered, I know that the nature of man is to swing to the other extreme. As the previous theology emphasized outward standards, the other extreme view is that holiness is only a symbolism of sanctification, or figurative purity.
Although not always blatantly expressed, this reasoning contends that holiness is in no way a restriction on lifestyle but only is a term to describe a symbolic blood-of-Christ-covering over our “can’t-help-but-sin” natures.
The first extreme is legalistic religion of outward do’s and don’ts, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof”. 2Timothy 3:5 The form or outward show of this “holiness” is dead religion incredibly lacking in a true representation of the character of God. The second extreme on the other end of the spectrum is a fluffy damnable heresy that “speaks great swelling words of emptiness, alluring through the lust of the flesh… promising liberty but bringing corruption and bondage to sin” 2 Peter 2:18-20 It too is a total erroneous view of salvation and the true character of God.

True Holiness Defined

True holiness is neither a standard or a symbolic term. It is a true condition of purity of heart which will without a doubt be reflected in the practicalities of life.
The essence of true holiness is a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus. It is a real and vital walk with God our Father. It is the sweet fellowship/friendship of the Holy Spirit.

Through this intimate, daily walk with God we are influenced and changed by the presence of God and the character of God. All our attitudes, actions, desires, thoughts, emotions and heart motives are kept holy and pure in proportion to God’s presence in our lives. Hence, holiness can truly be defined as this;
It is the reflection of God’s character in our lives by the grace given to us to obey Him, through the influence of an intimate love relationship with God.

The Bible states that “we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another degree of glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:18 As we behold His person and His character, we are influenced and changed into His likeness! Paul said that, “through us, the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ is released in every place”. 2Corinthians 2:14
Oh, would to God that we would release the sweet fragrance of His holiness, His character of goodness and love to a disillusioned, despairing world!!! If all professing Christians would be truly holy and wholly Christian (Christ-like) the world could be won in a moment’s time!

The Beauty Of Holiness

We Christians sing scripturally sound songs like, ” Lord, be glorified”, “Lord, be magnified” and “Lord, we exalt Thee”. But I must ask you, how is the Lord glorified in the earth? How is He magnified? How is He exalted? By our singing of the mere words? Surely there is an element of God’s glory in singing praises to Him. But what glorifies, magnifies and exalts God the most is our living out or walking in the very character of God. This is what holiness really is! This is the true color of holiness!!

The fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are all characteristics of God. If we walk in these (which takes discipline in dying to selfish and ungodly tendencies and to replace it with the fruit the Spirit) we will no doubt find that holiness is not a negative attribute at all. No, you won’t see holiness in black and white, as issues of do’s and don’ts… But instead you will see holiness in living, vivid colors that sparkle up your life with the goodness and glory of God!

Holiness is love! -A selfless giving with no other motive but to bless.
Holiness is joy! -A tickle within the soul that can’t hold back a smile or laugh because of God’s goodness.
Holiness is peace! -An unruffled contentment that no matter what happens, good or bad, God is your hope and He is in control.
Holiness is patience! -A unanxious calm that is willing to wait.
Holiness is kindness! -A genuine act of helpfulness to friend or foe, for their well-being.
Holiness is goodness! -An honesty and sincerity that never compromises it’s moral principles.
Holiness is faithfulness! -An unwavering commitment of loyalty to God and men.
Holiness is gentleness! -A tenderness and compassion towards others who are weak or wounded or in need.
Holiness is self-control! -A humble and reserved spirit void of self indulgence and self-glory for the promotion of God and others.
Holiness is beautiful, lovely and precious! Like the sweet fragrance of springtime with the sparkle of dew upon the morning flowers! Why? Because like nature itself, holiness reveals God’s infinite love and goodness!

Called To Holiness

“For God did not call us to uncleanness but to holiness” 1Thessalonians 4:7
Being called to holiness is the highest and most noble calling any man could undertake. Just think! -To be given the opportunity and empowerment by the God of creation, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to become partakers of the divine nature, the very character of God!!! Wow! What a thought!

Look at this! “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that Through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2Peter 1: 2-4
Holiness is not only our highest calling but it is the very purpose God saved us! Is salvation a “get-your-ticket-punched-and-sit- back-and-wait-for-the-rapture-train-to-Heaven” kind of thing? No, The Bible states that God “predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son” Romans 8:29

What a marvelous purpose! So great a salvation! Thank the Lord that it’s a literal holiness and just not symbolic sanctification. It is so wonderful to know that Christ’s death on the cross meant that I could truly be free from sin to live in holiness! “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life!” Romans 6:22
So Dear Christian, worship God in the beauty of holiness. Seek an intimate relationship with the Great God of Heaven. He loves you and desires to transform your life! Pursue holiness with joy! Commit your soul to Jesus who is able to change your selfish nature into His beautiful nature of love.

Though none of us can claim perfection, we can say that we are “pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”! Philippians 3:14 Hallelujah!

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is┬ánecessary┬áthat you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


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