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.”
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Here Paul defines the ministry of the Holy Spirit – to perfect holiness in us. “The Spirit of holiness” was the verification of His Sonship! The term “Holy Spirit” in other passages always denotes “The Spirit, the holy One (pneuma hagios).” Here He is referred to as “The Spirit of holiness (pneuma hagiasmos).” In the other passages (John 14, 15, 16) we see His person. Here in this scripture we see His purpose. He is come (not only as being holy Himself, but) to transmit holiness to us. See Acts 15:8; 26:18.
Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1:2)
“God’s call to sanctity is clear, unmistakable, emphatic, and imperative.” 1:18
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
TWO KINDS OF TRUTH?
What seems to be most logically true is not always right. We have to be careful not to confuse logic with the truth. When a man testifies in court, he is asked to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Someone has said that there is the correct, absolute truth; and then there is the truth which satisfies.
THE CORRECT, ABSOLUTE TRUTH
We only use a measure of truth when we attempt to convince ourselves that we are rightly related to truth. The fact is that absolute truth would tear, rip, uproot, disturb and agonize any life not living in truth. The neo-fundamental Christian does not want absolute truth. The liberal pulpit offers truth that satisfies. Truth that satisfies is not always the truth that sanctifies. This is pseudo truth. It is to present only the facts that please, excluding the facts that displease.
Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
LATTER DAY BEHAVIOR
Complicity, neutrality and compromise remind us of Eutychus, Acts 20:9, he was neither in nor out, and because he was not in, he fell out. While there are some positive things to be drawn from the fall of Eutychus, it is also a warning he gives us. He was neither in nor out. When he broke contact with Paul’s preaching he fell out. (Imagine someone falling to sleep under Paul’s preaching.) If he’d been sitting on the first row, he would have not fallen asleep. But he represents Christians in the gray area. Those who are in when they’re in, and they’re with the in crowd when they’re out. It’s like “Christian rock,” cross-over songs, entertainment in the house of God, unisex fashions, Christian comedy – pure religion subjected to human betterment, the carnal modification of holiness. The result: An unholy conglomeration. Vance Havner said, “The devil loves it when God’s sheep get dirty gray.” It makes the black sheep feel better. Dirty gray – creates a Christian lifestyle that’s too good to go to hell and too bad to go to heaven. It’s getting so that you don’t know what to do with some Christians … you wonder what God will do with them. When a Christian does anything that makes the black sheep feel good, that makes them gray. Holiness is pure white. Holiness is perfection. Holiness is separation from the things that make us gray. Holiness doesn’t ask, “If I do it, will I go to hell?”
Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (Genesis 3:10,11; I Timothy 4:2; I John 3:20,21)
Here we treat the matter of “universal conscience.” This is a distinction we make regarding the matter of conscience when we speak of that ability of all men to distinguish between right and wrong, or in the words of Dr. Patterson Smyth, Man has within him the Divine imperative, the sense of “ought” and “ought not” and that is within him the voice of God. All over the world today, from the Saint Lawrence to the Ganges, every man outside a lunatic asylum feels within him this sense of “ought” and “ought not.” Every man is stamped with the image and superscription of God even amongst the lowest races on earth, no people has ever been found without this sense of right and wrong. Talk of evidences of his being – the starry universe – the golden corn fields – the miracle of the human intellect! Far above all stands the miracle of conscience, the most clear and cogent evidence of the presence of God and of the strong grip of God on the soul of humanity. If earth were abandoned to the powers of Hell and selfishness, sensuality, hate and falsehood were enjoined by law, that law might say must, but it could not say ought and we should instinctively feel that it was nobler to resist that evil law and die than to yield to it and live. Down through the ages reaching to yonder distant tribe in remotest jungle the power of conscience rules on the basis of “ought” and “ought not.” Conscience has forced on us that sublimest truth of ethical science, the identity of the moral law with a divine nature. There lies the basis of all God, religion, of all faith. God can do no wrong!
With this force of moral power called conscience, God provides other powerful aids to conscience. 1) The ministry of the Holy Spirit to activate and convict man through his conscience. John 16:8. 2) Though man had a conscience long before there was a Bible and long before Christ appeared on the scenes of human history, we have the written pages filled with the moral excellence of God to aid the conscience of man. 3) Blood atonement which by the Holy Spirit opens a way for the sinner, by conscience to come boldly through the riven veil into the very Holy of Holies in renewed fellowship with God! Man could only make that journey into God’s presence with a conscience made white in the blood. At the time of conversion, the most profound change that takes place in man is the “lightened conscience” that sensitizes the total being to a whole new realm of moral discernment. Now man and his conscience sees righteousness from the divine perspective! John 1:9. Conscience and holiness become one. Holiness life results from spirit consciousness of God and the spirit conscience of man. I Corinthians 2:15. If conscience is the essence of moral appetite and that in turn what we understand to be the spirit which God breathed into man in the beginning, then conscience is the appetite of the spiritual man as opposed to libido, hunger and greed being the three appetites of the flesh nature of man. This logic complies with the basic difference between the two natures. Flesh conduct (appetites) avoids pain (discomfort) and is attracted to pleasure. Spirit conduct (conscience) avoids wrong and is attracted to right.
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
SIN AND SOCIETY
ANTHROPOLOGISTS ADMIT MAN SINFUL BY NATURE
In September 1973, anthropologists (meet every 5 years) met in Chicago – largest gathering of anthropologists in history. Dr. Norman McDonald, English Physician, said, “We have to face the truth and accept one basic, unpleasant fact, man being what he is, violence is forever. Man is the greatest predator the world has ever known. We deceive ourselves if we call murder, inhuman. It is characteristic of man. It may be inhumane, but it is not inhuman. From the time he fashioned a club as his first weapon, man has insisted on developing more powerful weapons so that now, instead of killing individuals or groups, he can annihilate a planet.”
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 12:2)
This is not a reference to the duration of salvation! Paul is not saying there is no saving merit in works! See Ephesians 2:10; James 2:24. He is saying that we cannot be justified (declared righteous and restored to fellowship with God). The only thing that justifies, legally removes sin from our past, is the shed blood of Jesus Christ! But, after having been justified by the blood, the sanctifying process begins. See Initiative; When justification is wrongly used to imply the total scope of salvation (the duration of Christian life) they are making a serious and misleading error! There is a difference between the door (justification) of a mansion and being inside the mansion with the door shut. Here are some other errors this faulty exegesis creates;
1. That moral law was canceled by grace. Grace fulfills moral law! Romans 8:4; Titus 2:11-14. If moral conduct falls below the moral law, then grace is not present. Grace has higher moral standards than law demands. See Law; Grace; Initiative; Titus 2:12.
2. They fail to make a distinction between ceremonial law and moral law. laws were those points of law in Moses’ law fulfilled by the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Moral law is constituted of principles of behavior that are pleasing to God and compatible with His holy nature. See Matthew 6:12.
3. Neither do these people distinguish between instantaneous justification and progressive sanctification which is the proper dichotomy of salvation. These are two different operations.
The first being instantaneous, the second a continuing, progressive life of obedience and moral perfection. It’s one thing to get saved and another thing to stay saved! V.21 “Justified freely by His grace,” not “saved freely by His grace.” There is no way the soul of man can be justified either by moral (his own obedience) law (obedience to the moral commandments) or by ceremonial law (observing the Mosaic sacrifice system, including types, holy days, etc.), but only by the blood of Christ! Paul is not speaking of the duration of salvation, but justification at the time of repentance(a legal transaction). The proponents of cheap grace insist that salvation is through the blood of Christ and is a “free gift.” True! Justification is a free gift through the blood of Christ. This is clear when Paul says, “No flesh shall be justified in His sight,” that is to be legally declared righteous for “the remission of sins past.” But this justification is received instantly at the time of repentance and making Christ Savior and Lord of my life. Justification links us with grace (a teacher), gives us the regenerate nature that loves the kingdom law – from there we enter into a life of discipline and perfection. Study Matthew 5:41, Willingness; Initiative; Strive; Titus 2:11,12. They keep saying, “salvation occurs apart from human effort”. Sir, justification occurs apart from any law being lived up to – but not true of salvation! Salvation apart from initiative of the believer and obedience to the moral law is an error that makes no distinction between; 1) Instantaneous justification, and 2) Progressive sanctification. There is no such thing as regeneration apart from sanctification! Regeneration is our initiation into the kingdom through the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But once we are brought into the kingdom (and here we stand) what is the first thing now we are to do? Titus 2:11. The teaching process begins and we learn godliness! “To redeem us from iniquity” is what grace. We must have knowledge to let our new love for God to flow through. They say, “You’re teaching salvation by law, that works salvation and destroys grace … this emasculates the doctrine of salvation.” “They identify Jesus as Savior from past sins, as our Justifier from sin, but have not identified with His Lordship, [though they refer to Him as being so]. These people think they are saved apart from any obedience or works, Psalm 144:15; Ephesians 2:10, which is error. They have not recognized or received Christ as Lord, and therefore, the full salvation has never occurred.” The modern Gospel movement has no biblical concept of sanctification and/or the Lordship of Christ. “Men and movements have often given the impression that the acceptance of the Lordship of Christ is a second experience of grace and a sort of optional addendum to the Christian life. So great has been this perversion that many congregations are astounded when they hear the true Gospel of the Lordship of Christ that they believe we are preaching a new Gospel.” The true message of salvation has become so corrupted by the fleshologians, that the pure doctrines are hidden from the church. The contemporary prosperity preachers have a glib and even arrogant way of putting over a very sloppy exegesis. Traditional holiness has a history of sound theological premise and carries the image of such theologians as John Wesley and Charles Finney – historical theologians who shook and changed the world they lived in by their sound concepts of holiness. We have become the itching ears generation. Even John Calvin said, “Christ justifies no one that He does not at the same time sanctify. Whom he justifies, He sanctifies.” This simply means that upon forgiveness the Holy Spirit enters the life with a scheme of righteous living. Repentance is simply the beginning of the holy life. Unless we accept this truth rather than the half truth of justification only, we frustrate the grace of God. Spurgeon said, “Justification without sanctification would not be salvation at all.” Salvation begins with turning from sin to Christ. Salvation continues through sanctification, translation and ends at glorification (judgment). Romans 6:1.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
“FEIGNED” PHONY FAITH
“Short of the glory.” We must understand that human refinement, culture, grooming, graciousness, charisma, niceness, or even humaneness is not to be mistaken for holiness. Many unregenerate people possess benevolent characteristics in their human way. While the spiritual life of holiness should possess all of these qualities, these qualities apart from the blood of the Lamb is “short of the glory.” These same benevolent qualities may exist in modern Christians who profess Christ, but apart from separation and obedience to the standards of holiness. This niceness is as human as the goodness of unregenerate man. It’s short of the glory. Psalm 17:1; 2 Corinthians 6:6; I Timothy 1:5; I Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 2:3.
Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Note in verse 25, Paul makes it very clear that our state of righteousness in Christ at the beginning of the Christian life is granted when we put our faith in His atoning blood and that this atonement and this new righteousness is “for the remission of sins that are past.” We learn that the righteous state we are given is His righteousness. This state of holiness will become our standing as we mature in Christ. There is a different righteousness, Romans 6:19, called “the works of righteousness (dikaiosune) unto holiness.” This is not referring to our state of righteousness, but our righteous standing, a righteousness the Christian himself is credited with. This is not only possible, but God wants us to become righteous by our own choice, possessing our own holy nature. In fact, this is to Him the efficacy of the cross. The state of righteousness is not our own. Our standing in righteousness is righteousness we have attained through obedience to the teachings of grace. Titus 2:11; Philippians 3:16. It is possible to have our own righteousness (inasmuch as these are not works of righteousness wrought by the atoning works of Christ which established our original righteous state). James 2:18. However, let us remember that the state of righteousness is still by grace, inasmuch as He brought us into righteousness by His precious blood and that His Spirit empowers us and His Word inspires us to follow this new obedience. Acts 17:28. And so, even though we are credited with the acts of righteousness, we commit it by choice. The means of executing the act will always be by His grace. Each time the new Christian chooses to obey God instead of taking the alternative and doing that which is less noble, his state of righteousness increases. Romans 6:13,16,19.
Because we are volitional creatures, we are left to choose whether we will appropriate God’s grace unto obedience, or to yield our members to the impulses of lust. Matthew 5:41; Romans 6:13; Galatians 5:19-21. Acts of obedience prove the inner desires toward Christ and commend us to God. John Conversion 14:23. As a result; 1) The holiness of Christ that is instantaneously imparted at the time of justification (my standing), and 2) The works of sanctification which are credited through obedience, (my state of righteousness) are found to be very distinct. The state of sanctification deserves special attention because; 1) So little is being said or written in these days about it, and 2) It involves the Christian’s personal goals of perfection in Christ. Hebrews 12:10. Generally, when Christians speak of holiness, they are not speaking of their state of sanctification bestowed at the time of conversion, but generally it is in reference to the Christian’s pursuit of moral perfection or his standing in Christ. A Christian’s state of sanctification in Christ is a legal impartation as a result of being justified through repentance. The Christian’s standing is sanctification he possesses through obedience and earns by proper spiritual response to the graces of God. So when we speak of the holiness of a Christian, we are usually speaking in the sense of his progressive sanctification experience and not of being declared sanctified at the time of his new birth. Job 17:9.
THE TWO KINDS OF SANCTIFICATION
An easy way to lodge this difference in the mind is to go to I Corinthians 1 and note verse 2 and 30. v.2 “… to them that are sanctified (HAGIAZO) in Christ Jesus.” Of this word W. E. Vine says, “thus … sanctification is not an attainment, it is the state which they begin their course as Christians.” v.30 “… who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification (HAGIASMOS), and redemption:” W. E. Vine says of this word, “Separation to God [and used in] I Thessalonians 4:3,4,7; Romans 6:19,22; I Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 12:14 [to denote] … the course of life so befitting those so separated.
THE TWO KINDS OF HOLINESS
Note: Classical Christian Commentary prefers using “state” and “standing” to distinguish between the holiness given to us (declared holy, hagiazo), and holiness (HAGIOSUNE) credited to us (our own character of holiness). “J. Harold Greenlee in his book, A CONCISE EXEGETICAL GRAMMAR OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK, pg 19, 20, explains certain suffixes which may support the above definitions. Nouns ending in SUNE denote quality. Verbs ending in AZO (adzo) signify to do or to be and sometimes to cause what the stem (hagio) implies.”
Romans 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
UNDERSTANDING STATE AND STANDING RIGHTEOUSNESS IMPUTED We make a difference here between what we would call doctrine and teaching. is something contained in scripture in a pure state. Teaching is an attempt by good men to impart truth of scripture which sometimes falls short of precise scriptural knowledge. Only the word impute (dropping the word impart) as the Bible does, Romans 4:22; James 2;23, encourages Bible students to resist using imputed and imparted as parallels. (A precedent greatly used in W. E. Kenyon’s writings). D. L. Moody’s choice of parallels to express this difference between declared and credited holiness, was state and standing. With this in mind we want to examine this matter of teaching on the subject of imputed and imparted righteousness. Impart means to give to or share with. Impute means to credit with. Websters 20th Century Dictionary unabridged defines impute theologically, as to ascribe good to a person as coming from another. The word impute is used by scripture denoting to be legally credited with Christ’s righteousness. When the sinner allows the Holy Spirit to convince him that Christ visited this world, His life, His agonizing death on a Roman cross, His resurrection, and especially the agonies of the cross, and he realizes that the shedding of atoning blood was God’s loving provision for his atonement and restoration of fellowship with God, when he accepts that substitutionary death and repents, his past is forgiven and God sees him as pure and righteous as Christ Himself. That person at that moment of confession of sin is legally declared righteous in the tribunals of God! All of his past sin is legally (justification) put upon Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21. As man accepts His substitutionary death, he becomes legally justified in the sight of God, the evidence that was against him is removed and God sees him as if he had never sinned and he is declared holy (hagiazo). This is a legal transaction that can be explained by the logics of jurisprudence which we have no time or space here to enlarge upon. If you can find a copy of Law and the Cross, by C. F. Creighton, you will have most of the legal answers on atonement. See James 2:24. The Bible does speak clearly (read Romans 4,5 and 6) of righteousness that God imputes, in the Old Testament (Hebrew chashab, 2803, Leviticus 7:18; 17:4; Psalm 32:2) and in the New Testament (logizomai, 3049, to account Impute, or credit with, to reckon). However, it is to be noted that while the scripture speaks of the righteousness of Christ being imputed to those who come to Him in repentance, through the atonement of animal sacrifices, it never speaks of righteousness being imparted through blood sacrifice!
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
“A question is the strongest kind of an affirmation. Paul affirms that God forbids our abuse of his grace to continue in sin. Grace is intended to save us from all sin. Then, by that question ‘How?’ he as positively and emphatically affirms that it is absolutely impossible that those who are dead to sin should live any longer therein. There can be no stronger word than ‘dead’.” Titus 2:12,14. There are two key words in Paul’s inspired selection of terms used. First, the term, “God forbid.” Secondly, the word, “dead.” “God forbid!” God forbid the idea that God’s grace is God’s mercy canceling holy living! It is foolishness and emphatically denied as realistic by the apostle. It is also unacceptable logically. Departure from the pure religion of sanctification and separation is not even logical when examined. The word “dead” is used to describe our separation from sin at the time new life in Christ begins. There is no clearer explanation of separation and the absoluteness of mortification of the self life when we become a new creation than in this statement by Paul and his use of the word “dead.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
“Note those strongest possible words ‘crucified’ and ‘destroyed.’ A dead man cannot serve sin. The crucified ‘Old Man’ cannot serve sin. This is not merely our ‘theory.’ Paul says we know it. It is both theory and experience, and practice.”
Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
You cannot allow the body to have uninhibited access to the spirit of the world (television, magazines, music) and have holiness of life. Holiness abhors evil and has no attraction, desire for the things of the world. Romans 13:14; Philippians 1:9,10. The things of the world that are supportive to and cheer body life are vain and unessential. They only contribute to man’s carnal tendencies, liberal philosophies and separate us from God. I John 2:15,16,17.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
“Ye,” “Your,” “Yourselves,” “as Those.” Paul’s statement in this verse makes it very Will clear that the initiative of the believer is an essential part of the work of sanctification. The initiative of the believer is not only an actuality, but it is essential to the efficacy of the cross.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (See Romans 7:7) 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 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.
Here we see the clear distinction between righteousness and holiness. The word righteousness is the Greek word, DIKAIOSUNE, meaning literally, rightness, or what is just. The word holiness is the Greek word, HAGIASMOS, meaning to set apart, separation unto God, conduct befitting those who are separated unto God. Here are two words that are too often carelessly used to mean the same thing, resulting in doctrinal and behavioral confusion. Righteousness is the rightness of man toward man. Holiness is the rightness of man toward God. Righteousness is rightness on a social plane. Holiness is rightness on a spiritual plane. Righteousness is horizontal relationship with man. Holiness is a vertical relationship with God. Righteousness is how my life relates to other people. Holiness is how my heart relates to God. Righteousness has to do chiefly with the social sphere of man, a horizontal relationship toward those around us on the earthly plain. Holiness has to do chiefly with my personal intimacies with God, a vertical relationship with my Maker. One must be righteous to be holy, but one is not necessarily be holy if righteous. Holiness is not righteousness, nor is righteousness holiness. Nor is separation or a dress standard holiness. The student of holiness can find through Greek word study reference books a satisfying study of the different Hebrew and Greek terms translated into the English words, righteousness, holiness and sanctification. You will also see that distinction in our lexiconal study pages of the Hebrew and Greek in the front pages of this Classic Christian Culture Commentary It is our purpose to leave those deeper studies to the student of Greek and make the following observations regarding them.
RIGHTEOUSNESS – Meaning to be just, or rightness, reflects God’s primary interest in man having a right and moral relationship with people in the many areas of life. The chief objective of God’s moral law to man is to regulate man’s social behavior with other members of society. The result is social order. Out of that order comes harmony, peace and happiness. This divine order is to be found as the essence of, 1) The Word of God; 2) The ministry of the Holy Spirit; 3) Agape, the commandment, divine faith and all other divine virtues and qualities. Righteousness is casuistry; a right relationship to others. Holiness is characteristically godlikeness. It is cultivation of the divine nature in us through intimate fellowship with God’s presence. It is an unconscious separation from the world as my love for God increases.
HAGIOS, the adjective, meaning holy. “The scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred. It is used of men and things … in so far as they are devoted to God. … often … presented in a way which involves divine demands upon the conduct of believers.” When something is set apart from, it is set apart from/unto. Holiness is therefore understood to be primarily a setting apart from, (negative action) that which is secular, and unto God, that which is Divine (positive action). To be set apart from evil is a positive act in the moral sense, because to withdraw from evil is a positive act in the sight of God. There is a contemporary concept of “holiness” that is without separation (without which the very efficacy of holiness is destroyed). The emphasis of preaching, teaching, singing, doctrine and the liberal schools of theology all emphasize adoration, worship and praise with no equal emphasis whatsoever on the believer’s initiative in separation from the world. This lack of honest investigation and sound exegesis on this cardinal element of Christian doctrine, has already had its demoralizing effect on the church. The elimination of the doctrine of separation defuses the power of sanctification. apart from or without separation is nothing. 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11. It is the doctrine of apostates and promotes apostasy. We speak against popular sins as long as it doesn’t conflict with popular lifestyles of the people. Many unregenerate persons champion righteous social issues, such as abortion, equality, corruption in government and child abuse. While these are righteous issues many people are involved in, these matters are not holy, or even religious … they are in many cases humane and certainly good – but there’s no redeeming blood in these “works.”
SEPARATION – Here is where a very subtle deception has set into the church because there has been very little serious study of this most important doctrine. The modern fundamental church has become all but oblivious to the truth and power of separation. The ignorance of separation distorts the doctrine of salvation, and obscures the importance of the initiative of the believer. A gospel that stresses justification apart from separation has mutated and distorted the divine revelation of the doctrine of Soteriology! Justification and Separation are the two doctrines that constitute the doctrine of soteriology (salvation). To preach justification at the cross and not point to the convert to separation immediately to rob Christians of the great joys of victory they should be experiencing over the flesh after the cross. A half of a gospel is another gospel and not the gospel of Christ or the apostles. It ignores the agency of man and his power of choice and assent. It strips him of his will and leaves him a spiritual zombie. It creates a void in his spirit and renders him ignorant of a whole realm of experiential power. It has reduced the romance between saint and Sanctifier to a religious nonsense; “Just get saved and the Holy Ghost does the rest.” It is twilight zone Christianity dancing and singing along in the stupor of amoral sublimation. Christians were joined in the crusades of social issues and even enter into the battles of righteousness … but we have been called to holiness. Righteousness is often a moral issue that will join us together, holiness is not. In the presence of holiness the body life is threatened (Galatians 5)! Read Romans 12:2; Moral issues we will tolerate, but God’s control of my body appetites, we will not tolerate. What consensus considers to be right and wrong we readily go along with, but what God declares to separate from they take exception to. The only convenient way we can get out of this is to eliminate any serious thoughts on the doctrine of separation and drop it from the doctrine of holiness. This only produces an illegitimate Gospel that reproduces illegitimate children.
The Word is the source of sanctification knowledge. Psalm 19:7; John 17:17. Separation pertains to the holiness of the body. It involves the resolution of a transformed mind. The Holy Spirit is the agent of sanctification of spirit and these three constitute the three forces of biblical sanctification. I Thessalonians 5:23; Luke 1:74; Ephesians 4:24.
RIGHTEOUSNESS speaks of my right relationship with others, to not transgress the rights and possessions of others, to not rob them of happiness by any act of selfishness. It is a deep sense of dealing rightly and properly with my fellow man. A sense of obligation to the welfare of others around me. It is to honor the established principles of right and wrong when dealing with others. This is a quality the Holy Spirit will improve on within us when He comes bringing the life of Christ within. Many, if not most unregenerate people, out of culture and conscience have such knowledge and even execute a pretty high level of moral belief and conduct. There are many people championing such causes as abortion, in the fight against pornography, child abuse, alcoholism, drugs, divorce, extortions, abuses in business practices, homosexuality, socialism, schools being arbitrarily controlled by the educational bureaucracy, sleazy teachers, sex education, etc… Society has a conscience that is kept alive by persons with righteous and principled values. But this righteous social action is not to be equated with holiness. Holiness is the biblical term that defines the moral excellence of God’s nature. What is good for a people or a community is a matter of logic. Men with good minds know that pornography tears at the moral fiber and destroys marriages that are otherwise strong and spiritually healthy. It destroys the worth and potential of man and perverts his values making sex important equating it with happiness. That sir, is a perversion of the natural the nature God gave man! It is just this simple, unregenerate people are capable of righteousness while they are not capable of being holy. Human righteousness may have the same goals at heart for the good of man, but his motives will be different! He will be active in moral issues and champion causes that he and his family or his community will benefit by.
Good and evil are not to coexist together in a born again soul. Goodness will permeate the whole man, spirit, soul and body!
Christian righteousness is motivated by these factors, as well as by the Holy Spirit and the commandment of God. In fact, there are many acquaintances of natural men who make no born again profession of Christ, but who have very high standards of righteousness both in the home, in the training of their children and in the way they carry out a very orderly life of self-control. Some of these very righteous people even have strong convictions about nutrition and personal health. Even this corresponds with the Christian conviction that the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Probably the most classic example of righteousness existing apart from holiness is the strong moralistic emphasis I found prevailing in the Soviet Union. No pornography, no erotic television programming, strict public order, good judicial system opposing the criminal element with swift justice (excepting their dealing with Christians) while the State promotes cultural programming for radio and TV. If “righteousness exalteth a nation”, then the Soviet Union was exalted far above the United States! Of course, Russia’s righteousness is based upon the human logic of what corrupts and destroys nations and then simply follows through to avoid the consequences of lawlessness. I will insert here a very interesting observation in regard to the judicial systems of the world’s nations; that every judicial system still bases the matters of right and wrong on the ten commandments!
So, righteousness can exist apart of holiness. Standing against social disorders and moral issues that corrupts mankind does not necessarily reflect holiness in the person who champions these causes. Righteousness is what is (socially) just, while holiness is what is pious (personal). The holiness Christian possesses both. Totally unregenerate people can live up to ninety-five percent of the modern Christian’s moral performance. Ninety-five percent of the modern Christian’s morals can be achieved by human effort. There is nothing supernatural or holy at all about the contemporary liberal’s moral character as compared to his better behaved unsaved neighbors. Morality becomes supernatural when we begin to accept the challenge of the holy heart to separate from all forms of worldliness and live the moral code of the Spirit as revealed in scripture. That supernatural walk is achieved through holiness concepts and intimacy with God. We need to stop cluttering our emotions with prayers to God to grant us this and that according to a plan we are forcing on God by “faith” and learn to wait in His presence until the love and desire for the goodness of the moral law is revealed to us and poured into our hearts, to stop asking Him for anything but this, “Oh, Lord, indwell me with Your holiness, with the excellencies of the divine morality.” Christians should possess a moral judgment and a moral behavior that is supernaturally above the unregenerate. Conclusion: He who is holy will be righteous. But he who is righteous is not necessarily holy.
Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
“Here is another strongest possible expression: ‘Free from sin.’ In the fullest sense only those who are ‘free from sin’ bear ‘fruit unto holiness’.”
Romans 7:4 (KJV)
4 ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 6 We are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Liberals have a “law complex.” The minute you mention that word to a group of Christians you can tell those who do not have the Spirit of Christ … they go bananas! They turn cold, avoid you and later you learn they called you a “legalist” or made a remark to the effect, “he doesn’t even believe in the blood of Jesus.”
GOD’S LAW ALIVE AND WELL!
BETTER TO BE A LEGALIST THAN LAWLESS
Moral law clearly remains a part of the Gospel, but can only be fulfilled by those redeemed in the blood, born again and empowered by the Holy Spirit. John 1:12; Romans 8:4. Holiness Christians will not be intimidated by the anti-nomian liberals to move away from the supremacy of the moral principles of the kingdom. See Law; Here are only a few verses to consider; Matthew 5:17 Philippians 3:9 Romans 7:7,12,14; 8:4; 13:8 I Timothy 1:8,9 Galatians 5:14 I John 5:1-3 Only cowards, apostates and the insane would attempt to disassociate the order of things (government) from the Gospel of atonement. You may transgress the law, violate the law, ignore the law, disagree with the law, profane the law, but you cannot “break” God’s law! You could jump over the moon a lot easier. The Bible never mentions any man “breaking” the law. The statement, “breaking” the law of God is strangely missing from the Bible in spite of how much we have used the term. Only once in the Old Testament did the Psalmist say, Psalm 89:31, “If they break My statutes.” This is Hebrew CHALAL, to defame by teaching Break, disregard for, to begin a breakdown, to set a precedent against it. But God’s moral laws are absolute and eternal. Man can violate God’s laws, but he cannot “break” them. This fact stands sure, you cannot “break” God’s laws, and those who try find that God’s law breaks them. The only time “breaking” the law appears in the New Covenant writings is in Matthew 5:19, when Jesus upheld the moral law by saying, “Whosoever, therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so: he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” The word here is luo, which carries the meaning of losing people from the force or obligation of the commandment, rendering them not binding. This clearly reveals the mind of Christ on the matter of moral law, the commandments, and their being binding on the church. Of course, many Christians shrink from such a thought of being obligated to any kind of moral precept. If I am filled with the Holy Spirit and fully surrendered as a new creation in Christ, I will love the commandment. I John 5:3. The proof of carnal religion prevailing in the church today is the modern Christian’s contempt for the law of God. That is positive proof of not being born again. Only the carnal nature resents the moral law. “The carnal mind is enmity (ekthra, hate) against God: for it is Hate, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” See Matthew 7:21. Note that to not be subject to God’s moral laws is equivalent to hating God! Jesus said, “If you love me, keep My commandments” (note commandments, plural, I John 2:2-7). He was not speaking of a non-definable “love commandment” (singular), but of the moral law which He gave at the beginning of His ministry when He intensified the moral law given by Moses. Matthew 6:12. Moses’ law was of a human level of requirement because it was given to the natural man. Under grace we become capable of a spiritually supernatural moral power and so the moral commandments of Jesus are given to the spiritual man. They were directed to a supernatural and Spirit level of conduct. See Romans 3:25; 4:6; 8:4; 13:8-10, James 2:24. It must be made clear – that there is no salvation in the moral law prior to the new birth and there is no salvation in the moral law without the new birth in Christ. There is no blood in the law and no salvation outside of the blood. But there is moral law in the blood and there is righteousness and holiness after repentance. See Romans 3:20; 8:3,4; 10:9,10. Law is good because it defines what is right and reveals what is wrong. Romans 7:7. Human nature is sinful and therefore resents law because it establishes just what sin is. For this reason, the fallen sin nature (flesh) resents divine law. Romans 8:7,8. It is not the spiritual man that resents the law of God, but the carnal nature. It is enmity against God and the flesh has no desire to please God. Why does Paul put such a play upon the legal aspects of the atonement, and in particular, the legality of morality? There is a strong efficacious (desired result) principle involved. For law to be divine, to be holy and good, it must have two effectual qualities, 1) To convert the wicked, and 2) To exterminate sin. If it does not achieve these ends, then it does not achieve the highest purpose of law, nor is it a force for good. If it cannot in the end effect good and protect the righteous, it is reduced to a powerless ideal.
In the sufferings of the tree we see the tortures and the agonies that were put to His body, the penalty of sin, to correct the wrong (to make atonement by blood according to the law, Leviticus 17:11). Law represents government and the order of the society. Whenever law or rules of order are relaxed in the family unit, in church government, or in a society, it means these two virtues of goodness cease to be, 1) penalty (the wicked), and 2) transformation (to change the nature, the heart). When Paul writes to the Romans he does not base his redemptive theology on, 1) parental empathy, nor even on 2) the premise of love (which it truly is), 3) on the desire of God to forgive, or 4) on human sentimentalism; but His approach throughout the book of Romans is a legal one. The book of Romans is a forensic masterpiece revealing that Jesus was the victim of the requirements of divine law! It was law that required His death … and His willingness to comply with the just requirements of kingdom law (government) to make an atonement, which in turn reveals Him as good, righteous and holy. “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” See Matthew 5:41. According to Finis J. Dake there are 1,050 Commandments in the New Testament. In your next study make a list of a few of the New Testament commandments. Matthew 5 and Romans 12 are good places to start. Matthew 28:18-20 “…all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” I Corinthians 11:24 “…do in remembrance of me.” I Timothy 2 “…not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls…” Here are only a few of the commandments contained in the third chapter of Colossians; 3:1 …”seek those things above”
3:5 …”mortify your members”
3:8 …”put off”
3:9 …”lie not one to another”
3:10 …”put on”
3:18 …”wives submit yourselves to your own husbands”
3:19 …”husbands, love your wives”
3:20 …”children, obey your parents”
we regard as the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 7:1 …”let us cleanse ourselves”
Romans 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (Exodus 31:18)
It is unthinkable that the moral law of God is anything but perfect and eternal. It’s impossible to be otherwise because it originated in and issues from the heart of God. Romans 7:12,14.
1. It reveals God to us.
2. It is a standard to measure our defects.
3. It is the sensitizer of conscience. Read Psalm 119.
4. It is the seal of truth. By it we are able to know and prove what is the true way of grace. Isaiah 8:20.
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Power is important to the experience of holiness. The leper and the palsied man were types of sin that “dwelleth” in us. The apostle not only found “evil present,” but he also discovered power absent; “How to perform … I find not.” In the fall, man not only became physically depraved; he also became spiritually deprived. His appetite for purity had gone from him. Corruption easily entered. His spiritual immune system Body, Sin was destroyed within. The carnal nature is characteristically disinterested in moral excellence and will prevent the human spirit from aspiring to holiness. The solution; an atonement that will affect the death of flesh and provide power and love for the spiritual man to rise above the powers of body, environment and all of hell by the power of a God given will to be good – that is what Calvary did for us! Romans 8:37-39.
Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
TERMS DEFINING MORAL CONDUCT
Sanctification is in two basic forms more thoroughly treated in the subject index and text. Sanctification always means, in its most simple and yet profound form, as being separated unto God. It is the divine moral, the Holy ethic, the highest moral pursuit of men and the theme of this book. Sanctification does make sense. In fact, the principles of good conduct revealed in scripture are based on practibility. Goodness is logical and practical or it ceases to be true or good. There is, therefore, a logic that exists between the Divine goodness of the Creator and the creation which becomes apparent as we seek out the holiness message contained in scripture. Leviticus 20:26.
Holiness differs from sanctification as being the moral excellence of the Divine nature which is planted in the lives of the redeemed by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the nature in man that only God can give and that expresses the same moral values towards good and evil as does God.
The desire to achieve excellence. Perhaps the truest indication of genuine conversion and the presence of Christ within is the desire to achieve moral excellence. Striving Perfection in the sanctifying sense is an affection for purity. It always implies; 1) Not actually being perfect, otherwise a desire to achieve it would not exist; 2) A duration of time or a process of achievement. Hebrews 6:1,2; 2 Peter 1:4-7; Philippians 1:6 “will finish it”; and 3) That perfection is the very thing personal redemption relates to. Philippians 3:12-14; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 7:11. The desires of perfection effects sanctification. See Psalm 119.
“This word is from the Latin, vir, man. It originally pertained only to masculinity and meant man-like quality; but in our day it has a more purely ethical significance, so that we may speak just as appropriately of a virtuous woman as of a virtuous man. Virtue may be used in both an ethical and a non-ethical sense. When you speak of a ‘man of great virtue,’ that is an ethical reference to virtue. But when you say, ‘the medicine was of great virtue’ (curative), then you are speaking in the non-ethical sense.”
That which is desirable, pleasant or Goodness enjoyable. The quality of goodness is predetermined by the nature of the person who so finds that pleasure. A savage may find killing a member of a rival tribesman “good.” So there can be different levels of goodness – God’s goodness being the highest form. 1) Divine goodness based on the well-being of others; 2) Human goodness determined by a level of self-determined values. Here is another word that can be used in both an ethical and non-ethical way. In the same sense as described above. See Genesis 1.
“There are several ways we can change the meaning of this very powerful word. A block of wood can be non-moral, or it can be unmoral, but it is impossible for it to be immoral, because the prefix, im, – moral, meaning principles and practice in regard to right and wrong – immoral being the assimilated form, immoral implies a morality, that is a form of morals, but not a good form of morals. The word ‘moral’ is derived from the Latin, mos (adjective, moralis), which also means custom or usage. Here again it will be seen that the term ‘moral’ has come to have a higher significance than its derivation would indicate. Where the terms moral science and moral philosophy were once used, these terms have now given place to the briefer and more descriptive term, ‘ethics’.”
Theoretical (human) Ethics sets out to solve the problems of right and wrong and then proceeds to organize all of the accumulated data of morality into a system, making it a science as well as a philosophy. Human Ethics then is the science of conduct, or actions and is therefore faulty. “A man’s external conduct might be correct according to all the Canons of conventional ethics, and he might even simulate Christian morality quite successfully, at least for a time; yet he might be a very immoral person, because his motives are evil. It is the inner purpose that determines the real character of the actor.” “Ethics is quite as much a study of character as it is of conduct.”
DEFINITIONS OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS
“Christian Ethics could be defined as, The science which treats of the sources, principles and practice of right and wrong in the light of the Holy Scriptures, in addition to the light of nature and reason. It is interesting to note here that Christian ethics deals with a very practical aspect of right and wrong.”
1. “Ethics is a science of rectitude and duty; it treats of the right and its obligations.”
2. “The subject-matter of ethics is morality, the phenomenon of right and wrong.”
3. “Ethics may be defined as the science of morality, or the science of moral distinctions.”
4. “Ethics … the science of moral personality and moral good.”
HEATHEN VERSUS CHRISTIAN ETHICS
Any traveler in the world will inform us that every human society, including remote tribal peoples hold ethical ideals. In all instances these tribal laws usually have a very alarming correspondence to, and parallel with the ten principles which Moses revealed to the people of Israel. It indicates compatibility between the conscience of man Conscience and the law of God. More developed heathen society’s moral standards were very important to the order of that society; but usually it Order was the ruling class thought of as capable of possessing any virtue, while the poor served under them as vassals and regarded to be not much more than animals. Thus, in some heathen societies, where caste systems developed and ruling classes thrive by virtue of their wealth and authority, they are considered to be also virtuous. This is called aristocratic ethics. It was taught by Plato in his writings entitled, THE IDEAL REPUBLIC. In Christian ethics virtue does Christian not belong to powers of earth, but those counted virtuous by the standard and authority of God’s Word. Nowhere in scripture does God uphold the power of the wealthy, the strong or the intellectual apart from purity of heart. Kingdom ethics promotes nothing but the essence of goodness and love. Christian ethics recognizes God as the ultimate force of righteousness. And that righteousness based upon goodness, the essence of which is the well-being and welfare of man’s estate. All commandments are based upon this logical premise of ultimate goodness and therefore, in an efficacious sense are the extensions of Calvary love and essential to valid salvation. See John 14:15,21,23. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” Psalm 97:2
Deontology is another term that was once used for Christian ethics. It is derived from deon, what is due, and logos, discourse, or word; hence its meaning was to make a discourse or give a word about duty. This definition falls short because Christian ethics not only deals with duty, but many other such things as doctrine and perfection.
Another term that is very close to the matter of Christian ethics is the word philosophy. It originally meant, love of wisdom or knowledge. A simple definition is that, philosophy is a study of human morals, character and behavior. A more sophisticated understanding of the total scope of philosophy would be; a study of the processes governing thought and conduct; theory or investigation of the principles or laws that regulate the universe and underlie all knowledge and reality; included in the study are aesthetics, ethics, logic, metaphysics, and other areas of knowledge that would affect the behavior of man. So Christian ethics cannot help itself from becoming involved in the matter of philosophy to some extent. They both deal with the moral behavior of man. But there is quite a big difference between the two; philosophy seeks to solve the ethical problem, that is, in what good actually consists of, its basis, its origin. Christian ethics is, 1) Based upon the authority and excellent moral content of the Word of God. 2) It attacks the problems of right and wrong, and 3) Then proceeds to codify its knowledge of morality based upon the Word of God into an understandable system. While philosophy is a logical process that scientifically seeks moral wisdom by observing conduct, laws and natural phenomenon to arrive at certain conclusions, Christian ethics is the study of an already established code of morality and the codification of that ethic. The Bible contains the only true moral revelation of proper ethic. Holiness, the moral excellence of God’s own nature, is characterized in us by a moral preference for that ethic revealed in the Word of God. Holiness is derived from God as its source and is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through His Word. Note: Sometimes philosophy and theoretical ethics resemble and parallel the Christian biblical ethic because the conscience of man has much in common with the moral law of God.
Christian casuistry is the application of biblical morality to everyday circumstances in life. It is the applying of principles to the practical duties of everyday living. That revelation of divine wisdom as revealed in the holy commandment when obeyed will in the ultimate sense, and in the final application, achieve the practical good of the whole. When we speak of practical holiness, we are speaking of the applying the moral principles of God’s commandments to the matters of everyday life.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
“In this verse, ‘Spirit’ stands over against ‘sin,’ and ‘life’ stands over against death.’ Not at random, but by the force of law, the Spirit of life frees us from the contrary operation of the law of sin and death. It is the suspense of a lower law by a higher one. It is the annihilation of an inferior by a superior force. It is the living personal Holy Ghost, by the perfect law of liberty, completely counteracting the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (See Romans 7:12, Government)
The Holy Spirit does not work outside of, beyond, or apart from the commandment of God’s moral precepts. In this passage of scripture, Paul makes it very clear what Jesus meant and what the sense of meaning was when he stated, “I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.” Matthew 5:17. Yet law, for all its benefits and beauty, was never able to produce in men the holiness to which it points (Rom. 7:17-13; Gal. 2:19-20). God will never change His commitment to righteousness. But the OT law will pass away, for it is not His final solution to creation of a righteous community. For that solution history must wait for a New Covenant, instituted in Christ’s death, and a new community formed of those in whom the Spirit of God will dwell. In spite of vast theological knowledge and access the modern church has to teaching techniques; and with all the nineteen centuries of church history and its experience and masterful godly teachers, we have come to the end of the church age and have utterly spread confusion in the body of Christ on the most supreme of all doctrines, the moral excellence of God’s holy nature and the pursuit of the same. After the message of the blood, sanctification should be the most taught and sought of all biblical truths. It is the most avoided. There are many Christian campuses that do not have any teaching on the subject of the moral law, Christian ethics, and especially the compatibility of the Christian heart with moral principle and how important that compatibility is. There is no attempt to reconcile new birth with the “righteousness of the law.” And yet, this is not only the message of scripture on the matter of the Christian’s moral behavior and achievement, but is absolutely essential to the destiny of the believer. Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. “The majority of modern neo-Christians are openly dedicated to discredit any attempt to promote the moral message of the Bible, they refer to it as “bunk.” If the Holy Spirit upholds only those principles and teachings of holy scripture, then we have clear evidence that many modern neo-Christians do not possess the Holy Spirit as they may think and claim. Shall the remnant accept the emotional evidence of the neo-Christians as being valid, or shall we measure every profession and claim by the Word of God itself?
A great man once said that the only thing necessary for good to triumph over evil, is that good men do nothing. The only thing necessary to see a church movement go under and turn apostate in a few short years it to simply drop all moral teaching from the curricula and then in the silence of that truth make derogatory references to holiness people and churches. But I have a dare for those who make this mistake; Invite some fine holiness pastors and young people to come and answer any questions you or your class members would like to ask and then note carefully the difference in the demeanor of the two groups.
A RIGHT CONCEPT OF MORAL LAW See Matthew 6:12.
1. The righteousness of the law is true altruism, which in essence is the agape principle – others, the expression and nature of Christ’s life. OTHERS! OTHERS! OTHERS! a) The vicarious life (and death); b) “Others He saved, Himself He cannot”; c) The golden rule, “Do unto others…”; and d) Romans 13:8-10. Especially verse 10.
2. The righteousness of the law expresses and describes the action of love. They are the same things. In essence is true agape and altruism, i.e., selfless living for others.
3. The righteousness of the law simply implies God’s concern and care for the welfare and well-being of others.
4. Flesh thinks of law as something binding, negative – as something destroyed by the grace of God. To the unregenerate the word law means bondage. (And it is indeed a bondage of the flesh but not of the spirit) Nothing could be further from divine truth! Human intelligence has conceived this theory, but Satan inspired it to encourage man to remove himself further and further from being governed by God. The flesh nature resents the law. It is the intelligence of the flesh nature that teaches the Christian not to be subject to it. And many times the lawless nature of man attempts to interpret the scripture when it refers to law and thus divest the law of its moral virtue, of its positive power and its glory. You can tell when the natural mind has made contact with the law, there is an emotional explosion, conflict. The natural man will always attack the law and deny it, reject it, decry it as “harsh,” “outmoded” and “legalistic.”
5. It was the righteousness of the law that required Christ to go to the cross and thus fulfill the law of God and the demands of divine justice in the shedding of atoning blood. Christ, the Word lived out, and the Word fulfilled.
6. The Holy Spirit-filled life is a life that is compatible with the principles of God’s moral laws. When the Holy Spirit enters the repentant life, the first evidence of His presence is that the nature of that man becomes compatible with the principles of divine law … “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk … after the Spirit.” See Ezekiel 26:37; Matthew 5:41.
THE WORD ESTABLISHES THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. There are thousands and possibly even millions who claim to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. They consort with “Christian groups” and display a shameless worship of Christ. But how do we know the true Christians from apostates? The answer is simple; those who walk in the Spirit are fulfilling the righteousness of the law! They are compatible with the moral principles contained therein.
2. There is so much love doctrine going around today, so many shades, colors, stripes with a million different degrees of morality, all the way from angry preachers of human holiness who breathe out their anathemas in the name of “holiness,” to the Charismatics who practice free love, drink cocktails, smoke cigarettes, practice remarriage and claim that prophecy is greater than the Word of God … all in the name of love. How do we tell true love, how do we know where agape love really lies. The answer is simple again; as the Bible says, those Christians who are practicing divine agape love are fulfilling the righteousness of the moral law! John 14:15; Romans 13:10; 1 John 5:1-3. It’s in times like these that holiness people should be praising God for the Word that defines God’s moral law! Without this written law of the kingdom, we would have no final authority to refer to or any source of absolute moral principles. We wouldn’t have sure knowledge of God, redemption, heaven, hell or a written creed that comes right from the heart of God! Only buy the word of God do we know the history of the church or God’s purpose for the church. Worse yet, we couldn’t identify those who come in among who are not of God or what pure doctrine is. The church would have any way to know that someone is walking in truth. How could we defend ourselves from error or know how to live pleasing to God? Just as there is a Department of Weights and Measures in Washington, D.C. to tell everyone in the United States how long a foot is and how much does a pound weigh, there must be some final authority or criteria for everyone to go by or conclusion and riots in the streets. Society would become dysfunctional if there was not a standard weight and measure that would fix measurements for everyone. The Department Standards of weights and Measures is an excellent parallel to the Word of God for society. Remove the biblical standard which has come down to us from the creator and we guarantee our own self destruction.
This is the purpose of God’s law. We simply measure those who claim they are walking in the Spirit by the moral law. By this we can tell who is indeed living in the truth of the Spirit.”Oh, no, an angry voice cries, by this shall all men know ye are My disciples, that ye have love one for another – this is the way we identify true Christians! That’s very true. No argument. But what is love? Read Romans 13:10 and I John 5:1-3 and honestly reconcile this scripture with your flawed concept of love. With all kinds of love from human sentimentalism to religious mysticism claiming to be the true form of agape love, how in the world would we know what is the love of God unless we had a criteria, or we had some kind of tangible, divine measurement to go by. Again, the law tells us who has and possesses His love. Carnal Christians (body oriented, personality centered, self serving), including carnal theologians, do not want to recognize the moral authority of precept because moral precept is only regarded where the Holy Spirit is reigning. Jude 19. So we see that the law serves as the criteria to tell us who is “walking in the Spirit” and who is dwelling in “agape love.” Instead of knocking the law because one does not understand, we should appreciate the fact that the law exists giving us a measurement by which we can determine spiritual values!!! Without the fixed morals the blood and the Word give us – we are lost.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Loving obedience to the divine commandment always involves relinquishing personal autonomy. A thing the carnal life will not allow to happen. Matthew 5:41
Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
The carnal mind is (v.7) equivalent to and the same as “in the flesh” (v.8). Here Paul makes it very clear that the carnal mind is simply body consciousness and body oriented. In verse 8, he begins with the word “so,” which is a conjunction between verses 7 and 8.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (See Romans 10:10)
Verses 9 and 10 reveal that having the Spirit of Christ within you, being a Body Christian, has everything to do with the matter of being “body oriented.” If Christ be in you, the body is dead. Body consciousness and body oriented lifestyle is diametric to the Spirit of Christ. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;” The Bible is emphatic – sin dwells and operates in the human body (“The body of sin.” Romans 6:6). And God has placed a death sentence upon sin. The body must die with Christ at the time of conversion or the efficacy (intended result) of the cross has not nor cannot be achieved. Salvation cannot occur apart from the death of the sinful nature (flesh). Romans 7. “For in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing”; Verse 18 …for in my members dwells another law, the law of sin and death. Verse 23,24. In the seventh chapter of Romans, the body is the instrument of sin! This means that it is not only capable of sinning (willful acts against God and His laws), but that the body is hopelessly sinful and corrupt in its very nature. Romans 7:17,18,20. Personality religion exploits what a man can do. Character religion exploits what a man is. Personality religion exploits the abilities of man. Character religion exploits the virtues of the man. The world emulates and deifies the human body (personality). The Christian emulates and imitates the person of Christ (character). The carnal person will not allow God to inhibit his body nature. He will not surrender the personality to the death of self. As a sinner, personality (visible self) dominates my character (good moral judgment, resolution). As a saint, character dominates personality Character and personality becomes subject to the dictates of the holy nature. Galatians 2:20. When we were in sin, the virtues and convictions of good character were overruled by the appetites of the body. But when we are born again, the body dies. And now character is enthroned and appetites serve the dictates of character. A sinner’s heart is a pantheon of gods and goddesses of the flesh. The goddess of vanity, the god of wealth and success, the god of pride and self-consciousness. Two of the worst of these worldly deities are the goddess of glamour and the god of macho. These must all be denounced and denied access to my heart when Christ enters. Self must die if Christ is to dwell in me! The Christian that labors under the hallucination that you can keep Christ, in all of His sovereign majesty, in your heart with any of the gods of the world; or you think to retain any part of the forbidden body life, and like Saul of old, “I’ve saved the good part of me to offer to God,” then it is only a matter of time until those gods start taking advantage of the little dry seasons in your spiritual life, and unconsciously begin to dominate your life. One day Jesus will pack up the few little things he has left and move silently out of your heart. And you won’t even know it! Judges 16:20; Revelation 3:17.
“If Christ be in you, the body is dead!”
“If Christ be in you, the body is dead!”
“If Christ be in you, the body is dead!”
It is important to make a difference between the indwelling Spirit of Christ, which comes at the time of conversion instilling the nature of Christ within us, and the Holy Spirit upon us, which is supernatural enduement of Christ-like ministry. The power of divine nature within and the power of divine ministry upon. The Spirit of Christ dwells in you. Romans 8:9; Acts 2:3,4; 10:44,45; 19:6. Note use of term “on.” Three relationships of the Holy Spirit to man; 1) With all men – omnipresence. 2) Dwell, which speaks relationship of His nature within as different from, 3) Upon and on. One is the supernatural character of Christ within. The other is supernatural works of Christ upon. The Holy Spirit “upon” for the duration of enduement. Judges 14:5,6. One “dwells” within. The other comes “upon” to fill in moments of supernatural enduement. One is a constant indwelling of the goodness and righteousness of Christ’s person and presence. The other is a supernatural visitation of divine power quickening me, anointing me to accomplish the supernatural feats of the Christ when I am in the presence of need. His presence, His person, His power. His presence with all, saint, sinner and insects. His person dwells within. His power comes upon me in moments of extraordinary need. These latter two relationships involve the anointing. We need the power of character that overcomes the evil nature within my flesh, as well as the power to conquer the elements in an evil environment. Titus 2:12; James 1:14.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
It’s very plain language Paul uses here. To be body oriented, or carnally minded is death. No matter how you feel about it, no matter how wonderful the illicit sensations of being noticed, admired, wanted; no matter how good these things make one feel, “if you live after the flesh, ye shall die:” To the contrary, the evidence of the Holy Spirit indwelling us is that He puts the self life to death. As we yield to that death in the Holy Spirit, it is evidenced by giving up body consciousness, body life, body beauty, body feats, love of self and skill, self-strength, indulgent pleasures, for His perfections of grace. And the same Spirit that ministers death to self, ministers new life, Christ consciousness, prayer power, joys of His presence, the anointing of the Spirit and the beauty of holiness. As we experience that death, we live!
Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Redemption (#629 APOLUTROSIS) Ransom in full. Spirit, Soul, and Body. See I Thessalonians 5:23.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
CHRIST, OUR MODEL IMAGE! Philippians 3:10, 2 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 12:10; Model Scriptures Philippians 4:9; I Peter 3:13; I Thessalonians 1:6; Philippians 3:17; Ephesians 5:1; I Corinthians 4:16; 11:1.
MAN’S OBSESSION WITH PERSONALITY
Manifest means, “to make known to the senses.” Jesus has come forth in the flesh, in the words of scripture, “manifest in the flesh,” the divine model image. Christ is come to fulfill all of our model role needs! In spite of man’s obsession with knowing the personal secrets of the world’s celebrities, in spite of his insidious preoccupation with delving into the immoral secrets of the private lives of others, four men, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were called upon by the Holy Ghost to reveal and give to the posterity of the world a detailed account of the life of Jesus Christ, yet not one of these authors attempted to make a description of the physical Jesus. Amazing! Incredible! His character is there for all to behold, but His personality has been carefully screened out by the Holy Spirit. Yes sir, you’ll find the character of Jesus in the New Testament writings, but you will not find anywhere the color of His eyes, the gait of His walk, not a single mannerism is referred to. You will not know if He was lean or stout, we know not whether He is tall or short. Don’t go to Isaiah 53 and refer to that word picture of mutilated human body under tortures of crucifixion and attempt to describe the physical Jesus. As qualified as the Gospel writers would be, and with the added powers being under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to make a very accurate word description of Jesus’ countenance, habits and physical characteristics, no such effort was permitted by the Holy Spirit; one of the greatest evidences of verbal inspiration! We do not know what tone of voice He had, the color of His hair, or if He had a mole on His face. The Holy Spirit reveals only the character of Jesus. We know He had habits of prayer. He sought to be alone with God. We have His teachings … all character factors – no physical description of Him. Personality religion manufactures thousands of Christ’s because they only know Him as a personality which is not even revealed in scripture – never mentioned! Only Jesus holy nature and character are mad known in revelations of holy writ. Apostates who have personality religion demand a Christ of personality and charisma to their liking. Result: A mushy, characterless Christ produced by carnal fantasies. That dreamy Christ is not the Christ of scripture! Neo-fundamentalism worships a personality Christ of their making. Traditional fundamentalism must be careful to not do the same. The real Christ is contained in His Word. Open the book and let the Real Jesus step out!
THE REAL JESUS
It was the character of Jesus that went sweeping into the temple court on two difference occasions and with articulate fingers deftly braided a scourge, stepped out into the middle of the court and shouted, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” knocking over the money tables, sending the merchants scrambling on hands and knees, the ox and the sheep romping over the tile courts, fleeing with their masters. Brother, when you read that you are not seeing a smiling Christian diplomat with a hair dryer hairdo “winning friends and influencing people!” What you see is character of the most divine kind, filled with love and truth, challenging materialistic religion. See Him entering through the gates of Capernaum? No, you don’t really see the physical Jesus, the Jesus of personality. You can’t tell me what you see when you embody Him in your thinking. He is faceless, you have no physical image of Jesus Christ unless you fantasize Him and create a Christ according to your own fancies. But when you look at that multitude converging on Christ and his disciples as they pass beneath the stony arches of Capernaum’s gates into the court of the city, being confronted by a Centurion, you don’t see His face. You see the character of Jesus and a man before Him, a man of violence draped in the rank and garb of Roman power … very physical and very violent. But it was Divine character that looked beyond the appearance of the Centurion and saw a heart of faith and compassion for his servant. As you read the New Testament, the revelation that God gives us of Christ, you will not find in that revelation, the personality of Christ.
You will not find a Christ that is visible.
You will not find a Christ that is handsome.
You will not find a Christ that is educated and suave.
You will not find a Christ that is tall, of overpowering charisma.
Go with me to the well of Jacob outside of Sychar. The disciples had left Him and gone into the city for bread and fish. Jesus is alone in a blazing noonday sun, He is perspiring, His body is physically weary, He is hungry and thirsty. He speaks to the woman of Sychar and asks her for a drink. She turned and looked upon Him and said, “How is it that you ask me for a drink of water when I am a Samaritan and you are a Jew?” So what did that ordinary woman see when she looked upon Jesus without His disciples, without the crowds shouting, without the Hosannas ringing, without His name being hailed, without the holy excitement, what was He when she looked upon Him…nothing but a Jew, sir, nothing but an ordinary, common looking human. This is the only account given in scripture when Jesus met another person alone as a perfect stranger. She knew nothing about Him until His divine nature revealed a character to the woman that impressed her so deeply that she acclaimed Him as Messiah.
MODELING, GOOD AND EVIL
From childhood man is forming his ideals in others. As we mature we never stop seeking these paragons of personal example who possess the qualities we emulate. As we get older we are more subtle about our modeling instincts. We sort of go underground with it. It is only at very old age that modeling ceases to attract us. Up until life has lost its possibilities of achievement does modeling remain a part of us. Young men need models to accommodate their dreams and ambitions. Old men reflect on the past. God designed the human psyche with this strong tendency to model one’s life after others, and particularly achievers. This powerful psychological tendency in man is very much a part of our growth and development. It is not a thing we can ignore or deny. It is an experimental thing with all of us. It is not to be considered wrong or questionable. The thing we must be diligent about in the matter of modeling is who we admire as our model, who we choose to model our lives after. Who becomes my model depends upon two things.
1. My personal values.
2. My exposure to the field of society from which I choose my models.
1. MY PERSONAL VALUES. The moral values of right and wrong a person establishes in their life are very strong guiding factors. A person with strong Christian convictions would never make a movie star, a criminal, or any notorious person with negative spiritual or moral lifestyle, a model. Or would they? Is it happening? This is one of the warps in the apostate fundamentalism. They say they “love” Jesus and then imitate movie stars, athletes and immoral personality celebrities of the world! This is a contradiction! It is a psychological fact that I imitate who I admire. Imitating is a natural phenomenon in human behavior. In infancy, imitating is a simple and innocent thing, but as the child grows, that modeling tendency is still there and takes on some serious character forming ways. This is why it is extremely important that children are taught character behavior beginning very early in age by attentive parents. One of the finest ways to instill character in young children is to teach the Ten Commandments and commit them to memory. These Ten Commandments contain the ten basic principles of holy character. These principles will help our children greatly. Modeling becomes a very serious matter that will ultimately effect career, lifestyle, and destiny itself.
2. EXPOSURE TO MODEL ROLES. We all will have our models who fill our ideals of achievement. Probably the strongest phenomenon in social behavior is the connection between the model image and the admirer. In this process, goals are set, personality is affected and character is formed. All of us are someone’s model and all of us admire and have models in life we consider to be our ideals.
THE MODEL ROLE SCENARIO
Let us consider some things that happen in this model admirer relationship that furnish us with reasons for following a life of holiness and promoting moral values and character.
1. Children are born with a capacity to admire and imitate. As they get older they watch their peers around them and seek out ideals from among them based on the values they have. If the parents fail to establish those character values, the child has been betrayed and could suffer the consequences the rest of his/her life. So much depends upon the instilling of character principles in our children. For this reason, we strongly advocate the teaching of the Ten Commandments (ten character qualities) to children.
2. The home environment too often provides Home everything but those rules and disciplines that give growing lives the basic values needed. The home should exist for one purpose above all, to provide moral guidance in a happy, orderly atmosphere for the children.
3. Even prior to the teenage years, children become competitive in the process of growth and development. Young people are becoming achievers in their own right among those around them who are also striving to achieve. It is in this period of growth that admiration and attraction to achiever models becomes very strong.
4. Now the teenage admirer will be choosing images that appeal to him/her based upon their goals in life. They will choose the achiever who is achieved in a goal they wish to reach. The big question is, what kind of achievers are in the youngsters environment. Here comes into play the matter of personal values and importance of controlled and non-controlled environments.
5. Satan controlled environment. Jesus referred to him as “the Prince of this world.” Atheistic humanism controls the media. Humanism is taking hold of the educational institutions. Athletics has become a drugged industry. The entertainment world is dominated by drugs, from the script writers to the actors on the set. Cocaine is sold and deducted from the payroll of the employees by some companies in the television and movie industry. This is a matter of documentation in a book written by a man who came out of the entertainment world. Most space odyssey films are drug inspired from the script to the music. The psychedelic, hallucinatory, drug users are behind all of the violence dreamed up and dished out to the modern TV viewers … including our children seeking out model images. Our kids are becoming the victims of the TV personality syndrome! The news and entertainment industry is not interested at all in the character of your children, or in other people if they have no character of their own. The entertainment industry exploits chiefly the accomplishments and sensational exploits of the human ability to achieve. The result: The minds of our children have been captivated by a drug oriented entertainment industry producing a humanist personality achiever. It provides no character achiever images for the admiring viewer. Top personalities in the moving picture industry are sex symbols and lead private lives of adultery and fornication. For this reason the close parental influence is much needed if moral values are to be instilled in children. 1) A good start is to put the TV out of the house and get acquainted with each other again. 2) A close friendly relationship between both parents and children. 3) Have a little less money, a lot more happiness and keep the mother at home. 4) Pray together and revive the family altar. If we want our children to follow the ways of holiness, they must have an attraction for home because there is love and warmth there and not have that love interfered with by the cheap personality influences of the characterless drug oriented entertainment world. Children will seek and they will have an achievement figure to admire. If he does not find it in his parents or in the good character of an adult in your circle of social life, he will find it in the world, usually through television, sports, actors, and even in notorious criminals. At the turn of the nineteenth century and the introduction of a greatly expanded media, the power of communications (especially radio, photography and television), brought the world to our homes and an array of worldly figures no previous generation had access to. Before the age of technology, especially prior to the turn of the last century, children had their parents, immediate relatives or neighbors as image models. Families ate every meal together. In the 1980’s, only 7% of the American families have the traditional family lifestyle of eating together with the mother at home providing meals and comfort. In recent years, dramatic changes have been made in the chain food industry. Quick food restaurants were uncommon until McDonald’s success in the late 40’s. Since then, Americans are migrating core and more from the centralized home environment. With this change, young lives no longer see parents as examples of achievement. What son is going to admire his daddy who is an accountant buried in ledgers on the 5th floor downtown when he can admire swashbuckling movie star, an all American Heisman trophy winner or a hard boiled cop on the late show. Our teenagers are now exposed to all the personalities of the world. The media powers have taken over the job of providing the model images for modern youth, including our Christian sons and daughters. Rock singers, politicians, terrorists, intellectuals, talk show comedians continually bomb the brains of modern youth. Foul language, bedroom scenes, homosexuals, violence fills the TV schedule. All of these human figures project humanism and personality (which terms are actually morally synonymous). All worldly model roles are totally personality oriented and personality achievers. Character quality is scoffed at by the personality cultists. Another dangerous area of personality influence on the church that is gaining popularity is the quick rise of converted personalities that have certain skills or talents who are quickly pushed up before the church as “crowd getters.” These are new Christians who win instant celebrity status in the church on the sensational basis of what “great sinners” they were when they were in the world. The next development was that “converted” entertainers, professional athletes, soapie superstars keep their status in the world. These personalities bring the flare of worldly excitement into the church. Converted-celebrities usually already have the personality powers to have “instant success” in the personality oriented church environment. The problem with these instant celebrity personalities is they give out with a lot of personal “I believe” teaching with no biblical or spiritual credentials. This results in the injection of shallow carnal philosophies into the church from within. Fundamentalism has seen a dramatic shift from solid doctrinal Christianity to this new Meology religion in the last 30 years. People coming into the church in this period of time have no idea of the quality of Christianity then as compared to now, accept by what they are told by their apostate peers. Many of the modern fundamentalists were not even in the church when the church was still fundamentally pure. The modern Christian receives teaching from someone they admire. They then transmit their admiration for the celebrity to admiration for what he is saying. They identify his words as “beautiful” because he is “beautiful.” This is such a psychological factor that TV commercials use this science principle effectively in the selling of products by using beautiful people to promote commercial products. Jesus refused this kind of credibility or endorsement from the people on several occasions. John 2:24,25 Technology demands brains. Entertainment demands personality. Athletics demands strength and skill. You succeed in the world system by being a part of it. To achieve character and holiness you must separate from the world system and its principle of self-promotion.
Absolam had a personality problem that many modern men are having. His hair made him proud. But over such a “little thing” as hair he went against his own father, rejected authority, became the symbol of dissension and rebellion. See I Corinthians 11:3-15. The book of I Kings is dominated by this troublesome son of David’s. Seven chapters in the Bible. Seven troublesome chapters about a proud son with a head of full locks that bought all of Israel’s admiration, and then some people have the gall to say, “hair is such a little thing.” Personality of patriarchs, prophets, kings and even the Messiah is mysteriously and wonderfully missing from the Bible text. There is no attempt to describe the personality of Elijah, but his character is most vividly portrayed. Wicked men who defied God are those scriptures that describe or in some way mention personality traits of, such men as Samson, he had strength of body, which is a physical trait. He was attracted to women and controlled by lust, also a physical trait. Solomon married heathen wives under the guise of diplomacy (secularism) against the clear commandments of God. He was very inclined to extravagance and the magnificent. These are physical and material traits. 17:14-17; See Solomon. Saul’s stature was head and shoulders above the rest of the men of Israel, this was a physical trait. He was a personality figure. Judaizers tried to discredit Paul because he did not have an impressive physical appearance. He lacked the flare of personality. On the other hand, there is no attempt made by the inspired scriptures to make physical descriptions of Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, or Elisha. We have no idea what Adam, Aaron or Moses looked like. deserts. When he returned to the church to begin his ministry he was not accepted until he was “proven.” He was not given an itinerary that exploited him as a great hero of the faith – not as a celebrity or a infamous church hating tyrant now converted – because in those days, and through 1900 years of church history, the emphasis in theology was on character and not on the personality. Personality is the essence of the body. Character if the essence of holiness. Spiritual religion emphasizes the character and plays down the personality. True religion emphasizes character; apostate religion emphasizes personality.
Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
“KARDIA – The center of being. The Hebrew (LEB, LEBAB) Holiness is affection and love for the commandment. This is the nature of the born again. It is this ‘delight in the law of the Lord’ that constitutes the highest level of spiritual life.” Here is one of the great and classical scriptures used to define salvation that is in Christ (v.10).But there’s something we often miss in this verse, the word “righteousness.”In the previous verses (v.8, 9) there is a period (.) after the word saved in verse 9. Verse 10 begins with the conjunction, for, and then qualifies salvation as an ethical transformation (“righteousness”). Tremendous moral implications and very important to our understanding of true salvation.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
If this verse is isolated from all other scriptures on salvation (Soteriology) it
could easily support “easy believism.” This single scripture is not the complete text nor constitute all there is involved in salvation. It does make an approach to Christ simple. The whole scripture interprets the part. That there are deep moral implications in salvation is made very clear in the complete Bible text on the subject. See Justification; Salvation, Dichotomy of; Romans 3:20.
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
A good thing comes from a good source. A good thing cannot come forth from bad. See Rock Sound; Cosmetology; Androgyny; Evil Influences; Television; Separation; Sensual; Seed; Solomon.
Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
There are two sides to God, but some by personal preference only want to know half of Him. Our faith statement begins, “I believe there is one God, immutable, eternal and holy.” The scripture is a revelation of that immutable (unchanging) God, of both His goodness and His severity. Paul in another place speaks of “the terror of the Lord” and declares he knows this terror side of God. Contemporary Christianity is lop-sided and off balance, all for lack of proper doctrine. All error has its roots in wrong doctrine. But to have a wrong doctrine of God has terrible consequences. It is indicated by Jesus, Matthew 7:23, that many Christians (they did everything in His name) never had a true knowledge of Christ which was the cause of their wrong relationship with God. We only want a Christ who justifies, not a God, Christ who sanctifies. We do not want a God or a Gospel that intrudes. We only accept a God of love, we will not have this God who hates worldliness (James 4:4, note “whosoever”) and sin. We only accept a God of mercy, we will not have this God of judgment who cannot tolerate our love for sinful pleasures. We will have a God who understands us and accepts us the way we are and the way we choose to be. We are guilty of idolatry when we hold the Word of God in our hands and ignore the revelation of “the goodness and severity of God” to form another God in our minds that is to our liking. Wrong concepts about God lead to wrong morals and wrong morals give us over to a wrong destiny. God has sent His Son to elevate, to make us holy and righteous and pure through obedience and separation from the world! Colossians 3:1,2. But we have, as it were, pulled Him down out of the Heavenlies and set Him in a corner and made Him a “bless me” deity. we have whittled away everything we don’t like about Him until He is another God of “another Gospel.” We won’t let God sanctify us so we de-sanctify Him. But it doesn’t work! He’s immutable! You no longer have the God, the Lord God that is holy, you have created a deity that is only a figment of the carnal nature’s imagination. When we whittle away the severity or something we don’t like about God, once we change Him, reject anything about Him, you have another God – and that is idolatry. Romans 1:23.
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.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (I Corinthians 7:31; I Peter 1:14; I Thessalonians 5:23)
“Self-sacrifice and non-conformity are at the very foundation of entire renunciation and entire consecration which brings entire transformation.” “I beseech you brethren.” “I plead with you, I implore you, I beg you … present your bodies a living sacrifice to God.” Paul speaks of the flesh nature in very plain language. Anyone can understand what he is saying. He is speaking of the body, wherein dwells sin! Romans 6:6. Most modern Christians have only surrendered their spirits to Christ as Savior. Their minds are not surrendered to the authority of the Word, and so, resent the commandments of God’s government and resent all moralistic preaching. I Thessalonians 5:23. Look at the New Testament writings; most of them are directed right smack-dab at the flesh! Psalm 119. Their bodies surrendered is out of the question. I might even surrender more of my mind to certain areas of doctrine, but not my body. The modern Christian won’t even accept the pearl principle! But sin is in the body and so long as the body is not surrendered, sin is not conquered. The morality of the modern Gospel is a human morality that many unregenerate practice on an even higher plane! Holiness? That is the divine moral! Holiness is a level of moral conduct that compares itself with God and loves the commandment. It is the desire for supernatural perfection. Holiness and modern humanistic morality are two different morals. The spirit will give itself to worship (it’s popular now with the masses), but the mind we will only partially surrender and the body we will not! See homily, Deuteronomy 6:5; Perfection; Matthew 5:41. The message of PRACTICAL HOLINESS is directed at this “body” factor in sanctification. Convictions of holiness have been rejected by the other gospel proponents that Paul addressed in his opening words to the church in Galatia. So a new message and a new theology (to support the doctrine they have twisted into a shape that pleases them) has been formulated to exclude the body from being a part of the changes to take place in the new creature. To do this they had to perform surgery on the doctrine of salvation by removing sanctification. The surgery will end up in the malpractice courts because all the surgeons did was mutilate the body. The doctors have the victim calmed under their newly developed sedatives of worldliness, but the “word” is out that the victim’s Father is in a rage and has in fact set a date for a court hearing in the case “in the next state.” Now the victim is so under the influence of her local doctors she is refusing His personal messages to her. Members of her family have been shocked at her refusing His messages. They also report that the Father has threatened to remove her from His will and that they are confident the trial will settle everything. This verse denies them the exclusion of the body from sanctification. See Dichotomy of Salvation. Notes under I Thessalonians 5:23 should be read to give proper insight to this comment. While it is common in liberal churches to avoid sanctification of the body, it must also be realized by holiness brethren that this can be reversed. When an established community church has a strong separation teaching it’s converts will usually conform to the local standard. That church is providing a strong influence on the convert. Environment The converts find approval as they conform to that local body standard. When they move away from the holiness church they lower their standard. In this case, body convictions are easily formed. But if that church lacks compassion or doctrine, he will also lack in the same areas as the church is lacking. It is a sad state of affairs when large elements of the church who profess Christ find more agreement and pleasure with the world than with the biblical doctrines of sanctification. I Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; I Timothy 1:10; 4:6,16; 5:17. “The underlying contention of Christian ethics is that every want [lack] of conformity to God is sinful and wicked.” This is a New Covenant commandment: “Be not conformed to this world.” In this verse is a revelation; the enemy to spiritual transformation is exposed – the real enemy of the Christian – conformity to the world. See John 14:30. Has Carl Henry hit upon something? Are we not “conformers” in all that we do. Is not life made up of conforming to the ideas of the culture around us? We sometimes call this geographical influence. Yet there is a Christian culture diametric in its ideas from that of the world around us. Worldliness is simply conformity to the immoral ideas and influences of unregenerate society. Holiness then is conforming to the moral ideas and influences of God’s Heavenly lifestyle as revealed in holy scripture. If God’s Word speaks on hair and the world’s stylists are speaking on hair – why do we resent what God has to say about hair, but find it quite acceptable to conform to what the world is saying about it. The answer is easy … we conform to what we love and admire quite easily while we do not conform to what we do not love and admire. This word “conformed” SUSCHEMATIZO is the heart of this commandment and essential to our value system. It means to not fashion yourself after, imitate, or not conform to like fashion. We all are conforming. That is natural to man. Which world have we been conforming to? See Romans 8:5; 13:14. We must ask ourselves as Christians frequently; Where in my life? Have I conformed? To what? To who? Who do I admire? Who are my models? Oh Holy Spirit, show me where I have allowed the world into my life and purge me of any love I have for it!
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 10:18; Hebrews 1:9)
Dissimulation: Imitation; insincere; “phony”; not genuine. The implication is the same as Paul’s remark to Timothy when he said, “I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee.” Here in this verse our love is to be “without dissimulation.” It must therefore be that there is love with dissimulation (pretense). There is a human niceness that is a very nasty imitation of agape. Paul’s first command, “Let love be without dissimulation,” ANUPOKRITOS, meaning pretense. Proverbs 10:18. Choirs are taught to smile and whole messages consist of urging us to be positive and “Let the world see the joy of the Lord!” This obsession with Charismatic cosmetics is as phony as a three dollar bill. We put out the holiness preachers who taught us godliness and brought in the motivation experts who have taught us to smile pretentiously. So much of the liberal philosophy consists of acted out love and happiness. Christian love is something you get from the prayer closet, not from Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale or from loud drums and powerful P.A. Systems. “Let your love be without pretense.” See I Corinthians 6:6; I Peter 1:22; Amos 5:23; Matthew 15:8. Some forms of dissimulation: Paul doesn’t mince any words; “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Here is the two-fold pursuit of the holiness minded, to;
1. “Abhor,” this is strong language the apostle uses. It is the Greek word APOSTUGEO – to utterly detest. Psalm 97:10. Actually a hatred for evil. One half of love is to hate.
2. “Cleave to that which is good” – Just as it is natural for the carnal nature to have a love for and pleasure in the things of the world, so is it just as natural for the Christian indwelt by the Holy Spirit to have good convictions regarding prayer, kindness, gentleness, modesty and separation. Ephesians 4:17-24; I Thessalonians 4:7. Where there is a precept there can be no preference! The commandments are; 1) Required, 2) Achievable, and 3) Imperatives!
WORD CONVICTIONS There are many literal, pointed, clear, black and white allusions to moral principles, behavior, visual and biological proprieties listed in the scripture. Example: Paul’s teachings on being elaborately dressed, being given to vanity, attachment to the world, affection for valuable things, (gold, pearls, and costly array) are all allusions to those things that are not to be practiced by Christians. I Timothy 2:9. There are two dimensions of moral conviction; 1) Those which are by precept (written precepts), and then there are those convictions which are 2) Born out of personal sensitivities due to the practices in the world environment around us considered to be relevant to the written commandments of Jesus and the disciples that are inventions of the present culture. Examples would be the evils that have developed through the technology of the computer, games of violence that makes killing and destruction a form of entertainment and even fornication and adultery are not considered evil in the modern Sodomite culture of today’s “civilization.” Precept convictions, which the Word of God speaks and names an object or practice, can be rightfully taught and required of the body (church). Personal sensitivities may be self-imposed and be good, but not imposed upon the body.
GNATS AND CAMELS
Then, there are those convictions of sensitivity that are born out of what is implied by scripture in principle. These are usually based upon the principle of a commandment or a literal reference in scripture. The Bible does not name television as a moral cesspool … but it is. When it is evident an object, practice or both, have demoralizing effect and conflict with Christ’s teaching, the church and especially its ministers are obligated to censure it. Conviction is to be convinced of the evil of a thing and withdraw from it. Morally we are living in “perilous times.” In such times as these convictions should be high and legion but instead the church is being drug down by libertine philosophies of freedom. See Freedom and Bondage. Conviction serves the church the same as the body’s immune system – it throws off the filth that threatens the body with corruption. The Word and the Spirit reveal corruption, but we must APOSTUGEO, detest it and throw it off! In I Timothy 1:10, Paul listed known evils and then said, “…and if there be any other thing contrary to sound doctrine.” So there are more forms of evil than those listed in scripture, so Paul included an “all evil” clause that no evil be tolerated. Sensitivity convictions reflect a personal willingness and dedication to obey a principle of the Holy scripture. They do not deal with morals, but rather with my own concept of holy obedience. It does not have a biblical basis or word, but may be implied in my own heart. In this case the Christian should comply with that sensitivity and let it be a self-imposed conviction, but he should not enforce his “feelings” on others accept by example. Some holiness people have destroyed their reputation by demanding a standard of others that God Himself does not require in chapter and verse. Be careful – human holiness is as unspiritual and harmful to the church as worldliness and liberalism! PREFERENCE AND PRECEPT The word preference is not a word of destiny. It is just the opposite – it simply means that you choose something in preference with no importance attached, no consequence involved. It is simply a choice of one nonessential over another. Woe unto those who teach that preference has anything to do with God’s commandments. Matthew 5:19. Preference – Another new doctrine the apostates have dreamed up. Modern Christians eat and repeat without thinking. It implies that convictions and preferences are two different things.
THAT THEY ARE! Preference leaves the matter of right and wrong up to the individual. The philosophy of “you may do it while another may not,” means we have ended up with another condition that is as old as the Bible … “And every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” For you see, “in those days there was no king over Israel”. In this period of Israel’s history there was no king or sovereign, there was no final authority and as a result of no final authority, every man did that which is right in his own eyes. Today the apostate church has removed the absolute authority of God’s Word from their conscience. As a result, man is doing that which is right in his own eyes and gushy doctrines are being peddled by well-dressed false prophets who support the no law, no sovereignty and no authority new morality fundamentalism. Remnant Christians still have convictions and lots of them, because as sin and iniquity abound there is of necessity more moral judgments to be made. Christian casuistry (applying moral principles of the Bible to everyday living) needs revived. Bible holiness needs revived! America needs a John Wesley worse than it needs anything! On the other hand, the new Christian who is reverting to the Adamic nature of rebelling against the better judgment of God expressed in His commandments, lives by preference rather than precept. This places the authority within himself, that is handy and that is humanism! Man doesn’t “prefer” to separate from the world! In fact, when a Christian backslides, the first thing he does is return to his or her worldly ways (preference). Separation is the preference of the new creation nature. To prefer doing the things that the world enjoys doing is a “flesh preference.” See Heart; Heart Holiness.
IMPERATIVES IN THE WORD
The spiritual person regards highly every moral precept as an imperative. Those who are born of the Spirit have no desire to prefer anything apart from what is written. If our love is perfect, then our preferences will accept every jot and tittle of the Word of God. Perhaps the greatest of all imperatives are Osmosis those commandments and those instructions given to the church in regard to the Christian’s separation (sanctification) from the world. Jesus knows that association (osmosis) means life or death to the Christian. The spiritually born person regards the imperative nature of Holy Scripture! To him it is not something you can take or leave, a matter of personal preference. If we leave moral values for each individual to judge, apart from declaring the position of scripture, we will always judge in the direction of our selfish desires. We will always judge in the direction of leniency, “freedom” (for the flesh). The human nature has a non-imperative morality, a passive regard for issues of right and wrong. Not so with the Holy Spirit! Living by imperative is a great way of living! There is no rattle of fetters to the Word as Peter and other disciples used it to the high priest. It did not have the drag of chains: it had the lift of wings. It is the word of men whose lives had an undebatable compulsion. They traveled a rough road, which wound through riots and jails. But along it they marched to the music of a great imperative… Where does human life find its authentic imperatives? Three suggestions may be worth exploring.
1. Let us put our imperatives in front of us rather than behind.
2. Let us put our imperatives at the place where Jesus meets our natures.
3. Let us put our imperatives at the place where Jesus cuts across our world, where His way of life stands in stark opposition to [the demands of the Herd] dominant.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
THE LAW IS GOOD
The only things that God has asked us not to do are the things we do not want others to do to us. God’s law and God’s love are the same thing. We know that it is wrong to kill because we don’t want anyone to kill us. So is the love logic to all commandments that regard social order. Let us repeat that the only things that God has required of man not to do are those things that man does not want another man to do to him.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (See Romans 12:2) 4:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
This chapter has often been used to support the idea that any Christian who has convictions and pays strict attention to New Testament lifestyle standards is the “weaker brother.” This theory has been used to support the liberal lifestyle and discredit Bible holiness. Many Christians have been deceived by wrong teaching from this chapter. But no more! This chapter makes no reference, no aversion to the moral precepts of God’s moral law! The subject is religious practices in worship that pertained to the ceremonial law and has nothing to do with the moral commandments. It is absurd to deduct Paul was referring to moral principles. Such a posture would be putting the Word against itself, violate the whole doctrinal concept of redemption and render Christianity as a mere amoral religion destined for damnation.
Romans 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Paul’s speech here very plainly describes religious practices and functions relating to religious worship and manners regarding the ceremonial law that were forbidden in Moses’ writings. The whole gist of this context is the difference in opinion and conviction regarding conflicts in religious and worship practices as it applied to Jewish ceremonial law. The book of Romans was written during the time of transition for the Jews from pure Judaism to Christianity. Many devout Jews believed on Christ, and because some of them were influential and respected leaders in the temples, they tried to carry certain elements of the ceremonial law into the new dispensation of grace. This was a condition in the early church which frequently came up among the believers, and which the disciples had to handle very carefully. Paul’s reference to the “weak” brother is a reference to the new Jewish Christian who still feels some conscience about dropping completely his Hebrew customs referring to, 1) The kind of foods he should eat, (v. 3); 2) Which holy days should still be observed, (v.5,15). And then in verse 17 he ties it down specifically, “meat and drink.” Again and again in this chapter Paul speaks of eating and drinking. He is not speaking of moral conduct, personal holiness, moral convictions, or sanctification. To assume this we would have to conclude that sensitivity to evil is a sign of “weakness!”Throughout the book of Romans Paul is chiefly addressing the problems that existed between the Hebrew Christians and the Gentile Christians coexisting together in the churches of Rome. It is a place where Jewish and Gentile customs meet. And too, there was conflict even between the Christian Jews pertaining to what customs and laws of Moses do we keep now that we are Christians. The moral law and the ceremonial law was distinct in the thinking of both Jewish and Gentile Christians. If you read chapters 14 and 15 carefully, it would seem possible that Paul is addressing the Gentiles in chapter 14, and the Jews in chapter 15. Proper exegesis of scripture begins with establishing the principle the writer is occupied with. In the case of chapter 14, Paul is speaking of those things in Hebrew worship that are considered to be holy or forbidden by the Jews and that pertain to worship and worship practices. He is addressing first, matters of “eating,” which could be a reference to strong Jewish custom and Hebrew laws. Many of the pagan merchants in the market place offered their meats to their idols before selling them to the public, or they could have been meats that were forbidden animals according to the law of Moses. These are matters that indeed offended the Jews. In verse 21 Paul says, “Nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth!” Of course, we know it would be absurd to apply this statement of Paul’s to include the moral laws. It would, however, be a fitting remark when pertaining to Jewish ceremonial laws fulfilled and ceased through the death of Christ. Colossians 2:16,17. It is certainly logical enough to see by even human understanding, that our Christian conduct would not be determined by how our brother felt about what we were doing rather than by scriptural ultimatums. The moral law doesn’t offend our brothers – it contributes to their happiness! Romans 13:10. Apart from the anointing, anyone teaching on the 14th chapter of Romans would, on the basis of intellectual humility, cite the fact that in this context Paul is not speaking as he does in Colossians, or in any of his church epistles, or his letter to Timothy, where he pointedly speaks of righteousness and holiness and then warns, “If any man does not walk according to these things we’ve written to the church, avoid him and have no fellowship with him.” It is easy to see Paul is not speaking on the matter of moral law, but canceled ceremonial issues. The context of Romans 14 is a limited one. Any minister who handles this chapter should not make the sloppy mistake of misapplying it with the vicious intent of attacking traditional holiness values. Note v.16.
Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Here the above explanation is sealed with Paul’s own statement to prove the issues were not moral, but ceremonial in nature.
Romans 16:19 I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
You don’t have to be an authority on sin to have any advantage over it. To the contrary, the greatest advantage we have against sin is to not be looking into it all! The best defense against sin is to be busy cultivating the goodness of God in ourselves.
1 Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”
1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
CORINTH: MAGNIFICENT WORLDLINESS
One writer says of Corinth, “Corinth was magnificent, but immoral.” How true it is often that magnificence and immorality go together and we assume the greatness of a thing on the basis of its magnificence, even though it is void of holy character. He is not a wise disciple who confesses the magnificence of the world for the approval of God. The glory of godliness is in the closet of prayer and in a careful reading of I Corinthians 13. When Paul sat down to write this letter he knew of the terrible moral conditions that were prevailing in the church – yet he said, to them that are sanctified.” here is not HAGIASMOS or HAGIOSUNE, which refers to holy character, but the word HAGIAZO, meaning to be declared holy, as belonging to the Lord. Though they had deep moral problems and they have not attained morally, God still wants them as His people. In verse 30 he uses the word HAGIASMOS. Note the difference in meaning. Sanctification of the saint reflects a twofold work of sanctification. 1) or dedicated to service by the blood, and 2) Separated from the world by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 2:11,12; I Corinthians 1:30.
1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“We live now in the light of Eternity.” Live a holy life now and be the more prepared for the sudden bursting light of the holy presence of God sitting in holy judgment with clouds of holy angels everywhere as He opens the holy book and His holy voice booms with thunder echoing down the holy avenues of gold throughout the holy city, and looks for holiness in your earthly record.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
We cannot come to verses like this and treat it like a buffet lunch. They take a little wisdom and a lot of redemption and leave the righteousness and sanctification. You must take all four or nothing! Four spiritual states are mentioned. 1) Wisdom, 2) Righteousness, 3) Sanctification, and 4) Redemption. The arrangement of these words is what we could suggest a sequence in attaining the spiritual life. 1) Wisdom: SOPHIA, insight into the nature of things. The practical application of knowledge so as to bring the very best results. 2) Righteousness: Divine wisdom produces divine conduct. Here is the Greek word DIKAISUNE again, to deal justly. 3) Sanctification: We see that righteousness and sanctification are separate or different forms of moral ethics. HAGIASMOS denoting the state of my personal relationship to God. 4) Redemption: APOLUTROSIS; To be ransomed in full, to be loosed completely from obligation. Redemption is only in evidence in the full and complete sense as we continue appropriating wisdom (the divine mind) righteousness and sanctification (personal purity).
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
The whole scheme of promotion by neo- Christian evangelism is affected by the elaborate methods of psycho-economics in the extracting of money by use of sensational descriptive language that usually includes boasting and/or exaggeration. Today we sell the Gospel and achieve position by self-promotion (personality), the same way the world sells whiskey and promotes movies. See notes I Samuel 15:19-28. Self-promotion under any circumstances would be unthinkable to the apostles.
1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
“The ‘we’ mentioned here must have been talking in a kind of a holiness-meeting. It is a privilege to sit at the feet of the perfect to listen and learn; it is a greater privilege to be qualified to take part in the talk; it is the greatest privilege to teach and preach among the perfect.” It seems Paul regards himself and the group of Christians he is with as holiness Christians. He also reveals a quality that identifies the true Christian image as being moral and separates “them that are perfect” from them that are not. The “perfect” he designates as those who receive the Word of God and the instruction of the apostles gladly. Regarding all teaching; righteousness, sanctification, and redemption as the wisdom of God essential to their spiritual destinies. All true Christians are holiness Christians. The word “speak” used here reveals the means of communicating grace by teaching. Those who received the teaching of grace are perfect, are saints and the true church. See Titus 2:11,12. One of the chief purposes of gathering together is to speak the wisdom of God and perfect ourselves morally. I Corinthians 1:30.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
So we learn here that there is a “spirit of the world,” as opposed to “the Spirit of God.” The world is more than environment – it is a spirit that can enter the human heart and control the affections. Some we call worldly are much worse off than that – they have received the baptism of “the spirit of the world.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
What do we do with the modern Christian who does not accept any teaching on moral perfection. Holiness of life and separation are clearly defined in scripture. Do these modern Christians who live for the fun of the world apart from the fear of God, who prefer power over piety and prosperity above persecution for righteousness sake, become “natural” if they are not receiving this highest of all God’s gifts, sanctification. If they do not seek these things, they were never spiritual. The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God. The natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit. When the church loses its appetite for obedience to the Word of God Body(beginning with “the pearl principle”), it Holiness first began to lose the Holy Spirit we learn of in these opening verses. Natural intelligence can interpret much of the Scripture. Natural interpretation is possible. Natural teachers who do not have the Spirit’s illumination of truth are going to be amoral, have no message of character and righteousness and will be very selective in what they take from Scripture to teach.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
ANAKRINO (350) to scrutinize, investigate, interrogate, determine: -ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search. The word, judgeth, in this text does not infer we are to condemn the person. This word, ANAKRINO, is used to mean discernment through the process of investigation. To Influence determine the rightness or the wrongness of an act, or a deed, through the process of intelligent investigation. Literally it says, “He that is spiritual scrutinizes, inquires, investigates all things.” The implication is that spiritual Christians are not gullible, believing everything they hear, every pamphlet, every TV preacher’s plea for money. See Linguistic Key to Greek New Testament, Fritz Rienecker, Translated by Rodgers, p.392. Don’t ever give up your privilege of intelligent determination. There is absolutely no excuse for a Christian living in this informed age of accessible knowledge to be without proper conclusion of truth. Those who are spiritual enough to scrutinize others, ought first scrutinize themselves. If holiness people were as hard on themselves as they are of liberal brethren, it would make “holiness” much more desirable by liberals. “We who are spiritual” judgeth all things, that includes judging the one doing the judging, first. It is a sign of highest spirituality when we judge (discern wrong in) ourselves and our friends and our group with the same austerity we mete out to others.
A CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING RIGHT
The following criteria is a good one to determine, search, examine, scrutinize and investigate my motives pertaining to Christian practice without, and my practices as a holiness Christian.
1. Where did it originate? Who were the first to practice it? Romans 11:16
2. What does it contribute to my pursuit of sanctification and holiness of life? Hebrews 12:14
3. Is it practiced in the world today? Ephesians 5:3
4. What segment of worldly society practices it now?
5. Has the church ever been on record as being opposed to it? Did the Fathers judge it? Have I listened carefully to another Christian who opposes it?
6. Does it violate anything written in scripture?
7. Did Jesus; a) Do this? b) Approve it? c) Would Jesus do it? Romans 8:29.
If you make an investigation of worldly practices that are being accepted into the church, it would do well to subject any practices being accepted into the church to these seven points of criteria. Many times if we would just use the brains God has given us, we would come to conclusions that would be pleasing to the Lord and be quite convinced as to the right or wrong of any evil trend or fashion besetting the church. We accept practices too often because everybody’s doing it without serious searching of our hearts in prayer on the matter. Everything we allow into our lives should be screened of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (The mind; Proverbs 9:10)
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (I Corinthians 6:19)
This scripture does not say “defile the body,” it says if any man “defile the temple of God.” The temple includes more than just the body. It includes all distinguishable parts of the life; the total mortal self. This necessarily includes the temple’s brain, the temple’s emotions and the temple’s exterior (physiological). Any practice or indulgence whether conscientiously immoral (violation of the spirit), physically harmful (violation of the well-being of the body), or mentally deceptive (violation of the mind) is all a part of “defiling” the temple. Defilement of the temple incorporates any wilful act against any or all the proper functions of the psycho-physiological man. This ultimatum has moral implications that go far beyond eating too many McDonald’s hamburgers or using tobacco.
1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Another scripture that debunks the carnal reasoning that “some things are only small matters and don’t really count.” ministers have always believed that evil Initiative comes to corrupt the church and foments within the body in small bacterial forms of pride, worldliness, rebellion and contempt the for the moral commandment. Satan giggles when he hears Christians profess their ignorance by regarding any instruction or commandment contained in the Word of God as “not important.” The whole body of Christ will and has been corrupted by the philosophy that disregards evil in its “small” forms. Worldliness in the church is the warm incubative atmosphere that causes the bacteria of small sins to foment and reproduce until “the whole lump” is puffed up. See Matthew 5:19. Leaven and salt are two edible foods Jesus used in His teaching.
1. They are both types of influence.
2. They are used in small portions.
3. They are both consumptive.
4. They represent good (salt) and evil (leaven). See Salt.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
God isn’t doing it for us – He tells us to do the purging, He will direct the operation. God’s lump (church) is without leaven (sin), but the continuing purity of the body depends on our action against the germs of worldliness. This word purge, EKKATHAIRO means to cleanse out, a very strong word (because of its prepositional prefix). It is our disregard for this commandment that gives “rise” to the compromise with the world’s wisdom and beauty.
UNCHECKED TREATMENT AND TERMINATION – CHURCH
DISCIPLINE Lack of church discipline is one area of church government that needs to be redefined and re-instituted in this time. language has the sound of urgency – almost frantic (vs.4,5), knowing full well the ultimate effect unchecked sin has upon the church. We think to avoid nasty scenes and unpleasantries by not administering church discipline. But in the end, terrible and far reaching consequences result. We are afraid to act in corrective measures, fretting about what hurtful effects it may have. What if the medical profession refused to administer treatment to compound fracture because it hurt the patient to administer the treatment? In most cases the wound would bring death if left untreated – termination! Discipline should be administered with the same gentle Holy Spirit expertise as a doctor would handle a fracture. Handle with care and prayer. It is much easier to practice prevention now than it is to take corrective action later. The philosophy of giving no corrective treatment to those practicing evil only leads to termination in the end. We must stop and think about the alternatives to no treatment. We avoid treatment because it’s bothersome and troubles the waters. But, termination is by far the most traumatic and troublesome experience in the end. We are only fooling ourselves when we avoid the challenge of treating a problem. It will return to us with the challenge of death. Parents will not properly discipline their kids! They refuse the treatment and then later live to see their children terminated under the power of sin. Pastors stand by and watch the world encroach the church. They know it’s not spiritual, they know it is diametric to the wishes of a holy Christ, but they “don’t want to lose any people over it.” But you will surely stand by later and watch death (termination) take over, or may even be pulled into the swirling devilish vortex of compromise and become a victim of worldliness yourself. In some way termination will set in and follow close behind our insensitivity to and refusal of treatment. The outcome of failing to be advised by this principle is looming just ahead of the church! This “treatment/termination” factor is facing us today in every area of social and religious life. In politics (corruption, nationalism), in religion (apostasy, judgment), in science (genetics and nuclear power) and medicine (new diseases). Treatment is always undesirable, but termination for lack of treatment is irreversible. Paul’s matter was extreme. It was incest and the church was being indifferent about it. Extreme conditions call for extreme treatment. Here are some important rules in administering discipline. 1) Pray when session begins and ends. 2) Never be angry or unkind to anyone being disciplined. Enter the discipline with compassion and regret for both the person and the church of Jesus – not with revenge or a cold prayer less spirit. 3) Always have witnesses, preferably deacons. Witnesses sworn to secrecy. Details of such sessions getting out constitute another problem. Keep disciplines as restricted as possible. If the person being disciplined talks, it is his/her problem. 4) Always attempt first to have them repent (feel regret). If this succeeds, discipline may be a probation period of proof of rededication with full restoration after that period. 5) Never use the pulpit to discipline individuals. Discipline individuals privately. Only if it is a matter of order that pertains to the whole body should scolding be administered from the pulpit. Truly spiritual is the man who can minister to the body in the pulpit while dealing with a problem involving individuals in the privacy of his office. 6) Don’t talk or repeat the discussion with others. Drop the subject when the discipline has been administered and receive the erring Christian when any disciplinary terms are met. 7) Keep nothing in your spirit.
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (See Acts 15:14)
The implication here is not to fraternize with unbelievers and not to fellowship with hypocrites. Reasons for limited association are quite obvious to the saint. See Osmosis; Romans 8:29; Model Roles, Influence. Note Paul’s words, “if any man who is called a brother.” What are the moral and spiritual implications of this statement?
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
“The context shows that with the very same positiveness Paul asserts their justification and their sanctification; yet some cannot imitate him in this; they are very positive that they are justified, but not so positive that they are sanctified. Better be equally sure of both!” Paul says here that some of us were indifferent to sin and neutral on moral issues – but, now you are washed, sanctified and justified and better things are expected of us – we no longer tolerate ungodly influences (that is, influences that are not toward God). See also Romans 3; Dichotomy; Sanctification.
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
There are two areas of moral responsibility known as; 1) Moral obligation, and 2) Legal obligation. Sometimes they conflict. When they do, we must choose the higher moral obligation over legal obligation. Legal obligation is enforced by legal authority and functions as the authority of social order and human government, with exceptions, Psalm 94:20,21, but usually within moral principle. The chief differences between moral and legal obligation are, 1) Moral obligation is higher than legal obligation, i.e., most citizens in a community living by conscience execute a higher moral behavior than is required by civil law. 2) Because moral obligation functions by the self-imposed values dictated by conscience rather than enforced external laws. The Christian conscience and conduct is motivated by moral obligation which is a higher ethic than natural conscience possesses. The Christian conscience lives by the moral sensitivities of the Holy Spirit! These Corinthians were so carnal that their morality was functioning by legal (natural) impulse and had reverted to the legal processes of the sinner. Where a Christian possesses the Spirit of Christ, the love of God enters the heart and he becomes sensitized morally until his/her moral preferences are identical to the moral commandments, which are the revealed will of God. A Christian is capable (if he possesses the Spirit of Christ, John 1:12) of living a moral life higher than God’s law requires, Matthew 5; I John 3:22, the same as natural conscience lives above what is required by natural law. The law defines (divine or civil) only minimum obligation. Christians who disregard the law of God and ignore the commandments without regret, are not born again. The presence of the Holy Spirit makes me compatible with the commandment. Judgment will be the first time many professing Christians will be convinced of the importance of regard to the laws of God’s government after justification. See Romans 3:20, 11:22. Pleasing God is not on “this side” of the commandments, but on “the other side” of the commandments! I Corinthians 7:32; I Thessalonians 4:1. This scripture has been eaten up by liberal Christians who want to throw off their moral obligations to Christ. On the surface it’s telling them, “convictions are only a matter of preference.” The word lawful here is, exesti, “signifying it is permitted,” and not nomos, meaning law prescribed statute. So this is not a reference to the law of God. This passage literally says, all kinds of things are available to me as permissible. However, if they do not lend themselves to my pursuit of godliness they should be disregarded (“not expedient”), serving no purpose or having no contribution to make to the holy life. If they are entertained and brought into the life, not being essential to holiness, then they also pose the threat of obsession which diverts affection from our spiritual pursuits. Television is exactly this – even to the point where modern Christians will defend television if it is attacked, but agree when holiness of life (separation from the world) is discredited. To think that fundamental Christianity has reached a point where vices (obsessions) are defended and holiness held in contempt! The Christian can read freedom as freedom to the body, or freedom to the Spirit. Paul warns them that there are many things you can do if you choose, but when you choose wrongly, the outcome is inevitable; while claiming “freedom” in doing it, you become a slave controlled by it. Only King Christ has that right over me.
I Corinthians 6:13 THE BODY IS NOT FOR FORNICATION, BUT FOR THE LORD; AND THE LORD FOR THE BODY.
These verses may sound strange in light of the fact Paul just finished thundering out against the sins of the flesh (in verses 9,10). It’s a good thing he did or liberal theology would surely construe it to mean license for amorality. i.e. “all things are lawful unto me”. For a very good treatment of this scripture, we recommend GREAT TEXTS OF THE BIBLE, Volume 15, I Corinthians by Baker Book House. In verse 12 he is only repeating the sophistry (logical, but Sophistry unsound) reasoning of false teachers.
1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
Church organizations now have singles ministry departments and churches now have “singles classes” where divorced men and women with never married singles are thrown together in a Christian church atmosphere. The church is supposed to be a part of the answer and not a part of the problem. This kind of activity would be tolerable if our doctrine on remarriage was scriptural and strict. But in most churches it is not. The spoken intent of such classes is that singles receive the special attention their lifestyle needs. The unspoken intention is that it gives “singles” the chance to meet each other, socialize and possibly match. The church is now in the business of providing occasion where the divorced and never married singles can meet, associate, and possibly marry. If a Christian has had an unfortunate marriage, let the church teach clearly the fact that it’s better to live without a privilege in life by the grace of God than to burn. We must begin raising up our voices against this practice of throwing single people together with divorced people, and in many cases, the single people, never married, often marry in adultery a person who has been divorced. The church that marries previously married with previously singles or remarries divorced persons is providing a sanctuary of sin. It is providing a situation where the sanctity of marriage is defiled, adultery is being encouraged, and where disobedience against God’s commandments are being promoted. Matthew 19:3-9.
1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (See Romans 12:2)
“My worth is proven only with time and dedication. But my value? Oh glorious thought! That He would leave His princely domain to live in the squalor of sin, and in such a daring way, in such a horrible way provide the ransom for my salvation! When the saint fixes his mind on this great hero’s plunge to save us, can we regard men; the cheap tinsel of a vaporous world system; for the bodily pleasures of worldliness. If we are so valuable to Him, let us also prove to Him our worth by offering more of ourselves to Him.”
1 Corinthians 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
FASHION OF THIS WORLD PASSETH AWAY. GOD’S FASHION: THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
While we are in the world and do use it for livelihood and temporal security, we should not in the use of it violate a single precept. Having great worldly wealth can turn your compassion off and make you hard and cold and indifferent to the needs of others. Selfishness is the localization of compassion, it is concerned only in its own dynasty; it is religious nepotism (using ones Nepotism political office to favor your own family and circle of private friends). See Others; Vicarious Love. It’s also difficult to understand how Charismatic Christians can claim having such an edge on spiritual truth, be “full” of the Holy Spirit and be so ignorant of sanctification. To holiness people this is non-credible and greatly destroys the credibility of the Charismatic message. We will dedicate the mind and yield our spirits, but will not “present our bodies” to sanctification and separation. See Romans 12:1. What does scripture teach against worldly practices? Why does Paul tell the women of the church, “not with broiderd hair or gold or pearls or costly array?” There are several very good reasons why the apostles gave us strict instruction restricting certain practices in the appearance of the Christian. Three moral principles violated in the practice of artful beauty. The commandments of God in the Old and New Testaments are not ever given without principle. Principles being the essence of the commandment. It is not the commandment we actually relate to, but rather the principle of the commandment. The word law means, “a rule of order.” This also happens to be the definition of the word principle. So, there is no difference in meaning between the word law and the word principle. The principle of a commandment reveals the Divine reasoning and the wisdom of the Divine mind. Colorfully broiderd hair was a vaunting of self (a violation of love, I Corinthians 13:4), was vain and fosters pride. Hair was broiderd with bright intertwining colors of cloth, elaborately set to enhance erotic (body) beauty. This fashion of elaborate hairstyling that the world practiced as attraction to the self is the principle behind Paul’s commandment to the Christian church. The same principle applies today when a woman imitates the sexually motivated styles of the world in the way she wears her hair. If I this is not an important issue, then the solution is simple; the scripture gives us commandment regarding the hair (See Hair) and the world also speaks to us about hair. What you choose to conform to tells me what you are and what you “ain’t.” See I Corinthians 6:12; Pleasing God. C. B. Eavey, author of
PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS (two volumes), said, “Every conscious act of man has moral implications.” In other words, there is a conscious reason why I do everything and my reason for doing it has moral implications. My reasons for doing it are good or bad. We know why we do it, or we have a motive for every act we consciously commit. See Philippians 1:9,10.
1. Vanity (Obsession with non-essentials)
2. Extravagance (Stewardship)
3. Fashion (Pride, Self-awareness)
1. VANITY – Vanity is simply practicing a dictate of the world that has no spiritual worth or value whatsoever. There is nothing eternal, nothing godly, nothing Christ-like, or nothing virtuous about it. To the contrary, a vanity is something the flesh nature can become absorbed in as only earthly, but no heavenly value whatsoever.
2. EXTRAVAGANCE – Extravagance is the enemy. It always costs the saint to indulge in any form of worldliness. The pitiful argument carnal Christians make to justify their extravagance is that “it’s harmless.” Anything that has cost, no matter how small the cost, must be thought of in terms of collective or accumulative loss to the kingdom. It’s not what an individual can afford, but that when we are all doing it collectively, millions and millions of missionary dollars are channeled into the coffers of a Satanic worldly system and society. I have often wondered how many souls will be lost because of the collective monies in the millions we have spent on dogs and cats. It is this collective principle that all saints should recognize who seek to perfect holiness in their lives. If the church would stop practicing extravagance, millions of dollars could be channeled into meaningful soul winning evangelistic efforts in many parts of the world. Spending money extravagantly is precisely what the prophet meant by “spending money for that which is not bread.” Isaiah 55:2. Extravagance violates frugalness, moderation, temperance, diligence and Christian stewardship.
3. FASHION – Fashion involves several forbidden relationships with the world for Christians. a) We are not to conform to this world, and fashion is probably the strongest, most selfish and extravagant of all worldly indulgences. It is not essential for a Christian to be in Vogue, nor is it at the same time hard to be in Vogue. Classical dressware is conservative in appearance, changes least of all types of fashion and is most aligned with biblical teaching on attire. b) Worldly sub-culture fashions tend to be immodest and/or immoral, utterly disregarding biblical principles regarding garb and visible appearance. c) Fashion is a form of lust that obsesses youthful spirits, disregards practibility, and is inconsiderate of others. It is the adornment of flesh, the running with a multitude to do evil. It is a violation of divine love for “love … vaunteth not itself.” Punk styling is a typical example of demonic control of fashion. Most kids who practice the style, along with their parents, don’t have the slightest idea of what its true meaning is and where it comes from. See Convictions; Criteria; I Corinthians 2:15. Punk fashion is another revival of ancient philosophy called androgyny. It is the belief that there is no distinct male/female genders but that all humans are both. Punk style is an extreme form of unisex that was fostered on Western culture by the cross-dressing fashion designers. Punk fashions, as well as special interests groups (which include the feminist movements, “women libbers” and homosexual activists) have combined into a weird syndrome of influence in the promotion of a sexless and yet very sensual society. These devilish powers manifested through attempts endorsed by the World Council of Churches to remove the masculine references to God from the Bible are all a part of this androgynous movement. Extravagance, vanity, and fashion are three lying spirits that destroy holiness, captivating the flesh nature, teaching Christians the art of self-exploitation. It promotes self-awareness and blinds the soul to the sin of collective waste withholding actual millions of dollars from world evangelism resulting in sending hundreds and thousands of souls to hell, un-evangelized. See I Corinthians 13:5. Extravagance is the sign of a stupid steward. It should be emphasized that a Christian can be presentable, of good taste and still not violate the principles contained in this commandment.
1 Corinthians 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
Liberal preachers that lash out against those with conscience and convictions, are commit flagrant sin against their holiness brethren if he believes we are indeed of “weak conscience.” To offend the weaker brother is a “sin against Christ.” The modern liberal brother is commanded and therefore obligated to not offend a brother with convictions and/or a conscience more sensitive than his. The sensitive conscience has precedent. See homily, Romans 14. Either way they interpret this matter, they are in trouble.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Here is another scripture encouraging us to supplement the grace of God with our own efforts, moral resoluteness and self- initiative. See Matthew 5:29.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
For a proper understanding of this subject on the ordinance of hair for the church, we must take a quick glance at the entire book of I Corinthians. This writing is a letter of response to a letter from the church at Corinth. Therefore the book can be broken into matters Paul addresses giving it very easy divisions.
1. Divisions, chapters 1-4.
2. Justice, chapters 5-6.
3. Marriage problems, chapter 7.
4. Convictions and conscience, chapters 8-10.
5. Ordinances of the church, chapter 11.
6. Gifts, chapter 12-14.
7. Resurrection, chapter 15.
8. General instruction and salutations, chapter 16.
Women, as well as men, take much time, spend much money and discuss often in personal conversation the appearance and style of their hair. Hair is mentioned eighty-three times in the Bible! Hair is a very important part of the personality. God therefore deems it worthy of teaching and attention in the scripture. Prophets allude to the hair and the apostle give instruction regarding it. It’s not unimportant. It is no wonder that hair, and how it is worn, is of some importance to God, and is mentioned by the apostles.
It has been made of God a matter of consecration and obedience. God has laid claim to hair as that part of man He wishes to be a sign or an ordinance of order and spiritual submission. In this eleventh chapter of I Corinthians and verse 2, Paul makes it clear that he is speaking to them concerning the ordinances of the church. He speaks of the Lord’s Table, and the Divine wish regarding hair, how it should be worn and why, among Christians. The next thing we should mention as we approach the subject of hair is that it is a peculiar teaching of the New Testament. It is not from the law of Moses, or from any teaching in the Old Testament. This is a New Testament teaching and applies to Christians who make up the church of Christ. The following points are for consideration on the subject of hair as the apostle Paul reveals the importance of the subject in this text. First we shall clear the air in regard to silly questions often asked those who keep this ordinance.
WHAT IS SHORT HAIR?
1. Hair that does not exceed or go beyond the natural hairline.
2. Hair that does not hang.
3. Hair that is cropped or cut and can be distinguished as short because it follows the natural hairlines.
A man’s hair is not to be considered short because it is cut so close to the head that it cannot be combed. Of course, he may do this if he chooses and not violate the teaching of this ordinance. A man’s hair can be let to grow until it would be considered “full” and still not be a violation of the ordinance. Short hair does not imply a military crew-cut, but as stated above, within the boundaries of consensus, human reasoning, and pure logic.
WHAT IS LONG HAIR?
1. It is hair that exceeds the natural hairline.
2. It is hair that is not cropped or cut short and close to the head.
3. It would be long if it was not shorn or cut at all.
The women priestess’ (prostitutes) in the temple of Diana at Corinth set the fashions for the women of that time. The influence of the priestess’ who cut their hair and fashioned it erotically was a strong influence on Corinthian society. Apparently this heathen custom was creeping into the church at Corinth. Paul is writing this instruction and establishing this ordinance to correct the carnal influence upon the church by the worldly Corinthians. It is the old story of the environment encroaching the church and challenging the traditional standards of spiritual principle. Paul is coming against the influences of the temple of Diana. It’s apparent that many of the people who were practicing these heathen fashions of cutting the hair and shaving the head became Christians. New converts, as today, came into the church bringing these heathen practices with them. Paul is therefore establishing several facts with reason.
1. The head of Christ is God.
2. The head of man is Christ.
3. The head of woman is man (v.3).
4. Man should pray and prophesy with his head uncovered as his honoring Christ (v.4).
5. Every Christian woman should pray and prophesy with her head covered to show her honor and respect for her spiritual head, God. v.5).
6. A woman should wear the spiritual covering (veil) for several reasons including; a) To show her submission to God. b) respect for the angels. c) Nature teaches us and, 4) It is her glory (beauty).
IT IS A SHAME.
It is a shame for a man to pray with his head covered. That is, with a turban, a hat, or any other common head covering used by men. It is unthinkable for a man to come into a church with his hat on, or go to the altar and pray with his head covered. At one time it was unthinkable for a woman to come to church and to pray with her head uncovered. Yet today in the contemporary church women come into the house of God, not only with no covering, but with their hair cut short. In the early holiness movement the women wore coverings, but like many other things, we found we could disobey the bible a keep on living and still feel quite good, the Adam and Eve scenario. But when we stand before God, then what? Paul was bringing out the fact that while it is a shame for a man to pray or prophesy with his head covered, it is as much a shame for a woman to pray or prophesy with her head uncovered.
HAIR AS A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY.
The inspired instruction the apostle gives us here regarding the way the hair is worn between the man and the woman believer includes several very important principles, which he mentions.
1. THE CREATION. Paul makes a reference to the fact that man was created first, and that the woman is of the man and the man not originally of the woman. The long hair appointed to the woman is to remind her of this fact of the creation, and of the help meet reason behind her creation, and that from the very beginning, she is to remain in submission to her man husband. This does not mean that a woman is inferior. There is as much difference between being inferior and submitted as there is in rank in the military. Your rank does not indicate you are inferior, it indicated order for the sake of proper function of government.
2. THE AUTHORITY OF MAN FROM THE BEGINNING.
For the sake of order, God created man with and in a position of final authority, and woman in a position to man as his help meet in life. Note that God did not create the woman as a servant, but as being enjoined to man and being an extension of his person in fulfilling life’s objectives. It is something that makes the two one, and creates a unity in achievement of happiness in life.
3. HAIR IS THE VISIBLE REMINDER of our origin and the God appointed roles He has given us in life as above mentioned. Man’s responsibility is to Christ, Christ is responsible to God the Father, and the woman is responsible to the man. This is a sort of divine CHAIN OF COMMAND. We therefore conclude that while the man has one spiritual head in the God-head, that woman has two heads. She has the same access into God’s divine presence as the man, and therefore, she has a divine head, and then being created as help meet to man, she is also subjected to her man-head. Woman, therefore, has two heads, God is her spiritual head and man is her natural head.
1. Man is her natural head and her hair is her natural covering for her natural head.
2. God is her spiritual head, and for this reason, Paul required that a woman wear the veil (hat, or other appropriate covering for the head) over her natural covering (hair) when she prayed or prophesied; her spiritual relationship to her spiritual head. Her long hair, her natural covering, is the symbol of her subservience to her husband, her natural head, v.15. Her spiritual covering, or veil (hat) is a symbol of her subjection to God, her spiritual head.
BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS (v.10). Angels remember well the war that came to Heaven through the rebellion of Lucifer. The Most repulsive thing to the angels is the rebellion of the creature against the creator and his God.
NATURE TEACHES US, (v.14). There are many natural reasons why a man would have short hair. The fact that his role in life is to labor in providing for his family, and in most cases, demands physical labor, would make short hair on the man practical. Man’s role in life is usually much more physical than the role of the woman if she remains within the Bible ordained bounds of her responsibilities. But this is only speaking in a practical sense. The reasons the inspired scripture gives are spiritual, and therefore, we obey this ordinance for more than practical reasons. Forty percent of body heat is lost through the top of the head (heat rises). It is no coincidence that God places a mat of hair on both man and woman. This helps the creature retain body heat in cold temperatures. Again, this is a practical observation. However, we live in a day when Paul’s words are more vindicated by scientific knowledge, and indicates a tremendous and supernatural anointing of Paul’s words as the Holy Spirit moved upon Paul to make this statement. We are sure Paul did not realize himself that in genetic formulation of the fetus that the female fetus has two genes of hair and the male fetus has only one gene of hair! For this reason, baldness is common among men, and all but unheard of among women. God in the creation gave woman two genes of hair to guarantee her; 1) That she would not experience baldness, 2) She would always retain the practical comfort of the hair on the head to retain body heat, 3) That her hair, which is given to her as a natural covering, would remain, and 4) That her “glory” (natural beauty) would remain. Women do not suffer from receding hairlines or baldness as do men. This was very nice of God. Notice too, that a woman’s hair is given to her for her glory (natural beauty). We make the simple observation that “if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her:” that God intended the woman to retain the beauty of hair as long as she lives. It was a kindness of the Lord to insure a woman the beauty of her hair Nor life. We would further conclude that if a woman’s hair is given her for her glory, then the more hair she has, the greater her glory. Actually, a woman’s hair is a great contribution to her natural beauty. We are, of course, speaking of natural beauty and not the cosmetic beauty of the sensual arts (cosmetology). In time of war, from ancient Hebrew history until the present time, women who were shamed by their captors, or who had romantic affairs with enemy occupation troops, were publicly shaved and often driven from their villages for their immoral corroboration with the enemy. After all of these thousands of passing years, the hair principle, as it regards man, is still a well established fact and still an issue of shame, beauty and (in the kingdom of God) order (ordinance).
EXPOSITION OF VERSE FIFTEEN.
“Her hair is given her for a covering.” Modern translators translate this statement of Paul as, “Her hair is given her instead of a covering.” The key word is the word “for” in our original text. This is the Greek word, ANTI. There are forty-four different Greek words translated as “for” in the King James Bible. This particular word used here is used in two basic senses. As meaning over and against, or in behalf of (Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible). Actually, this word “for” can be translated as, instead of, or as in behalf of, or “for a” as the King James translators have chosen. Why did the King James translators choose “for” a covering? How do we know which sense Paul is using here? It’s very simple. It would be ridiculous to attempt to interpret the entire fifteen verses and change the meaning of the entire text by one preposition. This word ANTI is interpreted by the text and not the text by the single word. In the text there are two coverings: long hair, the natural covering; and the veil, or hat as the spiritual covering. Therefore, we must interpret the true meaning of ANTI in the light of the context and not attempt to change the entire context by our personal preference in the translation of the preposition. The King James scholars gave ANTI its correct meaning in the light of the context. When you say that the hair is given instead of the covering, you are most certainly admitting there is another covering besides the hair, and the minute you do that, you establish the two coverings. No time in the context does Paul indicate that one covering is given in the stead of the other, but always indicates that both are coverings and both are to be used and observed. Missionaries who travel the nations will discover that in the East, as well as in Romania, Russia, Poland, Hungary, England, Australia – in many nations of the world today, the head covering on ladies in the church is practiced in the fundamental and Pentecostal churches.
“IF ANY MAN SEEM TO BE CONTENTIOUS” (v.16).
Dr. Jesse Moon says, “There is a popular misinterpretation of this verse which goes as follows: Paul is saying, ‘I would rather that you women wear long hair and veils and you men wear short hair. However, it is not important enough to argue about.’ This interpretation pictures those who favor long hair on women and short hair on men as being the ‘contentious’ ones …” See Pulpit Commentary (Vol. 44, page 363); Clarke (Vol. 6, page 253,254); The correct paraphrase of the KJV is, “But if anybody wants to take issue with me, my answer is, his view is contrary to the custom of the Assemblies of God.” Letters of Paul by P. C. Nelson, pages 79,80. I Thessalonians 2:15. Paul did not conclude after presenting such an ordinance to the church that it was optional. The original Greek text, as well as any noteworthy commentary written on this verse, makes it very clear that the grammar itself does not support the above spurious conclusion. Mary said to the servants at the marriage of Cana, “Whatever He saith unto you, do it.” The early church practiced both the natural and the spiritual coverings. It has only been in recent years ladies started cutting and styling the hair and leaving off the covering. That was in the days we believed the scripture as children. Before any child of God rejects Paul’s teaching, he or she should be careful to; 1) Submit the matter to earnest prayer before the Lord. 2) Confess in brokenness before the Lord if you are really defending a personal preference and just find it hard to conform to the simple truth of the Word. Ask for love and heart purity, for the humility one needs to walk in loving obedience. These are the kind of matters the Holy Spirit has come alongside to help us with. 3) Whatever your relationship to this ordinance, keep a sweet spirit and do nothing to provoke contention. We must respect anyone who is walking in any Word of obedience, and those who do abide by the ordinance must never use it against those who have not yet so dedicated themselves.
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
I can speak in tongues, understand mysteries of God, make great sacrifices and not have the love of God! But one cannot be holy and righteous and not have love. To love God and keep His commandments takes real agape! “Obeying the law to love God is not legalism.” Theories of expedience have destroyed a love that obeys God’s law. Fidelity to God’s Word in the form of obedience is not legalism. The liberal refers to such loving obedience in those outside of his own philosophical circles as “legalists.” This they do to justify their own form of disobedient brand of modern faith that is terribly void of this loving obedience. John 14:15. Any achievement apart from love (my living for God and others and not self) is “nothing.” Let us be careful to point out that knowledge and practice of separation in itself apart from love is also “nothing!”
This is the classic Christian culture.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Moffet translates this, “Love makes no parade, gives itself no airs.” promotes these very things. It exploits and deifies the beauty of flesh and makes oneself conscious of his or her desirableness. Paul also said in the second chapter of Colossians that we are “to do nothing out of vain glory or selfish ambition.”
When we announce that we are going to speak on the subject of love everybody thinks you’re getting ready to compromise. Love has become a scapegoat theme for the neo-church movement. There is a sickening theology that equates sloppy humanistic sentimentalism with agape.
WHAT IS LOVE
In I Corinthians 13 a man can be:
1. Speaking with tongues.
2. Have a life of sacrifice.
3. He can have all wisdom, all understanding.
4. He can have faith to move mountains … and not have love.
If we took the characteristics of such a man as Paul describes in these opening verses of 1 Corinthians 13 and apply them to the church of the 21st century, you would have exactly the kind of church that we have today by the thousands! This is a pretty good description of the kind of liberal love cult movement afoot in the world in this end time. This person Paul describes could make a great Televangelist by today’s standards. It could also apply very easily to some who profess to be “holiness people.” Now Paul begins to tell us what love really is … or what it is not. An in-depth study of this list of agape virtues will make liberals more holiness, and holiness people more liberal.
THE NEGATIVE LIST
Charity suffereth long.
Charity is kind.
Charity envieth not.
Charity vaunteth not itself.
Charity is not puffed up.
Charity doth not behave itself unseemly.
Charity seeketh not her own.
Charity is not easily provoked.
Charity thinketh no evil.
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity.
Love teaches us that sometimes the things I am not to do are as important as the things I am to do.
Charity rejoiceth in the truth.
Charity beareth all things.
Charity believeth all things.
Charity hopeth all things.
Charity endureth all things.
Charity never faileth.
Any Christian of any persuasion who will come broken before God, simply asking again and again to be utterly conformed by these agape principles, would be a holiness Christian! This is holiness. Seek these virtues – possess them and the world’s values will cause nausea! Examine these characteristics of agape love. Do agape qualities exist in the people who oppose the holiness message, traditional doctrine and watch television and practice mixed bathing? Is this the love they have? Can this love code of inner power be the same as advocated by those who claim to be full of the Holy Spirit? Is this the love practiced by the Charismatics who charge traditional holiness people with legalism? Are these qualities really present in the heart of holiness people who feel they have held the standard and possess “old time religion?” Can we slander and hate a brother and claim holiness? Can we seek our own comforts, never praying for the lost and be holiness? Can we be “holiness,” hold grudges, cheat on our taxes and do so little for world evangelism when we could do so much more than we are? Can any holiness Christian go through this list in deep reflection and come forth saying, “I am holiness, true holiness.” When you think you are; read this list again until you are weeping in His presence, until you know how far we holiness people have drifted from Calvary love. 2 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
C. F. Creighton said, “Love is God’s motive in all He does.” Therefore we deduct that love is the divine motive, and motive always depicts temperament, and the temperament reflects the nature. The nature of God is holiness. The God who hated the sin of man enough to send His own son to the tree, still hates sin just that much. Calvary is a display of God’s perfect hatred for sin. How integrated in the moral nature of God is this thing of hate and love, always strangely meaning the same thing.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
THE EVOLUTION OF COMPROMISE
1. COMMUNICATION – The transferring of an Compromise idea from one person to another, or the transferring of feelings to one person to another.
2. ADMIRATION – Wonder mingled with approbation, esteem, love, or delight, excited by something fine, beautiful.
3. ASSOCIATION – The act of associating; union; connection of persons companionship; fellowship; partnership.
4. FRATERNIZATION – To associate in a brotherly manner; be on friendly terms.
5. CONFORMATION – To give the same form or character to; to make like; to adapt; to submit; to act in accordance with rules, customs; to accept.
6. CAPITULATION – A document containing terms of surrender, treaty; covenant; to give up; stop resisting. To go over to the other side.
7. IDENTIFICATION – To combine in interest, purpose. To be joined by mutual identity. Judges 4; Numbers 20; I Kings 21. Much of the “evil communication” of today is beautiful, desirable, respectable and popular. It’s hard not to let influential people sway us and have our loyalties when they show us favor. Beware of the trap of admiration. See notes Romans 8:29; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 11:2.
15:34 AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND SIN NOT; FOR SOME HAVE NOT THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: I SPEAK THIS TO YOUR SHAME.
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS INTOLERANT OF SIN!
If you’re not fellowshipping with Christians who love to talk purity and holiness, “You’re running with the wrong bunch! Wake up and get back onto the highway of holiness.” A translation that’s not too far off.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
“But by the grace of God we have had our behavior, manner of life in the world.” This is the more correct translation of the word ANASTREPHO (390).
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The more we separate from the world, the more powerless Satan is. His dominion is in this world only. To separate from the world is to separate from the Satanic influences and any Satanic rights over our lives and withdraw to be “hid in Christ.” Is this not holiness? The greatest power Satan has over us is when we fail to use the power we have over him. Paul makes it clear that the battle is very much a mental one. Satan is extremely intelligent, just as powerless as he is intelligent. The only way he could manipulate Eve was by influence and subtle semantics. There is an intelligence to sanctification that makes us wise unto salvation so that we are equal to the Satanic wisdom. When worldly Christians claim the power of God, their power is very little. Worldly Christians have been outsmarted and influenced by Satanic intelligence. He has made them dummies. Worldliness is a sign of mental defeat. See Mind; Wisdom. Satan’s greatest weapon against the church and against Christians is his intelligence. When we become stupid and fail to appropriate the wisdom of God’s commandments, we are displaying a demented attitude and lowering our level of strength to where we could become vulnerable to Satanic manipulation. The liberal mind has been psychologically manipulated by Satan. If we are busy obeying God, the commandment (which is the wisdom of God) protects us from the wisdom of Satan. Matthew 10:16; 25:2; Luke 12:42; I Corinthians 4:10; Ephesians 5:15; 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:15.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
We cannot change the Word! So how do we corrupt it? By adding human reasoning to the divine precept! When man modifies the moral law he corrupts it, he humanizes it. The Word of God is given to us pure, but man gives it back corrupted. These were all given pure gifts, but …Esau corrupted his birthright. Balaam corrupted his prophetic office. Saul corrupted his calling. Samson corrupted his strength. David corrupted his dedication. Solomon corrupted his wisdom. The Judaizers corrupted the Gospel. Jannes and Jambres corrupted their trust. Hymenaeus and Alexander corrupted their faith. I Timothy 1:19,20. Diotrephes corrupted his office. Only something that is pure to begin with can be called “corrupted.” Corruption implies something once pure was affected by something impure. To change the original intended meaning of the Word of God is the most insidious crime to be perpetrated against the Kingdom of God!
2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
See introduction to Psalm 119;
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
How often this statement has been distorted to attack the holiness Christian’s belief in moral law and precept. The letter of the law is against the disobedient and depraved flesh nature. See Romans 8:7. It is the war law has made with the sinful flesh that ends up with flesh losing the war in death. Whether he joins Christ and dies to flesh and self in the gaining of a glorious new life in Christ, or whether a man goes through life rejecting Christ and dying twice; in the end flesh loses in death to the Word of God. “But the Spirit giveth life.” This does not mean that moral law is not regarded by the spiritual life. See Romans 8:4. It is quite the opposite! Spiritual life is in perfect harmony with the commandments of God and diametric to flesh. As the new creation lives in harmony with the commandments, lovingly and willingly obeys the moral commandment, death to flesh occurs. When you’re living in the Spirit and your flesh is not able to do the things it wants to, Galatians 5:17, that is the death to self, and the death comes by the letter of the law to the flesh. Whether we are living in the Spirit or by moral commandment; it’s just two different ways of saying the same thing. You cannot keep the moral law apart from the power of the Holy Spirit and when one walks in the Spirit, he gladly complies with moral law. Hebrews 8:10; 10:16; Galatians 5:17; 2:20; Romans 8:12-14; 8:4.”The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” These are both essential to new life in Christ. The Spirit giveth life. The letter (Word of God) kills the flesh nature. The Spirit gives new life. While the Word of God is bringing death to the sinful flesh nature. Liberals disassociate the flesh nature from the actual body of flesh. Thus this allows the flesh freedom contrary to flesh commandments. I Timothy 2:9. They insist the flesh nature is under the blood and then allow the flesh to indulge in the world. It is this kind of theological duplicity that fosters carnality in the church. Worldliness in the flesh is the mother of all sin.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
MORALITY AND THE NEW BIRTH
There is more to being “saved” than just coming to the altar and praying the sinners prayer. That experience could last 5 minutes Morality or 5 billion years. Let us consider the seven elements of salvation.
1. Repentance. John 16:8-11. The first ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict all sin. This is usually by illumination. Illumination, light of truth that reveals Christ usually begins in the Word of God or by personal witness. The Bible is the reservoir of divine truth. Nothing precedes truth because all things are revealed by truth. Therefore, the Holy Spirit can only work through truth. It is in a very strict sense that all who have good sound and deep conversion experiences are, “born of the Word.” It is in the Word that sin is exposed as God sees it. The Bible is the history of sin. When the Word is spoken, the lights come on and we suddenly see things as God sees them. In this sense, man becomes morally sensitized and aware of his sinful state; he has “seen the light.” The Holy Spirit reveals to us the sinfulness of our nature and brings the cross into focus as the solution of our sinful dilemma. When the Word of God is preached in righteousness, it produces righteous conversion. For it is by the Word (or moral law) that we receive the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20; 6:9; Psalm 19:7. Conviction is the first and primary element effecting conversion. When the sinner witnesses the Christian life he notices the moral contrast and the Holy Spirit comes and turns that into a yearning for purity. This state in the unsaved is the condition the Holy Spirit uses in bringing about true conversion. If there is no moral or little moral contrast, then the depth of conversion is usually likewise. The deeper the conviction, the deeper the conversion. The greater the contrast in morals, the greater the work of the Holy Spirit ministry in purging sin at con version. Many modern “conversions” are shallow because there is no moral contrast factor. The sin question never came up in the message, nor has it come up in the heart of the “convert.” He/She merely gave mental and emotional assent to who Christ is and what He did in “saving” us. Shallow conversions are the result of shallow concepts of sin and the essentialness of the sinner’s consciousness of it. It is a doctrinal absolute that genuine conversion be wrought through conviction of sin and a strong desire to be free from it. A person that does not deplore his sinful state and see his sin as morally undesirable and damning, will not relate properly to sin after his conversion. This grief for sin that convicts man is the work of the Holy Spirit in preparing the soul for repentance. That obnoxiousness toward sin is a healthy part of true conversion. Without this godly regard and hatred for sin, complete conversion can never occur. Both the salvation and sanctification experiences will lack desired results without this true concept of evil. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6 Love is not perfect without a perfect hatred for sin. “Ye that love the Lord hate evil.” Psalm 97:10 Just as a premature or deformed child at birth will carry the scars of that abnormal birth through life, so is new birth abnormal without holy hatred for sin. It was something our Fathers had and that previous generations of the church understood and accepted. It is a concept that promises the possessor holy health. Repentance means godly sorrow for sin. It is extremely essential to the Christian’s moral values which are developing in him at the time of new birth, that he may be sensitive to good and evil and set high moral goals for himself. Because, it means not only contrition, but also a desire to be free from the evil influences of a past sinful life in the world, the binding powers of sin, habits and wicked companions. The Greek word for repentance, METANOIA, means a change of mind, the heart and the will. The word repentance, as well as the word sin, have been all but removed from the modern experience of “conversion.” It stands to reason that if sin is not the cause of coming to Christ, why repent? The neo-evangelical approach is to; “receive the Lord Jesus,” “make a decision for Christ,” “invite Jesus into your heart,” but no mention of repentance. When sin is not preached, the call for repentance diminishes.
2. Regeneration. As soon as the convicted sinner confesses his faith in Christ as Savior and surrenders himself into God’s hands, the Holy Spirit enters his life. The Spirit of Christ, Romans 8:15, joins Himself to the human spirit, giving us “power” to be the sons of God! John 1:12. Now a new and clean inner man coexists with Christ within. The human spirit is joined by the Holy Spirit Himself (the Spirit of Christ). When that change is brought about it will be a moral change. I now delight in a whole new heavenly ethic. The mind and heart (soul centers) are divinely affected by the nearness (inner presence) of the Holy Spirit. The birth of the physical life is generation, his new life in Christ is regeneration. This is the beginning of a whole new life, a whole new moral concept and a whole new destiny!
3. Justification. The soul that accepts Christ is justified. For soul winners and ministers it should be mentioned that there is a logical and proper procedure in the effective conversion of a soul. It can easily be seen how necessary it is for sin consciousness to be the beginning of a genuine repentance experience and that in turn, repentance of sin to Christ would make the regenerate man and the Holy Spirit compatible. It would also make the work of regeneration easy for the Holy Spirit. If He comes into my soul to cleanse me and I do not continue cooperating with Him ethically against sin, a frustrating relationship follows. Justification is both a forensic (legal) and a paternal act on God’s part. When I, through conviction, repentance and regeneration, acknowledge the vicarious death of Christ making atonement for my past sins, justification is effected and my pardon is legally executed in heaven. This is the third act of God through Christ in my behalf. I have become a legal citizen of the kingdom, a joint-heir with Christ, and all of my past sins are wiped out by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:13-15. All the legal privileges purchased for me by the Son of God have been executed by legal procedure in the heavenlies. This again reflects such ethical qualities as justice, righteousness, retribution, restoration, institution, propitiation, holiness, purity and confession. Justification is not an experimental change from sin to holiness, but a judicial change from guilt to no condemnation.
4. Sanctification. This hagiazo, the act of God crediting us with the holiness of Christ (vicarious holiness). By this we are declared righteous before God and set apart as His possession. Acts 20:32; Romans 15:16; I Corinthians 1:2. “Thus sainthood or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians.” Colossians 3:12; Hebrews 3:11. We shall call this sanctification in the first instance. Sanctification in the second instance occurs after transformation (see below), which is hagiasomos (nature of holiness), or hagiosune (the character of holiness).
5. Reconciliation. “Reconciliation is not a transformation of character, but the effecting of peace by removal of all that causes offenses.” Since Adam’s fall, God’s whole redemptive effort has been to the end that man may return back into the Shekinah and be restored to holy fellowship with Him. Redemption is a divine romance! This is the word that defines the efficacy (desired result) of centuries of blood sacrifices ending with the blood of God’s own Lamb, shed on a Roman cross finally making a way for the rebel sinner back into His fellowship. A new and wonderful intimacy with our Heavenly Father begins and once again we return to fullness of joy that is in His presence; and the pleasures that are at His right hand – Oh, glorious union of purity! There is certainly no antinomianism (Lit.; against law) in Calvary, nor is it encouraged anywhere in the great plan of salvation. Confession and departure from all of sin will be the highest desire of the new born at the very beginning of life in Christ. The whole process of salvation saves us from sin. Romans 6:1,2,15; 2 Timothy 2:19.
6. Transformation. The best definition of transform includes three areas of life that are dramatically changed. a) Construction, original structure is altered and changed. b) The character nature is changed. c) The outward appearance changes as the inner man changes inwardly. Conversion begins with a change of the moral structure of a person’s thinking by acknowledging sin. This restructured thinking constitutes the whole new being, new creature, new birth. Change a man in the way he thinks morally, and you have a whole new structure. Sin is one of the strongest moral terms in human language. Both the paternal (adoption) and judicial (justification) experiences are deeply ethical! Salvation is a moral transformation! It is a resolute and complete about-face morally. If salvation is a complete conversion experience it will transform in structure, in character and in outward appearance.
7. Sanctification. hagiasmos, meaning state of purity, which designates a progressive work of moral perfection through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 1:17-21; Titus 2:11,12. “As long as a man lives, he will be confronted with trials of perfection, that by his choice in each trial he may purify himself by degrees. This is known as progressive sanctification.” This pursuit we call, “holiness.” Romans 6:18. Justification secures my state in Christ and declares me holy. Sanctification (HAGIASMOS) secures my standing (HAGIAZO) in Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
SEPARATION – THE EVIDENCE AND EFFECT OF TRUE HOLINESS
The common Greek verb for “come” (ERCHOMAI -2064) is used in the very broad sense and used most frequently. However, this word “come” found here in Paul’s command to come out from the world is a very strong verb, EXERCHOMAI-1831, carrying the meaning, get out, go, escape from. Separation is to the salvation of the saint what repentance is to the salvation of the sinner. What repentance is to the atonement, so is separation to sanctification. Without repentance there is no atoning for the soul, there is no availing of the blood. And so, without separation, sanctification loses its power to purify. Separation is absolutely essential to sanctification, and sanctification in turn is the continuing evidence of a valid salvation experience. This is a commandment; “Be ye separate saith the Lord.” (v.17) It is an ultimatum that profoundly effects my relationship with the heavenly Father. Without separation, without a love for this function of the Christian experience, I destroy my relationship with the heavenly Father and lose my rights as a new born child. (verse 18) Conviction begins the process of salvation, but separation is my continuing consecration that validates that moral process and secures my relationship with the Father. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15 The Bible teaches separation FROM. Christians live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from all religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of God. Romans 12:1,2; 14:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:11; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; I Corinthians 5:9-13. The Bible teaches separation UNTO. Believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Leviticus 19:2; John 15:1-5; Galatians 5:16; I Thessalonians 1:11, 12; Hebrews 12:1-2. Paul uses five words warning us against fraternization in five different areas of life in the real world; five different relationships that are forbidden those who seek the holy life. Paul calls these forbidden areas of relationship with the world the “unequal yoke” (togetherness without harmony). (v.14) Those five relationships are; 1) Fellowship. METOCHE (3352); to participate or be a participator with the unrighteous and/or with unrighteousness, 2) Communion. KOINONIA Communion, (2842); this speaks of having social relationship or partnership, having something in common socially with the darkness, 3) (v.15) Concord. SUMPHONESIS (4857); “what agreement is there between Christ and Belial.” It literally means to be in accordance with. A saint should have nothing more in common with the world than Christ has with the gods of the heathen! 4) Part. Part, MERIS (3310); meaning a share of, or sharing with. Paul is stating here, we should not enter into a relationship that amounts to sharing with the infidels (unregenerate, unfaithful). 5) (v.16) Agreement. SUGKATA- THESIS (4783); To be joined to or in company with. See a big worldly throng milling around at a beach party, or a rock festival. How can one whose life is holy and in the image of God be milling with that crowd, talking their language, enjoying that atmosphere? 2 Corinthians 6:16. The holiness Christian has nothing in common with the gods of this world. “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” If we want this relationship with God, we must sever our relationships with, 1) all unrighteousness in the world, 2) with all the works of darkness, 3) with all the gods and religions apart from Christ, and 4) from all spiritual apostasy and idolatry (covetousness). Colossians 3:5. Paul did not want to describe separation in the singular term, he wanted it to be thorough and well understood. He wanted the church to understand its ramifications and seriousness. He clearly, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, forbid five different kinds of relationships which takes in the whole scope of forbidden fraternization. J. B. Phillips, a Greek scholar, puts it very well, “Don’t link up with unbelievers and try to work with them. What common interests can there be between goodness and evil? How can light and darkness share life together? How can there be harmony between Christ and the devil? What business can a believer have with an unbeliever? What common ground can idols hold with the temple of God?”
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (Matthew 19:21; Joshua 3:3,5; 2 Timothy 2:21; Jeremiah 24:7; John 5:6; 13:27; Matthew 8:2,3; 9:22; Acts 15:19; Mark 9:23; 11:24; Acts 26:18; Exodus 32:29)
“Full salvation has two hemispheres: 1) Complete cleansing, 2) Perfecting holiness.” Perfecting, epiteleo (2005). To bring through to the end, complete, indicating a process. Isaiah 33:6. One thing that delights God so much is to see the will of the believer strive by his own Initiative in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to achieve moral perfection. Psalm 25:12-14; Malachi 3:16,17; Matthew 5:41; Philippians 3:9-16. I must develop my own mind and display resolution regarding right and wrong. When we do, God credits me for taking that righteous initiative. This willful initiative on our part in responding to His grace is one of God’s greatest pleasures: to see us, by choice, becoming more like Him. The inspiration to be righteous and in right standing with God is born of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me, but the execution of it must be accompanied by concrete acts of resolute effort on the part of the believer. See Initiative.
We need not think that so many references in this homily to be superfluous or unnecessary. Everything in this life will be the maxim by which we will all be judged before the judgment seat of Christ. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Everything in this life boils down to good and bad as determined by the moral law of God.
We need not think that so many references in this homily to be superfluous or unnecessary. Everything in this life will be the maxim by which we will all be judged before the judgment seat of Christ. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Everything in this life boils down to good and bad as determined by the moral law of God.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17).
2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
This is what is meant by consecration. Paul is such a competent authority on the matter and presents it so completely that we will follow him in a four-period meditation: 1) He esteems that the giving of ourselves surpasses benevolence, humanitarianism and any or all forms of material sacrifice and service. This places consecration as truly above service as a wife’s covenant is above a housekeeper’s agreement. 2) He fixes grateful love as the motive and hope of Christian perfection as the incentive to entire consecration. See Romans 12:1,2, “I beseech you … by the mercies of God.” This is an appeal to gratitude for God’s pardoning mercy. “That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” This is that perfect freedom from sin which every true Christian longs and prays for from the time of his conversion. 3) He records his own personal testimony of having actually finished and maintained this transaction … It was in pursuit of “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ” he maintained it. For the truth is that while only those who already know Christ in His Service pardoning mercy are possessors of such love for Him as would prompt them to such complete sacrifice of self, it still remains that upon making such a consecration such will be rewarded by a more excellent knowledge of Himself, even that of His manifestations to them as a perfect Savior. As Paul was by such love offering crucified with Christ, so was he because of it rewarded with the indwelling of Christ. Thus he witnesses, “Christ liveth in me.” And this life of freedom from sin and the abiding of Jesus was maintained while he was in the body, by simple faith. Love’s sacrifice has resulted in the death of self and has been rewarded by the life of Christ in the soul. This is Holiness, and the way to it.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
You can build towers with human powers (professionalism, psychology, super organizations and celebrityism), but Satan’s strongholds only come down by the might of one anointed prophet who walks in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and (2 Corinthians 7:1)
I call this the very sum of Christianity. If I am asked, What is Christianity, this is the ultimate efficacy of all who come to God through His son Jesus Christ. It is my life verse written on the title page to many of my books for friends. This commandment of Paul calls for an execution of the will in the dethroning of evil thoughts and unwholesome imaginations. It is the initiative of the believer that executes the act of obedience to the command of the thought life. To teach that holiness of life is without or apart from the initiative of the believer we would have to ignore great portions of scripture. The Holy Spirit will not overrule the believer to force him to serve God against his will. At the same token, He allows the will the freedom to choose God, and receive the credit for that choice. Judges 24:15; Ephesians 4:13.
INITIATIVE OF THE BELIEVER
1. “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.
2. “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:20.
3. Phinehas acted on his own – not with any special instructions. “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and trust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” Numbers 25:7,8.
4. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ …” Romans 13:14.
5. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” I Corinthians 9:27.
6. “Let us cleanse ourselves” 2 Corinthians 7:1. 7. “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure … for if ye do these things …” 2 Peter 1:10 And many, many more passages. When you see them mark them well! The preacher is sometimes accused of being narrow-minded because he insists upon the Christian’s forsaking all to follow Christ. Yet all of life is narrow, and success is to be found only by passing through the narrow gate and down the straight way. There is no room for broad-mindedness in the chemical laboratory. Water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The slightest deviation from that formula is forbidden. There is no room for broad-mindedness in music. There can be but eight steps in an octave. The skilled director will not permit his first violin to play even so much as one-half step off the written note, chord or key. There is no room for broad-mindedness in the mathematical class-room. Neither geometry, calculus, nor trigonometry allows any variation from the exact, even for old time’s sake. The solution of the problem is either right or wrong – no tolerance there. There is no room for broad-mindedness in biology. One varying result out of a thousand experiments will invalidate an entire theory [and blow ten years of research]. There is no room for broad-mindedness on the athletic field. The game is played according to the rules with no favors shown for charity’s sake. There is no room for broad-mindedness in the garage. The mechanic there says that the piston rings must fit the cylinder wall within one-thousandth of an inch. Even between friends there cannot be any variation if the motor is to run smoothly. How then, shall we expect that broad-mindedness shall rule in the realm of religion and morals?
2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
This last line should read (instead of “him”), “you tolerate these false teachers.”
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Timothy 1:19; 2:5)
There are many celebrity teachers in these last days as scripture prophesies. That fact alone tells us we must be close to the Word of God and hold to holiness of life lest we be carried away with all the excitement of success and share the fate of these false “ministers of righteousness.” See 1 Corinthians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
“The saintly idea of ‘power’ is weakness in themselves with divine power made perfect in their weakness, and taking pleasure in this arrangement of being ‘powerful weak’.” (v.10)
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
INFIRMITIES ARE NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH DISEASE OR SICKNESS.
It is probable that scripture sometimes gives a wider use to the word “infirmities” than we do. For instance, under the heading of infirmities, in 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul seems to embrace outward trials such as “reproaches,” “necessities,” etc.. And in Romans 8:25, where he assures us of the Spirit’s help in our infirmities, it is not quite clear [whether] he speaks only of the infirmity of ignorance noted in that verse for: he seems really to be treating [also the matter] of the Comforter’s abiding presence to help in all those “sufferings,” “pains,” and other woes of probationary tribulation of which he has been speaking of up to this point. We will limit ourselves here to “infirmities,” as we commonly think of them, like the infirmities of age, those which arise from ignorance and from poor advantages in life; weariness, too, and nervousness, with hunger and thirst and sleeplessness and all their concomitant defects and deficiencies or consequent blunders, wandering thoughts in prayer, injudicious speech though without the least intention of evil, forgetfulness even of some duties or promises; temperamental sluggishness upon the one hand or precipitations upon the other; tardiness and loss of time through lack of system, etc. These and many like infirmities attach to our residence in these tabernacles of clay; and it is no small part of Perfect Love to bear patiently with our own imperfections. Some of them may be cured. Others of them must be borne. Some of them will become accented as we grow older. All of them are justly humiliating for ourselves, and many of them are annoying or injurious to others. Though they need the sufficient unconditional benefits of the Atonement, none of them are properly sins. We have the treasure of Holiness in earthen vessels, and these are probably cracked. Holiness is neither angelic, Adamic, nor resurrection perfection. See 2 Corinthians 12:9. This word, ASTHENEIA (769) translated infirmities, denoting “inability to produce results.” In Luke 13:11 it is used implying SatanIc affliction, but not here. Paul says, “I take pleasure in …” These are natural infirmities as the text bears out and as this the precious man of God so eloquently bears out.
2 Corinthians 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
“Can any minister wish anything less for his people [than for] their personal and collective perfection? Every prayer and sermon and exhortation and conversation and every effort should flame with this saintly desire.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
“Perfection brings all the rest in its train – comfort, unity, peaceable living and the presence of the God of love and peace.”
Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
To use the Word of God to support personal ambition is not the vicarious spirit of the Gospel or the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a perversion of propagation principles and only those who have not given their first loyalties to the Word of God will become part of these celebrity movements. All apostates are both humanistic and materialistic in philosophy … and they don’t know it! See Judges 16:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:12; Revelation 3:17. Laodiceanism does not give first priorities to the Word – they shift and move about with whatever causes people to respond. They function like the big corporations; whatever is expedient to success. Any Christian group or movement within the universal church that has failed to teach and practice Bible holiness – that does not hold the Word of God as the first and highest form of government and the supreme authority in all matters of personal human behavior and conduct, is an ignorance cult. Neo-theology, the contemporary interpreters apply their heads to master palatable themes and clever slogans insisting that all this promotion is meaningful to modern man or “relative to the contemporary scene.” But they will not apply their brains or resources to seriously treat the doctrines of salvation and sanctification. These opportunists will be peddling their stale philosophies when judgment falls and God brings an awakening to purity and a renewal of sound doctrine to the world prior to His coming. They have misdirected their capabilities. I Corinthians 10:4.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Exodus 32:1,2,22,23; I Samuel 15:24)
“I certify (1107 GNORIZO, a guaranteed truth) you brethren …” We discern devils, speak in tongues, boast of supernatural gifts, preach our Gospel from the sky (satellite), but we have done a miserable job of discerning between…
THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD
THE CONSENSUS OF MAN
SUCCESS OR VICTORY
Calvary was not a success, it was a victory! The story of the cross is the story of what happens when a divine omniscient with a plan of victory visits a world of ambitious men bent on success. God has no plans for succeeding – He has invaded this planet to conquer. If His objective had been success, then success oriented and success prone humans would not have rejected and crucified Him! But take an honest look at the ministry of Jesus. As far as super crowds, He was a failure. He apparently did not want to succeed at amassing the people. When the crowd came out to Him, He shattered them with denunciations that scattered them in every direction mumbling to themselves. For three and one half years He stunned the nation of Israel with miracles of the greatest magnitude and yet out of a nation only a band of one hundred and twenty tarried for Him in the upper room. John 8; Acts 1,2. That’s not exactly being a success. He would not allow Himself to become an object of charisma worshipers! This is where the real battle lines and decisive spiritual combat begin … and where many battles are lost by the modern preacher and layman. Western culture, and not Jesus, has programmed us to success. Many modern “Christians” equate success with spiritual achievement and maturity. Millions of modern Christians labor under the illusions of the Philosophy success philosophy. Excuse me, sir, but the Holy Spirit is not come to make you a success, He has come to make you victorious! Material gain is sometimes (not always) a fringe benefit of obedience, not a prime objective worthy of the extreme emphasis we have placed upon it in this church generation. Our taste for victory has given way to a lust for success. Jesus knew the difference. Jesus was not presented to the world as God’s P.R. (Public Relations) man. Success makes us feel good, victory makes us feel right. If riches constitute a sort of spiritual success or divine approval, then Christ’s simplistic lifestyle proves Him a failure … but if godliness and purity is a goal – then He was a great victor.
SUCCESS IS A CHEAP SUBSTITUTE FOR VICTORY
Where the church necessarily touches the world there will also be business transactions supportive to the church’s existence “in her world!” But, even in the church’s business her methods are based on simple honesty and have very little in common with the psycho-commercial methods of the business world. What business principles of the world may apply to the business of the church must be watched and kept properly at the perimeter of the church’s activities. But if that spirit penetrates to influence the spiritual leadership of the church it may indeed produce a visibly successful church. But when personal purity and holiness of life is no longer stressed – the living organism becomes an organization and the judgment promises to be devastating. Success is a business word. Victory is a battle word. The Kingdom of God never was and never shall be “big business.” Success depends upon human resources. Victory depends on Heaven’s resources. Achieving success will make us feel good and then we make the big mistake of believing that good feeling is the “blessing of God.” The next step is natural; we confuse the blessing of God with the approval of God. It then follows in our thinking that what God blesses, God approves. This is where the “big men” jump the track. Scripture reveals that “big men” make the biggest mistakes. Thank God, Jesus did not make the mistake we are making … to confuse spiritual victory with material success! The cross is the greatest paradox of world history! While Jesus failed to sway the depravity of men to thinking God’s way, He nailed that depravity to the cross, stripped principalities and powers of their dominion, and in an open display triumphed over them in the spectacle of the cross. Colossians 2:15, Charles Williams Greek translation. The paradox of the cross is that while it contained the death of a man who did not succeed, it also contained the resurrection of a man who was victorious. Golgotha was the place where the raging legions of hell engaged the powers of Heaven spilling the blood of our Prince. Brethren, this is war! Yes, brethren, the Kingdom of God is not “business as usual,” it’s war! You better believe there is no business going on between Heaven and hell! “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” There has never been any other kind of relationship between the God of Heaven and the imps of Hades. You don’t succeed in battle! In war you are victor! To defend the theories of “success” is to give your life and destiny to a myth. To emphasize prosperity over piety is to put a fantasy against the mighty lasers of divine truth! Let’s get back to the business of holy lives. Building scripturally moral lives “unspotted from the world” is the “chief business” of the church. In business, morality is sacrificed for unity. In the spiritual warfare, unity is often sacrificed for the laurels of righteous victory. Mores refused the offer of unity with Egypt. He failed at unity, but joined himself to Israel and achieved moral victory. Don’t be rattled brethren … the greatest achievement of a child of God is to accomplish the supernatural morality of Christ … and that means a thousand battles, a thousand scars, perhaps for some a thousand painful wounds with the promise of the victor’s crown when at last every enemy has been beaten down. I Corinthians 15.The Bible doesn’t say, “We can succeed in all things through Christ, our executive director” – it does say, “We are more than conquerors.” To know the difference between the Gospel of victory and the Gospel of success is the difference between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and “another Gospel.”
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. See Mortification; Romans 6,7,8.
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
“Bewitched” (940, baskaino, to fascinate by false representations.) Paul asked the Galatians, “Ye did run so well, who hath hindered you?” He did not ask, “what,” but “who.” All evil influence is personified. There is a personality behind all evil influences that takes us off the path of holiness. When a man is taken from the right way into error, there is usually a personality Satan uses to influence that person. The Christian who is on their knees and into their Bible will not be fascinated with the charisma of religious super-stars. One of the best reasons today for a holiness Christian not to have television is the religious programming that continually presents amoral and unholy concepts of Christianity. Zoologists in the field have observed snakes staring at squirrels with such intensity that against the squirrel’s will, twitching and chattering, it comes to the snake and literally walks into its mouth! Oh, foolish Christian, who is this that fascinates you away from the true Gospel? Notice the idea of wrong influence running through this letter – and all of those evil influences were from within the church. Galatians 2:11-13; 4:17a; 5:7. Notice how Paul chastises them here with his words – then read the words of this father speaking in 4:19.
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
“Read the sixteenth verse in the second chapter; then read the first five verses of this chapter; and you will see that neither justification nor perfection are by works of the law, but by the hearing of faith.” What a subtle shift has taken place in our Gospel churches these last few decades. Some of the older saints today have watched the change with wonder and tears. What different concepts do the modern evangelicals have today – selling in the church, platform entertainment, movie stars as featured speakers, church sponsored public bathing outings, cussing and tolerating erotica in the home on TV, family altars gone, ladies forsaking the dress and wearing pants and paint to church. We have come a long way from child-like credibility in the word of God in the last fifty years and this writer has witnessed the changes over more than sixty years in the church world. There have been no changes taking us closer to moral perfection, only digression – wholesale digression and loss of sensitivity to right and wrong based on the principles of God’s word. Paul implies it is people who change and not the morals. He also calls these Galatians with changing lives “foolish.” Paul makes it clear that what they had originally was of the Holy Spirit and what they have now is flesh. With the Galatians it was Judaism trying to re-entrench ceremonial law into the Gospel of grace – today it is worldliness, abandonment of pure doctrine, personality cults, materialism, adultery and “itching ears.”
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
DUALISM: THE CROSSING NATURES
“For the desires of the flesh are contrary to those of the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against those of the flesh. These two are opposed to each other, and therefore you cannot always do what you would or should.” (Norlie Translation)
“For the whole energy of the lower nature is set against the Spirit, while the whole power of the Spirit is contrary to the lower nature. Here is the conflict, and that is why you are not free to do what you want to do.” (Phillips Translation) “For the cravings of the lower nature are just the opposite to those of the Spirit, and the cravings of the Spirit are just the opposite of those of the lower nature; These two are always fighting each other, so that means you can’t do just anything ole’ thing you want!” (A Burkett paraphrase) Dualism is the theory of the interaction of the mind and the body. This school of thought based on experience, corresponds with the clear teaching of Christ and the apostles and the struggle with the two natures (flesh and spirit) within man. Pluralism believes there is more than one principle, one approach, one method of accomplishing a desired purpose. They deny dualism. This is pretty well the picture of the neo-liberal philosophy, that everyone has their own approach to valid Christianity so long as each one gets results, that, of course, is all that matters. We have become mad with thinking results. This is nothing philosophical pragmatism – better explained humanism. “Use any kind of psychological manipulation as long as you get results and people buy the product and everyone is happy!” This has infiltrated the church until we only think in terms of effect and results! But, like the grape vine illustration in John 15, Jesus makes it very clear He is not after quantitative results. He trimmed away quantity to get quality results (moral quality) in the form of holy lives.
The “Result Cult” is a horrible thing to get locked into. It mesmerizes the psyche of a man into believing that all these good feelings can’t be wrong and that God, good vibes and success all go together. Most fundamental-liberals who promote the prosperity doctrine do not realize they are actually promoting a modern day version of the ancient philosophy of Hedonism as taught by the ancient Epicureans of Jesus’ day. No, there is nothing really new under the sun. The doctrines and heresies that spring up within the fundamental church of the last days have their roots in the reasoning of depravity and ancient paganism. Genesis 2; Acts 17:18. The Epicureans believed that the chief end of life was happiness through pleasure and possession. The Gospel of Bible holiness in no way upholds this human pipedream philosophy. The human nature is attracted to pleasure and avoids pain. This is a basic behavioral fact that can help us understand some of the behavioral phenomena in regard to personality cults. So the flesh nature is drawn to all things that constitute an appeal in the form of pleasure, while on the other hand, it avoids and withdraws from pain. We call this the horizontal behavior pattern preference of the horizontal (flesh) life. It is behavior based on physical attraction. The spiritual life in Christ is attracted to all things that are right and avoids all wrong (evil). We call this the vertical behavior pattern preference of the vertical (new creation) life. It is behavior based on moral values. Carnality is the fleshly distortion of values. It tends to choose what is pleasant over what is good and avoids pain rather than evil. It not only confuses the two polarities, but also it prefers body pleasure above spiritual values (right). Example: The motivation of the Christian heart that is seeking the holiness and perfection of God is to always make decisions based upon what is right as opposed to what is wrong. The carnal Christian will often make his decisions based upon what is pleasant, what is beautiful or what is pleasure, rather than what is right. When we confuse the difference between pleasure and goodness, we’re forgetting that what many times is pleasant is not right The appetites are “sense pleasures.” Carnality prefers pleasure over right or confuses the good feeling of sensual pleasure for feeling of spiritual delight. My appetites (sex, hunger, and greed) give me pleasure when I indulge them, but it is only right when I indulge them for their rightful and created purpose. So “feeling right” doesn’t make it right! It is only right (in case you are not sure and want to please the Lord in only doing the right thing) if the Word of God says it is right. If the Word tells us it is wrong, then it is wrong no matter how right it feels! Because a thing feels good does not make it right. The commandment is what determines right and wrong. Those in-dwelt of the Holy Spirit and walking in the Spirit are always happy to comply with the commandment. Psalm 50, Nothing Happened; Romans 8:4. Flesh nature avoids all pain and discomfort. When conviction comes and we are threatened with being deprived of pleasure, we panic and equate this discomfort with pain and displeasure. Psychologically we rebound and choose that which is pleasant proclaiming that God is a God of love and wants us to be happy thus endorsing our fleshly indulgence in worldly pleasures. While things that are right are not always unpleasant and things that are wrong are not always pleasant, it is also possible that things that are right can be pleasant to the natural man. It is not correct that all things that are unpleasant to the physical man are right and good and all things pleasant must be sinful. This is asceticism. While austerity and self-control are necessary to achieve self-improvement, what we suffer in achieving holiness is only austere to the body, not to the spiritual man who is rejoicing in the victories of moral perfection. To make clear this whole matter, we simply base all decisions of conduct on the premise that it is good or evil. We must not take into consideration what is pleasant and painful. If we bring into the picture of decision making the considerations of the desires of body appetites, we will often become confused and make wrong moral decisions, as well as bring hurt to ourselves and others who may be involved. All decisions with moral connotation (there are decisions we make that have no moral or biblical connotation such as having eggs or cereal for breakfast), all conduct, all matters of life should be based upon the premise of right and wrong. Sometimes this will be pleasant to the physical life and much of the time it will not. However, afterward “it yieldeth the profitable fruits of righteousness”.” Hebrews 12:11. Morality that is sanctified can always be scripturally verified! The appetites relate to the experience or processes of sin. The senses link the environment to the human appetites. Note: “And when they saw that the fruit was good to eat (the senses), Then they eat of the tree (appetites).” D. W. Whittle states, “In the same man, in the believing man, joined by one in generation to the first Adam joined by the other in regeneration to the second Adam. The one, corruptible in nature, poisoned by sin, and at enmity with God. The other, incorruptible in nature, untainted by sin, and loving God. And there the two natures abide. The spirit does not, in this life change flesh into spirit … and the flesh cannot, thank God, change the spirit into flesh. Nature never changes. It can be subdued, kept under, put in the place of death, denied, bruised, disciplined, chastened … but as long as a thing lives, its nature cannot be changed.” D. W. Whittle here reveals what the nature of man really is. The nature of man is the combination of his natural and spiritual nature. Galatians 5:17. The nature of man is a dual nature, actually half of him is connected to the generation of Adam and the other half is connected to the regeneration of Christ (if he is born again). “This helps us to understand why, in each of us there is the temptation to perpetuate sin and, yet we ourselves do not want to be the victims of sin. We know sin hurts and violates others and yet we sometimes do it, and yet [again] we wouldn’t want that done to us!” Some scriptural references that indicate there are two natures within the integer of man are: Romans 7:21-23; Galatians 5:16-17; I John 1:8-10; 3:9; 3:6; 2 John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:22.
A DEMON CALLED PLURALISM
We go back to pluralism now, another (other than dualism) school of thought that fundamental theology has picked up on again in recent years. We will talk about pluralism here as it relates to dualism. describes the philosophy that has gripped the thinking of many of the spokesmen for the neo-Christian movement even though they may not realize what that philosophy is. It is the theory that there is more than one principle or method of accomplishing an objective. The biblical teaching on literal holiness (separation) for example, should not be too dogmatically held as the only way of achieving moral acceptance, or taken too literally as just the only way separation is “implied.” The pluralists say, There’s not just one way of understanding anything. “What may seem right to you may be wrong for me” So there’s no one way of being right. Billy Graham is a pluralist. You can find on the Internet the video and the transcript of his conversation with Robert Schuller when he said that when he gets to heaven he is sure he will find Hindu’s, Muslims and other religions there because they believed in a power higher than themselves. So, according to Billy Graham there is not just one way to get to heaven, a direct contradiction of scripture!
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
This doctrine of pluralism is a doctrine of the Devil! Philosophical values has infected the doctrinal teaching of most fundamental teaching institutions, and in particular Pentecostal higher education institutions. In the religious sense, it means that there is not just one way the Christian life can be lived. Boiled down it simply means that there can be as many different ways to please God as there are personalities who claim to serve Him. Or, as the scripture coined it many years ago, Every man did that which was right in his own eyes. The minute you move away from the absolutes of biblical doctrine two things happen: First, you have violated the immutability of the scripture. Secondly, you damn your own soul to an eternity in the lake of fire with the Devil and his demons, the antichrist and the false prophet.
There are several ways of living and we’ll all be accepted by God. Narrowness is out. Holiness is out. First fundamentalism gobbled up the “new evangelicalism,” and that school (fundamental) developed into “contemporary interpretation.” These “contempts” openly and frequently refer to the past period of church history (the richest and purest period of the church’s history since the apostles fell asleep) as the period of “legalism.” These neo-fundamental theologians are lifting themselves above all the great giants of faith, such fundamental giants as Wesley, Smith, Morgan, Dodderidge, Creighton, Henry, Finney, Studd, Livingston and some of the great church fathers such as Cyprian. These were godly men who taught perfect love for the moral law, spiritual perfection, perfect love and purity of life. The neo-theologians call the church period these men cast their influence upon as the time of “legalism.” In so doing they also are guilty of referring to one of the most moralistic periods of the church’s history as inferior to the morally bankrupt church period of which they are in and responsible for. They don’t have the guts, the exegesis, or the anointing to bring moral revival to their own generation, and then sit back and smugly imply their own theology is superior. This humanistic theology is being taught in many modern Pentecostal Bible Colleges and Seminaries. Pastors who send their young people off to the modern “Spirit filled” bible colleges and universities would cringe if they knew what was being taught in their precious youth. Theological pluralism is theological idiocy! It’s the sugar bowl telling the salt shaker he’s not good for people. Colossians 2:8. It is also interesting to note that pluralism denies dualism and biblical doctrine of two natures as mentioned in Galatians 5:17. Galatians 5:17 could make it no plainer. Man, according to Jesus’ teaching and the Bible, is a dual-natured creature with the depraved appetites of the flesh nature warring against the spiritual appetite that seeks to re-unite the soul of man in communion and fellowship with God. Galatians 5:17 destroys the error of pluralism and establishes the biblical doctrine of dualism the two natures of man.
THE EFFECT OF PLURALISM TEACHING
Liberal teachers make some of the following mistakes that have been finding their way into the mainstreams of fundamental thought.
1. They speak of man as having only a single nature and capacity of judgment. But, according to Jesus and the apostles man has two natures, and therefore, two capacities for judgment according to this verse and others. Matthew 26:41; John 6:63; Romans 8:4-9. Every conscious act involving right and wrong is being evaluated and judged by two different sets of values on each occasion simultaneously. Romans 7:20-23.
2. Liberal teachers do not take into account that according to scripture, man has two diametric natures. Therefore, what the liberals teach is only a single nature; and arrive at the error that everything is judged right and wrong either as a conviction or a preference. The spiritual man has spiritual convictions. The carnal man has personal preferences. It must, therefore, be concluded that no issue of right or wrong is a simple matter of personal preferences. Right morals are determined by the truth contained in scripture, either in word or principle.
3. We further conclude that by this doctrine liberals are suggesting that there is no final authority, but that each person can “do that which is right in their own eyes.” John 8:32; 16:8. What may be “instinctively” undesirable to the flesh, is on the other hand very desirable to the spiritual man! I Thessalonians 4:7.
The spiritual man is the positive part of his life. We add to the spiritual man Spirit Life the knowledge of God. “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to your virtue knowledge.” 2 Peter 1:5. The development of the spiritual life is a matter of taking in or adding to. Adding to the spiritual life is a positive process. “Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:24; 6:11; Colossians 3:10.
Process of elimination. The negative part of the spiritual Environment process is the “putting away” of those things that are impure and threaten Influence spiritual life, its habits, its weaknesses, all are the works of the flesh. Paul said, “Put off all these…” Colossians 3:8,9; Ephesians 4:22. This is the difference between the positive and negative aspects of perfection. e can see by this process that if we are attempting to put on, Romans 13:14, the spiritual virtues, but we are naturally rejecting the negative action in putting off the unclean elements of life, we are frustrating the grace of God and hinder the spiritual process. “Yes” to God permits the right things into our lives. “No” to Satan keeps evil and impure things out of our lives! And so, negative moral action (discipline) in the Christian’s pursuit of holiness is as important as positive action and without it a positive emphasis becomes an imbalance and error.
5:22 BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH,
23. MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE: AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Fruit is always sweet. Paul’s figure of the fruit emphasizes the fact that this is a process by which spiritual traits develop from; 1) The planting, 2) Presence of solar or cosmic (outside) energies, 3) Cultivation (labor) and attention, 4) Growth time, requiring patience and a desire for perfection. This necessitates; a) resisting pests, b) blights, c) and furnishing those nutrients that encourage growth. It is a cultivation process.
Fruit, Greek, “” [singular] one kind of fruit; not nine different fruits, but nine qualities of one fruit. AGAPE (Love) – Altruism, Selfless, self-sacrifice in behalf of others! See Isaiah 53. The vicarious definition of AGAPE; The joy of seeking first the well being of others, regardless. Study the parallel between the qualities of love in I Corinthians 13 and the fruit of the Spirit listed in this verse. There is an interesting parallel.
CHARA (Joy) – Divine optimism; spiritual elation. I Thessalonians 1:5-6. Radiance, it always sees what is best or good in all God’s dealings with man. The word Charismatic was carried from this Greek word. Unfortunately there is more to the divine nature than radiance and optimism.
EIRENE (Peace) – Basis for the name Irene, from the verb, EIRO – to join, to fasten together denoting harmony between individuals. “Peace through the cross!” John 14:27; Philippians 4:7.
MAKRATHUMIA (longsuffering) – Control under pressure, self-restraint that refuses to retaliate, reacting properly in adversity. This element of spiritual power is best demonstrated to us in the Lord’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
CHRESTOTES (Gentleness) – Literally, “to use” or in other words the idea of rendering service unto others.” To have a considerate disposition, good construction on others. To be used without resenting it. Christ’s yoke. Matthew 11:30 is not harsh or irritating (CHRESLOS, adjective).
Agathasune (Goodness) – Agathos – good. The virtue of communicating good to others who may be in need. The ability to communicate good things for their good and benefit. As commending for obedience or rebuking or correcting a wrong. Jesus denounced the Pharisees in Matthew 23, but asked that they be forgiven at Calvary.
PISTOS, literally, faithfulness, trustworthiness – Constant in profession (Thayer). Rendered “fidelity” by Moffatt and J. B. Phillips. A profound, reverential obligation to support by all means the honor and well-being of things I am joined to. Reverence and regard for. PISTOS means both faith and faithfulness because you cannot have the one without the other.
PRAUTES (Meekness) – The quality of mildness, reasonableness. It is the opposite of arrogance, self-reliance. Unwrought, the temper of the spirit, without disputing or Reasonable resisting – “power under Reasonable control.” It does not mean to be tamed or subdued, but godly knowledge and Mildness courage overruling the human passion to hate and destroy when it could reason and restore. James 3:17.
EGKRATEIA (Temperance) – A compound word meaning “holding in” or “maintaining control.” The presence of the Holy Spirit teaching us self-mastery of all appetites, tempers and passions. Disciplines is self-improvement through self (spirit) Initiative control. The Bible does not say by their gifts ye shall know them, but by their fruits ye shall know them. In trying to explain the fruit of the Spirit, we sometimes make allusion to the fact that fruit grows very silently, beautiful, colorful and sweet. What is too often ignored is that there are thousands of cosmic laws, including the process of photosynthesis that involves chemistry, stellar bodies and the still mysterious powers of light. Physicists are divided as to whether light consists of particles or waves much like sound or both. The interplay between a chemical called chlorophyll in all plant life, and the blazing ball of solar fire called the sun, a nuclear fission plant 93 million miles out in space giving life to plant life here on the surface planet Earth. The light of the sun sets in motion a million chemical laws, thermo laws, cellular laws, chemical and molecular laws, all at work, obeying the divine decree that the fruit of the vine be yielded up to man! When liberals make careless, sleazy remarks about”legalism,” we should point them to the fact that everything on their dinner plate was produced by laws. Psalm 19.
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The word walk always refers to conduct, moral behavior. If we profess life in the Spirit then we must produce the evidence of His moral nature. We must execute Him in moral conduct if we profess Him without mouths.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
We should consider this verse. There is a very important element of the holy life in it. Everywhere we go we find men we’ve known for years, ministers once solid in the knowledge of God, becoming victims of mid-life emotional rationalism, throwing off the wife of their youth for younger women. There seems to be no sense of righteousness with some men who are very intelligent. Amorality leads to looseness. When any man or woman in Christ relaxes moral principles, they leave themselves open to becoming the victims of their own liberty (to the flesh). In most cases these men were spending too much time alone with employees or co-workers while a trusting wife waited at home alone. Married people should; 1) Stay together, 2) Ministers – do not counsel ladies alone or have someone nearby, 3) Show preference and affection for each other, 4) Avoid any close or physical contact with other than your spouse, 5) Communicate on personal matters from time to time or as necessary. When a brother falls, let us fall also; upon our faces sobbing with sorrow and intercession. That will be the time to prove if Christ is of a truth dwelling within us. Oh, brethren, let us take the fallen in our arms and weep with them and rejoice when they have confessed and forsaken their sin. The man who breaks in confession needs us so much just then. Brethren, let’s not fail them! If a brother falls and does show no regret, then it is another matter. But for those who break and humble themselves before the Lord, let us weep and sob with grief with them and forgive them as the Father had to forgive us. That is holiness. Mark 11:25,26; Ephesians 4:32.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
“What utter unworldliness is suggested by words like these! Dead to the world! If we have the courage [and]…convictions, this crucifixion may be ours. Christ’s cross crucifies us to the world, so that we are dead to the world. It needs great spiritual discernment to know just what is meant here by ‘the world.’ It is … damaging to include … too little in the meaning of that word.” Here Paul declares the three crucifixions.
1. Christ is crucified for my redemption.
2. I am crucified unto the world.
3. The world is crucified unto me.
Ephesians 5:9 “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)”
Ephesians 1:4 He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 4:15-23. Read notes Romans 12:2.
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Righteousness here, is DIKAISUNE (1343), meaning conforming to a standard of correctness that is proper and just. The deeper sense of the word connotes being justified by righteous choice of action. Holiness here, is HOSIOTES (3742), meaning Holiness, the divine character, or God-likeness.
Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (See I Corinthians 2:15; Romans 12:9) 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Not only are we told not to fraternize with the world, but the ultimatum of Paul is that we prove them wrong! We are to expose the error of any and all unscriptural teaching.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
The highest form of love is here used in the Greek, agapao (G25). “phileo is a friendly love involving good feelings, a person who loves people and a social relationship with others. This agapao is the only solid grounds for marriage. agapao always involves will and action – never emphasizes feeling.”agapao excludes all rival loves and is singular, full of fidelity. If this love is experienced before marriage it will remain throughout marriage! (See the Danger of Self Love, by Paul Brownback.)
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians (James 1:27; 2 Corinthians 6:17)
“All spots, wrinkles, blemishes and every such thing removed. Sanctified, cleansed, holy, glorious. These are characteristics of the true church – individually and collectively.”
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We have had such a diet of positivism that we almost start believing it. Then we open the scripture to Ephesians and we find that Christians are against a lot of things. To be a Christian is to be against some things, in fact, as sin increases, a whole lot of things! How many times did Paul say, “against” here?
Philippians 1:9, 10 “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”
Philippians 1:6 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:
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (See I Corinthians 2:15; Excellence)
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
TWO KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Another doctrinal dichotomy.
1. “Not” having mine own righteousness, which is of the law.
2. But that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
To know Him is to love Him.
To love Him is to obey Him.
To obey Him is to make Him known.
Some of us are inclined to think that the gospel is all very lovely and idyllic. We have a notion that it was intended primarily to comfort us in this wretched world. The rude offense of the cross is hidden away under flowers. A gallows turned into a floral tribute – for use at funerals. Jesus is represented as amazingly gentle, a good deal gentler than He ever was, and becomes the mild friend of man. God Himself is little more than the superlative of human kindness, and couldn’t possibly be hard on anyone! We sing ‘Come hither, ye faithful,’ but leave out that phrase about, ‘the angel’s dread King’. It isn’t good for children. One of our books takes the old Russian hymn that used to read, ‘God the all terrible King, who ordaineth,’ and makes it start, ‘God the all merciful.’ If we don’t quit that milk-and- water nonsense now, we shall soon be much worse off than we have ever been. Our sensitive, tender little delicacies won’t get us very far.”
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
“Perfect, yet pressing onward and upward and heavenward! Perfect, yet reaching unto those things which are before! Perfect, yet not perfect in the sense of having attained all that I may obtain in this life and in the life to come.”
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
This is the key to mental health! Memorize this verse and quote it often and it will calm and soothe the emotions. Concentrate on each word and what it means as you quote them and as you come to the end of the list you will notice a difference in your sense of wellbeing.
A spiritual channel for the mind to flow in. With this one verse the entire church, has been given a list of virtues to meditate on, a sort of checklist for us to consider and judge our spiritual progress by. Notice a sort of priority here; Truth first, then honesty, justness and purity. Then lovely, good, virtue and praise. The perfecting qualities. A good check-list to take with us into the closet of prayer.
Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Models of the Bible were men of character! I Peter 3:13; I Thessalonians 1:6; Philippians 3:17; Ephesians 5:1; I Corinthians 4:16; 11:1.
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
This is Paul’s answer to the positive confession heresy. Paul is not speaking of “attained” success, riches, rank, prominence, celebrity status, education, or worldly goals- Paul is speaking of the goal of moral perfection and holiness of life in Christ, the only “goal” true Christians should have. See Hebrews 6:1.
Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”
Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Keeping well in mind that all spiritual progress is a result of advancing knowledge of God, we note that: ‘Filled with the knowledge of his will, Knowledge now, we are hence called to be ever increasing in the knowledge of God.’ Increasing knowledge of the world is progress in the knowledge of sin. Increasing knowledge of God is progress in the knowledge of holiness. It is not enough for one to be advancing in the knowledge of Nature; we were first created and are now redeemed to know ‘Nature’s’ God. As one’s education in mathematics qualifies him to advance in the study of astronomy and in the knowledge of the stars, so one’s salvation from all sin qualifies him to advance in the study of revelation and in the knowledge of Him that is the Bright and Morning Star. As the Higher Education is urged to further an advanced civilization among men, so Full Salvation is urged to further an advanced spirituality among Christians. Christian Perfection assures Progression in that, it at once elevates the soul to where its affections and ambitions are set on things above. And all agree that ascent is accelerated by high aims. But again, this experience of Perfect Love has rid the soul both of things which weigh it down, and of things which divert it from the pure pursuit of God. Hence progress is advanced by Perfection. And once more, Holiness invests the heart with a dauntless courage and a Holy Spirit impetus to get ahead.”
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 22 to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
“Warning, wise teaching, labor, striving according to the inward divine indwelling, is the only way to present every man perfect in Christ. Preaching, warning, teaching, laboring according to the mighty inward divine working, to present every man perfect. What a ministry is this! Do you put on the pressure toward the personal perfection of God’s people? Every truly saintly minister does.”
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Paul says, literally, “Beware lest any man rob you and strip you and lead you away as spoil and booty through philosophy and vain deceit.”
HEDONISM – “Hedonism (from HEDUS, sweet, Hedonism pleasant) might be called the pleasure theory of life. The Highest Good is the securing of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. This term has come to include the Epicureans, who also sought pleasure as Ta Agathon. Its chief advocates were Aristippus and Epicurus. There were Hedonists of the coarser and those of the more refined order [as today]. However, in all cases the theory is fundamentally wrong, for in true Ethics the first question always should be, ‘Is it right?’ not, ‘Will it bring pleasure?’ That is, the right and the pleasure-giving should not be identified; for it often happens that pleasure must be denied and sacrificed in order to walk uprightly. Ultimately joy will no doubt be the consequence of the truly Ethical life; but even in that case the joy is the result or the product of moral being and endeavor, not the reverse.” Happiness is born out of obedience and is not the result of ideal circumstances in the form of ease, prosperity and other creature comforts. Happiness is not a state based upon circumstances ideal to flesh-pleasure. If the modern church is cursed, it is cursed by the fact is it drowning in its knowledge. We have more profound scholars, more educated pastors, more literature, more theology, along with the tremendous advantage of prophetic hindsight of what has historically transpired behind us, yet it is in this generation of such access of knowledge, the church is described as morally lacking. So possessing knowledge is not to be construed as executing an obedience to that knowledge. Here we are living in the greatest of all theological ages in many respects, and yet with all this access to end-time knowledge, apostasy rages. Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; I Timothy 4:1-6; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11; 2 Peter 3:3,17; Revelation 3:14-22. Hence, knowledge and righteousness, while they should be found together, too often are not. Information and education do not constitute righteousness. Knowledge is true information about the matter, but John tells us power from God is the ability to execute what we know. John 1:12. Jesus said, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 13:17.
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
The Bible is full of equations. Samuel told Saul, I Samuel 15:23, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” In Saul’s case, his rebellion was equivalent to the practice of witchcraft! It’s strange that Saul seemingly didn’t feel any pang of guilt while he was doing it … or even when he confronted the prophet. But after the prophet did a little preaching at him, he changed his mind and confessed, “I have sinned.” I Samuel 15:24. In verse 5, Paul equates covetousness with idolatry. The Greek word for covetousness (pleonexia, 4124) means wanting more and more. It doesn’t carry the definition of wanting something that belongs to someone else, but it could include that when desire becomes insatiable, uncontrolled. Covetousness here means, never satisfied, always desiring more. There is something dreadfully similar between the advocating of wealth by faith and the word covetousness Paul uses here. There’s not a baby step between the idea of conditionless (by faith) prosperity and covetousness. The way they use God to achieve luxury, material security in the world, the wantonness (SPATALE, luxury) defined as living in pleasure, ostentatious, voluptuousness. While human beings go to hell at the horrible rate of 126 every minute, the indulgent, voluptuous church of North America has turned the Gospel into a hippy-like flower love cult. No wonder Paul calls it idolatry. As in no other age of the church can we see this equivalence between covetousness and idolatry. There was a time when only sinners and the ungodly were guilty of such things, but now the gods of beauty, glamour, sound, color, the aesthetic gods of sensuousness have cast their spell upon the church. Only a spirit of holiness and the power of God’s Word can break that spell … or judgment.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
” ‘Complete’ in the original means ‘fully assured.’ What marvels of sanctification would transpire if every minister was ‘always’ – ‘laboring’ – ‘fervently’ – ‘in prayers’ – that his people might be in God’s will – perfect in God’s will – fully assured that they are perfect in God’s will – standing perfect and fully assured in all God’s will!”
1 Thessalonians 4:7,8 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
1 Thessalonians 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
Paul is sending a message to the ministers, down through the ages, with these words. Dignity and serious conduct such as this is needed in ministerial circles beginning with ministerial students in their dorms. destroys the deeper anointing. After 2,000 years this man has the respect of the church – is still a model! This verse tells us one of the reasons why. Holily, hosios (3743) adverb, pure from evil conduct, observant of God’s will, pious (Vine). “It must have taken a brave conscience, void of offense toward God and man, that could challenge the scrutiny of God and His church to its holy, just and blameless behavior. There was no self-conceit in this challenge, but a self-knowledge that feared no exposure.”
1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
“It ought to keep a preacher busy day and night offering a prayer for the perfecting of his people’s faith, and for their establishment in blameless heart-holiness before God. Holiness – heart holiness – blameless in heart holiness – stablished in blameless heart holiness – through life – till Christ’s coming with all his saints.” The statement liberals often make that “we have no righteousness of our own” is not correct and must be qualified. While all righteousness acceptable to God originates in Christ, there is a righteousness that improves our state and glorifies our standing in Christ which we through Him possess. See Holiness, Greek; Romans 3:25; 4:6. The intended result of God’s plan of redemption is to make man holy by man’s own desire, which God gives him. Matthew 5:41. It is not the divine intent to make man continually dependent upon a righteous standing (Holiness, hagiazo) He alone provides through the works of Calvary. The intention of God in progressive sanctification, is that man through an ever improving intimacy and fellowship with God would become like God in his own affections for moral perfection. While that state may never know complete fulfillment as long as we remain mortals, we desire that state and aspire to it. This is God’s intended legal outcome of being justified through the vicarious atonement, that it will produce the nature of piety in me. It is God’s will that non-vicarious holiness be produced in those who have come to Him through accepting the vicarious holiness of Christ. The insistence by many neo-Christians and ministers decrying the efforts of Christians to become inherently holy, is a feeble attempt to justify shallow theology. In verse 12, preceding this verse, Paul reveals the origin of all holy conduct when he said, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love …” He is literally saying, Lord cause you to super-abound in love” (Make Increase, you increase – pleonazo, G4121). The connotation of the text is that while this love is “on tap” in Christ and available to us, it is not being pumped into us under pressure. If we want that love, we can have it from Him by waiting in His presence. Then in verse 13, Paul makes the whole point crystal clear. “To the end” has an efficacious ring to it; efficacious meaning, the desired result, affect or outcome. The word holiness here is often translated, sanctification. It is the Greek word hagiosune, speaking of holy character (not hagiazo, to be declared holy). W. E. Vine, says of this strong Greek word; “hagiosune is not vicarious, i.e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ.” In Romans 1:4, hagiosune is used again in reference to Christ speaking of inherent holiness, the nature and quality of moral excellence, self-desired and self-possessed. This inherent holiness is an actual part of our state. See Romans 6:19; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 12:14. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, Paul exhorts us with these words, “… perfecting holiness (hagiosune) in the sight of God.” This speaks again of little by little acquiring our own righteousness through obedience and fellowship with God. Holiness, therefore, is simply that relationship between God and man through Christ that makes man like God in nature, by man’s choice. Romans 8:28, 29. Holiness is supernatural morality that can only be imputed, or imparted by God Himself while a professing holiness Christian cannot lay claim to having reached completion of a righteous state, but he is earnestly employed at it!
1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (See Jude 24,25) 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
“We cannot more dangerously show our contempt for the Father and for the Holy Ghost than in despising God’s call to holiness.” In recent years the liberals came out with another doctrinal brainstorm that was supposed to be, and hailed by many apostates, as a wonderful revelation! It was the teaching on “Preference and Conviction.” Convictions are based upon the Word of God. If the Word of God clearly speaks, giving a moral ultimatum to the followers of Christ, then it is indeed a precept and not a preference. The Holy Spirit in the Christian heart has great affinity with the principles of moral order contained in kingdom laws. The Holy Spirit rejoices in our love and harmony with the moral laws of God! Preference speaks to me of non-ethical matters, such as color of shirt to be worn in the pulpit (which scripture does not literally give commandment regarding), whether you prefer an economical 6 cylinder car, or a luxury 8 cylinder, which might be based upon the amount of traveling you do. Preferences are clearly non-moral forms of conduct. Christian convictions are based upon the commandment or principles of conduct based on the moral precepts of the Word. is based upon one’s personal non-moral predilections (predetermined likings, partiality) where moral values are not involved. It is ridiculous for liberal voices to equate convictions based on obedience to God’s word with human (amoral) preference. Preference does not carry any moral qualities and doesn’t make any moral contributions to sainthood. Moral “preference” is the doctrine of sinners and apostates. Preference is the incredible and ridiculous theology of the unregenerate. Preference is the philosophy of gangsters and homosexuals. Conviction literally means “convinced.” To be convinced of something there must be the thought of supreme importance and/or something that is supremely essential. The word conviction is a biblical term. The word preference is not. Preference is choice based upon non-essential alternatives. Conviction is choice based upon moral absolutes. Preference advocates that “every man can do that which is right in his own eyes.” This doctrine goes back to the time of Ehud and Samson. It smacks with carnal freedom, throws aside the preferences of God (moral commandments) for the personal preferences of man. To give merit to the doctrine of preference is to listen to the snake. It’s always been Satan’s chief objective to separate the soul of man from the commandment of God and the imperatives of moral revelation. We go back to the Garden of Eden and see there how Satan came in serpentine subtlety, hissing out his insinuations, Influence attacking the commandment, the kingdom imperative, removing the exclamation mark from the commandment, replacing it with a snake like question mark. This is the Satanic (?). Preference teachings is simply another attempt to replace the moral imperatives of God with questionable alternatives. Satan made the commandment a preference to Eve, of course, the human nature has a non-imperative, morally passive regard for issues of right and wrong, so she chose and made her preference not to obey the divine imperative (the commandment). True Christians find the commandments delightful and full of joy – we don’t need doctrines of compromise to make the moral laws of our God more palatable. Don’t feel sorry for us who have accepted the imperatives of holiness, it is our song, our pleasure. “There is no rattle of fetters to the word as Peter and other disciples used it along it they marched to the music of a great imperative…”
1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
“God gave us ‘peace’ in conversion. Here Paul prays the God who gave us the peace of conversion to sanctify wholly and grant life-long blameless preservation to our triune human nature – spirit and soul and body. One cannot be sanctified wholly without the other. Brain, heart and body must together be sanctified … because one reacts on the other. The ‘it’ that Paul promises our faithful God will do, is to sanctify us wholly and to preserve us blameless through our whole lifetime. The triune God will thus sanctify wholly and blamelessly preserve our triune nature – spirit and soul and body.” Verse 23 mentions the three distinguishable parts of human nature and reveals that each one must be purified in its peculiar function. It is possible for a Christian to be surrendered in the spirit (worship and praise) and not surrender the mind (mental acknowledgment of God, to believe) to submission of authority, or the body to death of self. Job is an example of all three parts of man being tried and sanctified. “Just as Job was an extraordinary man, so was his trial unusual at the hand of the enemy, Satan. Job was tried in his circumstances or circumstantially, in his body or physically, and in his faith or spiritually. In these three spheres, he was tested to the full. He lost all his wealth and property. He lost his children, dearer far than his riches. And all of this transpired with Satanic speed and suddenness. He lost his health.”
1. Job was tried in his flesh. He was afflicted with boils (physical).
2. Job was tried in his spirit. His wife (symbol of personal affection) said to him, “Curse God and die.” She was putting pressure on his spirit. Trying to break his communion with God. If the essence of the spiritual life is appetite for God, or God consciousness, her intimate position in his life amounted to a frontal attack on his spiritual life.
3. Job was attacked in his mind. The soul (the intellect, mind) of Job was sound as we can tell by his conversation with his “comforters.”
The whole premise of Job’s thinking was attacked by the comforters, by his wife and the torment and shame of his affliction. His whole godly philosophy (intelligence, reasoning) was under bombardment! Satan came tempting him intellectually with arguments, trying to weaken him and change his thoughts on matters of right and wrong. The spirit (moral sensitivity), the soul (mind) and the body (appetites: sex, hunger, greed) represent the trichotomy (three distinguishable parts) of the human nature. The Holy Spirit makes contact initially with man through his spirit and surrenders to His persuasions. Conversion initially involves the mind and the spirit. The body usually drags along unless it is under affliction of its own of some kind. But all three parts of the human nature are involved in the conversion. The spirit of man is easiest persuaded by the influences of the Holy Spirit. The mind and the body resist surrendering their powers and pleasures to the Lordship of Christ. Conversion can be complete or partial type of witness or message, the spiritual environment and pre-conversion character of the convert combined with the Christian atmosphere he/she is converted in all play an integral part in the depth of conversion. The converts surroundings prior to and during conversion predetermines the degree of dedication he/she makes at conversion. The law of kind reproduces like-kind plays a part in the Christian life beginning at the moment of birth. It is interesting to note in this text that when Paul prayed for their sanctification that he, 1) Mentioned all three distinguishable parts of human nature affected by the sanctification process, and 2) Listed them in the order man surrenders himself to Christ if he does not make a complete surrender at his first conversion or altar experience. See notes Romans 12:2. It’s quite easy for the human spirit to accept the Holy Spirit’s influence. While the physical man (appetites) and psyche is fallen and depraved, there is spiritual and experimental evidence that the spirit of man was not effected or made sinful in nature by the fall. Research “Sins of the Spirit” in scripture. However, in modern conversions the spirit surrenders easily and the mind partially at first. Through the teaching of the Word, the mind surrenders more and more (by degrees) to the Lordship of Christ (to the degree He is taught) until the whole spirit, soul (mind) and body are equally dedicated. Sin resides in the body. Romans 7:20,23. The last bastion of sin to fall to the Lordship of Jesus is the body. Galatians 5:19. Therefore, if sanctification is to have its desired result, the body must be surrendered in death to the Lordship of Jesus before “entire” sanctification, which Paul is speaking of here in verse 23, can take place. That death is evidenced by obedience to the moral commandments! See Obedience; Commandments; John 14:15; I John 5:3; Precept/Promise.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6,14 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walked disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. “
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
More important than truth itself is to possess a love for the truth. More elusive than truth is the love for it. It is the love for truth that makes obedience a pleasure. See Amos 5:18-20; Matthew 5:41. This is actually a prophecy. It speaks of a condition in the last days of massive spiritual deception. “God will send … delusion!” Why? Because they received not the love of truth. To reject holiness and moral perfection for a cheap fling at illegitimate worldly fundamentalism is to put one’s soul in eternal jeopardy. There are only three outcomes to allowing worldliness to encroach and corrupt the church. 1) For God’s people to repent and return to perfect love (holiness). 2) For judgment to come that will purify us. 3) To be victims of the delusion God will send because we loved not the truth. See Matthew 7:21-23.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here again is the union of ministries of the Spirit and the Word, Divine presence and Divine fact. This text contains a truth some do not want to hear about salvation; that to stay saved, sanctification and truth representing moral perfection and obedience to the Word becomes a part of our blood bought salvation. That is, it is essential to its continuing validity. Salvation is the desired end and not a final or conclusive fact. It is contingent upon “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” See Dichotomy, Salvation; Justification; Salvation; I Thessalonians 3:13. “God hath chosen you unto salvation through, 1) sanctification (HAGIASMOS, 38) of the Spirit, and 2) belief of truth (sanctification of the Word).” This latter is very interesting! Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord … converting.” John 17:17 “Sanctify them by thy Word.”Sanctification of spirit and belief in the truth (Word). See Conversion; Sanctification; Salvation. So then, if transformation is essential to the process of salvation, there is a vital relationship between the mind and the Word. We conclude from all scripture on these subjects (mind, conversion, transformation, truth) that transformation is a twofold function; 1) The mind being the reservoir of truth where Divine fact is stored. Psalm 119:11. 2) The Word of God being that chief source of Divine knowledge means that Word knowledge has renewing effect on the mind, thus renewing our minds and altering my behavior little by little as my knowledge of the Word increases (just as David said in Psalm 19:7).
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
The tradition of God, according to Alexander Cruden, “A doctrine first delivered by speech from God, and afterwards writ in His book for the use of the church. This is an object of our faith.” Customs (ETHOS, 1485) are not to be confused with traditions (PARADOSIS, 3862). to be accustomed, habit, a practice conceived and taught. A custom handed down to the next generation becomes a tradition. Some customs practiced by the church within the church originate in man and are thereby harmful to the church morally, confusing Christians as to what is pure tradition and what is humanistic tradition. It can usually be discerned by the fact that human traditions are non-moral, unscriptural or amoral. Church tradition is moral in connotation and by implication.
MORAL LAW AND HUMAN REASON
Some read the instructions Paul gives to the church of Corinth and say, “Well, these are only Paul’s personal views.” Though Paul taught some things by “word,” he also taught some as precept. In I Corinthians 14:37 he makes it quite clear to those who were superior minded “that the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord!” The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian. All doctrine intended for all generations of the church are tradition. The high sounding argument of modern interpretation is that Paul in his epistles is speaking only of matters “that are of local and temporary significance.” Let’s examine this logic. First; Paul’s instructions were neither local or temporary and he establishes what he says by referring to their origin as spiritual instruction (Word) or written ordinance (our epistle). Man doesn’t like to retain God’s laws when they come from beyond his own memory. That is, man seems to feel detached from moral laws that threaten the modern lifestyle. Laws given in an ancient age gives contemporary Christians the excuse they are not binding.
THE FIRST LAW OF VALID LAW
God made woman subservient to man (not inferior) and was the first in transgression. Because of this, God has appointed to her a specific role in life as man’s help meet and childbirth through pain. Genesis 3:16. The ground was cursed for Adam’s transgression. He was “sentenced to hard labor.” Genesis 3:16,19. “It is one of the highest maxims known to common sense and human law in every land, and written in the law books of all nations, that ‘the law stands so long as the reason of it remains’… when the reason of the law ceases, the law itself ceases. The modern offense, like the Corinthian one, cannot deny either the ‘law’ or the ‘reasons’ of it.” The modern church, as did Corinth, dares to impose carnal customs that oppose church tradition. Paul’s letter to Corinth was a reiteration of his teachings to them when he was with them because some were defying the instruction. He gave them the instruction in writing again and then gave two strong warnings in 11:16 and 14:37. See I Corinthians 11:1-16.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (See Tradition, Greek; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Separation, Jude Study).
New birth is a supernatural experience that re-creates a whole new moral mentality, changing him from a creature of the world into a new creation who; 1) Recognizes God the Father as supreme authority, and 2) As manifested in the Word of God the final authority. Many new birth believers have been carried into the new liberation theology movement because they did not want to “retain God,” and especially the moral message of God’s Word. There are many in the neo-movement that had their roots in early traditional fundamentalism and holiness, but allowed themselves to be transplanted in the fields of compromise and religious liberalism. “Cheap grace” paints a picture of a God who runs a bargain basement of blessings; a God who is obligated to honor them and their faith, but who does not require obedience to his commandments, regard for his doctrines or attention to his principles of personal purity and perfection. These are serious departures and can constitute justifiable separation. Some are victims of the liberal teaching while others are advocates or have “tasted of the heavenly gift” and abandoned pure doctrine for a religion that promises them liberation and license in the flesh. This new religion has gained wide acceptance among especially the Charismatic Pentecostals who had their roots in the traditional holiness movement. This new contemporary Gospel is a mixture of Catholicism, Mercenaries Christianity, humanism and philosophy. See Colossians 2:8.The neo-movement is a creation of humanistic fundamentalism and is what the human nature has selected from the pure Gospel and made into a convenient religion that accommodates the religious preferences of flesh. Traditional fundamentalism preached the message of obedience to the commandments (perfect love). Liberation Gospel preaches the message of having the promises by faith apart from obedience to the moral law. It is destined by the word of prophecy to be a great and popular phenomenon in the last days. 2 Timothy 4:3,4. Paul called it the “falling away.” Jesus referred to them as “workers of iniquity.” Jude called them “filthy dreamers, clouds without water, raging waves and wandering stars.” Paul told us they would be “lovers of themselves.” They profess to be fundamental in their faith, but they are flesh oriented in lifestyle. Probably the best description of the latter day liberation movement is found in Paul’s epistle to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boaster, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The traditional holiness church will be assailed and come under attack by fundamental libertinism more and more as it grows in power and acceptance. There will be “brothers” who will walk “disorderly” (ATAKTOS, 814) and “not after tradition.” We should; 1) Identify them, 2) “Withdraw” from them (STELLO, 4724), to shrink from a person (Vine), and 3) “Count not as an enemy, but admonish as a brother.” (v.15).
THE GENUINE AND THE ORIGINAL
When something is genuine it means that it is either the original or it can prove its claims of origin. Original speaks of the source of its beginning. Genuine means it is real, what it claims to be. Traditional holiness is true Christianity because it claims its origin to be founded in and based upon the teaching of holy scripture, the apostles creed. Liberals will distort and attack the teaching of the disciples as not intended to be complied with by the posterity of the church. They say, we are now through the period of legalism. “We have moved from the legalistic message of do’s and don’ts to one which emphasizes the importance of a close relationship with Jesus.” This is actually directed at traditional holiness emphasis on separation and other doctrines of moral emphasis the younger generation never experienced. The holiness movement has its roots in the original teachings of scripture as this work attempts to establish. He places great value and importance on what is genuine as being what is original. The doctrine of perfection through salvation that is in Christ Jesus is true because it is verified by origin. There are no roots under the liberation theology! What did Peter and Jude mean by Twice dead, plucked up by the roots?” The apostates do not attempt to have roots that come from the beginning. They hold in contempt the teaching of the Fathers whose doctrine and traditions were deeply rooted in the Word. Let them bring the written doctrines forth and disprove them. Only with innuendos, not with any thoroughness do they dare touch the faith of the Fathers. Liberal fundamentalism is a new bunch who prefer to relate to the present age rather than the apostles teachings. “Contemporary interpretation” disclaims being traditional, and when they do that they are disclaiming their origin as being biblical or apostolic! Being traditional implies being the same as the original. Sound doctrine and teaching has its roots in the teaching of the apostles as recorded in holy scripture. When you call someone a “traditional” Christian, you are complimenting them as one unchanged by the pressures of popular religion, as those true to the original!! Genuine Christianity has its roots striking deep down into the original biblical Christianity! It is this genuineness and originality that we are concerned with as “traditional Christians.” The contemporary movement conforms to worldly philosophy, worldly professionalism, worldly institutionalism, worldly fashion and the dictates of “the herd.” He is more concerned with his own image and success than in preserving the truth once “delivered unto the saints.”