Holiness – Part 1

Holiness – Part 1
Bibleway Christian Life Centre

1. Holiness – What Is It?

A. The term holiness is used in scripture with respect both to God and man. With respect to God, holiness is an essential attribute of His nature. It refers to His absolute purity and moral perfection. With respect to man, it means conformity to the character of God. We must be holy because God is holy. (1 Pet. 1:15-16) It means thinking as God thinks, loving what He loves, hating what He hates and acting as Christ would act. It is this aspect of holiness that we shall be considering in this lesson. (Eph. 5:1-2)

B. Holiness consists of two components:

1. Separation from sin and worldliness
2. Dedication to God and His will (2 Cor. 6:17-7:1, Rom. 12:1-2, Eph. 4:22-24)

C. Holiness means we cannot love this ungodly world system, identify with it, become attached to the things in it, or participate in its sinful pleasures and activities. (Jam. 1:27, 4:4, 1 Jn. 2:15-16)

D. Holiness involves both the inner man and the outer man. (1 Cor. 6:19-20, 1 Thess. 5:23) We must perfect holiness by cleansing ourselves from the filthiness of both the flesh (outer man) and the spirit (inner man). (2 Cor. 7:1) Holiness, then, includes attitudes, thoughts and the spiritual (inner) man on the one hand and actions, appearance and the physical (outer) man on the other. One without the other is insufficient. Inward holiness will produce outward holiness.

2. Holiness – Why?

A. We must be holy because God is holy. (1 Pet. 1:15-16)

B. Because the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Eph. 5:3-7)

C. Because light cannot have fellowship with darkness. (2 Cor. 6:14-18, 1 Jn. 1:5-7)

D. Because without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)

3. Separation from Sin

The principle of biblical separation is clearly revealed throughout the scriptures and is in fact introduced in the very first chapter of the Bible, where God divides (separates) light from darkness. (Gen. 1:3-5) Before we can experience separation from sin, we must understand what sin is from a biblical perspective.

A. Sin is both a nature and an act. The sinful nature is an inherited compulsion to sin that all humans possess as the result of Adam’s transgression. Sinful acts arise from the sinful nature. (Rom. 3:9-12, 23, 1 Jn. 1:10, 1 Kings 8:46, Ps. 51:5, Jer. 17:9, Rom. 5:12)

B. Even after the New Birth, we still possess the sin principle (nature). If we allow ourselves to be led by the sin nature, it will always cause us to commit sinful acts. (Gal. 5:16-17, Jam. 4:5, 1 Jn. 1:8)

C. Neither God’s moral law (the Law of God) nor the good intentions of the human mind (the Law of the Mind) imparts power to overcome the principle of sin (the Law of Sin) that compels humans to commit sinful acts. (Rom. 7:22-23)

D. Sinful acts:

1. Sin is the transgression of the Law. All disobedience of God’s commandments is sin, whether by commission or omission. (1 Jn. 3:4)

2. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Anything incompatible with faith in God is sin. Anything you do doubting its righteousness is sin. (Jam. 4:17)

When studying the subject of sin, we must not allow ourselves to believe that every wrong move or experience is sinful. We must always remember that:

* Temptation is not sin. (Heb. 4:15)

* Not every mistake, fault or personality flaw is a moral sin, even though we can sometimes label them as sins, e.g., oversleeping, habitual lateness, etc. We should always earnestly seek improvement in these areas; however, they are not always impure or sinful.

Holiness (I) True/false answers

Please indicate whether the statements below are true or false.

1. ‘God is holy’ means that He hates sinners True/false

2. ‘God is holy’ refers to His absolute purity True/false

3. A man can be holy and still love the world True/false

4. Holiness only involves the inner man True/false

5. Holiness involves separation and dedication True/false

6. Holiness has nothing to do with the outer man True/false

7. Holiness is not essential to salvation True/false

8. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord True/false

9. Temptation is a sin True/false

10. One can overcome the sinful nature by willpower True/false

11. Every mistake, fault or personality flaw is a sin True/false

12. The term ‘sin’ refers to both the sinful nature that we all inherited as well
as sinful acts True/false

13. Sin is the transgression of the law by commission only True/false

14. After we are born again the ability to sin is under the blood True/false

This article ‘Holiness – Part 1’ was excerpted from: Milk of the Word: Discipleship Manual by Bibleway Christian Life Centre. 1993. It may be used for study & research purposes only.