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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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A Joy Previously Unknown

I cannot pretend to be a holy man. My actions and attitudes fall far short of my own standards of holiness; much less do they come anywhere near God’s. Yet, we are told in Hebrews 12:14 that, “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” In and of my own strength this would be the end of the matter were it not for the Holy Spirit and His ongoing work of sanctification in my life.

Do you desire holiness in your life? My warning to you is that if you do not, your faith is no better than the demons. True and correct faith will work to purify your life while false and misdirected faith will rot you from the inside out. Do you grieve over your sins or try to justify them? I earnestly encourage you to pursue holiness.

God does not require you or I to be perfectly righteous in order to have fellowship with Him. Jesus Christ lived a perfectly righteous life in order to impute that righteousness to us that we may stand justified before God. Yet, a serious faith requires a serious desire for holiness and its lifelong pursuit. Holiness, not happiness, becomes life’s singular goal which leads to a joy previously unknown.

Vance Havner said, “There’s a price to pay to be a holy man of God. You have to buck the current because the tide’s running the other way.” This is certainly a fair description of today’s culture. But the Lord has said, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16) There is true beauty in holiness because that which is morally good is the defining essence of truly living. Unless you see this, you miss the loving excellence of God.

Charles Colson has written, “As alien and archaic as the idea may seem, the task of the church is not to make men and women happy, it is to make them holy.” Holiness is the excellence of God manifested for the glory of God. As Christians, we are called to live holy and godly lives in order that others may see Christ through us. Through this display of His beauty and excellence in our lives, they will be encouraged to look forward to the day of His coming.

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