RETURN TO HOLINESS

W R Burner (Minister of the Gospel)


INTRODUCTION

A return to holiness is a must if the Church of Jesus Christ is to be what He is coming back for.  Scripture reveals: That he might sanctify (set it apart) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27).

The Church, in many instances, has deviated from the intended path that is stated in the above ScriptureThere is a need to return to the holiness proclaimed in God's Word.  Scripture reveals: Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:14-15).  The Church was being warned to avoid obstacles that would spiritually trip them up!


A Return to Holiness
The Strait and Narrow Way 

The church, in many instances as previously mentioned, is walking hand in hand with the world and failing to recognize it.  A generation of believers has evolved that is casting away the old path of righteous living, and pursuing a path contrary to the strait and narrow way Jesus spoke of, in saying:

Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14).  Jesus is both the gate and the way and God enables men to find that gate!

Ask for the Old Paths

The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed: Thus saith the Lord, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths (a return to holiness) where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.  But they said, We will not walk therein.  Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.  But they said, we will not hearken. (Jeremiah 6:16-17).

Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened to my words, nor to my law, but rejected it (Jeremiah 6:19)!  A Bible commentary noted: The people stubbornly refused to walk in the traditional ways of true righteousness.  They were moving in their own paths and following their own way which would eventually lead to their downfall. 

We are living in a generation that no longer walks in the path of sanctification (being set apart unto God), righteousness (doing that which is right in the sight of God), and holiness (a godly nature) in accordance with God's Word.  A return to holiness would bring such back into the fold again!

A Sanctified Church

Jesus desires that His Church be sanctified (set apart) in His name.  The life of the believer is to be a living sacrifice to the Lord.  Such a walk requires a return to holiness.  Scripture reveals:  I beseech you by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 

And be not conformed to this world; but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2).  A Bible commentary noted: The body that had been an instrument of sin is now (upon conversion) to be presented to God as a channel though which the righteousness of God is manifested.

Scripture reveals: That every one should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4).  For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7). To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (reference to His second coming) (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

Weeding Out Impurity

A return to holiness is needed; in that there are many ungodly traits that have taken root, in the Church, that need to be rooted out rather than allowed to grow.  If one allows a thistle to grow unabated it will soon take over and kill the grass that is beneath it.  The only way to effectively be rid of its destructive nature is to alleviate it; root and all. 

The Church, in many nations, has allowed thistles of another sort to take root; in the form of worldliness which can be destructive unless dealt with.  Such placed before the believer in Christ could spiritually trip one up; if allowed.  The gigantic hand of acceptance is dominating many;  as it spreads with the help of those who see no wrong in the ungodly ways of man. 

Those Who Understand

Those who have been purged by the blood of Jesus Christ, been forgiven of sin, washed in His precious blood, made white as snow, filled with His Spirit; the Spirit of the living God, understand!  Those who have not deviated from the path of righteousness and purity in Christ, understand.

Scripture reveals: Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (that of God's Spirit) which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?  For you are brought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  A Bible commentary noted: The individual believer's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost. The price paid was the blood of God's only Son (the Lord Jesus Christ).  

Scripture reveals: Having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).  A return to holiness is ordained of God by His Word!

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