Daily Bible Nugget #503, 2 Timothy 1:7

The Nugget:

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My Comment:

In my last post I shared my experience of looking up the encouraging cross references to 2 Timothy 1:7. Just in case those references do not display on your device, I am providing the verses in full below:

a sound mind

Psalm 119:180 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

Proverbs 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

Proverbs 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Acts 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Acts 26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

2 Corinthians 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

 

Read the verses above carefully and you will see a common theme that ties them all together: following God fully results in you having a sound mind.

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #502, 2 Timothy 1:7

The Nugget:

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My Comment:

Thinking back about some of my recent posts, I would encourage everyone to remember these simple principles:

(1) For a genuine Christian, there are at least three important aspects of spiritual life that need to be practiced daily:  (a) Read and study the Bible to let God talk to you (Psalm 1:2); (b) Pray daily so you can talk to God (1 Thessalonians 5:17);  (c) Live for God daily so your life and speech speaks to others daily so they will come to know God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 8:38). I compared these three practices to a three legged stool: all three legs are necessary for a three-legged stool to stand upright. All three of these practices are necessary for success in the Christian life.

(2) To really get the most out of reading your Bible, you need to learn how to study the Bible.

As a new Christian, I was blessed to be invited to attend a summer class at Highland Park Baptist Church in 1954 about how to study the Bible. We were taught how to study the short Bible book, 2 Timothy. We were introduced to and taught how to use several very important Bible study tools, including Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. It is the last-named Bible study tool that turned out to have the greatest impact on my life.

Later that summer I rode my bicycle four miles to the Grand Bible and Bookstore on Woodward in Highland Park, Michigan. The first time I went, none of the clerks knew about the Treasury when I described it, so I could not find it. I had even forgotten the exact name of the book. All I remembered was it was a book filled with Bible cross references for nearly every verse in the Bible.

About Christmas time in 1955 I rode my bicycle to the Grand Bible and Bookstore once again and this time the owner, Mr. Bob Humphries, was there. I asked him for help to find the book. He knew what book I was referring to immediately and went right to the shelf where he had several copies. I bought one with the five dollars my Aunt Ethel Sherwin had sent me for Christmas. When I got back home, my Dad asked disapprovingly, “Couldn’t you have spent that money for something better than that?” As it turned out, it is the best book for Bible study I have ever bought.

Last October 23, 2018, I posted an article here about the hidden features in my several Bible study books. The first kind of “hidden feature” that I listed is several verses in particular where the cross references provide a particularly helpful, encouraging, or instructive collection of Bible verses well worth considering in the light of each other.

To use the book, look up a favorite verse, or select a verse you want to understand better, and look up its references. Favorite verses of mine include 2 Timothy 1:7Colossians 1:102 Corinthians 6:2Hebrews 6:910Psalm 34:440:171 Peter 3:15Romans 15:7.

The first verse on that list, 2 Timothy 1:7, is the verse I studied that summer of 1954 in Miss Ellen Groh’s How to Study the Bible summer class when I was taught how to use the Treasury for Bible study. The verse was particularly meaningful to me because my parents were telling stories at our supper table about various people they had heard of who went off the “deep end” because they became too interested in the Bible. They turned into religious fanatics.

2 Timothy 1:7 and its cross references let me know that the Bible itself firmly teaches otherwise!

The cross references for the key words “and of a sound mind” are as follows from the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: 

a sound: Psa 119:80; Pro 2:7, Pro 8:14; Luk 8:35, Luk 15:17; Act 26:11, Act 26:25; 2Co 5:13, 14.

Check out these references for yourself by reading them from your Bible. You can, on this site, hover your mouse pointer over each reference to activate a  pop-up window to display each verse.

These are the first cross references I ever consulted using the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. I literally got “hooked on the book”! I hope you will be blessed as I was by carefully considering these verses for an example of cross reference Bible study.

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Daily Bible Nugget #501, Hebrews 9:27

The Nugget:

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

My Comment:

The Bible does not teach reincarnation. This life is the only life you get and it is the only chance you have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Born once, die twice. This means if you are only born physically without having a true belief in our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9, 10), you will die twice. You will die both physically and spiritually.

Born twice, die once. This means you have been born physically and spiritually (John 3:3, 7) so you will only die once physically but will not experience the “second death” (Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6, 14, Revelation 21:8). The second death is a reference to permanent eternal spiritual death, but this is not annihilation (Matthew 10:28, Matthew 25:46). Everyone will live forever. The big question is where will you spend eternity?

Hinduism, therefore, is mistaken in the light of the Bible, when it affirms reincarnation. The Bible affirms resurrection.

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Hinduism

by Vijay Chandra

October, 1993

Dear Praying Friends,

Greetings to you all from the Fiji Islands. I trust that you are all well. We as a family would like to thank you all for your continued prayer and practical support. The Lord has blessed us with 24 baptized believers. We praise and glorify Him for all He has done.

In this prayer letter I want to share with you what the Hindu religion is all about, since we are working with many different groups of Indian people.

Hinduism

Over half the population of Fiji is made up of Indians who came from India over 150 years ago. When they settled here they brought their gods, their customs and their culture to Fiji. We as missionaries need to understand their beliefs which they have. So very briefly, I will outline some of the basic teachings of Hinduism.

a) Brahman, the “ultimate reality” for Hindus, is the preoccupation of the Hindu mind. To achieve this goal Hindus are willing to renounce the world, give up family and all physical comfort.

b) Moksha, also known as Mukfi, i.e., freedom, is a term used for the liberation of the soul from the wheel of Karma. A Hindu’s chief aim of his existence is to be freed (samsora) from the binding life cycle and the wheel of Karma with its endless cycle of births, deaths, and rebirths. Moksha can be achieved through these paths:  by knowledge, devotion, and ritual works.

c) Karma literally means action and has reference to a person’s actions and the consequences thereof. In Hinduism, one’s present state of existence is determined by his performance in previous lifetimes. The law of Karma is the law of moral consequences, or the effect of any action upon the performers in a past, a present, or even a future existence. As one performs righteous acts, he moves toward liberation from the cycle of successive births and deaths. The cycle of births, deaths, and rebirths could be endless. The goal of the Hindus is to achieve enough good Karma to remove himself from the cycle of rebirths and achieve eternal bliss.

d) Samsora refers to transmigration of rebirth. It is passing through a succession of lives based upon the direct reward or penalty of one’s Karma. The continuous chain consists of suffering from the results of acts of ignorance or sin in past lives. During each successive rebirth, the soul, which Hindus consider to be eternal, moves from one body to another and with it comes the Karma from its previous existence. The rebirth may be to a higher form, i.e., a member of  higher caste or god, or down the social ladder to a lower caste or an animal, since the wheel of Karma applies to both man and animal.

To achieve salvation, Hindus have to follow the path of selflessness or perform religious duty or have exclusive devotion to the gods and finally follow the path of higher knowledge.

Customs and festivals

Some religious rituals are performed daily in the home before the images of gods or abstract symbols of deity. Some worship in the temple. Astrological calculations determine the days for understanding any course of action, in particular for arranging marriages, business deals, etc. Many annual festivals are connected with the worship of gods and goddesses. For example, there is a goddess of wealth, education, and destruction. They also worship Christ as one of their gods. They believe Christ is the reincarnation of Krishna.

I trust that this will help you to pray effectively for us as we minister and try to reach out to Hindus.

Prayer Requests

  1. For the newly baptized believers
  2. That we will be faithful in teaching and preaching
  3. For our family’s health and protection
  4. Transportation (very important)

I would like to share a verse which is found in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful.” We indeed want to serve our Lord faithfully. Thank you once again for all your prayers and support.

Yours in His service,

Vijay, Narsamma, Andrew, and Philip Chandra

[This missionary prayer letter is from October, 1993, over 25 years ago! Continue to pray for the cross-cultural Christian ministry of Vijay Chandra, who has now returned to America to serve in the Flint, Michigan area where he continues to minister the Gospel to Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims on a daily basis.]

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Daily Bible Nugget #500, John 3:16

The Nugget:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

My Comment:

On Valentine’s Day, I am prompted to post the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16. Far too many people are looking for love in all the wrong places!

My students indicated by the written compositions they wrote in my English class that they were well aware of the difference between love and lust. At this season of the year I posted some proverbs and quotations about love:

“In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.” Margaret Anderson

“Love is always an active concern for the growth and aliveness of the one we love.” Erich Fromm

“Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.” St. John of the Cross

“Love is the will to fellowship.” Eric Sauer

“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute–and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” Albert Einstein

For those who are Bible-believing Christians, the topic of love is most important. When Jesus was asked a question about what was the most important commandment in the Bible, he answered:

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Jesus quoted the two commandments from Deuteronomy 6:5 and from Leviticus 19:18.

There is much more on the subject of love in the Bible. The short book of 1 John has much to say on the topic in chapter 3 and chapter 4.

Another passage about love–the right kind of love–is Hebrews chapter 13. Consider Hebrews 13:4,

Heb 13:4  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (KJV)

In more modern English,

Heb 13:4 Have respect for marriage. Always be faithful to your partner, because God will punish anyone who is immoral or unfaithful in marriage. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

Heb 13:4 Let married life be honoured among all of you and not made unclean; for men untrue in married life will be judged by God. (Basic English Bible)

The point being made in the Bible is clearly that sexual relations are never proper or allowable before marriage. Premarital sex is sin, and will be judged by God in this life and the next. Women need to resist the temptation to give in to men who would have them disobey God’s Word in this matter. If any man wishes to engage in such activity with you, that is the wrong man for you. Christian young men ought never to engage in premarital sex. Anyone who has engaged in these sins must repent, change behavior, stop sinning, and get right with God. Not to do so is to lose your salvation (see 2 Corinthians 12:21 and 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, 11).

Of course, the most famous love chapter in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. Here are the most pertinent verses:

1Co 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
1Co 13:5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
1Co 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1Co 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (ESV)

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Daily Bible Nugget #499, Isaiah 5:20

The Nugget:

Isaiah 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

My Comment:

The Bible has a great deal to say about justice and the penalty God promises to exact upon those who do not do what is right or who do not live the way they should.

Isaiah the prophet spells it out in more detail in the following verses:

Isa 5:21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Isa 5:22  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:

Isa 5:23  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

Reading Isaiah 5:23 in more modern English ought to make its present day application abundantly clear:

Isaiah 5:23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! (ESV)

Over 90% of the media coverage about President Trump is negative. Viewers, listeners, and readers of such biased coverage ought to know that what they are presented is not news but propaganda. It looks to me as though the media, the Democrats, the “rino” (Republican in name only) Republicans and the “deep state” are very sore losers.

I think that Isaiah gives us a very clear suggestion as to what the present as well as eternal destiny of most of these individuals will be:

Isaiah 5:24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Globalism, multiculturalism, pluralism, and related “isms” like Communism, Socialism, and Marxism are very false ways designed to deprive us of our freedoms and liberties. Don’t fall for the propaganda!

Watch out for the subtle and not so subtle brainwashing going on in both school and media. I say school, because the syllabus has been changed at all levels of education, elementary school through college. The change has been gradual but deliberate and all in one left-leaning direction. Largely gone is any emphasis upon the history behind the founding of this country. The Founding Fathers are derided as “Dead White Men” whose ideas are now out-of-date. But the greatness of these men cannot be denied. Learn to read history from the original sources. The Founding Fathers succeeded in writing a Constitution which has lasted longer than any other written constitution in world history. The founders did not establish a democracy but a Constitutional Republic designed to limit the powers of the central government. The Electoral College, for example, was designed to prevent one or two highly populated states from exercising virtual control over who could be elected as our President. It was also designed to prevent minor parties, splinter groups, and special interests from gaining more power and influence so as to create more political divisiveness than we already have.

Why would anyone (unless they are brain-dead or morally and spiritually bankrupt) object to a secure southern border with the added physical security of a border wall?

In the Bible heaven has great walls (Revelation 21:12) but hell as a destination is a broad and open highway with no restrictions or hindrances.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV)

Mat 7:13 Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate.
Mat 7:14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it. (CEV)

Do you  really think you are on your way to heaven? Better carefully check again. Jesus plainly said that only a few people will find the right way to heaven. The contrast Jesus declares makes it very clear that the majority will always on this issue be wrong. Base your faith on the Bible, not majority opinion.

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Holiness: Part 8

by Vijay Chandra

How is holiness attained? 

 How must we pursue holiness? Very briefly:

  1. We need to know and relish Scripture. This is God’s primary road to holiness, the Spirit blessing His Word (John 17:17). We need to memorize Scripture, and search it, and seek grace to live it.
  2. Strive for constant faith in Christ: We need to flee often to Christ.
  3. If you would grow in holiness, ask always, What would Christ do? Seek grace to do as Paul: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
  4. Pray for holiness. No one is sufficient to bring a clean thing out of an unclean but God (Job 14:4). Hence, pray with David, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’ (Psalm 51:10).
  5. Regard yourself as dead to the dominion of sin and as alive to God in Christ (Romans 6:11). Seek to cultivate the same hatred of sin that God possesses. Recognize that God is worthy of obedience not only as a judge, but as living Father (Genesis 39:9). And believe that Christ is mightily to preserve you alive. You live through Him. His righteousness is greater than your unrighteousness. His Saviorhood is greater than your sinnership. Do not despair: you are strong in Him, alive in Him, victorious in Him. Satan may win many skirmishes, but the war is yours; the victory is yours. In Christ, realistic optimism, not negative pessimism, reigns (Romans 6:11).

 

Holiness: its hindrances

 We have many impediments which we face daily as we pursue holiness. There are hindrances that we must guard against.

Firstly: Our attitude toward sin and life itself is prone to be more self-centered than God centered. We are often more concerned about the consequences of sin or victory over sin than about how our sins grieve the heart of God. We must strive to continue to see from God’s viewpoint as revealed in the Bible.

Positive consequences and victory then become byproducts of obedience and holiness.

Secondly: We fail when we don’t consciously live with our priorities fixed on God’s will. In the words of Scottish theologian John Brown, ‘Holiness does not consist in mystic speculation, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities. it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills’.

 

Thirdly: Our progress is dampened when we misunderstand ‘living by faith’ (Galatians 2:20) to imply that no effort toward holiness is commanded for us. Sometimes we are even prone to consider human effort sinful or ‘fleshly’.

 

J.C Ryle provides us with good instruction: “Is it wise to proclaim in so bald, naked, and unqualified a way as many, that the holiness of converted people is by faith only, and not at all by personal exertion? Is this according to the proportion of God’s Word? I doubt it. That faith in Christ is the root of all holiness no well-instructed Christian will ever think of denying it. But surely the Scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal exertion and work as well as faith”.

 

Fourthly: We are generally too prone to avoid the battle of daily spiritual warfare. No one likes war. The true believer is prone to blind himself to his enemies—especially to the reality of his or her own ongoing pollution which Paul brings out in Romans 7:14, 25. Hence we need to use the Christian armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) which also tends to be ignored at our peril. True holiness must be pursued against the backdrop of an acute awareness of indwelling sin which continues to live in our hearts and to deceive our understanding.

Conclusion:

Its joy:

God intends the Christian life to be one of humble joy, not negative drudgery. The idea that holiness is to be associated with a dour disposition is a tragic caricature of Scripture. In fact, Scripture asserts just the opposite. Only those who walk in holiness experience true joy (John.15:10, 11). Those who are obedient—who are pursuing holiness as a way of life—will know the joy that comes from God: a supreme joy, an ongoing, and anticipated joy. We are called to practice holiness. Are we heeding the call to holiness?

 

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Holiness: Part 7

HOLINESS IN PRACTICE TODAY: THE GREAT NEED OF THE CHURCH AND OUR GREATEST NEED AS WELL.

by Vijay Chandra

 

Its necessity and inducements:

These are at least nine in number for the believers and for the church as a whole.

 

  1. God has called us to holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Whatever God calls us to is necessary. His call itself should induce us to seek and practice holiness. Holiness gives the evidence of our justification and election, and sanctification is the inevitable outgrowth of justification (1 Corinthians 6:11). The two may be distinguished but never separated. In and through Christ, justification gives God’s child the title for heaven and the holiness to enter. Sanctification gives him the fitness for heaven and the preparation necessary to enjoy it.

 

  1. Without holiness, all things are defiled (Titus 1:15). Through Christ, God sanctifies His child and makes his prayers and thanksgiving acceptable. As Thomas Watson has noted ‘A holy heart is the altar which sanctifies the offering, if not to satisfaction, to acceptation’.

 

  1. Holiness augments our spiritual health: As John Flavel said ‘What health is to the heart, that holiness is to the soul’. Moreover, this spiritual health of holiness generally God works through discipline. That is through chastisement, child of God, you are profitably exercised (Hebrews 12:11) by the Father, which results in genuine holiness without which you cannot see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Through Christ’s justifying power, we receive a clean sheet before God; through His sanctifying power a clear conscience. Both are important for our spiritual health.

 

  1. Holiness fosters assurance: ’Ye shall know them by their fruits’ (Matthew 7:16). All reformed divines [Puritans] are agreed that most of the forms and degrees of assurance experienced by true believers—especially daily assurance—are reached gradually in the path of sanctification through careful cultivation of God’s Word, the means of grace. The way to lose a daily sense of assurance is to daily forgo the pursuit of holiness. Believers who live sloppily [treat sin lightly or neglect daily devotions and study of the Word] or inactively [i.e. don’t pursue holiness, but assume the posture that nothing can be done in the area of sanctification—as if holiness were something outside of us, except on rare occasions when something very special ‘happens’ inside] are courting a recipe for daily darkness, deadness, and fruitlessness (2 Peter 1:10).

 

  1. Holiness is essential for effective service to God (2 Timothy 2:21).

 

  1. Holiness makes us resemble God. As Watson notes, ‘We must endeavor to be like God in sanctity. It is a clear glass in which we can see a face; it is a holy heart in which something of God we can be seen’.

 

  1. The God you love loves holiness. Hence the intensity of His discipline. William Gurnall says it best, ‘God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child’s garment’.

 

  1. Holiness preserves our integrity. It saves us from the hypocrisy of resorting to a ‘Sunday only’ Christianity. It gives vitality, purpose, meaning, and direction to daily living.

 

  1. Holiness fits us for heaven. “Follow [literally, pursue]—holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

 

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Holiness: Part 6

HOLINESS IN HISTORY: HOW DID THE CHURCHES UNDERSTAND HOLINESS?

by Vijay Chandra

So rich is the theme of ‘holiness’ which has yielded a variety of emphasis in the church’s history. For the early apostolic church, the nature of holiness was conformity to Christ. Christlike purity was the main goal. In the patristic church [that is, early church Fathers], holiness was largely viewed as withdrawal from the contaminations of the society.

 

  • Ascetic: In this tradition, holiness was pursued by forsaking the world literally, that is by leaving secular jobs, marriage, worldly goods and by engaging extensively in prayer, fasting, ‘living in the caves’, self-mortifications. Only those who reached this ‘high level’ were regarded worthy to be reckoned as saints. ‘Sainthood’ was not normative among Christians, but reserved largely for ascetics. Hence, a double standard evolved. ‘Saintliness’ came to be applied to the ‘religious’ person [that is priests, monks, nuns] whereas a ‘lower attainment’ of holiness necessitated by remaining in the world was tolerated in the ordinary secular or ‘lay Christian’.

 

  • Mystical: According to the medieval mystics, holiness was not to be attained so much by leaving the world as by rising above it. Holiness could be viewed as a ladder with various stages of spiritual absorption into God, such as purgation, illumination, and contemplation [all these are Hindu concepts].

 

The danger of this view is twofold. Mysticism tends to lose sight of the Scripture as the touchstone for all faith and practice and is prone to forget the calling of the Christian to be salt in the earth and light on the hill.

 

  • Sacramental: This form of holiness was available to all, since sanctification was automatically regarded as being imparted when the mass’ wafer was lifted by the priest. Regardless of personal lifestyle, anyone who witnessed this event received, according to Roman Catholicism, an ‘objective fusion of holiness’ without any of the struggle involved in the ascetic and mystical views of holiness. The danger here is obvious. The sacrament is prone to replace the need for the personal subjective work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a sinner.
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Holiness: Part 5

by Vijay Chandra

HOLINESS IN THEOLOGY: SANCTIFICATION

With the biblical data that we have, now we are able to draw out what is the theology of holiness. This resulting doctrine is called ‘sanctification’ and we will put this under two subheadings.

 a. Status conferred by the Work of Christ or His merits.

The New Testament informs us that every believer is sanctified in the principle by the sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:10, ‘We are sanctified’). Christ is our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). And the living church is sanctified (Ephesians 5:25, 26).The believer’s status before God is one of sanctity in Christ, even when his ‘character’ has not yet perfected holiness (1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Peter 1:1, 2, Hebrews 2:11, 9:13, 14, 10:14, 29, 13:12).

 

b. This Process is Pursued by Christ’s work of Application.

The true Christian has not arrived to a wholly sanctified ‘condition’. The believer must strive for sanctity, for holiness (Hebrews 12:14). Most of the Bible commentators do not say anything or say very little about this verse which is very important. They have not exegeted it. Growth in holiness should follow regeneration (Ephesians 1:4, Philippians 3:12). Paul prays that the Thessalonians be sanctified wholly as something still to be accomplished (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

As believers, sanctification is something we have in Christ before God and something we must strive for in the power of Christ. Our state of holiness is conferred, our condition in holiness must be pursued. Through Christ we are made holy in our standing before God and we are told to reflect that standing by being holy in daily life. Our whole life should reflect ‘holiness’.

 

What then must we correctly pursue? Three things:

  1. Conformity to the character of God the Father. God says, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy’.

Seek to image your Father in heaven in righteousness, holiness, and integrity. In the Spirit, strive to think God’s thoughts after Him [via His Word] and to live and act as God himself would have you to do.

 

  1. Conformity to the image of Christ: Do not aim for conformity as a ‘condition’. We cannot be holy in our strength (Isaiah 64:6). Do not aim for conformity to Christ as a condition of salvation, but as a fruit of salvation received by faith (James 1:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

 

  1. Conformity to the mind of the Spirit: The Holy Spirit was sent to conform your mind to His mind (1 Corinthians 2). He was sent to make sinners holy. How does the Spirit work holiness?

 

First, He shows your need for holiness through conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).

Secondly, He plants desire for holiness. His convicting work never leads to despair but always to sanctification in Christ.

Thirdly, He provides strength to live a holy life. Live by means of obedience to and dependence on the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of your sinful nature (Gal.5:16).

Fourthly, through humble intake of the Word and exhaling of prayer, the Spirit establishes  an ongoing realization that holiness remains essential as being worthy of God and His kingdom (1 Thessalonians 2:12, Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10), as aiming at fitness for service (1 Corinthians 9:24, 25) and striving for personal consecration of the whole life like Paul who writes as a willing ‘doulos’, that is, ‘servant, slave.’ There is room for unending growth in sanctification because Christ’s fulness is infinite. He is Holiness par excellence. He is it, He lived it; He merited it and He sends His Spirit to apply it.

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