Friday, 18 May 2018

Travel the Highway of Holiness: A call to Holy living

A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. (Isaiah 35:8 NASB) 
Is belief in Jesus all it takes to have eternal life?

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. (James 2:19 NLT) 
Demons know who Jesus is. They believe in Him. But they do not serve Him.

To say you believe in Jesus is to say you know what He said (read His words), and believe in what He said and abide by what He said (follow Him). You have to hear Him to BELIEVE His words. Just verbally acknowledging His existence reduces Luther’s axiom, “by faith alone” to a magical incantation that forces God to welcome you to His side for your formulaic phrasing and mental acknowledgment. To try and use this to justify your continued sinful lifestyle is problematic. Salvation requires repentance.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Gal 6:7 NIV)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead. (James 2:26 NKJV)
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only (James 2: 21-24 NKJV)
True faith produces works. You are not saved by works, but works flow naturally from your faith. Repentance is the missing component in the phrasing. A deep sorrow for your sin and a turning away from it: Permanently. (Not perfectly, we are unable to do that, but permanently).
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21 NIV)
John spelled out specific ways in which the validity of their repentance should be demonstrated (Luke 3:10-14). Thus, metanoia ["turning away from sin"] was to be [made real] by the baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3), and was to be evidenced by the changed attitudes and deeds of the respondents (Bakers Evangelical dictionary).
You will do different deeds! You will live differently. But Jesus says this Himself.
But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while the crowd was there. Afterward, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.” And the man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well (John 5:14-15 BSB)
He is healed. But what does Jesus command him? “Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you”. A call to holiness. And again, the words of our Lord:
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:4-11 NLT)
Jesus forgave her, He did not condemn her. But what does He command? “Go and sin no more”. Do not mock His generosity with your lifestyle. His was a call for her repentance: To holy living.

Repentance is holiness.
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth. (1Peter 1:15-17 BSB) 
Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am … your God. (Leviticus 20:7 HCSB)
Dictionary: Consecrate = make or declare sacred; dedicate formally to a divine purpose.
Dictionary: Holy = dedicated or consecrated to God.

Our lives are to be dedicated to God.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor 6:19-20 NIV)
But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT
Repent. Be doers and not just hearers. And be holy. Sin no more.

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