Exo 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
In this study on holiness I want to explore in depth what holiness is.
Webster's dictionary's definition of holiness is:
The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity. Applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of his essential attributes.
From verse 11 of Exodus 15 we see that God is all this and more. He is glorious in holiness. The purpose of my study is to see if mankind is to live in holiness and if so, how is this made possible since from our birth we are capable of sin which is the opposite of holiness.
We see from Hebrews 12:14 that no man will see the Lord without this holiness so anyone who eventually desires to see the Lord must be holy. So my study is to find out how? How do we become holy enough to see the Lord?
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Holiness involves having a moral character according to the dictionary. Freedom from sin. Purity. It is obvious that there is no way anyone born into this world can achieve this on their own by their own will power. We have to have help and we have to have a change.
Exo 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
The priests in the Old Testament recognized the need for holiness. They had to be very careful in doing service and sacrifices for the people that they did not enter the holy place defiled and unclean. God was a holy God and they could not enter the sanctuary without first going through ceremonial cleansing.
Yet we know that this did not make them holy but seemed to point to the way of holiness to come. They recognized that God was holy but since they had to go through so much to enter the holy place, it showed that they were not holy compared to our holy God. An ordinary person could never enter this place but only those called by God and chosen to serve in this capacity.
Yet we see from the book of Hebrews that no one shall see the Lord without holiness. There had to be a way that all could become holy.
The Old Testament ordinances and sacrifices were a sign of that which was perfect yet to come. They in themselves did not change the inner man and cause one to become holy enough to enter the presence of God.
Exo 39:30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
Everything had to be done according to the pattern God Himself gave to Moses indicating how holy God is and how there is only one way and that is His way.
1Ch 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
These are the words of King David when the Ark of God was brought into the place that was prepared for it. David had tried to do this before but was unprepared for the holiness of God. It resulted in the death of the one who touched the Ark because they were not prepared and did not realize the holiness of God. This hinted again toward the way of holiness and only one way.
In verse 29 we see that there is a way to worship God and that is in the beauty of holiness. Here we have an Old testament indication that man (woman) can also be holy.
When we come together to worship God we must prepare ourselves not to come halfheartedly or without recognizing the holiness of God. Sin separates us from God so there has to be something or someone to remove our sin and bring us into the holiness of God in order for us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
2Ch 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
2Ch 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
I don't believe these appointed singers were not prepared in their hearts to sing praises to God. I believe they meant what they said. These praises were so meaningful that it moved the heart of God to protect Israel from their enemies.
Sincere praise is desired by God and we should sing praises always. These were worshipping in the beauty of holiness. They prepared their hearts to worship God.
Yet we know from reading the Old Testament, the Israelites were not always worshipping in spirit and in truth. They would be revived in certain seasons of repentance after God's correction but it didn't always last. They needed to walk in this way of holiness all the time. Perhaps they needed God's divine help in this. Seems as if they needed God's Holy Spirit dwelling within each and every individual. Yet how could this come about when sin separates us from God and the bible declares all of us have sinned. It stands to reason that God's spirit couldn't dwell within one who was full of sin and rebellion against the very word of God.
2Ch 31:18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:
They set themselves apart and dedicated themselves unto holiness. Even though we can't make ourselves holy by our own will power, we need help but we do have to determine in our hearts and minds that we want to live holy. God can't make us holy if we do not desire holiness. We do play a part in our salvation then in the fact that we have to seek, desire and trust the Lord for these good things that He gives.
Psa 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Here we see again that we are to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. We are to seek and pursue holiness. We are to set ourselves apart and give time to seek the presence of the Lord in an attitude of holiness. We are not to come before Him full of the world's mindset and full of sin unless first we come by way of repentance and are willing to change by His spirit and power.
In order to worship in holiness our sins must be forgiven and put away. This is why Jesus Christ came to pay the price for our sins and do away with them. We cannot live holy without coming through Jesus Christ. As I've stated before, our will power is not strong enough to keep us from sin without the Spirit of God and the Spirit of God can't come to us unless we go the way God provided for us to get rid of sin and that is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Without Jesus our sin remains. Without Jesus and His sacrifice He did on our behalf, we remain in sin and cannot possibly live in holiness. In order to live and worship in holiness, one has to have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within the believer who has repented of sin and believed in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord.
Psa 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
This is really beautiful. We sing to the Lord and remember His holiness. Think about this for a moment. Think about God and His holiness. I'm glad God is a holy and just God. I'm glad God hates sin. I'm glad that God is who He. I take delight in His holy word. I'm glad for His holiness.
I'm glad there is hope for the future. There is a future without death, without pain, without sorrow and without hurt. God is planning even now that future for all who will turn from sin and believe in the salvation He provided through His Son, Jesus Christ. God saw that mankind was deep in sin. His law states that the soul that sins, shall die. This death is referring not only to the physical death of the body but the spiritual death as well of the soul. God saw that there was only one way to save our souls and that is if a perfect sinless one was to die in our place and allow Himself to be sacrificed to pay the price of sin which the law of God (which cannot change) condemns us of.
Someone innocent had to die to reverse the curse sin brought upon us. He paid the price, so that His death counts on our behalf. The only catch is that we repent of sin and believe Him and in this sacrifice He made. If we prefer to keep our sins and ignore God's plan of salvation, then of course the death of Christ will not count on our behalf.
Sin takes us to hell. We must renounce or turn from sin to escape hell. Yet that is not enough for the sins of our past has to be forgiven. They are only forgiven and will not count against us if we believe in Jesus Christ. We must believe that Jesus died for sins, and rose again making the way for all who believe to rise and inherit eternal life.
After we come to Christ we are to live in holiness. That is what this study is about. How do we live in holiness? The first step is by repenting of sin and believing in Jesus as our savior which is the only way to be saved. Now we are to start walking in the spirit and bringing forth fruits of holiness or holy living. God said to be holy as He is holy. We cannot do this on our own so He made the perfect way.
Holiness Part 2
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