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Holiness Isn’t Optional

holiness not and optoinEphesians 5:1-21

1. Holiness is displaying God’s character.
2. Holiness flows from our identity.
3. Holiness is radical and all-encompassing.
4. Holiness is a sign that we are saved.
5. Holiness is a light to the world.
6. Holiness is empowered by the Spirit.

[1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. [7] Therefore do not become partners with them; [8] for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light [9] (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. [11] Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [12] For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. [13] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, [14] for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

[15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. [17] Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [18] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, [19] addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, [20] giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, [21] submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:1-21

Heb 12:14-15 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled.

Heb 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Rev 22:14-15 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

1Pet 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy (hagios – most holy thing, a saint), so be ye holy (hagios) in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

2Cor 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Rom 2:4-14 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, holiness or hellindignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

James 2:17-24 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

NOTE: “love his own” Jesus points out that loving the world = hating Him. No one can love the things of this world and love God. Many profess to know / love God, and at the same time they take pleasure in the things of this world, secular music, entertainment or other activities that promote the things contrary to God Word. Notice how John expounds further on this in his first epistle:

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

NOTE: These verses contain two different words for the word “love” in the original Greek text. The “love of the Father” is agapē, which is probably the most commonly known to most believers when referring to the love of God ie) 1 John 4:8 “…God is love.”. However, when it speaks of the love for the world or things in the world, that is the word agapaō, which in this context means “take pleasure in a thing” “unwilling to abandon it” or “do without it.” People who say they love God, profess to be Christians, but take pleasure in or are unwilling to abandon the things of the world are not actually Christians according to God’s Word. They do not have His love in them (1 John 2:15), they love the world and hate Jesus (John 15:18-19, 7:7)

John 15:5-6 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

1John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

holiness Lord1John 3:2-10 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

*The “hope” is final salvation at His appearing. “Every man” who has the hope of being saved from the fire of His wrath (2 Thes 1:7-9) at Christ’s return purifies himself “as He is pure”. If a person is not purified (purged from sin 2 Pet 1:9) does not have the hope (vs.2) of being saved (Heb 10:26-31)

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

*It is true that God is willing to forgive (1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) BUT God’s forgiveness is CONDITIONAL. (Proverbs 18:23 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth AND forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.) As Hebrews 26:31 says above, those who rebel against God and do not repent die “without mercy”.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

2Thes 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Matt 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Luke 6:46-49 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

ruin [Gk: rhēgma that which has been broken or rent asunder] Matt 24:48-51 The wicked servant is cut asunder

Luke 13:23-28 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.

Strive: Gk agōnizoma ä-gō-nē’-zo-mī

1) to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games

2) to contend with adversaries, fight

3) metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers

4) to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something

Matt 8:11-12 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, holiness pureand Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(Said right before answering the Roman centurion’s request)

Matt 22:11-14 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

Matt 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite(gk.typtō metaph. i.e. to wound, disquiet[to take away the peace or tranquillity of, disturb, alarm] one’s conscience) [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matt 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

1Cor 16:22 If any man love not (obey not 1Jn 5:3) the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (cursed) Maranatha (The Lord will come.). – parenthetical emphasis added

It is true that God is willing to forgive (1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) BUT God’s forgiveness is CONDITIONAL. (Proverbs 28:13 below) As Hebrews 26:31 says above, those who rebel against God and do not repent, die “without mercy”.

Prov 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

Prov 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.

Prov 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

IF HE IS NOT YOUR LORD, HE IS NOT YOUR SAVIOR.

Albert Barnes describing the message of revival Morristown NJ Dec 26, 1829

…the truth has been as uniformly submitted that the obligation of the sinner is not measured by the favors that he hopes to obtain. The duty of an immediate and unqualified surrender into his hands-of a direct and eternal renunciation of all acts of rebellion-of an instantaneous submission to all the terms and requirements of the gospel, and of an entire committing of all the interests of the soul to the hands of the God long hated, and of the redeemer long set at nought and contemned, has been urged (by the preacher) with all the ability that has been vouchsafed… The convicted sinner has felt the necessity of casting himself on the mercy of God… Doing this, peace has followed; the burden of sin has been removed, and the blessings of redemption have distilled upon the spirit as the dews of the morning.

hope holinessIsa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

2Tim 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Acts 5:31-32 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

2Pet 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2Pet 2:20-21 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

1Cor 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

NOTE: In the Greek there is only one word for “in memory what”. It’s the word “tis” (tē’s) meaning who, which, what. Only IF you hold fast are you saved, if you don’t hold fast you are not saved and have believed in vain. The only true faith is the one that “keepeth the commandments” according to Rev 14:12.

Ps 34:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. → Describing the only type of individual who is saved

Now, while I know that the gospel presents salvation from punishment, and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, I know that its chief relation to men, is to save them from their sins–to become their sanctification. Again: the true state of men is always known by the great absorbing idea which is in their minds. A man’s character is as is the end for which he lives. Now, a man who lives in any sin, any form of self-pleasing, and self-seeking, cannot be a Christian; for the true idea of the gospel is, that, for a man to be a Christian he must be devoted to God, and thoroughly withdrawn from all forms of sin and iniquity. He must be devoted to God, living for God, living for the same end that God lives; sympathizing with Christ, and with everything that is good. This is the character of every true Christian. This is the true conception of Christianity; and just in proportion as individuals approach to this standard have they a good hope of salvation, and just in proportion as they recede from this standard they fail of salvation. Again: there are a great many persons whose aim is to get peace of mind, and who are constantly crying “peace” to others, when there is no peace.

By sanctification being a condition of justification, the following things are intended: (1.) That present, full, and entire consecration of heart and life to God and His service, is an unalterable condition of present pardon of past sin, and of present acceptance with God. (2.) That the penitent soul remains justified no longer than this full-hearted consecration continues. If he falls from his first love into the spirit of self-pleasing, he falls again into bondage to sin and to the law, is condemned, and must repent and do his “first work,” must turn to Christ, and renew his faith and love, as a condition of his salvation. . . . ~ Charles G. Finney

Psa 68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, [and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his set aparttrespasses.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.