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Archive for the ‘holiness’ Category

A’Brakel writes:

However, since all that glitters is not gold, everything that has the appearance of holiness and is called holiness is not holiness … There are three requisites for holiness:

(1) it proceeds from a good root: faith;

(2) it functions according to a good rule: the will of God as revealed in the law; and

(3) it has a good objective: the honor of God.

First, all that is worthy of being called holiness must proceed from a holy principle. Faith is the primary element of conversion as far as order is concerned. This faith unites a person with Christ who is our life. It does not only make us a partaker of His benefits, but first and foremost, of the Person Himself. … [Faith] actuality, unites the soul with Christ, and thus life and strength flow out of Him into the soul …

Secondly, to holiness belongs a good rule with which the disposition of the heart and one‘s deeds must agree. This is nothing but the will of God alone, as presented in the law of the ten commandments.

Thirdly, to holiness belongs a holy objective. [i.e. the glorification of God]

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In older Evangelical parlance the language of guidance was used comprehensively to cover God’s eliciting of faithful obedience from us within the often enigmatic and daunting frame of providentially ordered circumstances.

Packer, J. I, and Carolyn Nystrom. Guard us, guide us : divine leading in life’s decisions. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2008), 178.

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We have reason to desire to grow in every grace, and have need of the Spirit’s influence in order to growth in grace; and the way to obtain this is by prayer. We are beholden to god not only for the stock put into our hands at first, but for the improvement of it also.

(source: Matthew Henry, 1Thessalonians 3:12-13)

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Those who walk after the Spirit are not such as have wholly put off all the emotions of the flesh, so that their whole life is redolent with nothing but celestial perfection; but they are those who sedulously labor to subdue and mortify the flesh, so that the love of true religion seems to reign in them. He declares that such walk not after the flesh; for wherever the real fear of God is vigorous, it takes away from the flesh its sovereignty, though it does not abolish all its corruptions.

Source: John Calvin on Romans 8:1-4

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Thomas Chalmers was very concerned about excessive introspection in the pursuit of holiness. He knew that a believer cannot make progress in holiness without basing it on the assurance of salvation. And yet the effort to look into our sinful hearts for some evidences of grace usually backfires.

Robert McCheyne wrote:

Learn much of the Lord Jesus.

For every look at yourself take ten looks at Christ.

He is altogether lovely . . . .

Live much in the smiles of God.

Bask in his beams.

Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love.

And repose in his almighty arms.

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How are you righteous before God? Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.

Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ.

He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Source: The Heidelberg Catechism Q.60

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Godliness is God-consciousness, an all-pervasive sense of God’s presence.

It will mean that never do we think, or speak, or act, without the undergirding sense (1) of God’s presence, (2) of his judgement, (3) of our relation to him and his relation to us, (4) of our responsibility to him and dependence upon him.

This God-consciousness is spoken of as the fear of God, the profound reverence for his majesty and the dread of his judgments.

This fear of God is not something abstract – it is filial reverence springing from a relation that has been constituted by redemption in Christ, justification and forgiveness by his grace, adoption in his love. …

In a word, this God-consciousness is conditioned by all the provisions of saving grace brought to bear upon us in Christ Jesus, and by the distinct relations that we sustain by God’s grace to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is an intimacy constituted by adoption and the sonship created thereby …

Source: John Murray “Adorning the Gospel” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. I, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1976, pg. 182)

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A set of rules is unable to motivate and conform us to holiness.

You have to know that you are loved by God. Otherwise you will always have fear motivating you i.e. if I don’t do this he will be mad and punish me.

Fear cannot motivate you to genuine holiness. You must know that you are loved and that the outcome is assured – so you can obey with your whole heart.

This knowledge will propel one to obedience, knowing that you are loved and believing that God has given you what is needed in terms of enabling.

If you not assured of God’s love for you then you will fall into a sinful lifestyle. Duty cannot motivate in the face of temptation but love in response to grace (God’s love and enabling) is more motivating.

Source: ‘The Gospel and Sanctification: How Does Your Garden Grow?’  Providence Church in Temecula, CA is a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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A set of rules is unable to motivate and conform us to holiness.

You have to know that you are loved by God. Otherwise you will always have fear motivating you i.e. if I don’t do this he will be mad and punish me.

Fear cannot motivate you to genuine holiness. You must know that you are loved and that the outcome is assured – so you can obey with your whole heart.

This knowledge will propel one to obedience, knowing that you are loved and believing that God has given you what is needed in terms of enabling.

If you not assured of God’s love for you then you will fall into a sinful lifestyle. Duty cannot motivate in the face of temptation but love in response to grace (God’s love and enabling) is more motivating.

Source: no longer have the details of the source.

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Snippets. More can be found here:

http://andrewgroves.s3.amazonaws.com/Classic Writers/Holiness – The Ruler of the Waves (J.C. Ryle).pdf

… Say not, because your heart is lifted up just now with a strong sense of Christ’s mercy, ‘I shall never forget Him as long as I live.’ Oh, learn to abate something of this flattering estimate of yourself. You do not know yourself thoroughly. …

… I do want young Christians to understand what they must expect to find in themselves. I want to prevent their being stumbled and puzzled by the discovery of their own weakness and infirmity. I want them to see that they may have true faith and grace, in spite of all the devil’s whispers to the contrary, though they feel within many doubts and fears. …

… I dare be sure your heart has sometimes been tossed to and fro like the waves in a storm. You have found it agitated like the waters of the troubled sea when it cannot rest. … Jesus can say to your heart, whatever may be its ailment, ‘Peace, be still!’

What though your conscience within be lashed by the recollection of countless transgressions, and torn by every gust of temptation? What though the remembrance of past hideous profligacy be grievous unto you, and the burden intolerable? What though your heart seems full of evil, and sin appears to drag you whither it will like a slave? What though the devil rides to and fro over your soul like a conqueror, and tells you it is vain to struggle against him, there is no hope for you?

I tell you there is One who can give even you pardon and peace. My Lord and Master Jesus Christ can rebuke the devil’s raging, can calm even your soul’s misery, and say even to you, ‘Peace, be still!’ He can scatter that cloud of guilt which now weighs you down. He can bid despair depart. He can drive fear away. He can remove the spirit of bondage, and fill you with the spirit of adoption. Satan may hold your soul like a strong man armed, but Jesus is stronger than he, and when He commands, the prisoners must go free. Oh, if any troubled reader wants a calm within, let him go this day to Jesus Christ, and all shall yet be well!

… there is comfort in Christ. He can speak peace to wounded hearts as easily as calm troubled seas. He can rebuke rebellious wills as powerfully as raging winds. He can make storms of sorrow abate, and silence tumultuous passions, as surely as He stopped the Galilean storm. He can say to the heaviest anxiety, ‘Peace, be still!’ The floods of care and tribulation may be mighty, but Jesus sits upon the water floods, and is mightier than the waves of the sea (Ps. 93:4). The winds of trouble may howl fiercely round you, but Jesus holds them in His hand, and can stay them when He lists. Oh, if any reader of this paper is broken-hearted and care-worn and sorrowful, let him go to Jesus Christ, and cry to Him and he shall be refreshed.

 

source: J.C. Ryle “Holiness’” (Chapter 12: The Ruler of the Waves)

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