Attributes of Holiness – Hatred of sin
(B.T. Roberts re-examined)
“The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” [Proverbs 8:13]
“Holiness is not indifference. One who is truly holy does not feel that he has done his duty by simply abstaining from sin.” [B.T. Roberts]
Topic: Popular holiness vs earnest holiness…
1. Moral definition: “A willful transgression of a known law of God.” (Wesley’s definition)
2. Legal definition: “To deviate in any manner from an absolute standard of perfect behavior.”
Problem: In America we think… a.) All sin is equal (none worse than others), b.) Christians sin daily c.) Our sins are forgiven.. past, present, and future d.) we should confess our sins daily (“spiritual breathing”) e. We can never be sinless. (Keith Drury)
Premise: We are NOT to sin; we do not have to sin.
Thus: the legal definition does not make sense in context of God’s prohibition against sin.
Fact: "But to make everything sin is, in effect, to make nothing sin" [Exploring Our Christian Faith, W.T. Purkiser editor, page 293, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO. 1978.]
When something is unavoidable, it is excusable.
“Sin is a choice; an avoidable choice.” [Jeff Paton]
I. Popular holiness:
A. Things earnest holiness does NOT do:
1. Holiness does not “smile at sin.”
2. Holiness does not give “ample toleration” to sin.
3. Holiness is not favorable to “building up the church” by allowing “fashionable or popular” sin.
B. Things popular holiness does:
1. “It valorously kicks the dead lion, but is very careful not to excite the anger of the living jackal.”
2. Popular holiness does NOT recognize the obstacles to earnest holiness.
II. Earnest holiness:
A. “True holiness is not blind.”
1. Not obtrusive or skeptical… it is observing.
2. [American proverb] “All that glitters is not gold.”
a. Some things look good and right… but are not.
b. Some things sound right but when matched against Scripture are shown to be false.
c. It looks beyond manners and correct words.
B. “Scriptural holiness implies hatred of sin.”
1. There is “stern resistance to sin in all its guises.”
2. Serious problem: Often Roberts and early holiness people focused on externals as symbols of internal spiritual sins.
Roberts opposed people “adorning themselves in gold and pearls of costly array.” [quoting 1 Timothy 2:9] He called it pride.
Wesley, using this verse, warned: “These four are expressly forbidden by name to all women (here is no exception) professing godliness, and no art of man can reconcile with the Christian profession the willful violation of an express command.”
(Sounds more like vanity… important distinction: vanity is concerned what others think of us; pride is what we think of ourselves.)
Pride: “a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”
However, pride is also: “a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect.”
3. Vanity and Pride takes on a deliberate (willful) “better than” attitude. Either by showing of wealth (status) or judging another.
C. “Hates the first appearance of sin in himself.”
1. Quick conscious is necessary to instantly repel a Satanic suggestion.
2. There must be an instinct about us that is uneasy with sin and false things.
3. We must have clear understanding when something is “dead works.”
D. “He hates sin in others.”
1. Ability, talent, accomplishments, position, etc… “does not mitigate the repugnance which he feels on account of his sins.”
2. CAUTION: “there is no malice in this hatred… this does not imply angry, malevolent feelings, but a settled aversion of soul toward the haters of God.”
III. Why is this essential?
A. Notice I did not say “important.”
1. The difference between “important” and “essential.”
a. Important can be ignored…
b. Essential cannot be…
2. “Tyranny of the urgent.” (Charles Hummel)
a. The problem is not time (or resources)…. It is priority.
b. We live in tension between the “urgent and the important.”
c. What Hummel is describing is things that seem important because they are disguised as urgent.
3. Our problem is that we think things are important when they are actually NOT.
a. They drain our energy, time, and resources.
b. They demand our priority.
In the book, “The Kneeling Christian” the anonymous writer claims: “For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work.”
B. Roberts claimed: “hatred of sin is essential to the aggressiveness that belongs to the Christian character.”
1. Do good to others!
a. Inviting others to Christ.
b. Making war on sin.
“A man who goes to the bar and drinks water, while his friend drinks whiskey may be personally temperate; be he certainly cannot be a very warm advocate for temperance.”
2. Fact: Satan is a relentless hunter. (no scruples, no pity)
a. You cannot deal with sin passively!
b. (Ill.) Who is the “father of lies?” (Any lie that exults itself or puts itself against God is Satanic. Any deliberate deception of another is Satan at work. Any lie that hinders another or misleads people from Christ is devilish to the core.)
c. So why can we NOT see that, let alone hate a lie?
d. FACT: if Satan is relentless against God, all that is good, and against all that is godly… then the Christian must also be relentless in ripping sin out by the roots.
3. “Hatred of sin will enable you to stand true to God under all circumstances.”
a. It is a hedge against what our early fathers called “backsliding.”
b. “As long as sin looks odious you will not embrace it.”
c. UNDERSTAND: sin as being against God.
David: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” [Psalm 51:4]
IV. What does this mean?
A. First, we must truly love God.
1. That means we will stand in right relationship with God.
2. We will not knowingly give the enemy a stronghold in our lives…
a. This is war.
b. Our very soul and eternity depends on it.
B. Second, we must become determined.
1. We cannot afford to give sin a place in our lives.
2. We cannot afford to give ourselves rest in our diligence against sin.
3. We cannot afford any compromise with sin in any form.