Thursday, December 22, 2011

Defective and False – Holiness Ephesians 4:24

Defective and False – Holiness Ephesians 4:24

“True holiness implies there is a false.” [B. T. Roberts]

“Holiness in man is often defective.” [BTR]

I.          What is defective and false holiness?

            A.         “Much of the current holiness is wanting in spirituality.” [BTR]

                        1.         It is worldly… acquired what is fashionable in appearance or form.
                        2.         In other words it appeals to the flesh (and the world).

            B.         “Much of it is wanting in loyalty to God.” [BTR]

                        1.         God is nominally acknowledged… self, society, or church is the primary focus.
                        2.         God is first unless it interferes with worldly interest.

            C.         Sometimes it is the church that hinders holiness.

                        1.         It ignores the claims of justice… for convenience.
                        2.         “Treason to God” to stand by a church and its leaders when they are clearly in violation of Scripture. (Heretic or reformer)

“False holiness… is built upon a false assumption.” [BTR]

            D.         False assumption… maintain a respectable standing in a respectable church.

                        1.         Problem: love the world.
                        2.         Problem: friendship with the world.

(These friendships take priority over Christ.)

II.         What do we need?

            A.         Pardon… under condemnation.

                        1.         Reason: they walk after the flesh not the Spirit.
                        2.         Roberts claimed these people were NOT saved. (Question: how good to you have to be to go to heaven?  Is salvation by grace or works?)

            B.         “Live holiness!” [BTR]

                        1.         Caution: don’t try to convince them they are better or more secure than the Holy Spirit is showing them.
                        2.         If a person is substituting popular religion for the Word of God… then they are in danger.

            C.         Courage

                        1.         Don’t close your eyes to popular sin.
                        2.         Without courage to follow God’s Word, we become prey to the artful and the designing… logic of others.

            D.         Discernment

“Give your endorsement to nothing that will not stand the test of the judgement day.” [BTR]

                        1.         “There is no end to counterfeits.” [BTR]
                        2.         Example: the belief that the “condition” of the believer is sanctified and the change of character (behavior) is not required.

III.        What is the belief?

            A.         In a nut shell:

                        1.         Souls at conversion are sanctified, but not wholly. [1 Thessalonians 5:23 – 24]
                                    a.         “Already/not yet”
                                    b.         Sanctified in standing but not in experience.
                        2.         Entire sanctification is subsequent (after) to justification.
                        3.         Entire sanctification is God’s work done by the Holy Spirit.
                        4.         Entire sanctification brings body, soul, and spirit into a blameless condition. 

(You cannot be preserved blameless until you are made blameless.)

                        5.         Entire sanctification is attainable BECAUSE God will do it.
                        6.         Entire sanctification is attainable NOW.
                        7.         Entire sanctification CAN be permanent.

            B.         Sanctification is NOT a “form of godliness” which “denies the power.”

Kinds of Holiness [Ephesians 4:20 – 24]

Kinds of Holiness [Ephesians 4:20 – 24]

I.          Two kinds of holiness… “true” and “false.”

            A.         True holiness is essentially the same.

                        1.         It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

                                    a.         It is not “taught” or “trained.”
                                    b.         “He has ceased from his own works.” [B.T. Roberts]

“True holiness has nothing in it of human merit, it is always found in connection with deep humility” [BTR]

                        2.         Humility is manifested: “dresses plain.” [BTR]

“Nothing is worn for show or ornament…. He is unassuming, not claiming superiority over others.” [BTR]

                        3.         “An all-absorbing love for God and man.” [BTR]

                                    a.         God is loved… obeyed.
                                    b.         People are loved… served.

                        4.         “True holiness is obtained through faith in God, and is never separated                                         from an unwavering trust in Him.” [BTR]

            B.         False holiness:

                        1.         “Aristocratic, self-indulgent holiness.” [BTR]

                                    a.         Influence comes through externals: “costly houses of worship, with popular    preachers, choir singing… selling or renting the seats.” [BTR]

                                    b.         “endeavors to explain away the requirements of the Gospel to                                                   suit their tastes.” [BTR]

“This kind of holiness is not generally persecuted by the world.” [BTR]

                        2.         False holiness is “fanatical."

                                    a.         “It lays the greatest stress upon that for which it has the least                                                        reason and Scripture for its support.” [BTR]
                                    b.         Apparent self-denial turns to self-will.
                                    c.         “Sincerity” but self-willed… lacks submission.          
                                    d.         It does NOT know how to yield.

“It must have its own way in everything.” [BTR]

                        3.         “Covetous holiness.”

                                    a.         “It has sharp criticisms for every project that calls for an                                                   expenditure of money; but it is because it is unwilling to bear its                                                    part.” [BTR]
                                    b.         “It is mighty at tearing down – it never tries its hand at building                                                     up.” [BTR]

II.         How do we respond.

            A.         “Consecration”

                        1.         “Give yourself up for a habitation of the Holy Spirit.” [BTR]
                        2.         Roberts suggested the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.

            B.         “Humility”

            C.         “Be in haste to obtain it.” [BTR]

                        1.         “Eternity is at hand… the death-bed may be too late.” [BTR]
                        2.         “Make every confession He prompts             you to make.” [BTR]

A powerless profession [1 Corinthians 13]

A powerless profession [1 Corinthians 13]

“A profession of holiness without love is like a well without water, like a stove without fire, a tree without fruit.” [B.T. Roberts]

1.         “You cannot be filled with love to God and man without being a blessing to others.” [BTR]

            a.         No feeling of envy or jealousy.
            b.         No attempt to cripple others influence by lowering them in the estimation of others.
            c.         Rejoice with those who rejoice.

2.         Compassion not anger will be the rule towards those who are not Christian.

            a.         If they have wronged you, what else can you expect?
            b.         Don’t keep them at a distance (some fear pollution).
            c.         Be a witness.

3.         Problems:

            a.         Lack of usefulness… generally followed by fault finding.
            b.         Giving strong prescription to others when we see a weakness…

4.         What we need:

            a.         “Seek then, first of all, for a baptism of pure, perfect love upon your soul.” [BTR]

                        1.)        Be honest: is there fruit of this love?
                        2.)        Own your need and ask earnestly to have it supplied.

            b.         It’s not about zeal… it’s about love.

                        1.)        Consecration of talent, time, property…
                        2.)        Confession of unloving disposition…

Love is the key to the entire Christian life.  God’s love shed abroad in our hearts…  Our love for God and others.  Howe we live our lives under the influence of this love.

Professing Holiness (B.T. Roberts re-examined)

Professing Holiness (B.T. Roberts re-examined)

“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” [Romans 10:9 – 10]

“If you would be holy you must live holiness.  … But when the false teachers tell you that this can take the place of a profession of holiness do not listen to them.” [B.T. Roberts]

1.         Notice:

            a.         It is with the MOUTH confession is made.  This is a VERBAL expression.
            b.         It is this verbal, audible, outward confession that one is saved.
            c.         The confession is “Jesus is Lord.”

                        1.)        Historically this is a rejection of the deity of Creaser and a proclamation of the deity of Jesus.
                        2.)        Historically it was also a rejection of any and all false means of salvation.
                        3.)        Jesus is THE ONLY way to be saved.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. [19] For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” [John 17:17 – 19]

2.         Notice:

            a.         Jesus prayed that God the Father would “sanctify” them:

                        1.)        Sanctify: separate and clean…
                        2.)        Dedicated to God’s use…
                        3.)        Used by God in service…

            b.         Two instruments would be used:

                        1.)        The Bible (truth, Your word)
                        2.)        Being sent into the world (as witnesses).

“If Christ not only forgives you, but sanctifies you, then it is not enough ot say that you are forgiven.  That is not the whole truth.  An indefinite profession will lead to an indefinite experience.” [BTR]

“The bottom of your life is on a level with the top of your profession.” [Unknown]

3.         Idea:

            a.         If you enjoy it and you live it… why not speak it?
“Evangelism is one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread.” [African proverb]
“No one can long retain this great blessing without letting it be known that God bestows it upon him.” [BTR]
            b.         One key concept found in the Christ-centered life is that of evangelism… witnessing to what God has done for them.

4.         Caution:

            a.         Professions by themselves amount to nothing.

                        1.)        Some are fake… for whatever reasons.
                        2.)        Some are past… not current.
                        3.)        Some are weak… the power is gone but the show is still there.

[Ill. General Robert E. Lee kept McClellan at bay by pointing logs made to look like cannon toward the Union forces.]
                        4.)        Some are wishful thinking… they talk but the fruit is absent.

            b.         Profession must be genuine.

5.         Problems:

            a.         The appetites of this world rule over those who are not yet entirely sanctified.

                        1.)        Example: physical addictions (tobacco)
                        2.)        Old word “temperance” (Greek means “continence,” “self-restraint”)

            b.         “Some are wanting in self-denial.” [BTR]

                        1.)        Key idea in entire sanctification/holiness is “surrendered.”
                        2.)        Image of a car… Christ followers are enjoying the drive with Jesus.  Christ-centered are letting Jesus drive the car.
                        3.)        DAILY self-denial is the norm.

            c.         “Some are wanting in non-conformity to the world.” [BTR]

                        1.)        Worldly fashion vs “being to strict.”
                        2.)        Unwillingness to be separate.  (My thought on this is that it must start internally… e.g. if we are bitter critical people it doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside.)

            d.         “Some are wanting in humility.” [BTR]

                        1.)        Roberts noted that one can look “plain” but still be full of “pride and self-conceit.”
                        2.)        “They… seem to think that nothing is done right in which they do not participate.” [BTR]
                        3.)        Cure: be “swift to hear and slow to speak.”

            e.         “Others are wanting in love.” [BTR]

                        1.)        Correct doctrine but unable to “bear much.”
                        2.)        Fretful, little things chafe, annoy, and irritate. [BTR]

6.         What to do:

            a.         Search ourselves.
            b.         If you don’t have it… shut up.  (It doesn’t do anybody any good.)

“Holiness is our complete renewal in the image of God…” [BTR]

            c.         “[Holiness] is not merely victory over sin.” [BTR]

                        1.)        “It is deliverance from sinful tempers themselves.” [BTR]
                        2.)        Old man is cast out…
                        3.)        “NOT a calm, emotionless surrender of ourselves”… “there is a dying out of self.”

            d.         “The heart emptied of sin, is filled with the Spirit.” [BTR]