Author Topic: Holiness  (Read 2981 times)

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Offline janine

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« on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 10:08:10 »
Obedience and avoiding selfish ulterior motives are good things (would have led to longer life for the Donation Twins and Akin's family!)...  God deserves to have me striving to rid my life of evil...

But, if that's all it took, my (grunt strain sweat wheeze) EFFORT, to "be perfect as my Father is perfect", then of what use is Jesus?

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« on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 10:08:10 »

Offline janine

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« Reply #1 on: Tue Dec 17, 2002 - 20:47:36 »
Don't throw the fear out with the bathwater!

It's a good thing to fear, as in have respect for, reverence, never-ever want to offend, God.  The kind of fear that leads you to value Him because He is 100% mercy as well as 100% righteousness.

Maybe 100% righteousness + 100% mercy = 100% love.

Where people get off track with it is to think that fear will somehow be a good and lasting motivator when there's been no learning yet about the love & mercy.

Offline Booty

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« Reply #2 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 05:47:59 »
One comment,  I really stop and wonder at the attitude exhibited in the opening post by that teacher. Such unmitigated arrogance! Such hubris!!

When do we start becoming as gods unto ourselves and spend our time spreading fear in children? Are we that envious of the omnipotence of our Lord that we would seek to share... no usurp it?

Sad.

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« Reply #2 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 05:47:59 »

Offline janine

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« Reply #3 on: Tue Dec 24, 2002 - 08:15:34 »
I'd reeeeeally like to see more lessons/sermons/discussions "in church" on living holy, righteous living, however you want to put it...

Of course the goal is to get "self" out of the way & let God work!

But it requires a willingness on our part, too, to "touch not the unclean thing", if you want to put it that way.

Now... if the focus can be kept on loving God enough to want to avoid hurting Him with our sin...

And loving our neighbor enough to bring him into the circle & show him the benefits of trying to abandon situations that promote sin, out of love mind you...

If it can be kept out of territory like "we live holy & they don't 'cause they step into a pub for a pint once a week and they have an organ in their church building and they think dead people can help them approach God..."

Ah, well, let's just say I think God deserves our athlete/soldier effort to be holy, mature, 'cause our Father is.  And I'd love to hear more about that, than the mostly "milk" I'm having dumped on me lately.  More about holy God and holy me, without descending into unholy Them.

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« Reply #3 on: Tue Dec 24, 2002 - 08:15:34 »

Offline Richard

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« Reply #4 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 08:58:45 »
I need some help.
Yesterday, I heard a person in my church teaching a group of children (in the hearing of the whole congregation) about what Holiness means.  This person gave two examples from scripture.  One was the story from the book of Acts of Ananias and Saphira who sold some property, gave most of the money to the church, but secretly withheld some, claiming to be giving all.  They both quickly died (the clear implication being that God killed them.)
The other story was from the book of Joshua about Akin who took some plunder after a battle victory, contrary to God's expressed will, and hid it in his tent.  When he was found out, he and his whole family were killed.
The teacher went on to explain to the children that if you do not confess your sin, God may do some pretty terrible things because he wants you to be Holy.
I later asked this person why they chose these two examples to demonstrate the principle of Holiness to children.  The response was "You can't ignore parts of the Bible. God hates sin and there are consequences to sin.  Children need to know this."
I was, and still am, dumbfounded.  I made a fumbling attempt to talk about taking stories out of context and the need to look at the larger picture but the response was "I just teach what God tells me to."

Any comments?

Richard

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« Reply #4 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 08:58:45 »



Offline spurly

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« Reply #5 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 09:49:49 »
I guess my thought would be that holiness is a lot more than just avoiding sin.  One can avoid sin, and not be anything close to holy because they never all God's power to infiltrate their life.

And the opposite is true as well.  One can do things to imitate Christ on the outside, without the transforming power of God on the inside, and that person is no closer to holiness than the person I mentioned above.  As a matter of fact, the person who makes the mistake of imitating Christ instead of allowing the Christ who lives in them to change and transform us into his image is pretty bad off.

Holiness is remaining in Christ and allowing him to prune us and transform us daily into a purer reflection of the Father.  Holiness is allowing Christ, who lives in me, to show me the flaws of my fallen nature and work through me to overcome those flaws.

Holiness is striving for Christlikeness, not on our own, but through the power of remaining in Christ.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

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« Reply #5 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 09:49:49 »

Offline seekr

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« Reply #6 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 10:23:29 »
I find this quite horrifying to create fear in children to come to God. Although, that, a lot of times are the tactics of some of the churches. Manipulation does not bring someone to God, only love does that.

I was, for a few years, raised Mormon, and they created some of that same fear in me. When I was baptized by them, at age 10, i was told my sins were washed away and not to sin anymore. The first time i did something wrong, I thought that was it for me, so nothing else mattered. I bore that burden until I heard the "good news" at 19, that I could be forgiven everyday and my sins were not counted against me. What joy! I'd been shown a graceful God.

I pray that man will lay down his own burdens and fears at the feet of Jesus and realize that all our striving can never attain to holiness. Holiness is not what any of us do, but what Christ did and what he does in us. "Not of ourselves..."

Maurine

Offline Bill

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« Reply #7 on: Tue Dec 17, 2002 - 10:54:54 »
Seems to me tha Jesus covered these sort of things when He talked with the Pharisees in Matt. 23.  If we look at how Jesus dealt with people, I think we will find that did it in love rather than trying to instill fear.  At least that is how I understand the Gospels.  Jesus was and is Holiness, learn from Him.

It could be that the man teaching the children is in need of Jesus because he is acting like a Pharisee which is very easy to do and many of us fall into that trap now and then.

Bill

Offline Bill

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« Reply #8 on: Fri Dec 20, 2002 - 21:35:50 »
Janine, I agree with your thooughts if fear means what you state.  Hoever, as I read the initial post the man wanted the children to be afraid which is quite different then your 2nd paragraph.  Here's a thought from Ron Carlson in his article on the home page: "The beauty of the Christmas message reminds us that hope supplants fear and that when we trust in God and not in ourselves, we can know true peace, joy, and happiness."

I don't find Jesus trying to frighten us so I think we should get rid of that kind of fear.  I also heard it said: " All fear comes from not knowing God."  A relationship with God helps drive out fear.

Bill

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« Reply #8 on: Fri Dec 20, 2002 - 21:35:50 »

Offline ranger

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« Reply #9 on: Fri Dec 20, 2002 - 22:13:39 »
Richard,

You post brought up a memory from several years ago.  I sat in on one of my son's Bible classes and the Akin story was taught.   It was evident that the teacher had some anxiety about scaring the children (first graders!), and basically ended with "God decides what's best even if we don't understand it."  I was still a little unsettled.  I responded by talking with my son later and get his impression.  If I remember correctly, he was more concerned that the little boy next to him kept poking his arm....(Boys!  Is "testostrone poisoning" a legitimate diagnosis?)

Offline James Rondon

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« Reply #10 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 03:42:25 »
Great point OD!

As Paul also so aptly stated in his letter to the Philippians:
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Php. 2:12-13).[/quote]

James Rondon

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isa. 64:6)

Offline janine

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« Reply #11 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 06:30:42 »
Everone has made excellent, excellent points, I'm not disagreeing with you!

But.... do you think maybe Jesus might have included in his teaching arsenal just a leetle bit of "holy fear"? (Matthew 24:45-51, and 23:1-36, esp. 14-15, 33.)  I hope the thought of such an impassioned speech aimed at us, since we, too, have been guilty of sin, would make us quiver a bit when we consider what would have been our lot without Him.

Offline Richard

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« Reply #12 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 13:11:59 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (Bill @ Dec. 21 2002,09:12)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Great thoughts, OldDad.  Thanks.

Janine, you are right, those without God should be afraid.  Those with Him need not be afraid.  Seems to me, that is what Matthew was trying to tell us.

Bill[/quote]
Amen!

Richard

Offline admin

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« Reply #13 on: Tue Dec 24, 2002 - 09:51:48 »
As many of you know, I am attending a Nazarene College right now as a religion major.

One thing unusual about the Nazarenes is their emphasis on holiness in the Christian life. I have been very fascinated by this teaching. In addition to demanding accountability of each other, they teach that Jesus expected us to persue a relationship with the Holy Spirit such that we "walk in the light" and do not sin. It's called the "Doctrine of Holiness."

I couldn't do the theology justice, but it still fascinates me. Hopefully I will be taking a class on it soon and can fill some of you in......if you are interested. :D

-Lee

Offline charlie

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« Reply #14 on: Mon Dec 16, 2002 - 09:04:42 »
be the good cop. And get others to help you out.

Offline Richard

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« Reply #15 on: Tue Dec 17, 2002 - 10:33:02 »
My thanks to all of you!
I was feeling a bit dejected and you have helped lift my spirits.

Maurine, your comment was particularly helpful.  I believe the person in question, and several others in my church, are carrying around a huge burden of fear and guilt.  They need to hear, again, the good news - Christ has set us free and made us Holy because of His righteousness.  All we have to do is accept the gift, lay down our burden, and be free.

Thanks again,

Richard

Offline OldDad

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« Reply #16 on: Fri Dec 20, 2002 - 23:44:43 »
Hi dear ones,

Holiness has more to do with what God is doing in us than what we are trying do ourselves.  His work in us hinges more on our receptivity than our activity.

Paul adressed the book of Ephesians to "the saints at Ephesus".  The Greek word that we translate as ‚Äúsaint

Offline Bill

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« Reply #17 on: Sat Dec 21, 2002 - 09:12:08 »
Great thoughts, OldDad.  Thanks.

Janine, you are right, those without God should be afraid.  Those with Him need not be afraid.  Seems to me, that is what Matthew was trying to tell us.

Bill

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« Reply #18 on: Tue Dec 24, 2002 - 14:36:33 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (Bill @ Dec. 21 2002,09:12)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Great thoughts, OldDad.  Thanks.

Janine, you are right, those without God should be afraid.  Those with Him need not be afraid.  Seems to me, that is what Matthew was trying to tell us.

Bill[/quote]
Need not be afraid?  Care to expand on that?

Offline Bill

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« Reply #19 on: Tue Dec 24, 2002 - 17:41:45 »
Maybe another way to say it would be that those who are in Christ need not be afraid of God.  God the Father sees us as sinless because of His Son's shed blood.  Christ is our mediator and He paid the price so we need not fear God.

If this doesn't get at what you were asking Sylvia, please ask again.

Bill