Heart Talk on Holiness – PT.4

Heart Talk on Holiness – PT.4

Editor’s Note: Holiness is the result of a relationship with someone who is holy. As we draw close to the One who is holy, we start acting holier.

Other things being equal, the holy man is less liable to afflictions than the sinner. He does not run into the same excesses that the sinner does; he is free from the pride, the temper, the jealousies, the vaulting ambitions, and selfishness, that plunge so many sinners into terrible affliction and ruin; and yet he must not presume that he will get through the world without heavy trials, sore temptations and afflictions. Job was a perfect man, but he lost all his property and his children, and, in a day was made a childless pauper; but he proved his perfection by giving God glory. Then when his wife bade him curse God and die, he said unto her, ‘Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ (Job ii. 10). And when his three friends were undermining his faith, he looked up from off his ash heap, and out of his awful sorrow and desolation, and fierce pain, and cried out, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him ‘ (Job x iii. 15).

Joseph is one of the few men in the Bible against whom nothing is recorded, but like Daniel his very holiness and righteousness led to the terrible trials he endured in Egypt. And so it may be, and is, with the saints to-day. But while we may be afflicted, yet we can comfort ourselves with David’s assurance, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all’ (Ps. xxxiv. 19). A friend of mine said he would rather have a thousand afflictions and be delivered out of them all, than to have half a dozen and get stuck in the midst of them.

  1. Holiness is not a state in which there is no further development. When the heart is purified it develops more rapidly than ever before. Spiritual development comes through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the heart, and the holy soul is in a condition to receive such revelations constantly, and since the finite can never exhaust the infinite, these revelations will continue forever and prove an increasing and never-ending source of development. It would be as wise to say that a child afflicted with rickets would grow no more when its blood was purified; or that corn would grow no more when the weeds were destroyed, as to say that a soul will cease to grow in grace when it is made holy.
  2. Holiness is not a state from which we cannot fall. Paul tells us that we stand by faith (Rom. xi. 16-22), and he says, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall’ (I Cor. x. 12). It is an unscriptural and dangerous doctrine that there is any state of grace in this world from which we cannot fall. Probation does not end the moment we believe on Jesus, but rather the moment we quit the body. It is only those who endure to the end who shall be saved. While here, we are in the enemy’s country, and must watch and pray and daily examine ourselves, and keep ourselves in the love of God, lest we fall from His grace and make shipwreck of our faith. But while we may fall, thank God holiness is a state from which we need not fall, in fact it is a state which Paul calls, ‘this grace wherein we stand’ (Rom. V.2).

Some have asked the question, ‘How can a holy soul be tempted or how can it fall?’ I will ask the question, how could the angels fall? And how could Adam, just fresh from the hands of his Maker in whose image he was made, fall? And I will ask the more startling question still, how could Jesus, the blessed incarnate himself be tempted? We have our five senses and various bodily appetites, none of which are in themselves sinful, but each of which may become an avenue by which the holy soul may be solicited to evil. Each must be regulated by the word of God and dominated by the love of Jesus, if we wish to keep a holy heart, and ‘stand perfect and complete in all the will of God’ (Col. iv. 12).

Finally holiness is a state of conformity to the divine nature. God is love and there is a sense in which a holy man can be said to be love. He is like God, not in God’s natural perfection of power and wisdom and knowledge and omnipresence, but in patience, humility, self-control, purity of heart and love. As the drop out of the ocean is like the ocean not in its bigness but in it’s essence so is the holy soul like God. As the branch is like the vine, not in its self-sufficiency, but in its nature its sap, it’s fruitfulness, its beauty, so is he that is holy like God.

This is unspeakable blessing is provided for us by our compassionate Heavenly Father through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and is received through a complete renunciation of all sin, an uttermost consecration to all the known will of God, importunate prayer, and child-like faith. Fifteen years ago I obtained this crowning blessing of the gospel through the conscious incoming of the Holy Spirit when I believed, after weeks of earnest seeking. Bless God! He still abides with me and my peace and joy increase and abound. Many have been my afflictions, and fierce and perplexing and prolonged have been my temptations, but with a daredevil faith I have pressed on, claiming victory through the Blood, testifying to what I claimed by faith, and proving day by day this grace to be sufficient while the path shines more and more unto the perfect day. Glory be to God forever!

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