If you had the choice to drink from a cup that was dirty on the inside or one that was dirty on the outside, which would you choose? Would the Almighty not do the same? Which type cup are you? Where are you clean?
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:22-25
The old man, or old self, is still with us after we become born again and must be subdued daily. As we read in the passage above, our old self is “deceitful” and, true to its’ character, wants to pass itself off as something that it is not. Our deceitful hearts desire that we project a facade that is not reality. Feigned, or artificial, holiness is not of God. It is a farce because holiness is first and foremost a divine attribute and then, as it involves saved men, it is a state of the heart.
It’s concerning that some who preach their religious brand of “holiness” say little or nothing about the scores of Scripture pertaining to God’s mercy, saving grace, restoration, and desire to bring healing, wholeness, and forgiveness.
In contrasting true and artificial holiness, Oswald Chambers writes:
“There is an advocacy of holiness that was never born at Calvary; it is the resuscitation of the Pharisaic spirit, dressed in the garb of Pentecost-an insufferable superiority. The Spirit of God must have a deep indignation at the preaching of holiness that is not the holiness of Jesus. The holiness of Jesus is the most humble thing on earth.” Oswald Chambers, He Shall Glorify Me, p. 30
The holiness of Jesus is best defined in the whole of what He did and what He said. The simple fact that He most severely lambasted those who were filthy-hearted outer-cup-cleaners dressed in religious costumes, makes it clear that “true holiness” or holiness Jesus style, is in diametrical opposition to the fake holiness of pharisees both past and present.
Speaking of a false holiness, was not this the fruit of the hell-bound Pharisees? ( Matthew 23) They outwardly projected themselves to be something they were not. They were masters of hypocrisy.
No man can be holy as God is holy outside of the crucifying work of the divine Person of the Holy Ghost! He is the enabler and as we participate in the daily cross Jesus calls us to take up, the Holy Spirit is going to bring about that holiness that pleases God. Memorize Romans 8:13-14. You will never be the same!
One sister notes:
“I know many “modestly” dressed plain dowdy looking women who are EVIL at heart and are full of adultery, fornication, and the Jezebel spirit.”
Amen! Amen! The Bible tells us that “The LORD looketh on the HEART” and that all sins come from the un-sanctified hearts of men. God memorize and study 1 Sam. 16:7 and Mark 7:20-23. Oh, and what did Jesus say of the religious posers of His day and how they cleaned the OUTSIDE of the cup but left the INSIDE filthy (Matt. 23). Some seek to impose their own measures on others, ever notice that? God always starts HIS work from the inside – out.
“Rend your HEART and not your garments (outward)!” Joel 2:13
According to Jesus, both past and modern pharisees always over emphasize the outward. We ourselves must beware of such.
In my early years of being saved, my attitude was one of upholding some supposed state of spirituality or holiness. Yet, the more the LORD does His work in my heart, establishing it in His grace, the more I am blessed to rely fully on Him and less on my feeble self (2 Cor. 12:9-10; Heb. 13:9). I have come to realize that I am truly only a branch. Jesus is the living vine. By myself, I can do nothing and am good for nothing but to be picked up off the ground and burned. Why? If I am lying on the ground, I am dead. However, if I remain, or abide, in the vine, then I receive the rich nourishment that I need daily if I am to bear good, more and much fruit. It is the vine that does the work. My job is to abide (John 15).
The sin-bent flesh will never subside until we are with Him, and we will be only if we endure to the end (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 12:14-16; Revelation 21:8, 27, etc.). The moral coward espouse the unfounded myth of “once saved always saved” in order to evade having to truly give his life to Christ. He is classified by Jesus as “the fearful” and is the first class of sinner listed that will have his part in the very lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). The flesh must be mortified/crucified daily or it will rule and reign in place of Christ (Luke 9:23-24; Rom. 6-7; 8:13-14; Gal. 2:20; 5:24). In order to do this, we must perpetually possess an attitude of need and dependence upon the LORD. Becoming independent of God was the temptation that drew away the first man and woman in the Garden. All souls belong to Him who made all souls and therefore, in reality, no one is independent of Him (Ezek. 18:4). Every soul is dependent upon our Maker for life and every soul will return to Him in judgment (Eccl. 12:7; Acts 17:25).
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:4
No sin nature?
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But IF ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:17-18
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” James 4:1
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” Ephesians 4:22
What did Paul say he had to “keep under”? (1 Cor. 9:27)
A sinless state is attainable in the flesh by the Spirit but not by the flesh (Gal 3:3; Zech 4:6; Rom 8:13-14).
Jesus spoke of a false holiness which is despised by Him. Here’s a taste of His lambast of the religionists of His day:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:25-28
Adding to God’s Word: Going beyond the bounds of what Holy Scripture clearly states on any subject is sinful adding to God’s Word.
The pharisees of Christ’s day and those today feign outwardly to be holy yet are actually wicked in the holy eyes of God who sees the hearts of men.
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23
Someone has noted:
“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.”
There’s no shortcut or replacement for sheer obedience, born out of love for God and faith in Him. Someone has stated:
“Obedience means marching right on whether we feel like it or not. Many times we go against our feelings. Faith is one thing, feeling is another.”
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