A Call To The Remnant

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The Danger of your Holiness

Posted by appolus on July 19, 2009

Men are so determined to do it themselves that when a man is saved, that is not the end. He now has to be broken, he has to know that everyone of his efforts will lead to nothing but defeat. It may take one year, it may take fifty years, but every genuine follower of Christ will be broken and when the brokenness comes and total surrender comes, then, and only then do they realize that it is all God and none of them. We are the recipients of mercy and grace, not of wages.
Gal 2:4  But because of those false brothers stealing in, who stole in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus; they desiring to enslave us; Gal 2:5  to whom not even for an hour did we yield in subjection, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you not to obey the truth, to whom before your eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified? Gal 3:2  This only I would learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Gal 3:3  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, do you now perfect yourself in the flesh?
Holiness, Righteousness, Justification, sanctification. Beautiful words, theological terms. Each word meaning something different to many people. Whatever any of these words actually mean, the definition will never contradict Holy Scriptures, and while many of us have differing opinions on what they mean, we can all agree that if our definition violated a clear unambiguous Biblical teaching, then we would have to stand corrected. As you read this, I would like you to ask yourself this question, are you infallible? Have you arrived at a place where you have complete understanding of the Scriptures? Is it possible that you are still on the journey of discovery? Is there one more thing than you may not know about any of these subjects? Are you open to others who may disagree with your interpretation?
Whatever our positions on these subjects , I think we can all agree that the Apostle Paul was passionate, extremely passionate for the Gospel, for the mystery that was revealed to him. And when he comes upon Peter playing the hypocrite, not even for an hour could he let it stand. His passion was such that he rebuked him publicly. This is not to be underestimated, for who is Paul in comparison to Peter at this time? A not very well accepted former persecutor of the church. And who was Peter, was he not a founding member of the church on the way? And the men who came down from Jerusalem, the Judaisers, the legalists, were they not important men? How audacious of Paul, how brash, how brazen of him to publicly rebuke Peter. Could he not have taken him aside, was not Peter an elder? Should he not have been afforded the respect of Paul that rather than rebuke him publicly, should he not have taken him aside? What was this incredible passion that motivated Paul to act in such a way? What was being violated that Paul took such drastic action against one of the foremost Apostles of the living God. Freedom itself was on the line for the Son of God had come to set us free, He delivered us from the bondage of the Law and here were men seeking to re-establish the Law in the lives of men and Paul was horrified. Paul does not hold back, he states it in the clearest possible terms. He calls the men from Jerusalem “false brothers.” He says that these men had come to spy on their liberty and sought to rob them of it and enslave them. Can I suggest that this is the strongest of charges from Paul, he was holding nothing back, not even for an hour. He risked everything by calling out the legalists, who sought to ensnare the recently freed people. So, we see two groups of people in the eyes of Paul. One group were free men, the other were still under bondage, enslaved. And not only were they still enslaved, they sought to enslave those who had found freedom, and they did it all in the name of God.

Now, can we see this today? What is the real danger to genuine Christians? Does the enemy of our souls not still seek to enslave us? From him who is the most chained entity, does he not seek, at his most basic level, to enslave the free? For those who are already enslaved require little attention from the enemy, he has them where he wants them. No, its the free men that he is after. And how does the father of all lies, the chief deceiver, go about his business? He does it with a mastery that has no equal. Now, would the father of lies, attempt to rob the freemen by convincing them that they could live any old way that they want? Would that be an effective strategy against the genuine man of God? The old heresy of antinomianism, a flagrant dis-regard for God’s commands, can that really be effective for those who genuinely know Him? Can I suggest that this scheme is only effective for keeping false professors, false professors. Those who genuinely know Jesus could never live such a life, never. This would be enmity to the Spirit of God that burns in their hearts. Ironically they will be accused, by the accuser of the brothers, by the enslaver, that they are teaching that they have a license to sin. And Paul’s response to that charge from the enemy is good enough to repeat “God forbid.” All who genuinely know Jesus have a heart to do what is right and ever want to please their heavenly Father. “Ah ha ,” says the enemy, this is how I will enslave them. I will convince them that they have to establish their own righteousness, their own Justification, their own sanctification. I will keep their eyes on their sins, as it was under the Old Covenant, and this will keep their eyes off Jesus, the one who alone delivers men from their sins.

So, if the enslaver desires to enslave and rob the children of God of their freedom, how does he go about this, how would his emissary’s put this operation into practice. Well, it has to be subtle. And, since Satan is the father of lies and is a deceiver, and has been from the beginning, he will use deception. As a personal example, I have no artistic ability. I can draw stick men and that’s about it. If I were to try and forge a $10 note, the results would be comical. Now, if a master forger tries to do the same thing, then we have a very serious situation. For the closer the forgery is to the genuine bill, then the greater the danger is. If these bills are passed of as genuine, it undermines the whole currency. That is why every government around the world pays such close attention to this issue. As it is with the forgery of currency, so it is with the counterfeiting of the message of freedom. The false message has to very closely align itself with the true message, the closer it can do this, then the greater the effectiveness and damage to the genuine.

Given that truth, it is possible that two men can preach almost the exact same message on Righteousness, one will enslave, the other will liberate. And not liberate to walk in a flagrant dis-regard of God’s commands, which is the straw man argument of the enslaver, but liberate to walk in the beauty and the holiness of God.

Joh 8:36  Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
Rom 6:18  Then being made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness.
Rom 6:22  But now, being made free from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not again be held with the yoke of bondage.
1Pe 2:15  For such is the will of God, doing good to silence the ignorance of foolish men;
1Pe 2:16  as free, and not having freedom as a cover of evil, but as servants of God.
What is this body of death that the Apostle Paul talked about? These words are found in Paul’s impassioned argument on the reign of the law, which dooms the unregenerate man to continuous disappointment and convinces him of the terrible power of indwelling sin. In ancient times, in some cases, if one committed murder, the actual dead corpse was chained to the guilty one. This was a torture that led to a horrendous death. Can you imagine, chained to a rotting corpse? And yet, this is perfect imagery for the Holy Spirit to use. If the old man is dead, and if we are forgiven, justified before the throne of Grace, then we walk in freedom, freedom from the curse of the Law. If we do not reckon the old man to be dead then we carry him with us, he is chained to us, even although he is dead and the putrid smell of the rotting corpse of the dead man will gets worse and worse. It will take enormous self-effort to drag this corpse around. It is a very sad thing to see with your spiritual eyes, men dragging corpses around with them. It is one thing to have a dead body chained to you, it is quite another to voluntarily drag a corpse around with you when the Son of God Himself has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Men are so determined to do it themselves that when a man is saved, that is not the end. He now has to be broken, he has to know that everyone of his efforts will lead to nothing but defeat. It may take one year, it may take fifty years, but every genuine follower of Christ will be broken and when the brokenness comes and total surrender comes, then, and only then do they realize that it is all God and none of them. We are the recipients of mercy and grace, not of wages. And the irony of course is that the man who discovers this, who simply kneels at the feet of Jesus, is the man who is who is transformed and changed daily into the image of Christ. Its not by might, nor by power, nor is it by our striving nor is it by our efforts, its by our brokenness and its by our surrender and it is by nothing else. This is the righteous man, this is the Holy man….God’s righteousness….God’s Holiness……God’s work, its all His work and it is His good pleasure to do it.

So one man preaches the message of righteousness from a prison cell, the other preaches the message of righteousness from freedom. One preaches from “Oh wretched man that I am,” the other preaches from “There is therefore now no condemnation.” One will enslave the other will liberate. One is focused on sin and condemnation, the other is focused on Jesus. One accuses others of having a license to sin, the other speaks of Jesus. One tells others how bad they are, the other speaks of Jesus. One tells others how Holy he is , the other tells people how Holy Jesus is. One tells people how much he has suffered, the other tells people how much his Jesus suffered. One tells people about the outward appearance, the other tells people that Jesus looks at the inner man. One preaches the sermon of righteousness with the human power of guilt, the other speaks of Christ’s righteousness and the Spirit of conviction works. One judges all according to his own standard, the other says “look to Jesus.” One tells people to cast their eyes upon their sin, the other tells people to cast their eyes upon Jesus. One proclaims himself a prophet, the other says he is simply a voice crying in the wilderness. One stands and proclaims “God, I thank you that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers or even like this tax collector, I fast twice on the Sabbath and I tithe all that I possess, the other thanks God for His mercy and bows his head low and considers others more highly than he considers himself. One thought himself righteous because of his actions, because of his works, the other knew that he stood justified before God because of Jesus. One cries “who will deliver me from this body of death?” the other cries “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”

8 Responses to “The Danger of your Holiness”

  1. David said

    This article is being discussed at length over here: http://www.christian-forum.net/index.php?showtopic=31062

    It seems like some folks just don’t understand the difference between legalism and good works. One person is saying “by faithfulness you are saved through grace” making works being apart of salvation, another is saying you are justified by faith and by faith alone and not by works. I know that someday, this sort of arguing will end, when Christ is truly glorified in us.

    • appolus said

      Hi David….If you remember, in John chapter 8 when the Lord tells the “believing Jews,” …Joh 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ” Now, this offended these “believers,” so much that before that chapter was over, the stones that the self-righteous Pharisees had laid down, were picked up by the “believers,” and they would have killed Jesus because He had the audacity to suggest that they were yet slaves. The slaves hate the free men. You will not convince the religious David. They will end up stonimg you because your very presence, your very frredom, highlights their bondage………..Frank

      • David said

        Thanks brother,

        Legalism is a topic that has been truly breaking my heart lately, it truly has.

        Holiness becomes you…

        God truly wants the repentance of man, for man to make a volitional choice for Him…to openly repent before Him and to follow Him, to Call upon Him…

        He wants good works towards Him based on a loving personal relationship from the heart, and not on good works based on a reliance of oneself… or in ones’ ability to live holy by following a given set of rules – and yes there is a difference.

        Yes, there are moral rules and guidelines to follow and understand, but they are only to instruct me in the ways of righteousness and holiness as I seek Him inwardly, and personally and they teach me of the nature of Jesus.

        The scriptures give me an understanding of the nature of Him who has called me out of this world to be His son, to a new life in Him which is hidden in Christ Jesus – the Holy Spirit bears witness to this truth.

        His good works in me (holiness) comes, not based on my own understanding of what true holiness is, but rather based on the inner workings of the Holy Spirit in my life since I accepted Him, and it is in my yielding to Him in all things in obedience, and not on my adherence to or on reliance of myself to seek His favour by doing good works (what I perceive as holiness). It’s not what I can do, it’s what He does and can do through me.

        Because I love Him in the very pit of my soul, and am truly born of Him, I will seek out those things that always please Him, I will hate the things that He hates, and I will love the things that He loves…if only that I may have just one moment, just one moment in time that I may truly glorify Him in this earthly body…and this I will do as His Holy Spirit who is within me permits, and teaches me all things.

        Does this mean that I will never make a mistake and never sin again? …no it does not. I hope that I never sin again, but if I do, I know I have an advocate with the Father who is Jesus Christ the righteous. I know that if I acknowledge my sins before God, that He is faithful and just to forgive me and to cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness. And I dare say to anyone that I need to have works in order to be forgiven, nothing but the precious blood of the Lamb can erase sins.

        The bible teaches me that: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
        2 Corinthians 5:17

        For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. Galatians 6:15

        Hence and therefore my salvation is not based upon me believing that my good works toward Him (personal holiness) will save me (or even merit me any favor at all), but rather on a TOTAL surrender of my life to Him, and upon a reliance on Him for my holiness and righteousness, that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the very day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

        I just need only to yield to Him, I just need only to yield to Him and say yes Lord Jesus, yes Lord…have your way in me and be glorified in me, let me be obedient to you through your Holy Spirit.

        And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13

        Repentance is a rocky road best travelled in the day, when there is light, lest darkness comes, and I stumble in the dark…that is to say the Spirit of God will not always strive with man. I will therefore humble myself before the God of heaven and pray, who has called me…to walk this road of repentance..that leads to eternal life.


        an article

        Legalism is like a disease. It is both highly contagious and deadly. It can go undetected and show no fatal symptoms for a long period of time. In the end, however, it always pays its toll. I’ve never heard anyone stand up and boldly proclaim, “I’m a legalist!” If someone realized they were bound by legalism they would surely put an end to it. Unfortunately legalism is very blinding. It’s easier for a sinner to realize he is a sinner than for a legalist to realize he is a legalist. As long as we can’t identify what legalism is, it can keep us in its bondage.

        Legalism is oftentimes very hard to recognize and can be hard to distinguish from true holiness. This is because the actions of the legalist, and the actions of someone who possesses true holiness are generally the same. The difference is the motive of the heart. One’s motivation is to save themselves, or keep themselves saved, while the other’s motivation is to please the One who died for them…


  2. appolus said

    David, you and I are kindred spirits. Have you considered the lateness of the hour? The legalists will only increase in their anger and distrust of you. You will not convince them, Paul called them “false brothers.” Our time of persecution is almost at hand, the legalsits will be the ones that will hand us over, they know exactly who we are 🙂 Yet, in all things we walk in love and we trust our Lord Jesus to never leave us nor forsake us, not even in the desert that we will be driven into before He returns…………Frank

  3. Kory said

    Ah brothers well said. Very touchy subject.This is what got me…

    “The difference is the motive of the heart. One’s motivation is to save themselves, or keep themselves saved, while the other’s motivation is to please the One who died for them…”

    I could honestly say that it’s a combination for me in some ways. And I need to learn the motives of my own heart. I’ve only been saved for 4.5 years. I’ve never been member or an avid attender of a church. I was never brought up in a christian house hold. I picked up a bible for the first time(trying to read it) when I was 19 and I was regenerated then. I was very much apart of the sins of my generation – some very defiling sin. Which took some very hard devine discipline of such as the likes of what david described on his bed of suffering in psalms. But Romans 28 will always stand true…. My father loves me, and I wouldnt be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for the chastisement. Hebrews 12 reminds me of this. I have a deep loneliness inside brothers for fellowship. I never found it in any of the churches I attended. I knew that over a month ago God was telling me to get out of the church and to stop attending. It is spiritually dead. In fact they printed off on there church constitution that they no longer believed in gifts of the spirit such as healing and toungues… wow. It was a baptist church.

    In regards to true holiness… you can call me Jonah, because I didn’t want it, yet I couldn’t escape his love in turning all of the roads I tried to take away from him always brought me back to my knees. Then he showed me “I AM BLACK, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem” Song of songs 1:5. How black I was indeed, and how the rod left me nearly devoid of want of food. Now He is building me back up from the ground up… I’m much more aware now of pride, and the self love that has been promoted to my generation from media and the likes from growing up. If I will boast may I not boast in anything else but our Beloved Lord Jesus. Yet I find my mind not always agreeing with me on this subject.

    Another issue I have is being critical of myself… therefore I can be critical of others… this sin is killing me. I was given the gift of discernment, and with this gift requires one to walk hand in hand humbly with His Lord. There is nothing worse then having this gift and walking in the old man.. because you will pass judgement and not show the love of the Father. If you guys could pray for me in this area I would be very thankful.

    I’m sorry I went so random on this post not really staying on a subject. I just feel relived to be around fellow brothers in the Lord. I keep myself seperate from the world, because I’ve grieved everytime I try to enjoy myself with this world. And the more I find that I seperate myself from everything… the more i realize His love guiding me to do so.

    I really don’t believe any born again can stay a legalist for to long. I got on a sabbath kick for a while – until the Rod came back at me again. I think it’s normal for us to do things like this when we are babes. There are things I did 6 month ago to where it would be nearly impossible for me to go back to it. It would literally be like me trying to eat my own vomit. God is gracious, the wilderness is not fun, but that white cloud does go before me wherever I go. Grace be with you brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Crucified to the world

  4. appolus said

    Hi Kory, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your comments. You say that you have been a Christian for four and a half years? Congratulations. You have begun the journey and there is a plan mapped out for you, a road that you have been called to travel. Seek the Lord at all times, stay close to Him, obey His Word and the small still voice that leads and guides. Always love, always forgive, always seek to understand and you wont go far wrong. If your ernest desire is to follow Him, and you seek your pleasure and your joy from Him, then the things of this world will lose its flavor for you. All the things of God are not one time things, we must continued in our brokenness before the throne, continue to abide in Him daily, continue to stay in His word. You are right, no genuine Christian will stay in legalism, it will more than likely be a journey through Romans 7 that we may understand and appreciate Romans 8 and that we are totally dependent upon Him. God bless you brother. Find a mentor, find an older brother if you can that you can learn from…………Frank

  5. […] THE DANGER OF YOUR HOLINESS (Scottish Warriors) This post is a more thorough discussion about this most serious of spiritual conditions. […]

  6. Zee Kallah said

    I’m not that concerned about holiness. I just want to do what pleases him. If he wants to send me to hell, that’s his option.
    Scripture says, “Though I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there.” That’s all I need.

    Daily I pray, LORD, don’t let me sin against you today. Don’t let me hurt your feelings in any way. If an unclean thought crosses my mind, I call on his name and ask forgiveness.

    “Make me what you want me to be. Let me be a joy to you, my Creator.”

    I cannot make myself holy no matter how I try.

    If he wants me to be holy, let him make me holy. I just want to love on him.

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