Tag Archives: holy

Remain in Christ – Observing the New Covenant

In the Old Testament, when God chose Israel as His nation and set them apart from the pagan nations, He established with them His covenant with many laws and commands that was in contrast to those other nations. In the New Testament, He revealed Himself and His grace and mercy through the person of Jesus Christ, establishing His new covenant with the Jews and as well as with the Gentiles.

A covenant is defined as: an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified; a contract or agreement between two parties. Thus the Old Covenant required, of Israel, complete obedience to the Law in order for God to keep His part of being their God and sustaining them in their land. Whenever Israel adapted to the ways of the pagan, the Lord would sent His judgment upon them. The New Covenant of grace requires obedience to Christ through faith. (The Law is fulfilled in Christ as He was sinless and was completely obedient to it on behalf of the people as required by God.) So when one repents of their sins and believes in Christ and abides in Him, that person, through Christ, keeps the requirements of God:

And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 1John 2:28

Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. 1 John 3:6

In order to belong to Christ, one must abide in Him, and not merely ‘ask Jesus into their lives’ and continue to live as the pagans do.  

To ‘abide’ means to:
– to remain; continue; stay
– to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last. 
– to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.
– to accept without opposition or question  

– to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for.
– to act in accord with.
– to submit to; agree to  

– to remain steadfast or faithful; keep

So when we are in Christ, we are to:
– remain and continue in Him (not get carried away by the trends of the world)
– wait in Him, not try to have our way
– accept His Lordship over us
– suffer for being in Him; the world hates those who are His
– act in accordance to Him, obey Him
– remain steadfast and faithful to Him; that means set ourselves apart from the ungodly in every way.

Often Christians think they’re saved because they had once upon a time responded to an alter-call and said a “simple” prayer, and voila! They are saved. They continue in their old ways and the ways of the world with the false assurance of salvation. Or they think that as long as they do things for God, they can be whoever they want to be, and they will please Him. The New Covenant of grace also is between 2 parties; Christians are required to keep their part of the covenant and not to take the covenant of grace for granted!

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom 6:15-16

Dear saint, please examine yourself, whether you be in the faith; prove your own self. Don’t you know your own self, how that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are immoral? (2 Cor 13:5)
Are you conformed to the taste and fashion of the world because it’s too hard to let go? Are you giving a ‘Christian’ appearance to such things in order to justify yourself? Or are you abiding in Christ, remaining in Him?

Deceiving and being deceived by ignoring God’s divine wrath

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim 3:16)

By “all Scripture” the Apostle Paul meant the Old Testament as well as the New. God is the source of the Bible; this book is all about Him – His character, His attributes, His work, His sovereignty.
God knows that in the New Testament He is depicted as a loving Father who desires that no human should perish but should be saved from eternal condemnation unto eternal life, and be reconciled to Him. This is the aspect of God and His Gospel that Christians focus on all the time. When it comes to preaching, evangelizing, teaching, sharing, believing it all revolves around this unfathomable love of God. And it is because of this love that we have the liberty to experience His grace and mercy.

However, God also knows that in the OT He is depicted as a tyrant; unmerciful, unpleasant, unloving, hating, impatient, jealous, short-tempered, unjust towards the ungodly and the disobedient. Why did the authors in the OT portray such a loving and compassionate Creator in such horrid manner? The answer is this: all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God! They were led by the Spirit of the Lord to write all that they wrote about Him.

What people miss out on is that God’s wrath is holy! For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness(Rom 1:18). What Christians don’t understand is that God’s wrath is revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. They do not discern that the wickedness of people is the cause of God’s judgment upon them. The Lord, who knows the hearts and thoughts of all, knows that He is looked down upon as evil; yet He will not compromise His “self-image” to make Himself look “nice”, loving everyone just as they are. No! He wants people to know that He alone is God and that there is no other; and His holy way cannot be compromised to make a good name for Himself among mere humans and gain their favor. Why should the Creator care what the rebellious creation (such as Richard Dawkins) think of Him? Humans are like grass, like the flowers of the field; today they bloom, tomorrow they are no more (Psalm 103:15).

The Gospel message is incomplete when the impending judgment of God towards the ungodly and the unrighteous is ignored. And this incomplete Gospel is being believed in and preached today. No one wants to warn people about the fury of God on the ungodly because that would make Him sound mean and nasty and might turn off any “potential” believers. Is it any of our business when we make Jesus look mild and loving, begging people to accept His love? Shouldn’t we be begging people through our lifestyle and words to repent of their sinfulness because we have been given the knowledge of the wrath of God through the Bible? Why proclaim half the Gospel, which is half truth? And not just the unbelievers but also Christians focus on the humanistic love of God, that He loves them just as they are; that He is no longer the terrifying God of the OT after demonstrating His love through Christ.

God is from everlasting to everlasting: He does not morph Himself according to the times, ideologies and concepts of people. The terrifying God of 3000 BC years is the same in this 21st Century, and He is not ashamed when His true followers depict Him the way He has depicted Himself in the OT as well as the New. His wrath demonstrated some millennia ago will again be demonstrated with the return of His Son, only this time it will be far more intense!

God’s unfathomable holiness!

It’s only recently that I have come to the grips with the holiness of the Lord God (and by ‘grips’ I mean less than 0.1% of it since we can never fully know God!), and I’m awed by it day by day! Christians often miss out on this aspect of His, but it is this very attribute that defines His character and His other attributes: God’s love is holy; His wrath is holy; His ways are holy; His dwelling place is holy; His words are holy; His works are holy. GOD IS HOLY!

Now, the obvious question is, what is holiness? I tried looking up some definitions which sounded more humanistic than biblical; so I decided to dig into God’s Word itself to see what He says regarding His holiness:
The word “holy”  makes its first appearance in the book of Exodus, spoken by God Himself to Moses when he approached the burning bush: “And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” [Ex 3:5] In Leviticus , the book of commands and laws, God has oftentimes emphasised His holiness:

Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. Lev 19:2

…that they profane not My holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD. Lev 22:2

Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. Lev 22:3

A better way to explain holy is by defining the term hallow as these two go hand in hand.
Some definitions of hallow are: to consecrate, sanctify, hold as sacred, revere, hold in highest esteem.
Some synonyms: dedicate, make holy, honor, set apart, worship.

God’s holiness implies that He is: consecrated and sanctified (set apart) from all things created – man, gods, idols,  ideologies, etc; He cannot be equalled to anything that came into existence as He is ever-existing, the only Creator. And because He is the Creator (sanctified and set apart from the created) He is to be revered, to be held in highest esteem, to be set apart, to be honor and worshiped. When God gave the laws and commands to the nation of Israel through Moses, He always referred to the practises of the pagan nations as abominable; commanding His people to not exalt and worship that which these pagan nations exalted and worship. Their ways were not His ways; their’s were the ways of the world.

“And one (seraphim) cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Is 6:3

“…they (the heavenly creatures) rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:8-11

God created angels much before He created mankind. These angels are constantly in God’s presence, they see all His glory, all His power and all His majesty, yet they cannot stop crying out ‘holy holy holy’ day and night! It shakes me up! When the angels fear Him and cannot stop magnifying His holiness, how great is this holiness. GOD IS HOLY!

He is holy because He is sinless! No sinful thing can stand before Him. The best books to study God’s holiness are Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These books are often regarded by Christians as too legalistic, extreme and impossible to follow, yet all Scripture is given by inspiration of God [2Tim 3:16] and therefore must not be neglected. The reason I uphold these books of the law is because it unveils God’s absolute holiness! Yes, it is impossible for us to keep every single commandment and law, yet these are the requirements for man if He wants to commune with the holy God. The Lord’s primary intention was not to give His nation a hard time keeping up with Him, but rather He wants the world to know His holy standards, and that it is impossible for people to be holy on their own! In order to become acceptable in the sight of this holy God, people must die to sin and alive in Christ. It is only through Christ can a person be transformed into a new creation (no more a creation of this fallen world) and live upto the holiness that God demands by abiding in Christ.

As the title yells, God’s holiness is unfathomable! I have tried to give a glimpse of it but no one can fully grasp it until all eternity! Yet, what has been revealed in the Bible concerning His holiness is enough for His elect to know what God’s holiness is and to discern that living a worldly Christianity is blasphemous to Him; He commands His chosen to be holy (set apart, santified, sacred, hallowed from the world) as He is holy [1Pet 1:16].

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