The Bible is a holy book inspired by the Holy Spirit, to instruct God’s people in answering the call of a holy God to be a holy people. “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15). The message of heart holiness is a defining theme of the Wesleyan tradition. From the platforms of its earliest camp meetings to the classrooms of its most recent church plants, the message has been and always must be a message of heart purity and Spirit-filled living.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other [people] walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. – Ephesians 4:17-5:11
Doesn’t sound to me like we have been given permission to “Sin daily in thought, word, and deed” “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15)
When I was growing up I found it hard to imagine how anyone would actually choose to say “No” to God. I’ve always understood, with the exception of a brief period during my early adult years, that God gave each one of us the ability to either accept or reject His offer of salvation. Some folk question how there could be so much evil in the world because they don’t actually understand the free will thing. God gave us the ability to choose to obey Him or to disobey Him and He will not violate our will. When things go wrong don’t blame God. Don’t blame God for the fact that there is so much evil in the world. The truly incredible thing is that with men’s tendency toward evil that there is a much good in this world as there is.
In order to obtain the deeper Christian faith one must do his part in faith and request the purification and empowerment via the Spirit of God.
Consecration is both human and divine. In the strictest sense God cannot consecrate a man. Man must do this for himself. That in no way suggests that God has no part in this as some charge; God can call, urge, and insist but He has set it so that man must present himself to God and thereby his own consecration, like his salvation is voluntary.
Paul prayed that the very God of peace might sanctify us wholly. He also says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might . . . cleanse it.” It is evident from this statement that God Himself is the Sanctifier. This consecration is divinely accepted, the heart is cleansed from all unrighteousness, and man is enabled by the circumcision of his heart to love God with his whole soul, mind, and strength. Man sanctifies himself through consecration. God sanctifies him by the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. In this the work is complete. Man’s part is accomplished through consecration, and God’s part is accomplished in purification. Man dedicates himself to the Lord and in answer to a living faith (this man) receives the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire by which his heart is purified and he is filled with the love of God. The refining fire is sent through his heart and the whole nature is purified. What a glorious work! What a marvelous accomplishment! Man lays himself in submission at the feet of God. His all is accepted, he is made a vessel meet for the Master’s use. What person could find fault with a perfect consecration? Who would dare state that there could be anything wrong in the consecration of every child of God to the Almighty? Who could find fault with cleansing for the human heart? – R. T. Williams, D.D.
This doctrine is the object of more criticism and ridicule than any other doctrine of the Bible except for one, namely, the deity of Jesus the Christ. If the enemy of our soul cannot stop/prevent us from believing in Jesus then his only hope to keep us from becoming and being effective and energized and affective followers of The Christ is found in keeping us from being completely consecrated.
There is little opposition to the positive side of holiness. There is some, however. All would like to have perfect love, greater power, more joy, or some other outstanding attraction, but few, seemingly, are willing to die to self and to sin. The multitudes that followed Jesus The Christ were happy and contented as long as they could continue to hold what they had and get something more. But one day the Master began to make demands upon them stating that they must deny themselves in order to follow Him.
The deeper faith walk of consecration goes even deeper than contradiction of wrong habit or evil conduct. It strikes not only at our customs and our ideals, but it goes to the very seat of wrong affections. It demands death to wrong affection. It calls for the death not only to sinful acts, but sinful desires, sinful appetites and sinful affections. It goes to the heart of human character to destroy the works of the devil. So there it is, the great battleground of hearts and lives; if we are to die to all that is displeasing to God and our innermost being is to be made pure as He commands and our whole life submitted to Him, then it is necessary for us to do the thing that is uncomfortable and against the Adamic nature. Walk blameless before God. It can be done because God is the One who enables us to do so.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: – Hebrews 12:14
Sermon on the Mount – “Blessed are the pure in heart for they ____________” That’s Jesus, folks, that is Jesus saying that.
Don’t know how? Request from the Holy Spirit this special cleansing and empowering. Begin preparing and pursuing. We live in a microwave oven world but this is a “slow-cooker” faith walk.
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15)
Without holiness you cannot please God. It is a sin-sick soul that seeks salvation and a sick of sin soul that seeks the deeper faith of completely consecrated Christianity.
The above is a excerpt from my forthcoming book “Deeper Faith.”
–Pastor Ward Clinton