Holiness: Is It Necessary for salvation?

Kokavkrystallos

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From I. C. Herendeen's (1883-1982) booklet chapters 1 & 2. (Reading my hard copy of this today after Sabbath service and just smitten with conviction. This is so right on target for today)

What Is Sanctification or Holiness?

It is very important that we know what sanctification or holiness really is. Arthur W. Pink defines it as follows: “Evangelical sanctification is holiness of heart that causes us to love God supremely, so as to yield ourselves wholly up to His constant service in all things, and to His disposal of us as our absolute Lord, whether it be for prosperity or adversity, for life or for death; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Evangelical holiness consists not only of external works of piety and charity, but of pure thoughts, impulses and affections of soul, and an absence of sinful lusts.”

Alexander Cruden says: “True holiness consists of a conformity to the nature and will of God, whereby a saint is distinguished from the unrenewed world, and is not actuated by their principles and precepts, nor governed by their maxims and customs.”

If and when we have been renewed by the Holy Spirit, there has been infused in us a longing and panting to be like Christ in all our ways. We will hate and shun every known sin, and strive to keep every known commandment of God. We will say with David, “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way” (Psa 119:128). With Paul, we will delight to obey the law of God “after the inward man” (Rom 7:22). We will want and endeavor to have the mind of Christ, and to be conformed to His image. We will be quick to think the best of, to bear with and forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. We will constantly strive to be humble and lowly, denying ourselves so as to be of help to others, meek and patient under trials, keeping ourselves separate from worldly people, religious or otherwise. We will, “come out from among them and be separate” as the Lord commands us. We will be meek, temperate and self-denying. We will be constrained by the love of Christ to abstain from all lying, evil specking, gossiping, dishonesty, swearing, and unfair dealing with our neighbors. We will endeavor to make our religion attractive to others by our outward manner of life. In other words, we will see to it that we are in reality what we profess to be; we will not consciously play the hypocrite. We will aim at all times and in all things to “do all to the glory of God” (1Co 10:31). In the light of this let me ask, Are you holy? Are you?


II. The Necessity of Holiness

This necessity arises from the fact that we have all been born in sin and “shapen in iniquity” (Psa 51:5) and hence have hearts that hate holiness. The Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees, that “men love darkness (sin) rather than light” (Christ).

In Hebrews 12:24 we read: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” Since it is quite possible that the reader does harbor the hope and expectation of seeing the Lord someday, this text utters a solemn warning: it brings before us a matter of the greatest importance: it reveals how vitally important it is that we “be holy” since the absence of holiness will bar us forever from the presence of the Lord. This being so, we would be well advised to give this subject our immediate and serious consideration, lest we should be without it, or think that we are holy when we are not. The very possibility of being mistaken as to our spiritual state should make us “fear and tremble,” and cause us to give ourselves no rest till we have sure proof from the Scriptures that we have this holiness. This divine fiat (that we be holy) concerns not only some but every one whoever he is or whatever he is. ALL must be “holy” or, we are warned, we will never “see the Lord.”

These same thoughts are emphasized again in Matthew 5:8 where the Lord Jesus tells us that only “the pure in heart shall see God.” From these scriptures we see that God will not call into intimate communion with Himself any who are corrupt or unholy, for Amos 3:3 asks “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” And again, “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” Or an unholy sinner with a holy God? Our God is “glorious in holiness” (Exo 15:11), and those whom he separates unto Himself must be holy, must be “made partakers of his holiness” (Heb 12:10), for our God is not a God that “hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with him” (Psa 5:4). If we would be saved and dwell eternally with God, we must be both reconciled to Him and sanctified in our inner man. This we cannot accomplish of ourselves by the mere profession of Christianity or the doing of a few good works, for these will not give us access to the Holy One. Unless we be “born of the Spirit” and washed in the precious blood of Christ and are holy, we shall never “see God.” Unless we are justified, regenerated and sanctified we do not have the life of God in us whatever profession we make, we are not true Christians in the sight of God, and will surely miss heaven at last. Do you say, “This is a hard saying, who can bear it?” We must remember that we will not be carried to heaven on flowery beds of ease. Christ, Himself, tells us we must “strive” if we are to “enter in at the strait gate.”

Alas with what mere forms of godliness, mere outward appearances and rituals so many are satisfied with. Faithful preaching of the Word seems to have no effect on them. Nothing will bring them to cry out like Job of old “Behold, I am vile...I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 40:4; 42:6). No, just as long as they keep themselves free from the grosser sins that are punishable among men, their conscience seems dead to all other things, they seem not to be at all troubled by the depravity and defilement of their nature, if indeed they are even aware of their depravity and defilement.

The Spirit of God has revealed to us through Proverbs 30:12 that “There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” From this we learn that this “generation” has never been cleansed by the Holy Spirit in spite of the good opinion they have of their own state; they think themselves to be pure whereas they are “filthy.” This was true of the Pharisees of Christ’s day who were constantly cleansing their hands and cups, engaged in an endless round of ceremonial washings, and all the time ignorant of the fact that “within they were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Mat 23:25, 27). It is sad to say that this is true of a multitude of churchgoers today. Perhaps they attend church services regularly, being orthodox in their views as far as they have any; thy give regularly and liberally to the church, but of the all-important matter of the state of their hearts before a holy God, their conscience seems entirely at ease, they are not at all concerned, for they are dead in their profession; having a name that they live but “art dead” (Rev 3:1). They are perfectly satisfied with a worthless, lifeless, fruitless, empty, false profession. All that matters with them is that they appear moral and upright before their fellowmen, and even some are unconcerned about that. They are totally unaware that God is not pleased with their outward performances unless the spirit of holiness sanctifies them. But we know that with such sacrifices God is not well-pleased unless the heart first be changed, so as to be brought into conformity with God’s nature and will. To be acceptable to God, all our activities must spring from a loving and delighting to do the will of God in a cheerful manner without refusing or repining against any duty as though it were a yoke grievous to be borne.

Take heed! Unless we are purged from the pollution of sin as well as cleared from the guilt of it, we will never be fit for communion with God. We read in Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it (the eternal dwelling place of God and His people) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie.” We see then that personal holiness is just as imperative for salvation as is the forgiveness of sin. Are we aware of this?

Walter Marshall, who wrote in 1629 said: “Many are prone to imagine nothing else to be meant by salvation but to be delivered from hell, and to enjoy heavenly happiness and glory.” Again, he said:

“God saveth us from our sinful uncleanness here by washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Ti 3:5) as well as from hell hereafter. Christ was called ‘Jesus’ (Saviour) because He saves His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Therefore deliverance from our sins is part of our salvation which is begun in this life by justification and sanctification, and perfected in glorification in the life to come. We conclude then that holiness in this life is absolutely necessary to salvation, not as the means to the end, but as part of the end itself...without holiness we shall never see God, and are as unfit for His glorious presence as swine for the presence-chamber of an earthly king.”

He goes on to say, “Great multitudes of ignorant people that live under the Gospel harden their hearts in sin and ruin their souls forever by trusting on Christ for such an imaginary salvation as consisteth not at all in holiness, but only in forgiveness of sin and deliverance from everlasting torments. They would be free from the punishments due to sin, but they love their lusts so well that they hate holiness and desire not to be saved from the service of sin...they do not sincerely desire true salvation if they do not desire to be made holy and righteous in their hearts and lives.”

So wrote this godly man some 250 years ago. Would that we had many like him today so faithfully preaching the Word. O that we may cry out earnestly unto the Lord to save us not only from “the everlasting burnings and the devouring fire” but from sin. If we do not so cry, then are we without any real desire for God’s salvation. Let us remember that where there is no practical deliverance from the service of sin in our daily lives, we are strangers to God’s saving grace. Do we realize this?

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timothyu

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Walter Marshall, who wrote in 1629 said: “Many are prone to imagine nothing else to be meant by salvation but to be delivered from hell, and to enjoy heavenly happiness and glory.”
Exactly... no concept of rejecting the will of man for the will of God.
 
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RandyPNW

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It is the choice for holiness that saves--not necessarily holiness itself When we choose holiness we choose what world we want to live in--with God in His holy presence. But men are basically weak, and capitulate to sin out of wayward compulsions rather than actual choice to reject God.

It is the ones who choose to be wayward out of hostility towards God and out of disdain for the things of God that will be rejected by God. They will be eternally judged out of their willful rejection of holiness and out of their willful embrace of self and lust.

Those who choose to follow God must show a rudimentary indication that they love holiness. If they truly choose for God it must be evident that they love His holy ways.
 
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Danthemailman

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'Without holiness, no-one will see The Lord'
I have heard certain folks over the years cite "without holiness no one will see the Lord" from Hebrews 12:14 and interpret that in such a way to imply that if you are not living a "holy enough" life (in addition to have placed your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation) then you will not see the Lord/will not be saved.

The NASB reads - Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14). Without justification, there is no sanctification. This is not about striving to obtain "enough" personal holiness (practically speaking) in order to merit salvation based on our performance/works.

In the very next verse (Hebrews 12:15) we read - See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God.. (NASB) The ESV reads - ..fails to obtain the grace of God. That puts things into perspective here.

Those who are sanctified have been "set apart" or "made holy" in standing before God positionally in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:11 - Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
 
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Hawkins

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Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

The New Covenant is basically an assessment of one's faith. Faith however without works is dead. It means if your faith is correct as assessed using the Covenant as the standard, you will strive for the likeness of Jesus Christ. This is what holiness is.
 
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fhansen

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From I. C. Herendeen's (1883-1982) booklet chapters 1 & 2. (Reading my hard copy of this today after Sabbath service and just smitten with conviction. This is so right on target for today)

What Is Sanctification or Holiness?

It is very important that we know what sanctification or holiness really is. Arthur W. Pink defines it as follows: “Evangelical sanctification is holiness of heart that causes us to love God supremely, so as to yield ourselves wholly up to His constant service in all things, and to His disposal of us as our absolute Lord, whether it be for prosperity or adversity, for life or for death; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Evangelical holiness consists not only of external works of piety and charity, but of pure thoughts, impulses and affections of soul, and an absence of sinful lusts.”

Alexander Cruden says: “True holiness consists of a conformity to the nature and will of God, whereby a saint is distinguished from the unrenewed world, and is not actuated by their principles and precepts, nor governed by their maxims and customs.”

If and when we have been renewed by the Holy Spirit, there has been infused in us a longing and panting to be like Christ in all our ways. We will hate and shun every known sin, and strive to keep every known commandment of God. We will say with David, “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way” (Psa 119:128). With Paul, we will delight to obey the law of God “after the inward man” (Rom 7:22). We will want and endeavor to have the mind of Christ, and to be conformed to His image. We will be quick to think the best of, to bear with and forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. We will constantly strive to be humble and lowly, denying ourselves so as to be of help to others, meek and patient under trials, keeping ourselves separate from worldly people, religious or otherwise. We will, “come out from among them and be separate” as the Lord commands us. We will be meek, temperate and self-denying. We will be constrained by the love of Christ to abstain from all lying, evil specking, gossiping, dishonesty, swearing, and unfair dealing with our neighbors. We will endeavor to make our religion attractive to others by our outward manner of life. In other words, we will see to it that we are in reality what we profess to be; we will not consciously play the hypocrite. We will aim at all times and in all things to “do all to the glory of God” (1Co 10:31). In the light of this let me ask, Are you holy? Are you?



II. The Necessity of Holiness

This necessity arises from the fact that we have all been born in sin and “shapen in iniquity” (Psa 51:5) and hence have hearts that hate holiness. The Lord Jesus told the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees, that “men love darkness (sin) rather than light” (Christ).

In Hebrews 12:24 we read: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” Since it is quite possible that the reader does harbor the hope and expectation of seeing the Lord someday, this text utters a solemn warning: it brings before us a matter of the greatest importance: it reveals how vitally important it is that we “be holy” since the absence of holiness will bar us forever from the presence of the Lord. This being so, we would be well advised to give this subject our immediate and serious consideration, lest we should be without it, or think that we are holy when we are not. The very possibility of being mistaken as to our spiritual state should make us “fear and tremble,” and cause us to give ourselves no rest till we have sure proof from the Scriptures that we have this holiness. This divine fiat (that we be holy) concerns not only some but every one whoever he is or whatever he is. ALL must be “holy” or, we are warned, we will never “see the Lord.”

These same thoughts are emphasized again in Matthew 5:8 where the Lord Jesus tells us that only “the pure in heart shall see God.” From these scriptures we see that God will not call into intimate communion with Himself any who are corrupt or unholy, for Amos 3:3 asks “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” And again, “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” Or an unholy sinner with a holy God? Our God is “glorious in holiness” (Exo 15:11), and those whom he separates unto Himself must be holy, must be “made partakers of his holiness” (Heb 12:10), for our God is not a God that “hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with him” (Psa 5:4). If we would be saved and dwell eternally with God, we must be both reconciled to Him and sanctified in our inner man. This we cannot accomplish of ourselves by the mere profession of Christianity or the doing of a few good works, for these will not give us access to the Holy One. Unless we be “born of the Spirit” and washed in the precious blood of Christ and are holy, we shall never “see God.” Unless we are justified, regenerated and sanctified we do not have the life of God in us whatever profession we make, we are not true Christians in the sight of God, and will surely miss heaven at last. Do you say, “This is a hard saying, who can bear it?” We must remember that we will not be carried to heaven on flowery beds of ease. Christ, Himself, tells us we must “strive” if we are to “enter in at the strait gate.”

Alas with what mere forms of godliness, mere outward appearances and rituals so many are satisfied with. Faithful preaching of the Word seems to have no effect on them. Nothing will bring them to cry out like Job of old “Behold, I am vile...I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 40:4; 42:6). No, just as long as they keep themselves free from the grosser sins that are punishable among men, their conscience seems dead to all other things, they seem not to be at all troubled by the depravity and defilement of their nature, if indeed they are even aware of their depravity and defilement.

The Spirit of God has revealed to us through Proverbs 30:12 that “There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” From this we learn that this “generation” has never been cleansed by the Holy Spirit in spite of the good opinion they have of their own state; they think themselves to be pure whereas they are “filthy.” This was true of the Pharisees of Christ’s day who were constantly cleansing their hands and cups, engaged in an endless round of ceremonial washings, and all the time ignorant of the fact that “within they were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Mat 23:25, 27). It is sad to say that this is true of a multitude of churchgoers today. Perhaps they attend church services regularly, being orthodox in their views as far as they have any; thy give regularly and liberally to the church, but of the all-important matter of the state of their hearts before a holy God, their conscience seems entirely at ease, they are not at all concerned, for they are dead in their profession; having a name that they live but “art dead” (Rev 3:1). They are perfectly satisfied with a worthless, lifeless, fruitless, empty, false profession. All that matters with them is that they appear moral and upright before their fellowmen, and even some are unconcerned about that. They are totally unaware that God is not pleased with their outward performances unless the spirit of holiness sanctifies them. But we know that with such sacrifices God is not well-pleased unless the heart first be changed, so as to be brought into conformity with God’s nature and will. To be acceptable to God, all our activities must spring from a loving and delighting to do the will of God in a cheerful manner without refusing or repining against any duty as though it were a yoke grievous to be borne.

Take heed! Unless we are purged from the pollution of sin as well as cleared from the guilt of it, we will never be fit for communion with God. We read in Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it (the eternal dwelling place of God and His people) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie.” We see then that personal holiness is just as imperative for salvation as is the forgiveness of sin. Are we aware of this?

Walter Marshall, who wrote in 1629 said: “Many are prone to imagine nothing else to be meant by salvation but to be delivered from hell, and to enjoy heavenly happiness and glory.” Again, he said:

“God saveth us from our sinful uncleanness here by washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Ti 3:5) as well as from hell hereafter. Christ was called ‘Jesus’ (Saviour) because He saves His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Therefore deliverance from our sins is part of our salvation which is begun in this life by justification and sanctification, and perfected in glorification in the life to come. We conclude then that holiness in this life is absolutely necessary to salvation, not as the means to the end, but as part of the end itself...without holiness we shall never see God, and are as unfit for His glorious presence as swine for the presence-chamber of an earthly king.”

He goes on to say, “Great multitudes of ignorant people that live under the Gospel harden their hearts in sin and ruin their souls forever by trusting on Christ for such an imaginary salvation as consisteth not at all in holiness, but only in forgiveness of sin and deliverance from everlasting torments. They would be free from the punishments due to sin, but they love their lusts so well that they hate holiness and desire not to be saved from the service of sin...they do not sincerely desire true salvation if they do not desire to be made holy and righteous in their hearts and lives.”

So wrote this godly man some 250 years ago. Would that we had many like him today so faithfully preaching the Word. O that we may cry out earnestly unto the Lord to save us not only from “the everlasting burnings and the devouring fire” but from sin. If we do not so cry, then are we without any real desire for God’s salvation. Let us remember that where there is no practical deliverance from the service of sin in our daily lives, we are strangers to God’s saving grace. Do we realize this?

Full message Chapel Library
It was never questioned in the history of the church that holiness/righteousness/justice was not a requirement for entering heaven , for seeing God. Never was it thought that the new covenant was some sort of reprieve from the obligation for man to be holy, but that it was the authentic means to finally acquiring that very thing, for attaining what man was made for by virtue of his coming into union with God, the only true source of his righteousness.
 
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