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Consideration of Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Holiness: Church needs to Change (Part 8)

Holiness is

The more dead to myself I am, the more filled I am with the Holy Spirit; the more surrendered I am, the more room there is for GOD to live in me; when the holiness of GOD is moving in and through me, the more holy is my life. Holiness is less of me and more of GOD.

1 Corinthians 3:17 says, “… the temple of GOD is holy, which temple you are.”

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple is holy. But what is holy other than GOD Himself?

As we walk near to GOD, through the Holy Spirit, with Jesus as our shepherd guide, we walk in holiness. But other than GOD-speak, what does that mean?

Holiness is Godliness, meaning GOD-likeness: purity, peace, power…. simply put, all that is GOD. We discover it, not through striving but through surrender.

In the context of Jesus’ Church

No opinion. No gossip, back-biting or envy. A stroll through Paul’s letters to Timothy shows us what the church must not be: not gossips (1 Timothy 5:13), not slanderers or lovers of self (2 Timothy 3:1-3), to site two examples.

Rather, we are to look in the mirror much more than we are to judge one another. Love is at the centre of all of our relationships and we celebrate for one another and mourn with each other. True intimacy is at the heart of Jesus’ church. Today, there are snapshots of this church but we have to mature a great deal to capture it entirely. We mature through surrender.

Back in March of this year, I posted about Holiness (https://laruspress.com/holiness/). At its heart is love, because at GOD’s heart is love. GOD is love. And perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). When we love perfectly, GOD is working in us perfectly, and we are perfectly Holy.

Jesus said, “… be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Perfection then is possible… through our surrender. Jesus did nothing other than what the Father asked him to do, said nothing other than what the Father led him to say. Jesus was perfect: a perfect servant, perfectly loving and perfectly holy. For those of us who take our walk with Jesus seriously, we too can become perfect: perfectly loving, perfectly holy, through our surrender to GOD.

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19)

When we walk in the holiness of GOD, and meet together as the Body of Yeshua/Jesus as his church, then the church will be holy and fruitful. Hallelujah. GOD has made a way.

All to the glory of GOD

We who are in Christ Jesus are saved from sin, and therefore we have access to the purity of Jesus, as we surrender as he did, to the Father. All things are lawful now, however, not all things are helpful or edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23). And so our behaviour is dependent not upon law but upon love.

I’d like to encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 10 with the view to relating it back to holiness of the church. By the grace of GOD and through the sacrifice of Jesus, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we are free.

But in that freedom, our action will not cause others to fall; will not act for self. Holiness points to Yehovah — our Father GOD. We are free and it is all for the glory of our Father, Creator of the Universe and Lover of Mankind. Our freedom points to GOD. Our holiness points to GOD. Our existence, our life, our church — everything now points to GOD.

This is all possible — not through our effort but by our surrender.

This is how Jesus’ church lives and breaths and ministers to a fallen world.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Reflections and Poetry

Holiness

“Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness”

“He is looking for a spotless bride”

“I love you”

These are the words that echo on my mind as I pray… I wait, I listen, I long for — or do I really?

I say “I love you, LORD,” but am I capable of love? He asks for obedience but daily I mess up. He whispers, “I love you” but I can receive only a fraction of His divine grace, because I am unworthy and because I am tainted by my own disgusting will.

And yet, as I listen to piano strains of recorded music, which helps me to pause, reflect and focus on my LORD, I know He receives my heart — the little bit of good in me that has been effected by Him, and which detests the ungodly most of me.

Did Jesus really die for this ounce of goodness in me? Did the heavenly father really dedicate His own son for me? And did they allow the Spirit to dwell within me, that He might restore me to Himself?

Yes: nothing in me; all of Him in me. Oh wretched soul that I am, bless me LORD, for you are so good. You are so generous, and loving, and kind, and gracious, and — good. 

He is looking for a spotless bride. We have so far to travel to become that bride. But the presence of Himself, His Holy Spirit within me, enables me to surrender. If only I will surrender. Then, and only then, am I free. And then, only then, will He come.

Jesus came to set the captives free. Freely, we allow ourselves to be captured by our will. We must surrender all to him; Jesus will return when his bride is ready. His Spirit will enable us to be ready. But only by the Spirit. Nothing we can do… all we have are filthy rags… nothing we can do can draw Him.

We who are saved by His grace… have we stopped at evangelicalism? Have we thanked him for salvation but stopped short of His infilling us? More of Him/Less of us. We are saved. But Jesus came to save, and then he left earth so that His presence would come. We need His presence to fulfil our calling to be His bride. 

Let us not stop short of giving all to him, that he can give all to us. Then we can be ready to be his bride.

“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

Amen.