Holiness: Newness of Life
Newness of Life
- Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Remember: God alone is HOLY, Holiness comes from God; therefore, only that which is separated unto the service of God can be considered Holy.
Is our life, walk, conversation a true witness to our profession of being in Christ? Or in other words, do we walk in newness of Life which is a reflection of the Holiness of God working within and being imparted into our being?
In John 17 we read the prayer of Jesus to the Father as he is looking to the cross.
- …Father, the hour is come…
- Here Christ shows His absolute surrender and submission to the will of the Father- for the Father to be glorified.
- …glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:…
- I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Jesus performed all the will and work of the Father. Completely surrendered to God’s will. A life utterly Holy. His was a life on this earth entirely given to the service of God.
JESUS to the Father
- John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
- John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
- John 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
- John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Paul to Jesus and the Father
- Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
- 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
We so desperately want Holiness to be a set of rules and regulations that we can just tick off one by one to be able to declare, “see- I am holy”. While we most assuredly DO have commandments given, and there ARE rules to be adhered to; a life holily lived is much more than a life lived according to a particular set of laws.
We know that God is Holy. Man is not. We are a fallen creature. Do to the introduction of sin into our very nature we experience a complete and utter separation from God and this for eternity. God in His predetermined WILL laid forth a plan from before the foundation of the world to bring salvation and reconciliation back to man through the atoning death of Jesus, the only begotten (the unique) Son. A death despicable and accursed on a cross in humiliation, suffered to redeem man back into fellowship with God. It is known that this is the expressed plan, purpose, and will of God. It is also made known that this is the ONLY way into fellowship with God. We Christians accept and celebrate this plan of salvation. We receive the gift of salvation looking forward to the promise of eternal life. That state of infinity spent in a place where time does not exist, rejoicing in bliss and everlasting joy, eternally holy in the light and presence of God.
But wait, is that the precise spot where eternal life begins? Once we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, once we inter into an “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” (1Pe 1:23) we know that at this point we are changed, made perfect… What need is there then (at that time) for holiness in the manner we have it now?
Perhaps we need to understand that death is not the moment when eternal life begins and that holiness is not just conforming to a set of standards.
- John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
- 1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
- Jeremiah 9:23,24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
- Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
- 1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
- 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Earlier I stated that we want so desperately for holiness to be a set of rules and regulations that we can just tick off, but the deeper truth is, we in our corrupt nature want holiness to not only be a list of rules to be performed (and catalogued as having been performed- works based salvation) but, a list that is one we can pare down and change at our whim.
What!?! We don’t do that! Sure we do, we do it all the time and with every institution of God.
In Genesis 2 God instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman, by Genesis 4 man was taking to himself multiple wives. In Exodus and Leviticus we see in words- many chapters (in time-months into years) where God institutes an organized religion with which man can once again approach and worship God. Yet, almost immediately we are told in Leviticus 10 how Nadab and Abihu (Sons of Aaron) offer a strange fire unto God and are destroyed for it. Time and again God sets forth His Law, His commands and we alter, twist, break and try to do away with them to please our fleshly lusts. Sacraments: baptism, communion, tithe and offerings, service to man and God- changed into something they are not meant to be, or ignored all-together, or replaced with traditions of man set up to replace the Word of God.
These recordings in scripture are not given for naught. Holiness is not required to appease an all-powerful God lording His might over a feeble creature. No! these things are given so that we might be able to approach God- to appreciate, adore and worship Him. Holy living is given so that we might KNOW God. This is the ONLY way to know a HOLY GOD! Scripture is woven intricately together, there are no unnecessary words. The law of God is Holy and good, given for our instruction in righteousness. There is no ordinance instituted by God that does not have meaning- do we understand each and every one of them? No, but that does not negate their being meaningful and needed.
In John 17 we read that awesome prayer of Jesus the Son to God the Father. It is a magnificent prayer, filled with love, life and hope. It gives us a beautiful window into the relationship of the Father towards the Son and vice versa. I would have us see that this is a prayer speaking of IDENTITY.
The Son identifying with the Father as the Son, the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father offering also that we who receive His word would also be identified in the both of them as well.
- John 17:9-11 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
We are not “of the world” (John 17:16). We are sanctified by the Word- this must be exhibited in our lifestyle! (John 17.17) To identify with, and be identified with God we must be Holy for He is holy.
- John 17:21,22 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
READ John 17:23-26
Identifying with Christ! With God! Oh, can it be imagined? The law of God, of Holiness is not to constrain but to free and empower! What our sinful nature and wills reject as bondage is the true means to ultimate freedom and to eternal life.
Romans 6:1-4 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
“…by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
READ and extrapolate Romans 6:8-23
Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This study has brought me to one incredibly painful and undeniable conclusion about myself. I love this life too much! Are we to be separated unto God and live a holy life, or will we choose the attractions of this life (of sin) and be separated from God?
In Genesis, while in the garden Adam was told by God;
- Genesis 2:16, 17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Did he die physically? (not immediately) But he did instantly die spiritually. At the very moment of his heart’s rebellion against the command of God- Adam died. When Adam died in the garden we ALL died in the garden. Forever separated from God. That is the first death. There is also a second death. This body? Do I speak of the physical separation of the spirit from this flesh? No. We will all lay down this corruptible flesh and exchange it for a body that will never perish. The second death speaks of and eternal state of being.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 12:10,11 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Holiness unto God:
- Not about being bound to certain rules.
- Not about being denied certain liberties.
- Holiness is about identifying with God as God’s Spirit lives in you.
- Holiness is communing with God, worshiping God, approaching this Mighty, Awesome, Holy God.
- Holiness is the showing forth of the Salvation of God, His Strength, the Kingdom of God, the Power of His Christ!