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Faithlife

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We need to be holy and following Gods law if we expect revival

Notes & Transcripts
Last week I read you an extract from the book Dirty Glory, which told the story of the Hebridean Revival.
If you remember it started with two sisters in their 80’s praying earnestly and continually for revival.
Last week I said that this was not the ignition of the revival, but the building up of the burnable material before the spark which provided the ignition.
Let me read you the next page from the book and tell you what the spark was....
Read book
As you can see the spark was the realisation of the church members prompted by psalm 24 that to stand in God’s Holy places we need to have clean hands and a pure heart.
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This is nothing new to the Salvation Army, William Booth wrote much about having a pure heart and preachers such as Brengle based their ministry upon the virtue of Holiness.
But what is Holiness?
It is not often talked about these days, even it The Army, which at its inception WAS a holiness movement.
But what is Holiness? It is not often talked about these days, even it The Army, which at its inception WAS a holiness movement.
To different people Holiness means different things, and different means have been used to discribe it.
Some say it is growing in Christ Like Ness.
Others that it is being sinless
To be honest the word holiness is not all that popular these days and makes people imagine the “Holier than thou” type of Christian.
We all know the type I mean dont we?
Those christians who are quick to judge yet fast to show how perfect they and their lives are.
That certainly is not what holiness actually is.
In The Salvation Army it was initially preached that a person could be made holy, or sanctified instantly, but over the years the belief in that has gradually shifted and many people now see holiness as more of a journey, a transformation which takes years or even a whole lifetime rather than an instant thing.
I have no doubt that God can make people holy instantly, and I pray all the time that it would happen to me, yet, my experience has been one of a gradual transformation, one which I have to work on every day.
And one which I sometimes get wrong.
But I have no doubt that God does call us to live a holy life.
In fact he commands us to do so in the bible in Leviticus 11:44
“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”
This is just one example, yet there are many.
44 I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.
The writers of the new testament also have a lot to say about holiness and living a sinless life
In Johns 1st letter he tells us
“No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. “
The Apostle Paul speaks openly in his letter to the Corinthians about a Sin which continually tempted and tested him.
The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, ). London: Hodder & Stoughton.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It would seem Paul is suggesting that at times God allows us to be tempted because it is through resisting temptation we grow stronger spiritually.
I think it is important to point out here that I do not believe that being tempted to sin means you are not living a holy life, where as acting upon those temptations can lead to sin.
We are told that Jesus was the only man to live without sin, yet he was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness before he started his ministry.
So being tempted is not the same as committing a sin.
We see in both our Bible reading today that God expects us to come to him holy and clean.
Some would say this happens at the point of our conversion, bearing in mind we can be reunited with God in any spiritual state, yet once that conversion has taken place we must aim to live a holy life.
Others such as many of are Army forefathers spoke of the second blessing, a moment when someone who was already a christian would be made holy by God.
God expect us to come to him with clean hands, ie hands not dirtied by sin and a pure heart, ie our motives pure.
If we are coming to God praying as we discussed last week, but we are spending the rest of the day living sinfully will our prayers be effective? I think there is a large chance they may not be.
Likewise if we are coming to God to pray but the motive is selfish then I doubt our prayers will be answered either.
We need to be praying in line with what God wants, for us and for the Corps, which is not always necessarily what we would choose for ourselves or for the Corps.
Yet I have no doubt that if our hands are clean and if our hearts are pure, and if what we are praying for is inline with Gods will then our prayers will be answered.
If we want to see growth here in Twickenham we need to be a holy people.
does that mean we will always get things right
NO
does that mean we will be perfect and sinless
No
Does that mean everything in life will be plain sailing
Certainly not
But it does mean that God will honour or strivings and our constant desire to be holy. As psalm 24:5 tells us Those who aim to be holy;
will receive blessing from the Lord
They will receive blessing from the Lord
But aiming to live a holy life also has practical applications, if people walk into this church and see us saying bad things about each other or other people they will see that we are no different from every other group of people in the world.
and vindication from God their Saviour.
who seek your face, God of Jacob., c
But aiming to live a holy life also has practical applications, if people walk into this church and see us saying bad things about each other or other people they will see that we are no different from every other group of people in the world.
The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, ). London: Hodder & Stoughton.But aiming to live a holy life also has practical applications, if people walk into this church and see us saying bad things about each other or other people they will see that we are no different from every other group of people in the world.
They could walk into their local pub and see people acting like that.
Yet if they walk in and see a people living honestly, being honest about their struggles and the difficulties they face and talking openly to those they disagree with then they will see we are different and I am sure that honesty will attract people to stay.
So in conclusion we can see that Holiness does not mean never being tempted to sin, but resisting the temptation to act upon those temptations.
Holiness may happen instantly, but it can also be a gradual process where we continue to grow like christ.
If we want to grow as a church and if we want our dreams and visions for this corp to happen we need to personally strive for a holy live and that personal striving will result in an outpouring of Gods power into the community here around us just as it did in the hebredian revival 60 years ago.
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