Hebrews 12:14


     Nothing is more talked about in the religious world and less understood than holiness. We must obtain holiness or we cannot see the Lord. Where there is no holiness, there is no salvation. Here are five aspects of holiness that need to be understood.

     POSITIONAL HOLINESS - Before God,positionally, all his elect have been made postionally holy in free justification by the imputation of Christ's righteousness to them and the complete satisfaction of divine justice for them through the shedding of his blood. In that sense it is declared,"By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14). In Christ, God looks upon all his elect positionally, "With His spotless garments on, holy as the Holy One!"

     POSSESSED HOLINESS - Chosen sinners obtain the experimental possession of holiness by faith in Christ. Being born again by the Spirit of God, we have a holy nature created in us (I John 3:6-10), and looking to Christ we receive the peace of perfect justification, perfect holiness, by faith (Rom. 5:1).

     PRACTICAL HOLINESS - Practical holiness is Christlike behavior. It is not a Pharisaic code of conduct, or a return to the yoke of legal bondage. Rather, it is the conscientious, spontaneous conformity of a person's life to Christ who lives and reigns within. It is motivated by love, not by law. It is demonstrated not by what one wears, eats, drinks, or the way he speaks, but by his kindness, mercy, and love to other human beings (Eph. 4:32-5:1). Read the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5:1-7:29), and learn what practical holiness really is! Holiness is the image of God in a person, reflected and seen in his attitude and acts of goodness to men. To put it in the words of C.H. Spurgeon, "Holiness is the visible side of salvation."

     PERSEVERING HOLINESS - All true believers continue in the path of holiness throughout their lives. They grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. We do not become "progressively holy"; but we do grow in holiness. True Christianity is not found in fits and spasms of religious duty, but in the insatiable desire of redeemed sinners to be like Christ (Phil. 3:10-14).

     PERFECTED HOLINESS - This is our goal and we shall have it! When we see him, we shall be like him (I John 3:2). Soon we shall be replicas of Christ our Lord!


Don Fortner