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December 18                       Today’s Reading: Hebrews 11-12

“Holiness without which No Man shall See the Lord”

Hebrews 12:14


There is a holiness to be pursued, without which no man shall see the Lord. God is holy. Being perfectly holy, he demands perfect holiness. He requires perfect righteousness. Anyone who is not perfectly holy will be consumed by the fire of his glorious holiness. He declares, “I am Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect.” — “It shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.” — “Be ye holy; for I am holy.


God’s Requirement

God demands character holiness. We are required to be holy on the inside, in heart, at the very core of our being. — “The Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). He demands conduct holiness. We must be holy on the outside, in behavior. — “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15). In a word, God demands complete holiness. We must be entirely without sin. — “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20).


Our Inability

God demands holiness; but we cannot produce holiness. Not one of us can do one good thing before God. It is written, “There is none that doeth good, no not one” (Romans 3:12). Purity cannot come from our corrupt nature. We cannot even seek the Lord on our own, much less correct our past record, change our present wretchedness (Psalm 51:1-5), or control our future thoughts and deeds (Galatians 3:10).

            The whole purpose of God’s law is to show us our utter inability to keep it and to convince us of our need of a Substitute (Galatians 3:24). And the first work of God the Holy Spirit in a sinner’s heart is to convince him of sin, of his need of a Substitute (John 16:9).


God’s Character

A person’s definition of righteousness depends entirely upon his understanding of who God is. The problem with this religious generation is that they have never seen the holy, righteous, just character of God almighty. They have never seen the absolute holiness of God. And no one will ever see the holy character of God until he sees what happened at Calvary (Isaiah 6:1-6).


God’s Gift

How good does a person have to be to get to heaven? He must be as good as God. — “It must be perfect to be accepted.” God cannot and will not accept anything short of perfection. — “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted upon his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3-4), and no one else. Yet, it is written, “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” — “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10). But the fact that we cannot produce perfect holiness does not mean that it cannot be produced. God can do it. Man cannot please God; but God can please God. Man cannot produce righteousness and holiness; but God can produce them for us, and he has done so by the incarnation, life, and death of his own dear Son, and by the gift of his Son in the new birth making us “partakers of the divine nature,” creating us in “righteousness and true holiness” in the new creation of grace.




Don Fortner








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