Holiness is Essential
Hebrews 12:14 States: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord".
It is strange that so many today avoid the word holiness, and refuse to pursue it in the same terms as the bible explains it. Paul through the Holy Ghost, not only tells us to pursue holiness, but tells us that we shall not see God without it.
So the question is: "If holiness is so fundamental to our salvation, and if it ultimately dictates whether we will ultimately see God, why is so little time spent ensuring the church is in possession of it?".
If we shall never see God without holiness, it is important that we acquaint ourselves with its meaning, and through Jesus Christ's grace and power, enter into the experience of holiness.
First, holiness is not an emotion. It is a very practical condition found in the life of every born again victorious christian. By definition, holiness is the state we are in when all our sins have been forgiven, our conscience has been washed clean by the blood of the lamb and by the Word of God, and we no longer have any desire or inclination to sin again.
The scripture says in Hebrews 9:22 - "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission". And in John 15:3, the scriptures state: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
In Jeremiah 2:13, God said: "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water".
God will not put His spirit into an unclean vessel. These "broken cisterns" reflect people's unregenerate lives. One reason so few receive the gift of the Holy Ghost today is precisely for this reason - they have not truly turned their back on the world and they have not fully turned their life over to God.
I once attended a church service where people were tarrying to receive the Holy Ghost, and though I received a mighty touch by God that night, I still had not been filled.
The next day, I went to one of the elderly sisters to enquire about why God had not filled me the night before, she remarked that many people in tarrying say "take my life Lord", but then they "refuse to let their life go." I was puzzled.
She then demonstrated by handing me a $5.00 note saying: "Take it" while continuing to hold onto it. The harder I pulled, the tighter she held until I got the point. ie., People say "Take my life Lord", but often do not mean it as they continue to cling to the things of this world.
To experience truly Holiness, we need to "fully" let go of our old lives, allow the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us, and the word of God to run its "full course" through us. Only then will God indeed fill us with His Holy Spirit and give us the power to live above the world and sin and to then begin to live in that condition of True Holiness.