A Higher Standard
A Higher Standard
Isaiah 35:8 and an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
Life is real, man is real, God is real and his judgments are real. What are we going to do to reach that place God has called us to? God has a standard for man and we must, I must, you must reach that standard. What is a standard? A standard is something established for use as a rule or basis of comparison for measuring or judging capacity, value or quality. Therefore God has set forth his Word that we are to live and be judged by. The value of life is determined by what his Word has said. The quality of life lived is determined by how well we obey his Word. God is calling man to a higher standard.
Man has a higher standard than anything else in the earth; thatís why Satan desires to be a man and not a tree or animal. Man was created differently than anything else in the earth; being created in Godís image. This is why Satan desires to take the heart of man and consume who man is. Satan wants God to love him again. Man took his place in the heart of God. Wake up Man! Man was even made differently; of the earth water and dust. He didnít look like any animal although he had hands and feet like them. Man had the ability to gain knowledge, know God in the beauty of holiness and come to know Godís wisdom. He had the ability to see but not see what he saw. He had the ability to learn and discern but yet he didnít understand. Some things God kept from the man intentionally because he wanted man to just simply obey what He told them. Man would soon know and think like God if he did not obey God. Now because we know not just in part but in the fullness of God; we are accountable for what we do and say.
Because we are in the know concerning right and wrong it is accounted to us as sin when we do wrong. Now if we do something in ignorance itís one thing but to know to do right and do not it is sin. God speaking to Moses in Leviticus 4-6 talk about the ignorance of man from the leaders down to the people concerning sin. There are those that ignorantly offend God with sin and those that willingly commit sin. Man offer to God offerings for themselves (Lev. 4:2), whole congregations offer sin offerings to God (Lev. 4:13), there are trespass offerings, holy leaders make trespass offerings for sacrilege (Lev 5:14-16) where the holy things of the Lord is sinned against and the leaders make bad calls and is guilty of sin (Lev 4:22).
No longer do we have these kinds of sacrifices for sin. God sent his Son to die once and for all for the sin of all men. We are not to be ignorant concerning Satanís devices. We are born yes with a sin nature but we choose if we will commit sin or not. We the born again believer been in sin, done that and now we see Christ as he is. There is no longer sacrifice for sin but judgment. If we know that our redeemer (Christ) lives we have life in our bodies for he is the hope of our salvation. He came and died that our souls would not be left in hell. Thatís why we have a choice to put a difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy. There exist natural sin and unnatural sin which God calls abomination. Self-denial is abominable. How can we deny who God made us to be? We were created male and female but made to be man and woman. Christ was swallowed up in death and rose with the Victory over death. Not only can we live now but after death also. Isaiah 26:19 thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Even those that sleep in the earth shall rise; some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:12); for Jesus ransomed us from the power of the grave.
We have been called to a higher standard. Our lives have taken on a more definite form under the leadership of Jesus Christ. We are to be in an obedient relationship to the Master of our soul; the one that makes us complete. We the people of God according to Peter have been called from disobedience to obedience; from darkness to light; from being unholy to holiness. I Peter 2:9 but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
We now have mercy but we must abstain from the fleshly lusts which war against the soul. Because we have been given mercy through the grace of God does not mean we have authorization to sin. Our conversations must change; where we use to cuss at every other word we no longer curse but bless. When we were and did evil in the sight of God and man we no longer participate in such works; we glorify God instead. Where we once broke the law we submit now to every ordinance of man for the Lordís sake. For so is the will of God that with well doing we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. We donít use this new found freedom and redemption as a cloak we hide sin behind but as the servants of God. We honor all men, rich and poor and have not respect of persons because of what each have in their possession.
Peter in I Peter 1:15 but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. We donít talk of ourselves but of Christ once he has revealed himself to us. We search out the Word to find the more of Him. We are to gird up the loins of our mind that we be sober and have hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. We are to be as obedient children, not fashioning ourselves according to the former lusts in ignorance. God is a holy God and requires the same of us; to be a holy people.
We love one another as God would love because we fear God not man. God calls for us to be different and to make a difference. We have a higher calling because we have purified our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren. We see to it that we love one another fervently with a pure heart. We are born again of an incorruptible seed by the Word of God that lives and abides in us forever. This Word that lives forever is preached to us and by us as the gospel. We are to do well to keep Godís Word and live Holy Godly lives.
We have a higher calling and a greater expectation. We are of one mind that Christ reigns and we show the same compassion as He showed man when he walked in the earth. We are to be courteous and not give evil for the evil that has been done to us. We bless those that curse us or hurt us because we have been called to inherit a blessing of God. We are called to refrain; our tongue from evil and our lips that we speak no guile. We are to shun evil and do good, seek and pursue peace. We know that the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open to our prayers but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
There is a higher calling for the Christian. We are called to be righteous and should be happy if we suffer for it. We are to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks us of a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear. We are to have a readiness to suffer as a Christian for Christ did too! He was found in fashion as a man, humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. He was put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit for the just and the unjust that He might bring us to God. It is better for us to suffer that the will of God be so than for evil doing. A man may sin in his body but to deny who he is other than what God made him is denial; abomination to God way past evil and judged already for hell. The angels kicked out of heaven awaiting the judgment denied God as God and chose rather to follow Lucifer whose name was changed to Satan.
God is calling us to a higher calling that we would no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh but to the will of God following after the Spirit. When the Gospel was preached and we accepted Christ we accepted all that went along with being a Christian. We were to come up in the standard of living in that we came out of sin to life; a life of Christ hid in God. All of our life now is to bring glory to God. We humble ourselves to the Word and cast our cares on God. It is he that gets glory when we have stood fast in the faith of Christ; we have the grace of God. The suffering we suffer is for Christ sake and makes us perfect, established, strengthened and settled.
We are called to know Christ. It is by the glory and virtue through knowledge of him that we have all things that pertain to life and godliness which is according as his divine power. We are called to a higher standard that we give all diligence to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience godliness, brotherly kindness and love. How can we say we love God and donít possess the fruit of knowing who God is, Christ is and the working of His Spirit? It doesnít work and we will not lift up the standard of God. Keep these things in memory that we be ready to receive from God.
Without holiness no man shall see God but be found in the judgment of God. Ezra 7:26 whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. We are called to a higher calling! Solomon was warned to fear the Lord and the king and meddle not with them that are given to change (Prov. 24:21). God has a higher calling than men. We canít please God on the same level as man. Men make laws to please men rather the law goes against Godís Holy Law. God has to be obeyed even through men and we should obey man according to Godís Law.
We are to make intercession for all men; not God but to God. We are to put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers and to obey magistrates. We are to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lordís sake. If we are not fit in the way we see and speak of dignitaries we are ungodly in Godís eyes (II Peter 2:10). If we are citizens of Godís Kingdom in the earth, then we must live Godly in the earth. We donít have to accept ungodly lifestyles although we have to love the persons guilty of such. We donít have to have them live in our homes or serve godly positions in our Churches. Although they serve in positions as men donít qualify them for Godís positions in his Church. God is calling us to put a difference between his Church and the church of the world.
Either we will be purely for God or impure in everything. There is a difference between clean and unclean. The regulations are there and the design of these distinctions is learned through the comparisons of the life lived. We can see that a person that has not taken a bath has a different body odor than one that has taken a bath. One that fears God does and act differently from one that does not have any fear of God. Every manís ways are clean and pure in his own eyes but how do the acts line up with the Word of God? Jesus said in St. John 13:11 that we are clean through the Word. The Word will clean up anyone that submits themselves to Christ.
A higher calling to holiness, the state or quality of being holy; having perfect moral integrity or purity; freedom from sin; oneís sanctity means we turn from our ways to God. When we become Christians we are called holy or Saints. We are wholly consecrated to Godís service. We are called to be habitually good; not sinning, but thinking and acting in a godlike manner. We conform our innermost being to the will of God with outward manifestation of blameless conduct representing the conviction in our heart. Holiness is the gift of God through the mediation of Christ.
Everything dedicated to God, partakes in a certain manner of His holiness. Holiness signifies that every thought of man, every emotion, every act, every deed, yes all that combines to make up oneís life, is determined by the will of God. The mind is renewed daily through the Word of God. We put away the burden we had that kept us bound by worldly lust and begin to cast off all that have kept us shackled with the chains of the flesh. Holiness requires us to put on the new man after Christ which is the work of God and man. We awake to righteousness!
Holiness, perfection and sanctification are synonyms in religious experience. Next to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, surely a greater trinity cannot be named. Perfection is a state of purity; an endowment of complete excellence; ideal faultlessness. Sanctification is the state of being sanctified or made holy; especially, the act of Godís grace by which the minds and hearts of men are purified, alienated from sin and exalted to a supreme love for God. Consecration; being set apart for a sacred purpose; made free from sin; cleansed from moral corruption; made efficient in the cause of the Master. This second trinity comprehends the whole of the Christian life. Itís a higher calling for man!
This higher calling calls for us to be enjoined in holiness (Matt. 5:48). We are to be perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. We are to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice; in a way of sacrifice for the sacrifice he made for us (Romans 12:1). Jesus praying to the Father in St. John 17:17, sanctify them through thy Word, thy Word is Truth. We must come to know the Truth and accept it; bound it in our hearts. Holiness must be in our life and service; as it is a timely message to the unbeliever that God is real.
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