Today it is easy to find Preachers who shy away from preaching holiness. It is a fact that most churches welcome any and all lifestyles in their endeavor to bring someone into the Kingdom of God. If we preach the Gospel, we must not forget the Holiness issue. The debate is not about Sanctification, whether we speak of immediate Sanctification, progressive Sanctification, and final Sanctification. The issue today is that believers today must walk in the Spirit, not minding the things of the flesh. They must be in fact be what is called a “new creation”.
We find the Apostle of John in the same great chapter where the Word was in the beginning, that God made allowances for people to receive power to become the “sons of God”. Further Paul writes in Corinthians the second chapter that if a person is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old things (habits, way of life, desires ect) are gone, passed away.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Paul further writes in Ephesians that we “put on the new man” which is after God and is “created in righteousness and true holiness”. Today we see the sanctification issue that in the eyes of God, we are “holy” and “blameless” before him as creations in Christ. That is true, but God will judge the believer as with all men for the Godlessness they do. If you are truly created in God through Jesus Christ, then, you will not be walking after the flesh.
The problem with most saints and even preachers, this issue is not even brought up. We allow the church to walk in any old way they want too. We are to be in Jesus Christ. This “being in Christ” is created in all Holiness and righteousness. It is putting off the old carnal desires and appetites.
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Paul goes even further in Romans when he is speaking of those who at one time walked yielding their bodies to servants of uncleanness and iniquity. He tells them they are to yield their same bodies as servants to righteousness unto holiness. In fact, as believers we are to walk in holiness and true righteousness. The problem we have is that churches today teach that it is okay to be “sensual, walking in the ways of the flesh”. This teaching is brought forth from evil doctrine. In fact, when Christians do this they are known as “sons of disobedience”. They are living in lawlessness or iniquity.
Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
The warning of Paul goes to the heart of the promise of God. The Apostle Paul says we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This means to remove ourselves from all immorality and stain of fleshy affections. We are also to remove ourselves from spiritual immorality and filthiness. This spiritual filthiness is being engaged in spiritual idolatry from familiar spirits, idolatry, false worship, worship of idols, and other spiritual infections. You are to worship, seek, and follow the one True God. Him and Him alone, who through Jesus Christ brought you salvation and deliverance,.
2 Corinthians 7:1 ¶Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
It is further stated that we “should know how to posses this vessel in sanctification and honour”. It is a dishonor to our Lord Jesus Christ to be called by His name and walk in the sin of concupiscence. This is simply walking in the passions of mind for bad desires and inordinate affections. This is how as a unbeliever you walked beforehand. As a believer you now are to walk in honor, putting to death the affections which are of the flesh and mind. Remember the first scriptures we quoted. They tell you, God gave you power to become the Sons of God. It is the power to walk in holiness and honor before God. To say that as believers we have no power to resist the evil passions in the world is a lie and a dishonor to God who gave us power and strength to walk pleasing before him.
1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Hebrews tells us that we will not see the Lord without holiness. This is separation to God. It is both immediate sanctification and progressive in a believer’s life. It does not allow, however for the believer to walk in unbridled lust without repentance. It does not allow for filthiness of flesh without the same repentance of it. We can receive forgiveness and power to walk pleasing unto the Lord. If we fool ourselves into believing that we can live any way we want too and still find salvation in Christ, then, we are wrong.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
No Christian has ever arrived. That is to say, we are not perfect, but we are saved, if we believe. This belief is coupled with a firm walk, in the Lord, being a disciple of His. We are not to walk in the same unbridled lust we did as unbelievers. If you walk in the flesh, then you will only find corruption. We are forewarned in many places of this.
The warning in Galatians is one to be heeded.
Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
We are in fact to walk in the Spirit, which means we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We will be walking in honor before God.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
To walk in the Spirit, we are not letting the manifestation of the flesh control us. Paul gives us a view into the actual manifestations of the flesh. These are not to be part of a believer’s life. We are to have crucified these attributes of the carnal flesh.
Galations 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
In the believers life, walking in the Spirit, we find people who are allowing the fruit of the Spirit to have its full bloom in their lives. The fruit is mentioned in Galatians. We are to walk in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. By doing this, we are in fact crucifying the flesh, that old man, the former life we knew. We are embracing the life of Christ, walking in the Spirit, and being in honor before God in love.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
There arises another problem in all this. These are those people in the church who are of the “Nicolaitans” and the “Jezebel” spirit. These are people who bring with their teaching destruction and death. These people appear as ministers of light, but in fact, they are of the angel of death.
Let us look at the church of Ephesus. We are taking note that the Lord told these people that they had left their first love. Their labor for the Lord had become a ritual and they lost the love they had at first for the Lord. They were busy alright, but they lost their love for the Lord. To illustrate how this immorality and lusts in the church were viewed, look at these passages. Even though , this church had this against them, the Lord commended them because they hated the Nicolaitans. Nicolaitans means “destruction of people”.
The Nicolaitans disobeyed the apostolic council held in Jerusalem in 49-50 AD that said they should refrain from “eating of things sacrificed to idols”. They as well were returning to the pagan laxity of morals. This was the same things which happened when a woman prophetess, called Jezebel, taught in the guise of being a Christian prophetess, that it was okay to do those things as the Nicolaitans and be okay. This was condemned by the Lord Himself in Revelation.
To Ephesus the Lord said:
Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
To Pergamos the Lord said:
In Pergamos, the Lord had things against them because of those who taught the people to eat things sacrificed to idols, commit fornication, holding the doctrine of Balaam. They also had those who held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.
Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
In Thyatira, the Lord had things against those who allowed a woman prophet, whom the Lord called “Jezebel”, to teach and seduce the servants of God to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols. This woman was named after the famed “Jezebel” in Israel who did the same things, as well as, being a very wicked woman who hurled her wrath against the true prophet of God.
To Thyatira, the Lord said:
Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
I urge you today, to examine your life and spirit. Be sure you are walking before the Lord in all holiness and honor. Possess your vessel before God as He would have you possess it, not in the lust of flesh, which brings corruption and death.