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Scripture Memory: Guidance.
VERSE : Psalm 86:11 
“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

20 July 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Rev Charles Seet (Spiritual After-care, 1 Thes 3:1-13)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Wise Fools, Rom 1:18-25)

27 July 2014
8 am & 1045am Worship Service
Rev Patrick Tan (Called Unto Moral Purity, 1 Thes 4:3-8)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Yeo Seow Phong (Born this Way?,Rom 1:26-32)

* * *

WHAT IS TRUE PRACTICAL HOLINESS?

[Abridged from J. C. Ryle’s Holiness, its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots. Chapter 3.] 

“Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)

In this hurrying, bustling world, let us stand still for a few minutes and consider the matter of holiness.

A man may go to great lengths, and yet never reach true holiness. It is not knowledge – Balaam had that; nor great profession – Judas Iscariot had that; nor doing many things – Herod had that; nor zeal for religious matters – Jehu had that; nor morality and outward respectability of conduct – the young ruler had that; nor finding pleasure hearing preachers – the Jews in Ezekiel’s time had that; nor keeping company with godly people – Joab, Gehazi and Demas had that. Yet none of these were holy! These things alone are not holiness. A man may have any one of them, and yet never see the Lord.

When then is true practical holiness?

1.    Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. A holy man agrees with God’s judgment: hates what He hates, loves what He loves, and measures everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He has a heartfelt desire to do God’s will, a greater fear of displeasing Him than of displeasing the world, and a love to all God’s ways, as expressed by Paul “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom 7:32), and David “I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way” (Ps 119:128). A holy man will thus strive to shun every sin, and to keep every commandment.

2.    A holy man will strive to be like Christ. “He that saith he abideth in [Christ] ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). “Christ … suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). He will not only live a life of faith in Christ, and draw from Him all his daily peace and strength, but he will also labour to have the mind of Christ, to be conformed to His image (Rom 8:29). It will be his aim to forgive others, even as Christ forgave us (Col 3:13); to be unselfish even as Christ pleased not Himself (Rom 15:3); to love others even as Christ loved us (Eph 5:2); to be humble even as Christ made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself (Phil 2:7). He will remember that Christ was a faithful witness for the truth (John 18:37); that He came not to do His own will but the will of God the Father who sent Him (John 6:384:34); that he would continually deny Himself in order to serve others (Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23); that He was meek and patient under undeserved insults; that he was full of love and compassion to sinners; that He was bold and uncompromising in denouncing sin; that He sought not the praise of men; that He continued instant in prayer and was separate from worldly people. Much sin would be prevented if men would often ask themselves “what would Christ have said and done, if He were in my place?”

3.    A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, patience, and kind tempers. He will bear much, forbear much, overlook much, and be slow to insist on his rights. We see holy examples of this in David when cursed by Shimei (2 Sam 16:10), and Moses when criticised by Aaron and Miriam (Num 12:3).

4.    A holy man will discipline himself. He will labour to mortify the desires of his body, to crucify his flesh with his lusts, to curb and restrain his passions. Jesus reminded us in Luke 21:34 “take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life…” The apostle Paul showed us what a disciplined life looks like: “I keep under my body, and bring it unto subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor 9:27).

5.    A holy man will strive to be loving and kind. He will strive to observe the golden rule of doing as he would have men do to him, and speaking as he would have men speak to him. He will be full of affection towards his brethren, towards their property, their characters, their feelings, and their souls. “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8). He will hate all lying, slandering, backbiting, cheating, dishonesty, and unfair dealing even in the least things. He will strive to make his Christian faith lovely and beautiful in the eyes of all around him.

6.   A holy man will be merciful and benevolent towards others. He will not be idle, but will do good, be useful and lessen the spiritual wants and misery around him as best as he can. Such was Dorcas “full of good works and almsdeeds, which she did” (Acts 9:26) - not merely purposed, prayed or talked about, but did. Paul sacrificed himself for others, even when no one shows appreciation: “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” (2 Cor 12:15).

7.    A holy man will seek purity of heart. He will dread all filth and uncleanness, and avoid things that might draw him into it. He knows his own heart is like tinder, and will diligently keep clear of the sparks of temptation. Who dares to talk of strength when David can fall? The ceremonial law teaches us that one who touched a bone, a dead body, a grave or a diseased person is immediately unclean in the sight of God. These things are figures and metaphors. Few Christians are ever too watchful about this.

8.    A holy man will fear God. I do not mean the fear of a slave, who only works because he is afraid of punishment. I mean rather the fear of a child who, out of love for his father, wishes to please him.

9.    A holy man will strive to be humble. He will desire, in lowliness of mind, to esteem others better than himself. He will see more evil in his own heart than in any other. He will feel with Abraham “I am dust and ashes” and Jacob “I am less than the least of all Thy mercies”, and Job “I am vile”, and Paul “I am the chief of sinners.”

10.    A holy man will strive to be faithful in the duties and relations in life. “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord”, “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Col 3:23; Rom 12:11). Aim to do everything well: be good husbands, good wives, good parents, good children, good masters, good servants, good neighbours, good subjects, good in private and in public, and good in the place of school and business. Holiness is worth little if it does not bear this fruit in life.

11.  A holy man should be spiritually-minded. He will set his affections on things above, and to hold things on earth very loosely. He will not neglect the business of his present life; but his foremost thoughts will be focused on his future life. He will aim to live like one whose treasure is in heaven, and to pass through this world like a stranger and pilgrim traveling to his home. To commune with God in prayer, in the Bible, in the assembly of His people – these things will be the holy man’s chiefest enjoyments. He will value every opportunity that draws him nearer to God. “My soul followeth hard after Thee”; “Thou art my portion” (Ps 63:8; 119:57).

I do not mean that a holy man is entirely free from sin. A holy man is often miserable because when he would do good ‘evil is present with him’, that the old man is drawing him back at every step he takes (Rom 7:21). He hates the sin within, mourns over it, and longs to be free from it. The work of sanctification within him is like the wall of Jerusalem – its construction continues even in difficult times (Dan 9:25).

Neither do I mean that all these graces must be found in full bloom before you can call a Christian holy. Far from it. Sanctification is always a progressive work. Some Christians’ graces are in the blade, some in the ear, and some are like full corn in the ear. All must have a beginning. Never despise ‘the day of small things.’ Sanctification is at best an imperfect work. The holiest saints who ever lived will contain many a ‘but’ and ‘notwithstanding.’ The gold will never be without some dross, the light will never shine without some clouds, until we reach the heavenly Jerusalem.

Gold is not less gold because mingled with alloy, nor light the less light because faint and dim, nor grace the less grace because young and weak. The sun has spots upon its face. The holiest persons have many blemishes. Their life is a continual warfare with sin, the world and the devil. Sometimes you will see them not overcoming, but overcome. The flesh is ever lusting against the Spirit, and in many things they offend (Gal 5:17; Jas 3:2).

While we should make allowance for backsliding and occasional deadness, we cannot be holy if we wilfully and habitually sin and yet are not ashamed because of it. John Owen says “I do not understand how a man can be a true believer unto whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble.”

It must be our heart’s desire and prayer to be holy. We press towards it, if we do not reach it. We may not attain to it, but always aim at it. It is what we strive and labour to be, if it is not what we are.

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1) Church Camp 2014 Message & Photo CDs are available at the front of the Sanctuary after the morning services TODAY. Thereafter, CDs will still be available from the RTL Office after the respective Sunday morning services.  CDs are priced at S$1/- per copy.  Camp messages can also be downloaded free from our Church website www.lifebpc.com

2) Traffic wardens. A second group of 6 wardens is needed, between 10.00 to 10.45 am, on alternate months. If interested to serve, please contact Dn David Tan at 9667-9733 or email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong on Mission Trip, 13-27 Jul 14

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25