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Bible verses about Holiness, Pursuing
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon lists a series of activities, showing that there are times when one should be done and another not done. However, is there ever a time when we should not be holy? Can we at times throw "caution to the wind" and behave any way we desire? Are we allowed to "let our hair down" for short periods in terms of our conduct and witness? Is it allowable to forget for a time our duties to God and man or our goal of being in the Kingdom of God? Can we occasionally take a vacation from our labors to become holy and evermore in Christ's image?

These questions touch all of us regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, position, or years in the church. Holiness must concern us whether we are rich or poor, learned or uneducated, young or old. There is not only no time when one should be unconcerned about holiness, but there is no person, no matter who he or she is, who should be unconcerned about it.

David, in Psalm 10:4, observes a difference between the righteous and wicked: "The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." We live in a busy and alluring world. Admittedly, there are numerous distractions, each with its attendant pressures, assaulting us from every angle. We must make choices to control the use of our time, and we must never allow God and holiness to slip from the overall highest priority.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is the Christian Required To Do Works? (Part Six)


 

2 Corinthians 7:1  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This helps us to understand what holiness is. It is the opposite of the filthiness of the flesh and spirit, a transcendent cleanliness, a transcendent purity of heart and spirit. It is what God is—God is transcendent. He is otherly. There is no one like Him, yet He wants all to be like Him. Life, then, becomes a journey toward holiness.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is Prayer?


 

Ephesians 1:4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We have been invited to be holy—to be holy as God is holy—to be without blame before Him in love.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)


 

Ephesians 1:4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God says that we have been called to be holy and without blame before Him. One could also say we have been called to be sanctified. Becoming holy is sanctification. Sanctification is just a fancy term that means "becoming holy," which is growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. It implies overcoming. We might avoid a word like "sanctification" because it is not part of our normal vocabulary, but all it means is "to become holy."

Paul says in Hebrews 12:14 that "without [holiness] no one will see the Lord." This is serious stuff! We have been invited—called—to become holy.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)


 

Ephesians 2:19  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

He is gathering everybody into the household of God, and we are forerunners in the process He is working out.

One of the major keys to the unity God is creating is understanding that it is through Christ that we are reconciled to God. Much of the responsibility for maintaining that reconciliation with God has fallen upon us. Christ is still involved, because He is our High Priest. He is working with us to maintain the reconciliation that He made, so that our contact with God is not broken through disobedience. Thus, each person contributes in the maintenance of this reconciliation by working on himself to become holy—by living a life worthy of God's calling.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)


 

Ephesians 4:22-24  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This occurrence of "holy" (verse 24) is a different word from the other word that is most frequently translated as "holy." This word means "to be without contamination." If one becomes dirty because of work - say there is dirt on one's face, hands, arms, and perhaps some of it is grease - it is very difficult to get it off. Will that dirt that contaminates one come off just because one wishes it so?

No, we become uncontaminated, clean, because we work at it. The analogy is being followed through here. Paul's illustration explains that effort must be made to become holy, to be transformed into the image of God. There is action required on our part.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Love and Works


 

Titus 2:12  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Listed fifth is godliness or piety. In Acts 10:2, 7, the word is translated as "devout." This Greek word means "to render to God the reverence and worship emanating from a holy life." To do this, the holy life must come first, and then giving this kind of devotion to God is made possible.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Titus 2:11-14


 

Hebrews 12:14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We are to pursue peace and holiness. We are to pursue peace because there is no peace. There is no peace because of the communication we have had with Satan. Humanity reflects his nature, and the earth is filled with violence. Peace must be pursued.

Likewise, we have to pursue holiness. The work of God on earth is to produce holiness in His children. Without that holiness in us, we will not see the Lord.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is Prayer?


 

Hebrews 12:14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The apostle Paul charges us to "pursue peace . . . and holiness." Pursuing anything requires the expending of energy; it is often very hard work. Pursuing holiness especially goes strongly against the grain of the carnal, anti-God nature residing within us, leftover from following the course of this world.

Further, Paul adds that we must pursue holiness because "without [it] no one will see the Lord." It is true that, while we are justified, we are also sanctified. Being set apart is an aspect of holiness. However, the responsibility of pursuing remains because God wants our holiness to be, not a static state, but a dynamic, living, practical, and working part of our character. This character is built through experience after we have been given access to Him. We must seek and build it through cooperative association with and because of Him and our Lord and Savior.

A number of motivations exist for doing so. The first - a no-brainer - is because we love Him. Jesus says in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Another motivation springs from friendship. Jesus explains in John 15:14, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."

Do we want to please God? Jesus remarks in John 8:29, "I always do those things that please Him." Do we want to be in God's Kingdom enough to walk His way of life entirely, regardless of what God may demand of us? Joshua and Caleb did on the journey to the Promised Land. Jesus declares in John 17:4, "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." He paid a huge price, and He made it.

We are told to pray without ceasing and to give thanks in every circumstance because both of these are part of God's will (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). We are also to study "to present [ourselves] approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed" (II Timothy 2:15). Each of these is a labor that falls upon anyone who appreciates God for what He has done and for what He so generously and freely provides.

Do we want to witness for God, bringing Him glory by our labors of love? Is this not what all the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 accomplished? According to Hebrews 12:1, they constitute a great cloud of witnesses. Abel's work of faith still speaks (Hebrews 11:4); Noah's witness condemned the world (verse 7), and Abraham's faith drove him to seek "the city . . . whose builder and maker is God" (verses 8-10). Hebrews 11:39 declares that all of those named or implied in the chapter obtained a good testimony through faith.

They worked in various ways, and they will be in the Kingdom. Undoubtedly, God included in His Book the witness of the shining examples of their labors so that their lives might prod us to do likewise in our own.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is the Christian Required To Do Works? (Part Six)


 

1 John 3:3  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Our hope is to be like Christ and to see Him as He is. Our hope is to enter the Kingdom of God. What does having such hope do? It motivates a person to purify himself. He does this by living life as Christ lived it. The whole issue of sanctification revolves around the receiving of God's Holy Spirit and then the study, belief, and putting into practice of God's Word. If we do those things, Christ is in us, and we then cannot help but to produce fruit, just as He did.

If we receive God's Holy Spirit, and it joins with our spirit, converting us, then sanctification—spiritual growth toward perfection—begins. It cannot be stopped unless we choose to stop it. Paul says, "Do not quench the Spirit" (I Thessalonians 5:19). We have the power to do that, but if we will just yield to it, fruit will be produced. How much and of what quality is up to the individual, but it will be growth taking place. The process will begin.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 8)


 

Revelation 21:8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God's law will still be in effect once His Kingdom is established. Even after the Millennium, when New Jerusalem comes down, no lawbreaker will be allowed in the city. In Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible, obedience to God's law is the central issue. This is very clear proof that the law of God, which reflects the holy conduct of the Almighty, will be the standard for all eternity!

Martin G. Collins
The Ten Commandments


 

 




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