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TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5355
NC, USA

 Re:

I think love is a greater component than holiness. (Again not suggesting holiness is not vital).

I have known brothers/sisters who were highly operative in the gifts although you might say they were a little rough around the edges. However in every case like this they were the type who would literally give the shirt off their back to help someone. Plus, they had quite a bit of faith and weren't scared to approach a person and pray boldly etc.


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Todd

 2016/3/24 12:12Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1244
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Brother Todd,

Yes the scriptures say to love is the greatest,... it would seem to my mind that practicing love would be a vital component to holiness/sanctification.
But yes I've witnessed the same with very loving people being a lil rough round the edges themselves.

My conclusion,.... As we work out what's been worked into us with all of our failings and stumbles, it seems holiness is often a messy business-
Just like sometimes the cleanest/purest among us have dirty knees;)


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Fletcher

 2016/3/24 14:14Profile
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 Re:

Hi Mike,


Thank you for the insights. Its true that from God's perspective we have been already sanctified and justified in Christ. In Christ we have everything we need for our Christian life. He is the Alpha and the Omega of our salvation and our faith. He is our sanctification and our justification. Our union with Christ is the ground of our righteousness and holiness. He is the source of every grace we receive from the Father. When we were born again by the Spirit, we were grafted in Christ so that we can bear fruit for the glory of the Father.

From the experimental point of view, I believe that sanctification is instantaneous as well as progressive. When we came to the Cross as sinners to receive Jesus as our Savior and put our trust in him to save us, something radical happened to us: God circumsized our heart and changed our stony heart to a heart of the flesh and He wrote his laws on our heart by his Spirit giving us the ability to obey Him. He made that possible only thru the atoning sacrifice of his Son on the Cross. Our sins were not only forgiven but his blood washed them away and the Holy Spirit regenerated us. We became a new creation in Christ.

This is the blessed reality of our initial salvation in Christ. We felt the joy of our salvation and the love poured out in our hearts, we longed for his presence and fellowship in prayer. We had a burden to witness to the lost and longed to bring sinners to the Cross and to salvation. We were growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord, at least this has been the common experience of many Christians.

Here comes the sad part. Later on in life most of us lost the joy of our salvation like David in Psalm 51. We grew cold in love for God or others and we started to backslide.

Many Christians are zealous about good works and faithful to the sound doctrines of the Bible and still can be in a state of backsliding like the Ephesian Christians at the end of the 1st century. This is the most sophisticated form of backsliding and its not easy to detect.

Others backslide by being lukewarm like the Laodecian Church who was neither cold or hot and in need of repentance. There is also another type of backsliding like that of the prodigal son who left his Father's house to go back to the world and live a carnal sinful lifestyle till he at last came back to his senses and repented and turned back to his Father's house as an unworthy son hoping that he will find a humble place even as a servant in his Father's house.

There are different forms of backslidings and I know that by experience not only because it is evident in the Bible. Why am I bringing up backsliding when we talk about sanctification? Its very necessary and relavent for us as believers today. Purity of heart is not an option but a necessity for Christian living. And I believe that Christ can make all of our heart pure by his shed blood on the Cross, and He can be the source of our purity and sanctification when we meet his conditions. There are degrees of sanctification but it is also true that there is a point in life when a Christian who is totally committed to Christ experiences entire sanctification of spirit, soul and body and purification from all filthiness and pollution of the body or spirit.


When a believer reaches by faith that point of total surrender and abandonment to God, a deep union and a very close fellowship takes place. The believer is conscience of Christ presence, the conscienceness of sin is gone and he feels a deep peace and inexpressible joy. All this new experience is nothing unusual but the normal experience of the life of faith that was common in the primitive apostolic Church.

I believe the Bible teaches that kind of sanctification and purity. It was the standard expected of every believer and everyone was exhorted to heart purity and to go on to perfection and to walk in the way of holiness as Isaiah called it. The narrow way of Christian discipleship was the norm not the exception in the early Church and obedience to the sermon on the mount was expected from everyone.

We as a Body of Christ can't grow to the full stature of Christ and reach that maturity of character and full potential in Christ unless all the gifts, graces and fruits are present and are received by faith and manifested in us and through us for the glory of the Father.


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Redi

 2016/3/24 23:44Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Maybe the story that is seen from Heaven is really one of how much God loves us flawed human beings and is able to gift with real Holy Spirit giftings anyone He desires to, I mean He rebuked a mad prophet through a donkey, and Sampson was more a womanizer than a saint. 1Cor 12 gifts 1 Cor 13 love 1 Cor 14 Gifts again, without the gifts of the Holy Spirit the church will not mature, the expressions of those giftings can be a vast as the sands on a thousand shores for diversity. To some degree we are never more holy in the sight of God than we are the first moment we are born into His kingdom, in the NT there is more emphasis being placed , or at least as much, on maturing in Christ as being Holy. Pretty much the same thing in the end, its growing up and exercising our senses to discern good, bad, clean , unclean, the holy and the profane. But apart from the gifts of the Holy Spirit it all ends in dead works because there is no real faith there, just human effort.


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D.Miller

 2016/3/25 1:05Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3466
Louisiana

 Re:



"We as a Body of Christ can't grow to the full stature of Christ and reach that maturity of character and full potential in Christ unless all the gifts, graces and fruits are present and are received by faith and manifested in us and through us for the glory of the Father."


I appreciate the insights that you all have on this subject. Redi, I agree with you on what you have shared. Much of it has been my own Christian experience. However, I know that I haven’t arrived yet and am still a work in progress.

We must return to our first love. The intimacy and fellowship with Jesus has to be the main thing that we are seeking. God is wanting to take us deeper, and we must maintain that spiritual hunger and thirst to want to know Him in all
of His fullness. Have we seen that Christ is everything? It really does take a full surrender to enter into all that God has for us.


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Mike

 2016/3/25 9:20Profile









 Re:

You can operate in the gifts by faith & lack love. This was, I believe, Paul's point to the Corinthians in I Corinthains 13 (the love chapter following spiritual gifts, especially prophecy). But Love is "the better way" & what we are ultimately called to. Holiness is "loving God with all your heart, mind, soul & strength" & "obeying His commandments", as well as "loving your neighbor as yourself" (unholiness in your life doesn't just affect you). You can also walk in some semblance of giftings without holiness, discipline, maturity, etc. Again, Paul's point to the Corinthians in needing to cast out the one in sexual immorality among them & not to even eat with a professing believer who willfully practices continual sin such as sexual immorality.

They are all intricately linked & taught in scripture: Faith (spiritual gifts), Love, Holiness, etc. Sure, the cessationist has no good Biblical grounds to stand on. Don't let excesses in charismania create a "reactionary theology" whereby because of excess/counterfeits we call God a liar & change His Word through our traditions. If you have faith, but not love, you will be empty & hard. If you have faith without holiness, you will spin off the rails at some point & find yourself in a bad place. But God's design is clearly that we believe Him & see His moving/power among a holy, passionate, loving & humble people He calls His Bride. This is the goal. And God wants it for us more than we want it for ourselves. We need the full 5-fold ministry in its proper place to have a full Body (at least corporately) & the gifts believed & allowed to function as God sees fit. Why would we limit God except unbelief or pride?

At the Same time we need prophetic gifts, we also need real, mature, Godly teachers too, so we aren't a mile wide & a 1/2" deep. And with all teachers & no prophets, we are all doctrinal headiness & no prophetic leading of the Lord's Spirit. With no evangelists, we are inwardly focused & not focused on the outward harvest. Etc., etc. Pauls letters to the Corinthains do the best & most concise job overall explaining the Body, its members, its importance, how it should function, etc. And that without holiness &/or without love, it's all for nothing as a loud crashing cymbal or gong (just noise).

So it's not "either/or" ultimately, but all of the above that are importance for us to become the church Christ died & sent His spirit for us to become (a bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish). We haven't yet attained it, but we should be putting the past behind us cosorately & straining ahead (individually & corporately) for the high calling in Christ Jesus, & growing from Glory to Glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 2016/3/25 9:44
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3466
Louisiana

 Re:


Brother Jeff wrote:

So it's not "either/or" ultimately, but all of the above that are importance for us to become the church Christ died & sent His spirit for us to become (a bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish). We haven't yet attained it, but we should be putting the past behind us cosorately & straining ahead (individually & corporately) for the high calling in Christ Jesus, & growing from Glory to Glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen brother! very good discussion with balance!


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Mike

 2016/3/25 11:36Profile









 Re:

The concept of God's people being a bride married to God was pre-figured in the Israelite people of the old covenant (Jer. 2:2; Hosea 2,3), who provided an inadequate picture by their unfaithfulness (Isa. 1:21; Hosea 2:5). The prophet declared that a time would come when God's people would be "betrothed to Him in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness, compassion and faithfulness" (Hosea 2:19,20). That is fulfilled in the people of God in the new covenant, Christians who are joined spiritually with the Lord (I Cor. 6:17) and are considered to be the bride of Christ.

In Biblical times the man and the woman were first betrothed in a legally binding agreement, and then after a period of time which was often a year or longer, they were wed in an elaborate ceremony and their union was consummated. Analogous to this, Christians are regarded as having been "betrothed to Christ" spiritually, and after a period of time when Jesus Christ returns, they will be collectively "presented to Him as a pure virgin" (II Cor. 11:2) at the marriage of the Lamb.

The spiritual bride, the Christian community, "makes herself ready" by allowing the Spirit of Christ to "sanctify her" in order to "present her to Himself in all her glory, holy and blameless" (Eph. 5:26,27). The bride of the Christian community "clothes herself in fine linen, bright and clean, which is the righteous acts of the saints" (19:8), the character of Christ Himself, which is in sharp contrast to the gaudy garb of the prostitute of the religious community (17:4).

When Christ returns the "marriage of the Lamb" will take place and all Christians will participate in the consummation of eternally unhindered matrimony and intimacy with Jesus Christ, the bridegroom. "Blessed" indeed "are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (19:9), for only Christians are invited who have "been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 1:3) and have allowed themselves to be perfected (Phil. 1:6) in sanctification (Heb. 12:14), purity, holiness and righteousness.

- Jim Fowler

 2016/3/25 12:11
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

I think you guys are correct on all the above, I can't speak for others back grounds but I can for pentecostals and charismatics, it seems there has been great confusion because those individuals who have learned to exercise themselves, or yield, to the Holy Spirit s giftings is somehow thought to be more spiritual or holy than others in the body and so it seems like the real focus of bearing fruit is somehow lost, and this camp seems to fixate on just a few gifts instead of allowing the Lord full expression in His infinitude of who He is and what He can accomplish if we would just let Him, but the gifts are still not a good indicator of a life fully surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. Unfortunately when many of us(I plead guilty here in times past) start to look to closely at others we become judges within ourselves and we find it difficult to walk by faith toward those in the body of Christ who we may for some reason rub us the wrong way. Than we call it spiritual discernment instead of (as was mentioned above) just covering others unseemly parts with the Love of Christ and our prayers. And to be painfully honest it is sometimes really hard to pray for some people, whether you know them or not, saved or unsaved. I think there's a pharisee in all of us that seems to cry out for justice and judgement instead of mercy and forgiveness, and so often we end up comparing ourselves by ourselves which we are told is not wise. So the whole subject of Gifts vs Holiness can be and often is a real hot flash point among those in the body of Christ.


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D.Miller

 2016/3/25 12:25Profile









 Re:

I am greatly encouraged to find a growing consciousnesses amongst believers, that things are not quite right with them, despite the charismatic promises, and they are becoming thirstier for the streams of living waters to be poured from their bellies.

Brother Frank said elsewhere, that he did not think there would be any more revivals but l must respectfully disagree on the grounds that l believe that the hunger and thirst for a pure heart and holiness to have been planted there by the Lord.

The longing is intensifying and people are really becoming desperate which is wonderful as it is exactly this realisation of our failures and inadequacies that clears the pathway for Christ to bring us to transformational repentance. Formerly people had been complacent and filled with pride at the thought that they were specially gifted because of something in themselves, but the wholesale acceptance of what were assumed to be from God, with an entire lack of discernment, showed that they were being deceived about what they saw as a baptism of the Spirit.

A charismatic woman called Patricia Knowles wrote a book about this called Holiness, The key to revival. She had begun to question why she did not see Holy lives in others and herself and after reading books from the past came to the conclusion, that the present understanding of Spirit baptism was in error and it was entire sanctification that it was all about. Jessie Penn Lewis also wrote about this in detail in her War on the Saints, describing the deception and false teaching that was spoiling the Welsh revivals.

The woman l mentioned has since sought the blessing fervently, with her husband but l have not heard yet whether it has been obtained. I think not, but she continues to teach what was revealed to her.

 2016/3/25 13:52





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