The Bright Lamp of Holiness
By Francis Frangipane
When true holiness exists in a Christian's life, it produces a luminosity, a glow around that individual. Infants and little children, because their spirits are yet pure and undefiled and because they are so close to the actual presence of God, emanate this light as well. Their light is visible because their hearts are transparent and truthful. For us, the way to the bright lamp of holiness is this same way of transparency and truth. It is the way to the pure gold of the kingdom of God.
When Your Eye is Single
From the moment Christ enters within us, we are holy, set apart unto God. This kind of holiness is the same sanctification that made the utensils in the temple holy: holy because they were used in service to the Lord. They had no virtue in themselves; their material substance did not change. Christianity, in general, is holy in that sense. But the holiness we are seeking is the fulfillment of having been set apart. We are seeking a holiness that mirrors, through us, the presence of God in Heaven. We are seeking both His nature and His quality of life.
Since true holiness produces in us the actual life of the Holy Spirit, we must be sure we know who the Spirit is. The Spirit of God is love, not religion. God is life, not rituals. The Holy Spirit does more in us than simply enable us to "speak in tongues" or witness. The Spirit leads us into the presence of Jesus. Herein is our holiness received: in our union and fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Again, the holiness we are seeking is not a legislative or legalistic set of rules; it is Christ's very own life. The Holy Spirit works in us not merely a new desire to love, but He imparts to us Christ's very own love. We develop more than just a general faith in Jesus; we actually begin believing like Jesus, with His quality of faith. It is God in us that makes us holy. Let it stagger us. Let it rock us off our comfortable little perches until, with great trembling and great joy, with deep worship and holy fear, we approach the Divine Reality who has, for His own will and purpose, called us to Himself.
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16). The Spirit of God dwells in us. In this light, let us ask ourselves again the age-old question, "What is man?" We know how we appear to other men but, if God truly is within us, how do we appear to angels, or devils? What light marks us in the spirit-world, what illumination surrounds us, what glory declares to the invisible realm: Behold and beware, here walks a child of God! Think of it: the Spirit of the Creator, who purposed in the beginning to make man in His image, is in you . . . now.
Holiness is a Body Full of Light
There are limitations. There are conditions. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve light and darkness, sin and righteousness, self and God. Light is within you but so also is darkness. Our world is a world in darkness. Our ancestors were sons of darkness. Our carnal minds yet remain theaters of darkness. In a world of choices, we must choose light. That is why Jesus taught that we must be single-minded if we would become fully mature sons of light. He said, "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness" (Luke 11:34 KJV).
If you are focused in your will and heart toward God, your body is full of light and you are giving full expression to the glory of God within you. But, if you are double-minded, if you are dwelling on sinful or evil thoughts, your light is proportionally diminished until your very body is full of darkness. Jesus went on to warn, "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" (Luke 11:35 KJV).
If you do nothing about your salvation, fail to seek God, or choose to disobey Him, you are in darkness. Do not console yourself with an aimless hope that someday, somehow, you will get better. Arm yourself with determination! For if the light in you is in darkness, how terrible is that darkness! Son of light, you must hate darkness! For darkness is the substance of hell; it is the world without God!
But our hope is light, not darkness. Your feet are walking the path of the just, that path which grows brighter and brighter unto the full day. "If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it shall be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays" (Luke 11:36). This verse gives a very clear picture of what holiness looks like in its maturity: our bodies are radiant with glory even as a lamp shines at full brightness. What a tremendous hope---that we can be so wholly illumined with the presence of God that there is "no dark part" within us! A garment of light and glory awaits the spiritually mature, the holy ones of God, a garment similar to what Jesus wore on the Mount of Transfiguration! A splendor not just put on in eternity but one worn here, "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation"; here, where we "appear as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:14-15).
"You were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light" (Eph. 5:8). Now you are a child of light. These are not merely figures of speech! The glory of God is within and around you; it is a spiritual reality! But what of the darkness that is yet within you? Paul continued,
And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them . . . but all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. ---Ephesians 5:11, 13
Do not hide your darkness, expose it. Do not sympathetically make excuses for it, confess it. Hate it. Renounce it. For as long as darkness remains in darkness, it rules you. But when you bring darkness out into the light, it becomes light. When you take your secret sins and boldly come unto the throne of God's grace and confess them, He cleanses you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). If you sin again, repent again. And again, until the habit of sin is broken within you.
Like the prospectors of old, you must stake your claim high in the kingdom of God, being ready to defend your rights to the "pure gold" of Heaven (Rev. 3:18). And as you pitch your tent at the throne of grace, something eternal will begin to glow in you, like hot coals on a furnace floor. And as you persist with the Almighty, the sacred fire of His presence will consume the wood, hay and stubble of your former ways. Power such as Jesus had will reside in your innermost being. Angels will stand in awe, for your gold will be refined, your garments light and your life holy.
Taken from "Holiness, Truth, and the Presence of God" by Francis Frangipane