1. Personal Holiness, Equals True Joy Psalm 66:1-2
Text: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (entire lifestyle); because it is written, BE YE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.”
1 Peter 1:13-16.
Good morning, ‘fully-baked’, and ‘half-baked’ Christians! When the Lord God, in His grace, granted you and I His gifts of repentance and faith – we believed and received Christ as our Saviour and our Lord. We were ‘re-created’ in Christ Jesus, as new creatures; new creatures with all the Holiness of Christ in our Standing before God’s throne of grace. We have God’s own Word on these facts of our Bible-believing faith in God. Check it out!
Our Standing: The Lord God grants ‘His people’ a Standing, through the Cross of Christ’s Atonement for ‘His peoples’ sin. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed (or are continually passing) away; behold (look, and fully understand), all things are become (or are continually becoming) new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
“For we (Spiritually regenerated Christians) are His workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
In our Standing before our Holy Lord God, we stand washed in Christ’s own shed Blood from all our sins. Without Christ’s shield of saving faith, we could not stand for a moment in the Holy Presence of God – we would be consumed in an instant because of our sin – ‘…our God is a consuming fire…’ (Hebrews 12:29)
In our God-given Standing in Christ, by God’s grace, through God-given faith – we stand in complete Holiness - the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
“Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He/she shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his Salvation.” (Psalm 24:3)
Our State: All genuine reborn Christians still have an old nature within us, as well as the new redeemed nature from the Lord God. Therefore, because we are natural born sinners, we naturally sin every day, in word, thought, or deed. As we walk as pilgrims through this old sinful world in daily life, our hands, our feet, our minds, get dirtied by all we encounter around us without, and all the old incurably sinful nature we still possess within.
When we, in our daily State, get polluted by outer and inner sins, we therefore need to be sanctified afresh before we can come and stand in the Holy, ‘fire-consuming’ Presence of the Lord God Jehovah. The Lord will not even listen to prayers that come from a sin-defiled mouth and heart!
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18)
“Behold (look, and fully understand), the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities (sins) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” (Isaiah 59:1-4
In our daily State, we get sanctified afresh from all sins – without and within – by confessing them to the Lord God alone, forsaking such sins; seeking His forgiveness and His cleansing by the precious shed Blood of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (cleanses, and continues to cleanse) us from ALL sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins (to God alone!), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-10)
Concerning our daily STATE in Christ Jesus, we do well to, as the Puritans were known to say, ‘Keep short accounts of our sin, with God.’; confess and sanctify ourselves to the Lord and seek His ever-given forgiveness, BEFORE we even dare to try to come into His Holy Presence in prayer or worship of Him.
‘Fully-baked’ & ‘Half-baked’ Christians: Here in Ulster, that is Northern Ireland, UK, we have a tradition of naming folk either ‘half-baked’ or ‘fully-baked’ in any given profession. If one is evidenced to be ‘fully-baked’ (as one would bake a cake, or a pie) in their profession – as a joiner, a metal-work fitter; an electrician, OR a Christian – then one is seen to be the genuine article; the one that is actually living/doing the job they profess to be able to do.
If on the other hand, the person is evidenced to be incompetent, unprofessional, shoddy in their profession – one is then known as being merely ‘half-baked’ at what they profess to be able to do, or be.
The Christian church – universal and international – today, is habited by professing Christians who are both ‘fully-baked’ and ‘half-baked’ in my definition explained.
Those bringing honour to the Name of Christ are those that are faithfully being saved from our sins by God’s Sovereign grace; studying God’s Word and doctrine to ‘…grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ’; and finding ways and means to serve Christ by glorifying His Holy Name, and extending His Kingdom here on earth. Praise God for them.
Verse 1. “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands. We need not so much noise as joyful noise. God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in Holy exultations.” Verse 2. “Sing forth the honour of His Name. It is our glory to be able to give God glory; and all our true glory should be ascribed unto God, for it is His glory.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 283) Hallelujah! Our Lord God is Holy!
Thought: ‘Fully-baked’ Christians bring, and give the Lord glory. ‘Half-baked’ professing Christians are luke-warm, and shall be spued out of Christ’s mouth. God’s Word is an oven. Let us all seek to stay in God’s oven until we are ‘fully-baked’!