Today we will be discussing heart holiness, but before we get into the Word I want to make some statements.
Rules are good for guidelines but rules don’t produce relationship. Many times we can look at holiness as a list of rules, that is religion, obedience without relationship is Phariseeism.
Jesus looked at the Pharisees and said you are white washed tombs, meaning, they had rules without relationship, He said, you have a form of godliness but deny its power.
The truth is for many people it would be easier to keep a list of rules than to have relationship because the truth is the relationship is more involved. The rules say, known as the law, sacrifice a spotless lamb, but Jesus said be perfect as your Father is perfect. The problem with that is this, the rule leaves you feeling guilty and brings more work, whereas the relationship leaves you feeling grace and at rest.
The command of Jesus is actually easier to fulfill because when we are yielded to Him the command has within itself the ability to be fulfilled. Jesus said He would write his law on our hearts, Psalm 119:11 says with the Word in us we won’t commit sin. Philippians 2:5 says we have the mind of Christ, the reason the majority of us don’t walk in that truth is two fold, we don’t believe it and even if we do say we believe it we don’t apply it.
Let’s go to the Word,
Ephesians 2:11-17 NIV “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— (12) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, (15) by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, (16) and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (17) He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”
As we look quickly at the text we see that Christ has put together both Jew and Gentile by the Spirit. We are now one, which is why 1 Corinthians 10:32 says, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God.” We are now the Church, one body.
The Pharisees wanted to hold on to the law (not only the law of moses) but all the laws they made up.
Jesus didn’t have a problem with the law of Moses, in fact he expounded it and made it about the heart and not the duty. We will remember though a discussion about hand washing, that was man made it didn’t matter.
We remember the Pharisees always took issue with Jesus healing on the Sabbath, why? Because they were more worried about the rule instead of relationship, at one point Jesus actually turned to them and said the Sabbath is for man, not man for the Sabbath. In other words Jesus is basically saying, quit being stupid and rejoice that the day of rest has brought true rest to these peoples lives.
Hebrews 4 tells us that there is a rest that remains for the children of God, we have to choose to enter into that rest though.
Holiness is about relationship not rules, that’s why Jesus healed people out of love and relationship.
Ephesians 4:18-22 NIV “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (19) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (21) In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.(22) And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
WE HAVE ACCESS! We don’t have to go through a priest, we have access. We can come boldly into the throne room! We are citizens of the Kingdom!
Let’s talk about the Kingdom for a minute. Jesus said that the will of God is that the Kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven. Part of the Kingdom is holiness.
Let’s look at some phraseology in John seventeen from The Message.
“And my life is on display in them” and “Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life”
What life is He speaking of? Kingdom LIFE!
The Kingdom is HIS LIFE ON DISPLAY!
His life on display is love, holiness, healing, and abundance.
We see in Ephesians, verse twenty-two that we are a holy temple.
John 13:10 in The Message says, my concern you understand is holiness. Jesus goes on to say, (15) “I’ve laid down a pattern for you, What I’ve done you do.”
The pattern Jesus laid was a holiness pattern and the outflow of the holiness in our lives is the help of Jesus manifested through us to others.
Matthew 10:7-8 NKJV “And as you go, preach, saying; The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
The outflow of a holiness lifestyle is the miraculous, that is not just physical healing, but spiritual, emotional, and relational as well.
In wrapping this up, Ephesians 4:22 NIV “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling place in which God lives by his spirit.”
The dwelling place of God is a holy place, Psalm 15, and the outflow of that living river is healing and wholeness for the believer.
Believer, holiness is not keeping the rules, holiness is relationship.
John 15:7-8 MSG “But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.“
We need to be at home in Jesus and THE WORD needs to be at home in us, putting the WORD in us and having the WORD flow out of us. When we ask, the Greek word here is demand, when we demand according to the WORD it will be done! There is no if or buts, no if it be thy will, no but what if God in His wisdom… none of that doubt and unbelief junk only faith and faith only.
Grapes is a representation of the new wine of the Spirit, when we produce the Spirit we mature and become disciples.
(11) “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.” Hebrews 1:9 says Jesus had more joy that his companions, we should have joy that is full of glory and full of grace.
The Kingdom life is a holy life and a holiness based from relationship not rules.
Today I invite you to embrace a holiness that comes in relationship and discard any holiness that is based in rule keeping.
Jesus longs for relationship, he wants to know us and wants us to know Him. If we have relationship we will walk in holiness without having to think about it.
Jesus said come away with me and rest awhile, true holiness is rest, not working to keep rules.
Today an invitation is extended to leave the work of rules and enter into the rest of relationship which is true holiness.