"I find nothing in the Bible but holiness, and nothing in the world but worldliness. Therefore, if I live in the world, I will become worldly; on the other hand, if I live in the Bible, I will become holy." - Smith Wigglesworth
The Apostle Peter admonished the Body of Christ in 1 Peter 1:14-16 in this manner - "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; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY."
Is it possible nowadays for people, in the midst of this "adulterous and sinful generation," to actually "be...holy" in their behavior, ways, or manner of life?
What about all the teachings in the Church at this present hour that say that we cannot help but sin in thought, word, or deed? Surely, these "Teachers" and "Preachers" don't agree with Peter's inspired words here. They actually do not believe that it is possible for anyone to live "holy." After all, they openly and boldly emphasize that we are still "sinners" saved by grace.
We may have been "sinners" at one time, but does the Bible still called the "Redeemed of the Lord" "sinners"? Or does it now refer to us as "saints" - sanctified ones - "vessels of honor for God" - holy, separate, and set apart from this world for God's use?
Would God be so oppressive and ironhanded as to command us to be "holy" and not give us the means to be so?
What Father would bid his children to do a task that is beyond their capability without giving them the tools in order to get the job done?
Matthew 7:11 - If we, "being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children, how much more shall our Father in Heaven give us the means to obey His command to "be holy"?
In Psalm 119:9, the Psalmist asked a very relevant question - one that many are asking even in our day and time - "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?"
In other words, where can I go to get help in leading a pure and holy life? Where can I find the power to resist temptation or to put to death the affections and lusts of my flesh?
The Word of God has the answer. In fact, the Word of God is the answer.
In this message, we will examine 18 Steps To Holiness. They are in no way exhaustive, but they will surely help to set and keep you on the right track.
They are as follows:
1. Make The Word Of God Your Rule
Psalm 119:9 - "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word."
The #1 way to holiness is to make God's Word your rule for your life and conduct, govern yourself accordingly, and resolve to conform to it in every measure.
2. Seek God With Your Whole Heart
Psalm 119:10 - "With my whole heart have I sought Thee..."
With every affection of your heart - reserving none for any possible idols - follow hard after God. Continuously cry out to Him for more wisdom, strength, and a tender spirit.
3. Realize Your Weaknesses
Psalm 119:10 - "...O let me not wander from Thy commandments." Psalm 119:25 - "My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken Thou me according to Thy word."
In order to stay in the path of duty, you have to realize your constant need for self-denial and restraint. You are prone to wander and err except for the Lord's intervention.
Your life is generally glued to or adheres firmly to that which is of this world - "dust." Earthly things and desires are unfailingly contesting to pull you away from your allegiance to Jesus.
It takes God's Word to strengthen and empower you to break away from these evil and worldly propensities.
4. Hide God's Word In Your Heart
Psalm 119:11 - "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
Like a secret power in operation at all times, the Word of God is constituted to act as a deterrent against all evil in your life. In order to do so, however, it must be layed up, treasured, or hoarded in your heart so that, at a moment's notice, it is available to respond to life's situation.
5. Magnify God As Your Source Of Strength
Psalm 119:12 - "Blessed art Thou, O LORD..."
God is to be praised as your One and Only Preserver from evil. Through His Word, He keeps you from falling.
6. Cry Out For Instruction
Psalm 119:12 - "...teach me Thy statutes." Psalm 119:26 - "...teach me Thy statutes." Psalm 119:27 - "Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts..." Psalm 119:19 - "...hide not Thy commandments from me."
Become more and more acquainted with Jesus' ways so that you can walk accordingly.
7. Tell Others What You Have Learned
Psalm 119:13 - "With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth." Psalm 119:27 - "...so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works."
Once you learn a principle, you are then responsible to share it with others so that they, in turn, will be able to walk uprightly. This practice will reinforce the teaching in your own heart.
8. Consider God's Word As Your Chief Joy In Life
Psalm 119: 14 - "I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches." Psalm 119:16 - "I will delight myself in Thy statutes..." Psalm 119:24 - "Thy testimonies also are my delight..."
Nothing - not even possessions, positions, or great wealth - can replace the Word as being the principal source of happiness and rejoicing in your heart.
The word "delight" used in the above Scripture actually means to skip about and jump for joy. With such exuberance, the Word is to have First Place in your life.
9. Allow God's Word To Rule Your Thoughts
Psalm 119:15 - "I will meditate in Thy precepts..."
You are instructed here to meditate frequently on God's words, works, and ways. They are to govern your thoughts and bring about self-examination and reflection to your path.
10. Don't Allow Anything Of This World To Crowd Out The Word
Psalm 119:15 - "I will...have respect unto Thy ways." Psalm 119:16 - "...I will not forget Thy word."
Have a constant regard for what the Word says and make your decisions accordingly, not allowing any "ungodly counsel" to steer you in the wrong direction.
11. Plead For God's Enabling Grace
Psalm 119:17 - "Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy Word."
The only way you can possibly live for God in this ungodly world is by God's Grace. As one in desperate straits, beg God to show His favor upon you so that you will "live" and not die.
12. Pray For A Special Illumination Of The Word
Psalm 119:18 - "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law."
All the answers that you will ever need for life's problems or dilemmas are found in the Scriptures. Don't be satisfied with a surface knowledge of the Word. Be a diligent miner who digs deeply into God's inexhaustible resources. Be like Jacob and wrestle with the Lord for the answers that you so desperately need.
Each time that you open up the Word, ask God to remove the scales from your spiritual eyes that may have developed through Sin, compromise, or worldliness. Plead with Him to remove any veil of unbelief, doubt, fear, or hardness of heart that would prevent a clear vision of His mind. Implore Him to reveal, uncover, and make bare any and all spiritual Truths that are needful for your life at the moment.
13. Recognize Your Status In This World As A Christian
Psalm 119:19 - "I am a stranger in the earth..."
Never forget that this world is not your home. As a pilgrim who belongs to another country, you are just simply passing through. Hence, nothing is permanent or forever.
14. Hunger For More Of God
Psalm 119:20 - "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments at all times."
Let your soul become desperate for God to the point of breaking. Long for His righteousness. Intensely desire to hear from Him.
15. Stay Humble
Psalm 119:21 - "Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Thy commandments."
Recognize that pride in your heart will cause you to err from the Truth and reap the awful displeasure of God on your life. Stay away from it at all costs.
16. Watch Out For The Accusations
Psalm 119:22 - "Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept Thy testimonies." Psalm 119:23 - "Princes also did sit and speak against me..."
As soon as you determine in your heart that you are going to "go all the way" with Jesus, the devil will be sure to raise up the "Princes" to send "reproach and contempt" your way. There will be those - even in authority - who will try to tear you down from your place of excellence.
Because these "Princes" are not where they should be in the Lord, your testimony and life will be a direct affront to their lukewarmness, compromise, or deadness of soul and spirit. They will charge you with being self-righteous, hypocritical, insincere, fanatical, extreme, and overboard. Whatever you do, don't allow anyone to throw their "wet blankets" on your fire. Keep on keeping on for the Lord.
17. Recognize The Word As Your Only Counselor
Psalm 119:24 - "Thy testimonies also are my...counselors."
In this day of "anything goes," so many are running to man for answers because they simply do not know the difference between right and wrong.
The Scriptures are to be your One and Only "counselors" - "men of my counsel." You are to consider them as your closest Friends to whom you seek for godly advice, insight, or direction. Any "words" given to you that are not in keeping with the Word of God are to be trashed and treated with utmost contempt as something wicked, evil, and deadly.
18. Surrender All To Jesus
Psalm 119:26 - "I have declared my ways, and Thou heardest me..."