True Biblical Holiness :: by Joseph Chambers

When a person understands the truth about Biblical Holiness, it becomes the most desirable possibility in all of human experiences.  There is nothing so beautiful, so satisfying and so natural in all of human life.  The very reason for your creation, the purpose for which God made you and the most complete life, is found in Biblical holiness.  It is not just a standard someone is trying to live. It certainly is not legalism or narrow-mindedness.  Holiness is the work of the Holy Ghost by the Word and by the Blood.  It actually lifts man into the image of God.  In holiness, we become God-like and God-filled.

No, No, I’m not talking about righteousness.  Righteousness is what happens in our body, soul, and spirit when we begin to experience holiness. Righteousness is the work of Holiness. Righteousness is the joy of obedience to God’s ways that results from the inner work of holiness. Holiness cannot start or continue or be completed by righteousness in the many expressions of our living. Holiness is never subject to righteousness.  Instead, righteousness is subject to Holiness.  The only righteousness that man can produce without Holiness is what the Bible calls self-righteousness and it is deplorable to God Himself. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”  (Isaiah 64:6).

Jesus Rejected The Pharisees
Biblical Holiness is why Jesus died on Calvary.  He did not die to produce another sect of Pharisees.  He had just rejected the sect He already had to deal with.  In fact, it was the Pharisees that helped bring Him to trial and death. These men did not break or disobey even one of His laws of righteousness. The great Apostle Paul, said of his condition before He met the Lord, “As touching the law, I was blameless.”  (Philippians 3:6).  But, this apostle-to-be was not holy, he was righteous, self-righteous, empty, and even repulsive. Much of our religious world has at least some semblance of righteousness, but Holiness?  I fear not.

Holiness is a relationship in Jesus Christ in which the individual is being transformed into an ever-expanding likeness of Christ Himself.  This relationship has no point of action except in the sanctifying blood of the exalted Son of God.  A holiness person is not seeking after holiness, but after Jesus Christ, because there is no other source of Holiness.  Holiness is the nature of Jesus Christ manifest by the work of the Holy Ghost applying the Word of God made alive by His blood.  People that seek Holiness as its own object will often add one legalistic addition after another.  Every great Holiness movement has always destroyed its own self by transferring the hunger for “HIM” to a hunger for perceived Holiness.

This is why the Apostle Paul that had experienced the righteousness of the law before the Damascus turnpike was careful to never fall into the trap again.  He bellowed out, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”  (Galatians 6:14).  His “righteousness of the law” before he met the King had no comparison to the “holiness” of his Christ-centered life.  In his righteousness of the law, he had to crucify himself.  In the holiness of knowing Jesus Christ, he was dead to the world.  Herein lies the difference between the multitude of strict religious people and the genuine remnant of godly people. God’s people do not want the world because its nature is so unclean.  It’s like walking through a dump after one has showered and dressed in sparkling clean clothes.  The scene alone is almost unbearable.

Another of the great warnings of the Scripture is the need to never allow His holiness in us to lose His love for the unclean.  Of course, as long as we truly have His holiness, we will love His world.  When you walk in the power of His Holy Ghost’s cleansing, you will weep over the world, instead of turning your nose up at its repulsiveness.  This was the miserable failure of Judaism in the Lord’s day.  Jesus was condemned for “eating with publicans and sinners” (Mark 2:16).

Are You Ready To Be A Holiness Christian?
Some have witnessed the hard holiness people that seek holiness of itself and find its value in endless lists of “no-no’s.”  Others are lovers of themselves and want no experience with God that requires the death of self.  The multitudes have no idea of what we are talking about and will never take the time alone with God to experience Him in the truly “Born Again” life.  Most people who claim to be born again have nothing but a head-religion.  Somebody told them to just say that they believe in a few Bible points and then take for granted that they are now Christians.  Most of our so-called altar calls are like fast food shops.  There are multitudes of church members have never been transformed by the power of God.

Joy Unspeakable Awaits The Hungry Soul
Please do not take my word for the information about whether or not you are truly “born again.”  How can you have the joy of the Christian life as promised in Holy Scripture?  Nothing in the world will give you the joy that a transformed life will give you.  “. . . Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  (1Peter 1:8b).  It is peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7).  He wants to completely change, cleanse, renew, and leave you a brand new person.  He wants to make you a new creature.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  (II Corinthians 5:17).

Holiness can be understood by remembering how you feel after coming home absolutely filthy from a long workday, ballgame, or overnight camping in the woods and then you get a soaking bath.  Once you are completely clean, even soaked, and have put on good smelling, freshly washed clothes, you feel like a new person.  That’s what the Word, the Blood, and the Holy Spirit does to your whole person inside and out.  You are completely transformed into a pure, blood-washed individual.

True Biblical Holiness
True Biblical holiness is not hardness, legalism, or mean-spirited people making everyone miserable with their own list of concocted standards.  The Bible is a Holy Book from Genesis to Revelation and every standard set in Scripture is the joy of transformed saints.  Godly women or men will separate themselves from activities that are declared off limits by the Holy Bible.  No godly woman wants to look like a man or dress like a man.  The same is true of godly men.  The body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and He dwells in every saint to possess them, body, soul, and spirit.  There is no such thing as being a partaker of God’s grace, while the body is left to wallow in sin.  You cannot possess the true faith in your spirit and leave the body in the clutches of unclean living.  A born again person is repulsed by the suggestion that they can continue the old lifestyle of breaking the commandments of God while still professing righteousness.

Listen Carefully!
At the same time, genuine born again Christians are repulsed by the hardness of many ministers and laity in conservative church circles.  These modern day Pharisees disobey the truth of God by adding to the Word and creating their own “doctrines of men.”  It is just as wrong to add to the Scripture as to take from the Word.  John the Revelator stated, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19).  It is serious to add one line, one idea, or one restriction to God”s Word and teach it as an obligation in the Christian life.

There are many good people who have become slaves to the hardness of modern Pharisees.  The true standards of godliness suffer when the self-proclaimed police of hardness are allowed to operate among the saints.  These men and women are out to make disciples for themselves and to gather around their feet clones of their own self-righteousness.  Apostle Paul warned us of this kind of deception.  “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”  (Acts 20:30-32).

The Word of God is Pure
The standards of holiness are set forth in Scripture in a plain and clear fashion. Isaiah describes the “Highway of Holiness.”  “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”  (Isaiah 35:8).  The prophets of hardness will pick words out of the plain statements of truth and exaggerate them to support their doctrines of men exactly like the Pharisees did in Jesus” time.  These hard teachings are always based on some highly suspect method of interpretation. Isaiah’s statement precludes this kind of religious fantasy.  He said that God’s “highway of holiness” was so plain and so pure that a wayfaring man though a fool (simple-minded) should not err therein.  If you have to produce a scholarly sounding defense for your doctrine of hardness to prove your point, you have already disproved yourself.  The way of purity and holiness is simple and available for the uneducated mind.  Just obey the plain Word of God, adding no intricate meaning or disobeying no simple truth.  Holiness is the standard of God’s laws and commandments produced in the heart by the sanctifying Blood of Jesus Christ.

Bible holiness is beautiful.  There is a remnant of godly people that the Father Himself has reserved to Himself for this end-time generation.  These saints are both pure in lifestyle and attitudes.  They do not seek attention nor are they ashamed of their testimony.  The Bible is there “paper pope” and they live by every Word of God.  Jesus said, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4).