Holiness Is A Byproduct
Count on the faithfulness of God. He is faithful that calls you, and He'll do it. He'll do it. Not you, but God working in you.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your good friend, Bob Cook. And you and I are back together again, gathered around the Word of God. The miles drop away, and we’re together in His presence, listening to His voice. I like that, don’t you? We’re looking at 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. We just finished talking about verse 22, “Hold yourself away from all appearance of evil. If it looks suspicious, don’t touch it. If it identifies you even faintly with the world’s system, don’t touch it. Hold yourself off from it. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” he says in verse 23. Now, he’s the God of peace and that, of course, refers to the peace that there is with God. “Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He’s characterized by peace in his nature. He gladly bestows it to us through the shedding of the precious blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:14 says, “The Lord Jesus is our peace.” Colossians 1:20 says, “He made peace through the shedding of his blood at the cross.” And so this word peace, “eirene”. Some of you girls are named Irene, that’s the Greek word for peace, isn’t it? Eirene refers to that undisturbed relationship between the Christian and his God, a relationship brought about by God’s redeeming mercy, granting deliverance and freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as a result of sin.
He is the God of peace. Now, how does that work in your life? Well, first of all, I have to ask you, do you really know that you know the Lord Jesus? If you do, then you know already the delight of having peace with God. And then, have you gone that step farther in committing things to God day by day and moment by moment? Paul says in Philippians 4, “In everything,” everything that is, “By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds,” that word means keep like a garrison of soldiers stationed around it, “Keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Do you know something about that peace that comes when you commit everything to your Lord in prayer? And He then is in control? He’s the God of peace.
Now, what is Paul asking Him to do? May the God of peace sanctify you wholly. Interesting words. Sanctify means to set apart for God’s special use. Well, that’s exactly how it is. Set apart for God’s special use, to consecrate. And so, it’s viewed as a complete act. When God takes you over, he doesn’t take just part of your life, he takes all of it. And that’s a great comfort when you realize that we don’t always feel complete in our spiritual life, but God views us in Christ because the work is done. “‘Tis done, the great transaction’s done. I am my Lord’s and he is mine.” You’re set apart.
Now, I have to remind you, especially you young folk, that when you become a Christian, you become different. You are different from then on out. You’ll never be the same again, and people know it. So that you might just as well give up trying to escape being identified as belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. “They took knowledge of them,” it says of the disciples, “That they had been with Jesus.” He does make a difference. He sets you apart for His own use. He puts His mark on you. Paul says, “You are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” That seal was used as the evidence of a completed transaction. Sealed with the Holy Spirit. He puts His mark on you. And so, you are in God’s sight completely set apart, dedicated, consecrated to God.
Now, that word wholly, W-H-O-L-L-Y, is interesting in that it’s a compound word. It is made up of two Greek words, one of which means entirely, and the other has to do with purpose. “Holos” is complete and “telos” means the purposed end or the consummation of a plan. He says, “God is going to set you apart completely,” which means every part of you fitting in to God’s eternal plan. Can you take that in today? Our life and our feeling about it ends up in fragments, I think, most of the time. It’s hard for us to think about everything all at once. Well, then, take a fragment of your life. How do you feel physically? Or what is your mood today? Have you got the blues? Or you feel up on top of things? Your relationships with people, family members let us say, and if you’re employed your employer, or if you’re a boss your employees. Take any fragment of your life and say to yourself, “What God is doing is to set me apart for His use in this fragment of life, in this relationship. God is performing in my life that which fills His eternal purpose.” Holo, telos which means the whole being developed according to the purpose of God.
God has a purpose for your body. God has a purpose for your mind. God has a purpose for your feelings, your emotions. God has a purpose for your family, and your relationships with them. They may be stormy right now, or it may be frigid, or whatever, I don’t know but God has a purpose. And in it all, and through it all, you can trust Him because He is working His perfect work in your life. Can you take that in today, beloved?
See, we tend to look at things from our point of view, and we say, “I don’t like this. It isn’t pleasant and God must’ve forgotten me.” No, He hasn’t forgotten you. “He is working all things according to the purpose of His own will”, the Bible says. And a little later on in this 5th chapter, you’ll find Paul saying, “God is faithful. God is faithful that calls you who also will do it.” He’s working. He’s working. Now he says, “I pray God that your whole Spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God’s faithful. He’ll do it. You put all of that together. You start with the God of peace sanctifying you wholly, every part of your life serving the eternal purpose of God. And he says, “Now I’m praying that your whole… ” See, when he says whole, “I’m gonna explain that to you,” he says. “When I say ‘wholly’ I mean your whole spirit, the real person that lives inside of you, and your soul, all of your feelings and emotions, and your body, the house in which your spirit lives be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Be preserved blameless unto the coming. Blameless means so there’s no cause for censure. That’s what that word means. [09:09] ____, no cause for censure. Oh, how wonderful God is. When you are hiding under the shelter of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, there’s no cause for censure. And when Jesus comes again, He’s gonna present you to himself as a member of that glorious church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. No cause for censure. God keeps you in His own care. Yes, we make mistakes, and yes, we have to come back and say, “Lord, I blew it. Please forgive me.” But the continuing life of walking with the Lord Jesus involves being kept, kept away from that which is intrinsically evil, kept for the purpose of God, and even in the rough places of life, knowing that He is working.
Now you see the time frame within which we’re working is, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every chapter, as I’ve told you before in these broadcasts, every chapter in Thessalonians refers to the second coming of Christ. And here you have it again. The most personal reaction to God’s plan in this matter of the second coming of Christ is in my own lifestyle. John the Apostle says, “He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” The basic reaction to the doctrine of the second coming ought to be holy living. “Seeing then, that all these things shall be consumed, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” said Peter. If indeed Jesus is coming again, and He is, if indeed this old world will be purged by fire, and there be a new heaven and a new Earth, and all sin, and evil, and wickedness will be done away with, and those who are blood-bought, born-again believers are going to be with the Lord Jesus. If this is all going to happen, and it is, then he says, “I better live a holy life.” That’s the logic of it.
Holiness is not an effort. Holiness is a byproduct of commitment to the God whom you love, and the Savior that you want to see once again. “Abide in Him,” says John, “that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed away from Him at his coming.” You see, holy living derives from a commitment to the God whom you love, and the Savior that you long to see. If you live in that frame of reference, your life is going to be holy because it’s gonna be committed to your Lord. You follow that?
I pray God, that your whole Spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless. No cause for censure unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now he says, “Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.” You can depend, after all is said and done, you can depend on the faithfulness of God. Oh, somebody this very minute needs to be reminded of that. Your tears are falling, your heart is aching, you feel perhaps that that combination of sadness and heartbreak and rage and perplexity and frustration all wrapped together in a feeling you could scarcely describe. Something has happened in your life, and oh, how down you are today. Just look up and say, “Lord, I don’t understand all this, but I know you’re faithful, and I know you’re gonna keep me, and I know that when Jesus comes, I’ll see him face to face.” Count on the faithfulness of God, will you, beloved? Count on the faithfulness of God. He’s not gonna drop you, I often say to you, God hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now. He is faithful that calls you, and he’ll do it. He’ll do it. Not you, but God working in you.
Dear Father, today may we be so committed to thee in love that our lives will be holy because of the free working of thy Holy Spirit in us until Jesus comes. In his name I pray, Amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the king today and be a blessing.
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