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Bible Basics (5th. ed.)


Study 1: God || Study 2: The Spirit Of God || Study 3: The Promises Of God || Study 4: God And Death || Study 5: The Kingdom Of God || Study 6: God And Evil || Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus || Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus || Study 9: The Work Of Jesus || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus || Study 11: Life In Christ   11.1 Introduction || 11.2 Holiness || 11.2.1 The Use Of Force || 11.2.2 Politics || 11.2.3 Worldly Pleasures || 11.3 Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1 Bible Study ||11.3.2 Prayer || 11.3.3 Preaching || 11.3.4 Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5 The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4 Marriage || 11.5 Fellowship


11.2 Holiness

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord” (Is. 6:3). The triple emphasis of this verse is one of a multitude of passages which stress the holiness of God. ‘Holiness’ fundamentally means ‘separation’ - both separation from unholy things, and separation to spiritual things. We are asked to be “imitators of God”, as His own small children (Eph. 5:1 NIV). Therefore “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Pet. 1:15,16; Lev. 11:44).

Natural Israel was called out of Egypt by their Red Sea baptism to be “a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6). After our baptism, the members of spiritual Israel likewise receive “a holy calling” (2 Tim. 1:9). After baptism we “become slaves of...holiness” (Rom. 6:19,22 and context).

As holiness is such an essential part of God’s very being, so it must be a fundamental concern of all those who try to be “imitators of God”. If we do this, we will “share in his holiness” when we are granted His nature (Heb. 12:10; 2 Pet. 1:4 NIV). Therefore without holiness in this life, a believer cannot “see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14) - i.e. he will not be able to actually see nor perceive God and relate to Him on a personal level in the Kingdom if he has not demonstrated holiness in this life. True religion is to visit the fatherless and widows (James 1:25-27), to walk humbly with our God (Mic. 6:8).

To have been given such a great hope means that we should be separate from the world around us which does not have this hope, being separated to an eternity of sharing God’s nature. Our ‘separation’ should not therefore be something which we feel is being enforced upon us; because of our separation to this lofty calling and hope, it should only be natural that we feel separated from the things of the world, which is dominated by human principles.

We will now consider some of the things which we should feel separated from, and then in Study 11.3 we will study what we are separated to in practical terms.

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