HOLINESS IN THIS PRESENT LIFE

Printer-friendly version

[John:17:21-23]; [Galatians:5:22-23]; [Ephesians:4:17-32];:5:25-27; [Colossians:3:1-15]; Titus:2:11-14.

Lesson No.: 
263
Class: 
Junior
Memory Verse: 

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Notes: 

A New Life
 In this lesson, we are studying about the life of a Christian. When a person is saved, he lived a new life. His life has been changed and he no longer lives as he had lived before he was saved. He does not live like those who do not know God. He does not do as sinners` do. The Lord told the Children of Israel that they would be to Him a “peculiar treasure... above all people” if they obeyed Him (Exodus 19;5). Jesus wants His people to be a “peculiar people, zealous of good works” [Titus:2:14]).

A Christian is no longer in sin, but is “in Christ,... a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” [2 Corinthians:5:17]). When a person is saved, his sins are forgiven and taken from his life. As he prays and consecrates his life, the Lord will sanctify him. We have studied about sanctification in Lesson 232 and 238. Jesus prayed for His followers, saying: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” [John:17:17]). Jesus prayed that among His followers there would be unity [John:17:21]). Sanctification brings that unity and perfect oneness. Sanctified people are of one accord. The illustration has been given that salvation is like the cutting down of a tree, and sanctification is like pulling out the stump and roots. Still another illustration shows that a person’s sinful nature -– the “old man” -– is nailed to the Cross when one is saved but when he is sanctified the “old man” dies. In writing to the Ephesians, Paul encouraged them to put off the “old man” with the former conversation and put on the “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” [Ephesians:4:22-24]).

Paul wrote to the Colossians that by putting on the “new man” a follower of Christ has the image of God who created him [Colossians:3:10]). His affection is set on heavenly things rather than on earthly possessions [Colossians:3:2]). Spiritual things come first in his life, before the physical things. In his heart rules the peace of God, and there is love (charity) “which is the bond of perfectness” [Colossians:3:14-15]). One proof of being Jesus’ disciple is having love for other Christians, for the Bible tells us: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” [John:13:35]).

Besides having love in the heart, there will also be other Christian graces. The “fruit of the Spirit” includes “joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” along with love [Galatians:5:22];[Galatians:5:23]). One can tell a Christian by the life that he lives. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Read [Matthew:7:15-20].) If a person, whether a child or an adult, does not tell the truth, you know that he is not truly saved, because the Bible teaches, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” [Colossians:3:9]). If one of your playmates says that he is saved, and then he loses his temper when he cannot have his own way, or he uses bad and filthy words, you know that he is no longer saved, for the Word of God states: “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” [Colossians:3:8]).

Jesus, Our Example
When the Lord calls people to follow Him, He calls them to “follow his steps.” He calls them to live Christlike (Christian) lives. Christ gives us the example of right living. We read, in the Bible, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” [1 Peter:2:21]).

When Christ lived here on earth, He was tempted in all the ways that we are tempted, yet He was “without sin” [Hebrews:4:15]). His example of Christian living was a life without sin. If we follow in His footsteps, we will live like Jesus wants us to live.

Keeping Power
Because Jesus overcame temptation, He is able to help us when we are tempted to sin [Hebrews:2:18]). The Lord has promised to make a “way to escape” from temptation that we will be able to resist sin [1 Corinthians:10:13]). We can follow His example of a life without sin by praying and looking unto the Lord who is able to keep us from falling (Jude 20-24). Peter said that those who are saved “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” [1 Peter:1:5]).

A Christian is kept by the power of God and by His grace, because a person cannot keep himself. At a time when Paul was buffeted by Satan, Paul prayed. The Lord answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee” [2 Corinthians:12:8-9]). When Satan whispers in your ear to try to get you to sin, or when someone urges you to do wrong, pray and ask God to help you to do the thing which is pleasing in His sight. We are encouraged to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” [Hebrews:4:16]). That means that we can pray to ask God’s help, and He will keep us from sinning when we obey Him and have faith in Him.

Required
Unless we follow Jesus’ example to live godly, we are not Christians. Jesus said, “Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” [Luke:14:27]). Some people may say that it is impossible to live a godly life. Others may say that it is all right for a few to live without sin -– but that it is not necessary for all Christians to live holy lives. But as we study the Word of God, we find that all who profess to love Christ live a clean, upright, godly life, or they are not Christians. The grace and strength that Christians need to enable them to live such a life is provided and God requires them to live it. We cannot be a disciple, if, we do not follow Jesus. It is not for a Christian to choose whether or not he will live a righteous life. One does choose whether he will be a Christian or a sinner. But the Lord has laid down the rules of Christian living, and He gives us power to abide by them. We must obey those rules if we are to be Christians.

Separated by Sin
If man breaks God’s rules, he suffers. When Adam, the first man, disobeyed the one law that God gave, Adam sinned and was dead spiritually. Adam had a guilty fear and hid himself when he “heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” [Genesis:3:8]). His sin had separated him from God. No longer could Adam remain in the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it,” and to walk and talk with the Lord.

Obedience and Blessings
Later on, God gave the Law to the Children of Israel through their leader, Moses. They were told what to do and what not to do. If the Children of Israel wanted to have the protection, help, and promises of God, they had to obey Him. When they obeyed, God was with them and they prospered. When they disobeyed, God departed from them and they suffered for their sin. In the Old Testament we read about the blessings that came to the Children of Israel when they obeyed God, and we read of the suffering and sorrow that came to them when God forsook them because of their disobedience.

In the New Testament Jesus gave us the rules of Christian living by His example, by His teaching, and by the inspired teachings of His disciples. We also have the examples of righteous living in the lives of true Christians today. Those who have proved God’s Word have found that they can and do live by the power of God according to His plan. We can, by the grace of God, live like Christ. We must live that way if we want to be Christians. Only Christians will enter Heaven to see the Lord and to live with Him.

Oneness
Jesus prayed that His followers would be united in a bond of love. Christians are banded together with one another, and joined as one body with God and His Son. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” [John:10:30]). It is the Lord’s plan and will that His followers -– the Christians -– be one with God and His Son [John:17:21]). They must have the same purpose and aim, the same desires and prayer, the same feeling toward sin, and the same love for the right.

This oneness is a witness -- “that the world may believe” and “that the world may know.” If a Christian does not live differently from anyone else, how can the world tell that Jesus is living in him, and that Christ has power to deliver from sin?

A person who does not live right cannot be united as one with God and His Son. “All that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God” [Deuteronomy:25:16]). “Neither shall evil dwell with thee” [Psalms:5:4]). If sin and disobedience entered a Christian’s life, he could no longer enjoy that oneness which binds him to God and His Son, Jesus. The Lord has no pleasure in sin, and sin separates one from God [Isaiah:59:2]). When any person sins, he can claim no relationship with the Lord, because, “he that committeth sin is of the devil” ([1 John:3:8]).

In this Present Life
Jesus “gave himself” and shed His Blood for His people -– the Church [Ephesians:5:25]). Jesus has a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;... holy and without blemish” [Ephesians:5:27]). The Church can be holy only when the members are holy. There is power in the Blood of Jesus to make a person clean and holy, and to keep him clean and holy. Job, a man of God, said, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger” [Job:17:9]).

The Bible teaches that we must live holy lives here if we expect to be a part of Christ’s Church and if we expect to go to Heaven. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation” also teaches us that, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” [Titus:2:11-12]).

Questions: 

1. What causes a person to live a new and different life when he is saved?
2. What is the “fruit of the Spirit”?
3. Who is our example of Christian living?
4. How can a Christian witness about Jesus to the world?
5. What does the word “Christian” mean?
6. Whose grace is sufficient to help us in time of need?
7. What does it mean to be “one” with God the Father and Jesus, His Son?
8. Finish this quotation: “He that committeth sin is of the...”
9. What kind of people does Jesus have in His Church?
10. When and where do Christians live clean and holy lives?