Christ Our Holiness

The three stages in Christian life. Justification, Sanctification, Glorification. The day a person trusts Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, that person was declared just in God’s eyes. From then on until death, that person experience Sanctification, this is the work by the Holy Spirit to bring Christlikeness in that person life. The final stage is called Glorification, that will occur only after death. Today meditation concern the second stage called sanctification. The author of today devotion is called Hannah; she is saved, but she still struggles with sin in her life. How does God want us to deal with our temptations?

The Lord has been teaching me in many ways lately about my utter weakness in the presence of temptation. I have grown significantly in knowledge, but I have not grown in grace and feel that I actually don’t have any more power over sin than when I was first converted. This hasn’t made me doubt that I am a child of God, justified and forgiven and a possessor of eternal life and an heir of a heavenly inheritance, but even while I have this assurance and never lose it, I have found that when my heart condemns me I cannot be happy. And lately, I have been led to long for more holiness, for more power over sin, for more uninterrupted communion with God.
But how to get at it I could not tell. Resolutions have proved utterly useless. My own efforts have been worse than useless. My prayers have been in vain, and I have been ready to give up in despair and to conclude that it was not the will of God that I ever should have a complete victory over sin. And yet the Bible presents such a different picture of the Christian life—blameless—harmless—without rebuke—without reproof—with every temptation a way of escape—purified—conformed to the image of Christ—holy as He is holy!
There are some Christians who say that by receiving Christ by faith for our sanctification, just as we received Him by faith for our justification all this work is accomplished—that is, the way of accomplishing it is discovered. The soul sees that Jesus delivered from the power of sin as well as from its guilt, and learns to trust to Him this whole work of keeping from evil, and delivering from the power of temptation. We cease making resolutions or relying on our own efforts after holiness in the slightest degree and we give ourselves up unreservedly to Christ to be dealt with according to His will, believing that He is able and willing to keep us from falling.
And he will do it. Like a week and helpless child we fall back exhausted into His arms and leave all our work and all our cares in His hands. Those who experience this say further that He really does cleanse their hearts from inbred sin, or at least that a work of grace is accomplished in their souls to such a degree that their Christian life thereafter is a triumphant and exalted one.
—Journal, October 18, 1866
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Start living for God early in life

 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)

I always admire Daniel determination to stay clean in a very corrupt environment. He was in his teen years when he took such a bold stand in front of the most powerful man of that time. What a great example for today Christian youth.  Lets pray for our own children and grandchildren that they will emulate “Daniel” dedication.

The words of the song, “Dare to be a Daniel,” emphasize this truth. Our verse reports that Daniel did a very daring thing. He made a holy resolve in his heart. We note the calendar in the resolve, the character of the resolve, and the courage in the resolve.

Calendar in the resolve. We often make resolves early in the year. Daniel made this resolve early in his life, for he was no older than a teenager when he made this resolve. You do not have to be up in years before you start living for God. It is better to start living for God when old than never; but when you start living for God early in life, you give a lifetime for God and prevent many wasted and sin-scarred years.

Character of the resolve. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” There are two important notes here about the character of Daniel’s resolve. They concern the site and the subject of the resolve.

First, the site. The resolve was made in his heart. It was not just words to impress people, but it was in his heart which gave it strength. Too much dedication today is only outward. It does not come from the heart and it will not last.

Second, the subject. The resolve had to do with purity, for Daniel would not “defile” himself with the king’s food and drink. Many folk resolve to do a lot of things, but few resolve to live a holy life. But the resolve to holiness is the kind of resolve we need more than anything else.

Courage in the resolve. Daniel had to have much courage when he made this resolve, for he was a captive under the authority and custody of wicked men, and he was going against the king’s wishes. If you are going to live a pure life, you will have to have courage. It will not be popular and many will protest and mock. But stick with your holy resolve, for it will bring you Divine blessings.

Extract from John G Butler, Daily Bible Reading: Sermonettes #1

Written by a 18 years old young man

“After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of every thing was altered; there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost every thing. God’s excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in every thing; in the sun, moon, and stars; in the clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water, and all nature; which used greatly to fix my mind. I often used to sit and view the moon for continuance; and in the day, spent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of God in these things: in the mean time, singing forth, with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer. And scarce any thing, among all the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning; formerly, nothing had been so terrible to me. Before, I used to be uncommonly terrified with thunder, and to be struck with terror when I saw a thunder-storm rising; but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God, so to speak, at the first appearance of a thunder-storm; and used to take the opportunity, at such times, to fix myself in order to view the clouds, and see the lightnings play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God’s thunder, which oftentimes was exceedingly entertaining, leading me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God. While thus engaged, it always seemed natural to me to sing, or chant forth my meditations; or, to speak my thoughts in soliloquies with a singing voice.”

“Holiness, as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it, appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul. In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers; all pleasant, delightful, and undisturbed; enjoying a sweet calm, and the gently vivifying beams of the sun. The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote my meditations, appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the year; low and humble on the ground, opening its bosom, to receive the pleasant beams of the sun’s glory; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly, in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner opening their bosoms, to drink in the light of the sun. There was no part of creature-holiness, that I had so great a sense of its loveliness, as humility, brokenness of heart, and poverty of spirit; and there was nothing that I so earnestly longed for. My heart panted after this,—to lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that God might be all, that I might become as a little child.” —Jonathan Edwards