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from Charles Spurgeon~

As precious liquors are best kept in clean vessels–so sound doctrine is best kept in a pure heart and life. Who, indeed, would knowingly pour a choice wine into a tainted cask? It would be foolish to do so.

When we hear of men living in sin, and yet claiming to be children of God–we are disgusted with their pretenses, but we are not deceived by their professions.

In the same manner, we care little for those who are orthodox Christians in creed–if it is clear that they are heterodox in life. He who believes the truth–should himself be true. How can we expect others to receive our religion–if it leaves us foul, false, malicious, and selfish?

We sicken at the sight of a dirty dish, and refuse even good food when it is placed thereon. So pure and holy is the doctrine of the cross, that . . .
he who hears it aright, will have his ears cleansed,
he who believes it aright, will have his heart purged, and
he who preaches it aright, will have his tongue purified.
Woe unto that man who brings reproach upon the gospel–by an unholy life!

Lord, evermore make us pure vessels fit for Your own use, and then fill us with the pure wine of the grapes of sound doctrine and wholesome instruction. Do not allow us to be such “foul cups”–as to be only fit for the wine of Sodom!

“For the grace of God . . . teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires–and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” Titus 2:12

HT: Grace Gems

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The special privilege God meant as a tool for witness, they [the Israelite’s]  were to be a channel and you know what happened don’t you? Instead of them seeing themselves as a witness, instead of them seeing the difference as a way to reach people, instead of them standing up and saying, I’m different and consequently the world is going to say what’s the difference and I can tell them that God has made me different. Instead of that it became an excuse for carnal, selfish, self-glorification and pride.

It can happen with us too. We’re to be different aren’t we? We’re to be completely different than the rest of the world. We’re to walk a different walk, talk a different talk, think a different way. Read later in Ephesians and you’ll find out we are to walk not as the Gentiles walked, not as the heathen walk in the vanity of their mind. We are to walk in love. We are to walk in light. We are to walk in wisdom. We
are to walk in the spirit. Our conversation, our manner of life, our walk is to be totally different than the rest of the world. And that it is to be different because want them to take note of us. First of all, and secondly, God wants to keep us separated so different that we can’t mingle with them. It’s the same two things again. And hopefully the world will see the difference and we’ll say to them it’s Jesus Christ
that made the difference and here’s how He can make a difference in your life. And that’s exactly what Israel should have done. Instead of doing that, Israel became proud, loved the difference, celebrated the difference, became proud about the difference, and elevated themselves as if they were better than everybody else.

And I hate to think about it, but I think it’s even possible that that’s happening in Christianity or could happen. Where Christianity forms some sort of an elite that think they’re better than everybody else. And instead of really being a channel to reach the world, we become an isolated little group of people with our own little lingo and our own little deal and our own little code and our own little bumper stickers and our own little radio stations and TV stations and our own books and our own everything, and it’s us for, no more, shut the door, you know. ~ John McArthur, teaching on Ephesians 2: 11-12

“Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord!” 
Hebrews 12:14

Are we holy? Shall we see the Lord?

In this hurrying, bustling world–let us stand still for a few minutes and consider the matter of holiness. It is a solemn thing to hear the Word of God saying, “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord!”

A man may go great lengths in religion–and yet never reach true holiness.

What is true practical holiness?
It is not knowledge–Balaam had that.
It is not great profession–Judas Iscariot had that.
It is not doing many things–Herod had that.
It is not zeal for certain matters in religion–Jehu had that.
It is not morality and outward respectability of conduct–the rich young ruler had that.
It is not taking pleasure in hearing preachers–the Jews in Ezekiel’s time had that.
It is not keeping company with godly people–Joab and Gehazi and Demas had that.

Yet none of these were holy people! These things alone, are not holiness. A man may have any one of them–and yet never see the Lord!

Let me try to draw a picture of Biblical holiness, that we may see it clearly before the eyes of our minds.

1. Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture.

2. A holy man will endeavor to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment.

3. A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. A holy man will follow after meekness, patience, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, and government of his tongue.

5. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial.

6. A holy man will follow after love and brotherly kindness.

7. A holy man will follow after a spirit of mercy and benevolence towards others.

8. A holy man will follow after purity of heart.

9. A holy man will follow after the fear of God.

10. A holy man will follow after humility.

11. A holy man will follow after faithfulness in all the duties and relations in life.

12. Last–but not least, a holy man will follow after spiritual-mindedness. 

~J.C. Ryle, “Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

HT: Grace Gems

 

 

Judy, from simple front porch blog, is back after a long hiatus and posting about living in holiness.  Stop by and enjoy her thoughts about being contend with what we have.

Here’s the link:  http://thesimplefrontporch.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/living-with-enough/