THE CHURCH OF GOD III
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
1 Chronicle 6-7, Ezekiel 30:5-19
The Church of God is a living entity that thrives upon the life of God. The life of Jesus circulates freely through His church, just as blood flows through the human body. The Church of God feeds on heavenly food, which is the word of God, breathes the atmosphere of heaven, which are the commandments and principles that guide her operations, and thrives on the life of God that flows through her vein, which is the Holy Spirit. By implication therefore, the primary qualities and attributes of God automatically become the primary characteristics and nature of His Church.
In Isaiah 6:3b, the primary quality and nature of God is announced in this proclamation from Heaven:
“…Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”
For this reason, today’s Bible reading declares that the Church of God was chosen by God to be holy and without blame before Him in love. Holiness is the moral excellence of God that unifies His attributes and is expressed through His actions. The Bible presents holiness as a nature that includes moral purity, separation from evil and a devotion to God’s glory. God is Holy, His Name is Holy, His words and everything about Him is Holy. As a result, in the Old Testament, the place of worship, the altar, the priests and the people had to be sanctified and made Holy before rendering service to God (Exodus 29:44). To be dedicated to God’s service, we also in this new dispensation must be set apart from the evil and sins of this world. Hebrews 10:22 says,
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
God’s holiness provides a pattern for His people to emulate (1 Peter 1:16). Holiness simply means separation from sin and devotion to God (2 timothy 2:19). As a child of God, sin should not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14). You are expected to make holiness your lifestyle by walking in the fear of God always (2 Corinthians 7:1). To this end, Colossians 3:5a says,
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;”
This means you should put to death or destroy everything that is carnal in you, using the sword of the Spirit (Hebrew 4:12). It means your heart should continually be cleansed from carnality, using the water of God’s word. Even though you are genuinely born again, your body still has passions, desires and appetites that must be allowed to break out beyond their legitimate bounds in the Lord. Be holy, and be sanctified!
Father, grant me grace to keep myself under the control of Your Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Name.
PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
1. Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2. Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3. Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqueror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
4. Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His power and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.