Sunday, September 25, 2016

Returning to holiness


Image result for holiness
Isa 6:1-7 GW
(1)  In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and lofty throne. The bottom of his robe filled the temple.
(2)  Angels were standing above him. Each had six wings: With two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
(3)  They called to each other and said, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory."
(4)  Their voices shook the foundations of the doorposts, and the temple filled with smoke.
(5)  So I said, "Oh, no! I'm doomed. Every word that passes through my lips is sinful. I live among people with sinful lips. I have seen the king, the LORD of Armies!"
(6)  Then one of the angels flew to me. In his hand was a burning coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.
(7)  He touched my mouth with it and said, "This has touched your lips. Your guilt has been taken away, and your sin has been forgiven."

Charles Harrison Mason is one of my heroes in the faith  who lived during the 20th Century. He is the founding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ denomination which  contributed to being the first denomination to accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Today it is the largest Pentecostal denomination within the US. Before CH Mason's evolution into the Holy Spirit baptism, he preached a holiness message. Holiness message is a belief in the " Second Work of Grace." through Jesus. It was a movement that believed that each believer can be totally cleansed from all sin and be sanctified from sin and future sin. The teaching all together is not fully wrong. We are sanctified through the blood of Christ so we can walk in holiness with Him. The Living God is consumed with Holiness. Holiness is what radiants from Him not on Him. It is created as a by-product from his godly purity. 

Isaiah, the Prophet, experienced the holiness of God. He was ushered to heaven and soon discovered the workings of this beautiful place. He saw angelic beings declaring the holiness of God. When they spoke the word " Holy"  it shook the door posts of the heavenly temple. Truly God's holiness is something to see and something to reverence. Isaiah was taken back by the holiness of God and thought he would surely die. The holiness of God is greater than the purest of Gold and mandates adoration. As Isaiah stood in the purest form of God's holiness; he began to feel the conviction from Holy Spirit. He needed to be cleansed like the priest at the holy temple. Isaiah probably understood the risk of  standing within God's holy presence and the consequence for being unholy was typically death. 

Isaiah did not die and was able to stand before the living God. There were three things that happened to Isaiah that you can use when discussing being holy before God.

1.  Be touched by the burning Coal.  The angel that brought Isaiah the coal was a flamed being. In other words, the angel was engulfed with fire but never consumed. In scripture, fire is used often in terms of cleansing and renewal. In order to return to holiness, you and I have to be engulfed by the fire of God. In other words, we have to allow his grace and mercy to cover us. We have to recognize, like Isaiah, that we are unholy.
2.  Let the guilt go away. I believe it is interesting to note that the Angel declared that the guilt should go away before the sins were forgiven. Walking and returning in holiness means that you have been completely sanctified from all unrighteousness. The living God see you pure. He sees you as forgiven. Many times our guilt stops the full covering of God's holiness from coming over us. 
3. Know that your sins are forgiven. There is only one God who can forgive sins. It is the living God we serve. In order to walk in holiness, we must understand that our sins, though many, are completely forgiven. 

The enemy is trying to trick the body of Christ that holy living is impossible to obtain. He is trying to pull us further and further away from the living God. He does not what the holiness of God to engulf his people. Holy God creates holy people. It is our calling to walk with the Lord in his Holiness.  God is not mock. We must be holy as he is holy.