“This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes." (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
“and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
We need to yearn to grow in the image and likeness of God our creator. For God made man “sinless” and perfect but through temptation by Satan and disobedience on the part of mankind we fell into sin and destruction. Only through the sacrificial and eternal blood of Jesus can mankind be made whole and saved. In coming to Christ the believers is rebirthed in the Spirit unto a child of God. Man will not be guaranteed entrance into the Kingdom of God just by rebirth but regeneration, repentance, and righteousness must follow suit. Jesus declared in Matthew 7:16 that we will be known by our fruit. The only way to have the fruit of God is through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts and converts sinners and dwells in the believer and keeps the believer from the power of sin. The Holy Spirit regenerates and renews the believer into the image and the likeness of the Creator. The renewing work of the Holy Spirit is progressive while the believer in on earth complete sanctification and holiness will only be achieved when the believer is resurrected by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Godliness is the standard that God has set for the church and the world. Very few though are godly as Romans 9:27 declares!
1. Holiness- is the process of being set apart or consecrated for the use of God. It denotes a lifestyle and being of a person. Holiness permeates the conduct, speech, and dress of the person pursuing holiness. Holiness is a command for the people of God to conduct themselves in the lifestyle of God. Holiness is an attribute and the very essence of God. Holiness is perfection and growth in sanctification. There is progressive (relative) holiness, and complete (absolute) holiness. (Hebrews 12: 14, 1 Peter 1: 15, 1 Peter 2: 5, Colossians 1: 22, 2 Cor. 7:1)
2. Sanctification- Is the process by which the believer is being sanctified and cleansed from sin by the work of the gospel and the Holy Spirit. Sanctification produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit and grows the believer into Christian maturity and Holiness. Sanctification refines the believer and renews into that new nature which is the Christolic nature. There is instant sanctification, progressive sanctification, and complete sanctification. (John 17:17, Rom 15:16, 1 Cor. 1:30, 1Thes 4:3-4, 1Thes 5:23)
3. Righteousness- Is the characteristic whereby a person is in “right” standing with morals and the law of God. Righteousness is imparted by Christ Jesus into the believer at the point of salvation due to the cleansing blood of Jesus which justifies the believer in the sight of God and the law of God. Righteousness is piety for God and the religion.( Psalm 119:40, Psalm 23: 3, Proverbs 11: 19, 1 Timothy 6: 11, 1 Peter 3: 12)
4. Godliness- is the process by which the believer is made “godly” or in the “likeness: of God. It denotes a change of the very nature of the believer from godless to godly. The believer begins to take on the divine moral traits of God. Godliness denotes a change in the mindset and spirit of man. Godliness is a standard set for all believers yet reached only by a few. (1 Tim. 4: 8, 2 Pet. 1: 3, Titus 2: 12, Ps. 4: 3)
5. Wholeness- is the process by which the believer is made “whole”. The believer has an equal balance of holiness, sanctification, righteousness and godliness in their life. The believer is at his/her most authentic self. The believer is truly living in the abundant life that Jesus promised the believer. The believer is whole in spirit, soul, and body. The believer is whole relationally, spiritually, financially, socially, and completely. (1Thes 5:23, James 1:1-27, Colossians 2:9-10, John 10:10)
What is the difference between Godliness & Holiness?
A: Holiness denotes a lifestyle change of the believer. For example, the priest were considered holy. Holiness deals with the conduct, speech, and actions of the believer. A person can live holy and be holy yet not be godly. Godliness deals with the inner man and spirit of man being changed whereby they do not live out only a morally ‘righteous” life, or a holy life but that that there is an inward change of the spirit of man. Godliness changes the desires, tastes, and wants of the believer unto that of the divine. Very few are godly. (Romans 9:27)
In closing: Ezekiel 33:6 “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.”