The Essential Nature of Holiness – Hal Linhardt

Hal Linhardt is director of evangelism at International House of Prayer and a dear friend of mine. Hal pastored in Kansas City for 23 years and has served as director for IHOP evangelism for 7 years… These are my notes upon his talk, “the essential nature of holiness in regards to salvation – contending for the faith against delusional thinking and false assurance of salvation – do the warnings in Scripture mean anythign to the believer?

Note: Dan Corner (sp?) – Hal’s personal recommendation on further teaching for Holiness.

Goal of talk: to awaken us to hidden truth that is apparent all over the Bible that we might walk with undistracted devotion to the Lord.

Working definition of the fear of the Lord:

-Completely interwoven with holiness. You cannot have holiness without the fear of the Lord. It is built upon the judgment of God.

–The fear of the Lord is built upon the eternal judgment of God. That is the reason the Bible tells us to fear God.

Paul: 2 Corinthians 5:10 – we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ and we will be recompensed according to the deeds done in our body, therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.

Peter: 1 Peter 1:17 – if you address as Father the one who impartially judges each man according to his work, then conduct yourself in fear during the time of your stay upon the earth, knowing you weren’t redeemed with useless/futile things, but the blood of Jesus

He IMPARTIALLY judges each man according to their deeds. This is huge.

Jesus – Matthew 10/Luke 12 – He called His disciples to Himself. After He had finished speaking to His disciples (telling them about the cost associated with following Christ) and He tells them not to fear the one who can kill the body,but I tell you whom to fear: fear Him who after killing the body can cast body and soul into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him.

Jesus is talking about fear of bodily harm, NOT “reverential awe.”

What is the basis of fearing the Lord? the God who can cast body and soul into hell.

The Eternal God is multi-faceted and we only know the tiniest fragment of it. God has given us multiple motivations. One is His desire for nearness with us, His desire to be our friend closer than a brother, His desire to be our Bridegroom and walk in intimacy. His desire for nearness. This is one facet.Another is rewards – the NT mentions reward 30 times “I am coming back, and my reward is with me!” And Moses forsook Egypt for the reward, Jesus went to the cross for the joy set before Him. It is noble and spiritual to be motivated by God wanting to reward you. But this is another motivation: the fear of the Lord.

Striving after holiness because you know there is coming a judgment day.

Jonathan Edwards “God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs so that I don’t live for this present evil world! Let me, dear God, be conscious down to the very molecules of my soul: there is comine a Judgment day when everything I;ve done, everything I’ve said, everything i’ve done, my motivation, every single word, is going to be brought into this all-consuming judgment where God rewards, or causes loss”

Human as we are, we need a multiplicity of motivations – paul needed it, Jesus talked about it, Peter also… and we need this kind of motivation also.

Solomon. He was wise, wisest who ever lived. But he also committed great apostasy. – he made for altars to demons; one being Moloch, upon which babies were slaughtered by fire. And Scripture NEVER records Solomon’s repentance. But in Ecclesiastes 12, he said “fear God, and keep His commandments, because He will bring EVERY deed into account”

defeating the notion that the fear of the Lord is built upon anything other than the judgment of God. this is the foundation stone to build a spiritual house that is not shaken! the fear of the Lord is the hatred of evil (proverbs 8.) pride, arrogance, the evil way, the perverted mouth.

We must define our terms biblically if we want biblical results.

God has emotions. There’s a theological camp out there that say when the Bible says God is experiencing an emotion, it’s actually only “anthropromorphisms” and saying that He really doesn’t experience those. Why would the Bible say that HE has the emotions then? God has great emotions. His joy is real. His longsuffering is without measure. He knows how to grieve over the loss of someone’s soul. We only know a smidgen of the burden on His heart.

So, therefore, one of the emotions He has, as the Bible says, is that God HATES. Just as He is kind. He hates with a passions. It’s about hell.Therein is God’s just expression of hatred against evil.

The fear of the Lord is HATE. You can speak lovingly about hate. It is in the hating of evil that you are set free from sin that causes such calamity. Without a hatred of evil, you will keep your sin and compromise it and entertain it and keep it as a pet for the rest of your life. When you’re holding on to your sin, you can’t blame God, you can’t even really blame the devil, you’ve made the choice to clutch on your pet sin.

The fear of the Lord is to HATE evil. Learn about the Lord’s hatred, teh things He hates, and then make application of it to the things you know are “pet sins” in your life. The wages of sin is death, unless you repent you will likewise perish. That is a universal statement!

The fear of the Lord brings us to holiness and is the means by which we depart from evil.

Holiness: When the seraphim cry “holy” to God, they say He is different, other than, transcendant, not like anything on heaven’s or earth’s shores. Separated from. Set apart.

What is it for us? Separate yourself from sin no matter what the cost – then, and only then, are you free to separate yourself unto God.

Jesus hated sin. He was teh happiest man on earth, anointed with the oil of gladness – why? Because He loves righteousness and He HATED iniquity. He said “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you – it is better for you to have eternal life maimed than to go into hell with both eyes… same with your hands, your feet…” well maybe He’s not meaning it literally but as an illustration He is saying that we are to take such extreme measures against sin! That is the extent to which God hates sin!

What caused the devil to be thrown from heaven? What caused Adam and Eve to be thrown from teh garden? What caused God to kill everybody on the planet except for 8 people? What was it that put Jesus Christ on the cross?What is it that’s going to keep peopel out of heaven’s gate – Revelation 21 & 22 – outside the gate are cowards, unbelieving, liars, homosexuals, immoral people. It doesn’t say anything other than that. It says that, regardless of religious affiliation, past spiritual experiences, no – people who live this lifestyle are outside the gate. Holiness is essential in regard to salvation.That’s how much Jesus hates sin.

Hebrews 12 – pursue peace with all men, and holiness without which no man will see the Lord.

Of course, don’t proof-text, don’t look at verses out of context, such is the basis of false theologies. But this verse stands on its own. Look at the context. The context only further supports this verse.

We have to think about it in terms of “where do people go when they die?” 4.2 billion people died in teh 20th century! where did they go? Jesus said that almost all of them went to hell.

Matthew 7 – enter through the narrow gate. the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and there are many who enter through it. the gate is small and the way narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

that is NOT a happy verse. and it is true until He comes back. He desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth but most choose the broad path that leads to destruction.

He wants us to do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with Him on the narrow way, through heavens gave to find life. It’s true, though. It’s true. many are on the broad gate.

Hebrews 12+Matthew 7 – holiness is the narrow way.

Remnant: a small piece of cloth leftover from a big piece of cloth, or a small group of people out of a big group of people. example:noah. 8 people out of however many were alive on the earth in the days of Noah. If there were 800 people when Noah’s flood took place, that means 1% were saved. Lot, in Sodom, Gomorrah, and surrounding cities – 3 people made it out of those cities. How many people were there? If there were e ven only 300, that’s 1%. but there were more than 300. Caleb and Joshua were 2 people out of MILLIONS who lived to see the promised land.

Elijah and the Lord – the Lord said there were 7,000 people left who followed the Lord. Out of how many? Millions of people on the earth, and only 7,000 people.

Jesus said in Revelation – there are a few who have not soiled their garments… they will walk with me in white.

Isaiah – though the sons of Israel be as the sands of the sea and the stars of the sky, it is the remnant that is saved…

Of course, this is not the attitude of America.

86% of Americans say they are Christians.

but only 9% believe God is God, the devil exists, the Bible is true, Jesus did not sin, and we should tell people about Christ.

But just because they admit to believing that definition does not mean they are living for God at all!

only 4% of all Americans say they try to make their decisions in life based upon Biblical values.

Be mad, glad, or sad, but just be shaken to the reality that this is either true or not!

So, exegetical question( a question of Biblical interpretation), for we are to rightly divide the Word…

To whom is Jesus speaking in the gospels and the book of Revelation. to whom are the apostles speaking in their letters? does the example of God’s dealing with Israel have any eternal significance today? to have eternal life, does a person have to love the Lord, obey Jesus, abide in Christ, believe in Jesus, follow the Lord, be His disciple? Can a man be saved from hell if he is not saved from his sin? Does repentence/free will/holy living play any part in being saved?

So, take just one. do you actually have to love the Lord and obey Him to go to heaven?

What’s the Bible say?

most people in our country seem to think, “oh, no, i said the prayer, and occasionally i have a devotional time. I am positionally right with God, it doesn’t matter what I do.. God sees me in Christ. all my sins past, present, future, already forgiven. all the responsibility is on God. it’s not about how i live, just what i believe. when i do evil, i am still good in the sight of God. I believe in the unconditional love of God. once saved, always saved. God would never send anyone to hell who is born again. there’s no condemnation and since i’m a believer, i don’t have to actually obey Jesus to be saved. I can’t earn salvation. the worst I can do is lose my rewards…”

what do we really think of those statements?

they seem to provide a license to do whatever you want to do. absolute license.

is there absolutely nothing I can do to murder my salvation? Martin Luther: “yea, though I fornicate and murder 1,000 times a day, my sin will never touch me.” (Luther didn’t think hebrews, james, or revelation should be canonized)

but what did Jesus and peter and paul say?

The main theme of the Bible is God pleading with His people to love Him. It’s written to the people of God. They will be My people, and I will be their God…

so we are told that you are to go on thinking that the one thing you should never do is question your salvation. go on and live life unrepentant, compromise here, compromise there. don’t be afraid. you do need to accept Jesus as your SAVIOR (Lordship is a whole other issue)…

so, not fearing God, not repenting on a daily basis, Jesus is savior but NOT treated as Lord…

but the words of Jesus echo in the back of your mind…why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say…?

on that day MANY will come to Him and say “Lord, Lord” didn’t we do all this in Your name? and He says “depart from me, you who practice lawlessness, I NEVER KNEW YOU”

this assurance of salvation in the midst of blatant sin is sanction of lawlessness as if it were a virtue. and who is rising to say no? we need our prophets to rise up!

true definition of a prophet: NOT someone who can tell you secrets about yourself, inner thoughts, etc. The ESSENCE of a prophet is, Biblically, to CALL FORTH SIN IN PEOPLES’ LIVES TO HELP THEM REPENT SO THEY HAVE A FEAR OF GOD SO WHEN THEY DO STAND BEFORE GOD THEY ARE CLEAN, FAULTLESS, AND BLAMELESS

where is the prophet who stands up and says “STOP SINNING!”

there IS assurance of salvation. if you’re living for God.

the book of Hebrews. Jesus is the SOURCe of eternal life to those who obey Him.

oh, rats. I wanted to KEEP my sin! you can’t.

what is the eternal state of those who live unbibical, immoral, unfaithful, hypocritcal lives?

1. theyre saved no matter how they lives.

2. they were never saved, having only the semblance of true faith.

3. they were saved, but they fell away from the faith through sin, as Jesus said “unless you repent, you’ll likewise perish.”

can a believer fall away from God in the midst of grace?

scriptural phrases:

tree bears no fruit is cut down

go on sinning wilfully, no longer having a sacrifice for sins

deny Jesus and be denied

possessing a FORM of godliness

severed from Christ

declared unsavory salt, good for nothing

not love the Lord and be accursed, religion declared worthless

not repent/overcome, his name is erased from the book of life

lips near God but a heart far from Him

soiled garments, turn from the faith, a son of disobedience

shrink bas in shame

go into outer darkness and destruction

forsake the way of righteousness

not persevere to the end

be unforgiving and handed over to tormenters

a foolish virgin locked out of the door

lukewarm, vomited out of His mouth

excluded from the tree of life

Jesus even prayed “God, forgive us as we forgive others.” Forgive me, as i forgive others. Do we realize what we say when we pray that prayer?

We are lead to fear of God. fear of God shows our need to hate evil, to flee sin, and to run to the cross. the cross is not to say “oh, it’s ok” to our sin, but to cleanse us from it. and we need to cry out to Him for it. where’s the grace? the grace: there is no sin that you cannot be forgiven of (except blasphemy of the holy spirit) anything you do, God delights in showing mercy! everlasting to everlasting are His mercies on those who fear Him. but where’s the grace? right at the cross.

Titus 2: grace has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age.

Living in denial of that kind of grace is for the grace of God to come to a person in grace. God wont be outdone by sin, His grace is ample and sufficient, always. But this is on eternal issues! He sees each person who drops off the precipice into hell and He grieves immeasurably, just as He rejoices for each who enters heaven.

God is totally just, totally fair, a perfect judge. He is good. He is merciful. But this is not without cost! it’s WORTH IT. it’s exceedingly worth it! we are entrusted with so much in our salvation. are we multiplying our talents in things of eternal worth or are we squandering it and burying it?

the fear of the Lord is for the people of God! it’s not for sinners. they’re in sin. they’re not following God. they don’t care. it is those who are following the Lord that are told to fear Him

James 4:1-10 – origin of conflicts, our own selfishness, (murder = slander more than likely), FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD IS HOSTILITY TOWARDS GOD and makes you an enemy of God!or does the Scripture speak to no purpose that He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us

God’s put His Holy Spirit in me and He desires for me to respond in affection and obedience

Do i know more about some hobby than I do about God? what is really the most important thing in my life?am i more a friend with the world?

so submit to God, resist the devil, draw near to God. he’s obviously talking to the church. who else has the HolySpirit?

2 peter 2:17 – springs without water… verse 20: if after they have escaped the defilements of the world they are again entangled in them the last becomes worse than teh first… like a dog returning to vomit.

he’s speaking to the church!

note: if: a little bitty word that is a hinge upon which great theological doors open and close. if is like a contractual obligation! it’s conditional!

1 John 1,2 – if we say (if, if, if, repeated. so many ifs! he contrasts what they say with what they do) if we say we have fellowship with light but walk in darkness… if we say we have not sinned… the one who says “i have come to know God,” but does not keep His commandments… if one says they abide in Christ, he ought to walk in teh same manner as He walked…

We want to offer to God a religion of our choice, a strange fire on teh altar, liek Cain’s offering… the devil’s tactics are always the same: decieve and destroy.

Quick little lesson in what to do with your sin:

1 John 1 – if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light then we do have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

so you english majors: diagram the sentence. what does it say? How does the blood of Jesus cleanse you of all your sin? when we walk in the light. that’s not heresy, it’s what the Bible says very plainly and simply. yes, we all fall short of His glory, and God doesn’t show you EVERYthing you do wrong, but He cares about us walking in teh light as He Himself is in the light. the one who abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way as He walked. He was completely in the light!

There’s 2 kinds of sin. those we know about, those we dont.

the ones we dont? walk with God, He cares for you and He will bring it to light. the ones we don’t know about? CONFESS! REPENT! He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. WE have an advocate: run to the cross where Jesus is your advocate, that mercy seat!

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Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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