What is Holiness?

This is an interesting and intriguing question that isn't easy to get a handle on. J.C. Ryle, the first Bishop of Liverpool, has spent much time and effort thinking about this topic and has left the church of Jesus Christ a great legacy which includes a book called 'Holiness'. God has used this book to confront many people and to encourage others. I would really encourage you to read the book but we are just going to grab J.C. Ryle's definition of Holiness:

"What then is true practical holiness? ....

a. Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture.
b. A holy man will endeavour to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment.
c. A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ.
d. A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, government of his tongue. He will bear much, forbear much, overlook much and be slow to talk of standing on his rights.
e. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial. He will labour to mortify the desires of his body, to crucify his flesh with his affections and lusts, to curb his passions, to restrain his carnal inclinations, lest at any time they break loose.
f. A holy man will follow after charity and brotherly kindness. He will endeavour to observe the golden rule of doing as he would have men do to him and speaking as he would have men speak to him.
g. A holy man will follow after a spirit of mercy and benevolence towards others.
h. A holy man will follow after purity of heart.
i. A holy man will follow after the fear of God.
j. A holy man will follow after humility.
k. A holy man will follow after faithfulness in all the duties and relations in life.
l. Last, but not least, a holy man will follow after spiritual-mindedness. He will endeavour to set his affections entirely on things above, and to hold things on earth with a very loose hand."

(Holiness its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots  by J.C. Ryle pp 34-37)

3 comments:

  1. This is incredibly challenging and leaves me feeling hopeless - until I remember that it is not in my own strength that I can attain these qualities. I can only strive to be more like our Lord Jesus Christ with His help. I can only follow after purity of heart, self-denial, humility...with His help.

    But at the same time I'm very aware that I all too often don't priorities what is truly important. I have the responsibility to make sure that I take the time to pray and to read God's Word.

    I have the responsibility to make sure that I hold things on earth with a very loose hand. With God's help I will set my affections entirely on things above. But, when all day long we see the world and we're faced with what is here and now, what helps us to remember that our affections are to be on things entirely above? And what helps us to set our affections there?

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  2. Hi, Hannah! You asked 'what helps us to remember that our affections are to be entirely on things above and what helps us to set our affections there?' As we belong to Christ, I think it's very important that all Christians begin their day in prayer and devotions. This helps to set the focus on Christ for the day, and should help us to remember that the whole day through we are to set our affections on heavenly and not on earthly things. Not only are we to read and study the Bible daily, but I think it's important that we also meditate on His Word 'day and night' (see Psalm 1). We can mediate on a portion of scripture that we have read in the morning the whole day through, and memorizing God's Word is also a great and powerful tool, too! It is only when we stick close to our Lord that we will remember and also desire to set our affections on things above, and not on the things of this world.

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  3. This Reminds of these :

    http://www.wicketgate.co.uk/issue48/e48_7.html

    :)

    ReplyDelete

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