Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are you pure and blameless before the Lord?

Come near to God and He will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

But just as He who called you is holy,
so be holy in all you do...
1 Peter 1:15

When you set your heart to walk blameless before God—living in a way that is
pleasing to the Lord—you will be feared and despised by those who have lost
the favor and blessing of God. Lukewarm or compromised Christians will be
absolutely disturbed and repelled by your life!

We see this illustrated vividly in 1 Samuel: “Now Saul was afraid of David,
because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul... And David behaved
wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw
that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him” (1 Samuel 18:12-15).

David’s blameless behavior struck fear in Saul’s heart! Whenever Saul was
around David, he remembered the time he had enjoyed the favor of God and the
high esteem of men. But disobedience, envy, pride and self-will had cost Saul
every bit of power with God. And it robbed him of all respect of the people.

Now, Saul had come face to face with a younger man—a less experienced,
probably less articulate, man—who exuded the power and integrity of holiness.
He was pure in heart, full of the Holy Spirit and Saul was afraid of him!

Keep in mind that this was no idolatrous pagan who was afraid of David. No,
Saul was a man who had known the power of the Holy Spirit! He had once been
God’s anointed, a mighty man chosen of God!

David was simply living a clean life and God was pouring out favor upon him!
“All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before
them” (1 Samuel 18:16).

Saul did not want to be around David. Scripture says “Therefore Saul removed
him from his presence” (1 Samuel 18:13). Sadly, Saul represents the
compromised church of today, those Christians who have compromised and lost the
anointing of God. He is a type of the believer who once was full of the Holy
Spirit, baptized, on fire for God, but has been robbed of everything they once
knew of God by their disobedience, pride and lust.

There is nothing scarier to a compromised Christian than a holy blameless life.
And the more your life lines up with the Lord’s will and His holiness, the
more repelling you will become to backslidden believers.

by David Wilkerson

Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
I John 3:3

And every man that hath this hope in him - this hope of seeing the Saviour, and of being made like him; that is, every true Christian...purifieth himself - makes himself holy. That is, under the influence of this hope of being like the Saviour, he puts forth those efforts in struggling against sin, and in overcoming his evil propensities, which are necessary to make him pure. The apostle would not deny that for the success of these efforts we are dependent on divine aid; but he brings into view, as is often done in the sacred writings, the agency of man himself as essentially connected with success. Compare Philippians 2:12. The particular thought here is, that the hope of being like Christ, and of being permitted to dwell with Him, will lead a man to earnest efforts to become holy, and will be actually followed by such a result.

The tendency of such a hope is to make him holy now, though he may be imperfect; the effect will be to make him "perfectly" holy in the world to come. It cannot be shown from this passage that the apostle meant to teach that anyone actually becomes as pure in the present life as the Saviour is, that is, becomes perfectly holy; for all that is fairly implied in it is, that those who have this hope in them aim at the same purity, and will ultimately obtain it. But the apostle does not say that it is attained in this world. If the passage did teach this, it would teach it respecting everyone who has this hope, and then the doctrine would be that no one can be a Christian who does not become absolutely perfect on earth; that is, not that some Christians may become perfect here, but that all actually do. But none, it is presumed, will hold this to be a true doctrine. A true Christian does not, indeed, habitually and willfully sin; but no one can pretend that all Christians attain to a state of sinless perfection on earth, or are, in fact, as pure as the Saviour was. But unless the passage proves that every Christian becomes absolutely perfect in the present life, it does not prove that in fact any do. It proves:

(1) that the tendency, or the fair influence of this hope, is to make the Christian pure;
(2) that all who cherish it will, in fact, aim to become as holy as the Saviour was; and,
(3) that this object will, at some future period, be accomplished. There is a world where all who are redeemed shall be perfectly holy.
~ Albert Barnes

All who have the hope of seeing Christ as He is; that is, of enjoying Him in His own glory; purifieth himself - abstains from all evil, and keeps himself from all that is in the world, viz., the lusts of the flesh, of the eye, and the pride of life. God having purified his heart, it is his business to keep himself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. The apostle does not here speak of any man purifying his own heart, because this is impossible; but of his persevering in the state of purity into which the Lord hath brought him. The words, however, may be understood of a man's anxiously using all the means that lead to purity; and imploring God for the sanctifying Spirit, to "cleanse the thoughts of his heart by its inspiration, that he may perfectly love Him, and worthily magnify His Name."...

...He was manifested to take away our sins, 1 John 3:5, to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8; and as His blood cleanseth from all sin and unrighteousness, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9; is it not evident that God means that believers in Christ shall be saved from all sin?
~ Adam Clarke

The sons of God know that their Lord is of purer eyes than to allow any thing unholy and impure to dwell with Him. It is the hope of hypocrites, not of the sons of God, that makes allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts. May we be followers of Him as His dear children, thus show our sense of His unspeakable mercy, and express that obedient, grateful, humble mind which becomes us. Sin is the rejecting the Divine Law. In Him, that is, in Christ, was no sin. All the sinless weaknesses that were consequences of the fall, He took; that is, all those infirmities of mind or body which subject man to suffering, and expose him to temptation. But our moral infirmities, our proneness to sin, He had not. He that abides in Christ, continues not in the practice of sin. Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ. Beware of self-deceit. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, and to be a follower of Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin. There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought. The children of God and the children of the devil have their distinct characters. The seed of the serpent are known by neglect of religion, and by their hating real Christians. He only is righteous before God, as a justified believer, who is taught and disposed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. May all professors of the gospel lay these truths to heart, and try themselves by them.
~ Matthew Henry

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