Thursday, 16 February 2017

Tag:

Like Father, Like Son



"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
"Which was born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).

" Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1).

Like Father, Like Son


This study is very crucial, particularly for the fact that it has been misinterpreted in many assemblies. First thing to note here is that it's a command, an express command that every child of God must take heed to. 

Holiness is the nature of God. It's the personality of God. There would have been no much problem if we stop at this extent, but it went further to say that "be ye holy" just as your Father which is in heaven is holy. No earthly father will want his children to oppose his desire or command, no, he will want them to become  a replica of himself. So also the heavenly Father. It's His will and desire that all His children are holy. 

The second thing I'll like you to bear in mind is that holiness is attainable, and this is a fact. God is not a man, and if He knew that it will not be possible to live a holy life, He would not have commanded it. Many Bible characters lived a perfect, holy life in their time, so also we must live it out if we must see God at last. For "without holiness, no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

Furthermore, we must know that this command is not for some special class or group of people. It's an error to say that it's for a particular denomination. This doctrine is not even established by any pastor or preacher, not even the apostles. God commanded it. 

 THE POWER FOR SONSHIP
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,..." (John 1:12).

Only God can give one power to become a son of God. "Sons of God" used here is used in a generic form, therefore we can rightly say 'sons and daughters of God. Holiness comes only when a Christian is sanctified. Therefore, it's impossible for a sinner to live a holy life, except after he or she is forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus from all sins and unrighteousness. 

There's initial grace for salvation, and an increasing grace for sanctification. It's the inner cleansing and the removal of the adamic nature. Also, it's the whole cleansing of the inner sin. Without sanctification, there will be continuous struggle and battle in the heart of a man. 

The power to save and deliver is through the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Resolutions and mere wish cannot do, but can only lead to regrets and failures. No wonder Apostle Paul's cried out: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19).

 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" ( Romans 5:8). This is the good news. Christ died for us. He had paid the price for our redemption and justification. Salvation is not by personal struggle nor self discipline - as we saw in the life of Paul. So also is sanctification and holiness. At this point in time, look deep into your heart, have you embraced Jesus into your life? If not, before you read on, please look away from yourself, even from your works and services to God, just surrender all to Jesus. 

If you know and the Spirit of God bearing witness in your heart that you are saved, then go to the Lord in prayer and pray through for that inner cleansing to take place in your life, for it's the will of God, even your sanctification: (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

THE PROVES AND CHARACTETISTICS OF HOLINESS

Holiness and righteousness is not a hidden entity, even though it's an inner operation. Just as there's a difference, a visible change when a person is saved, so also when such an one is sanctified, there's a change of mind; heart, character and lifestyle of such an individual. Since the Bible is our perfect guide, we're going to consider the prove and characters of those that lived a holy life in their time. 

ABRAHAM: WALKING BEFORE GOD

The first person I will like us to see is father Abraham. Then, he was Abram but later transformed to Abraham. Today, the transformation may not appear in your name, but in your heart. That's how it is, when God appears to you, He works on you - a transformation must occur. God spake to Abraham in Genesis 17:1:
"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk thou before me, and be thou perfect. "

Notice that at this time, he was ninety nine years old and still God brought this issue before him. You see, holiness is not for any class or category of people as I said earlier. It's a must for all men. Age is not a determinant. Hebrews 12:14 tell us: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" Therefore, your age doesn't matter as regards this matter. It's necessary for both young and old; educated and illiterate, rich or poor - it's a requirement by God to all men. 

Another thing we notice here is what God told Abraham, He said "Walk thou before me..." Again, it's a command by God to walk before Him. Walking with God daily implies abandoning the old; sinful ways and practices, idolatry and all evil ways to following the LORD. It's not that kind of walking before the LORD that many so called Christians today practice today. They claim to serve God but still engage in secret affairs with the devil. That's not how to walk before God. Such walk is a halfhearted and hypocritical one - which God abhors. 

Finally, God said: "...be thou perfect." It's talking about living right - in holiness and righteousness. "Thou" there means "ye" in Matthew's account. The holiness of a father is not imputed to the children. It's not, because it's a personal matter.  Even if a pastor is holy, it doesn't make the members automatically holy. So, get it right. It's my prayer that you will walk with God in Jesus name. Amen.



ENOCH: WALKING WITH GOD

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him:" (Genesis5:24). Can we talk about those who walked with God, and not mention Enoch? A man that walked with God till he was taken to heaven. He walked with God despite the evils in his time. The same evil world we are today. At the end, the record about him was that he "had this testimony, that he pleased God." 

God's call is that we should walk with Him, and Enoch obeyed that call. If you must see God, you must also walk with God. Even though the Bible did not tell us much about his life, whether he was a great man or not, the most powerful word spoken concerning him was that "Enoch walked with God."

Be aware that the way heaven sees you is far different from the way men sees you. Man knows nothing except that which is physical, but God sees everything. 

The greatest testimony is that which God speaks concerning you, and not even that of your pastor. Yes, it's necessary to have good reports of men, but what is heaven saying about you now? Is it that you are walking with God, or that you have left your first love like Demas did because of the things of the world? 

D. L. MOODY has this to say about Enoch: "He was neither a warrior, a statesman, nor a scientist; nor did he, so far as we know, accomplish anything remarkable, like Daniel, or Joseph, or any of the other mighty men of Israel; but what made him great was that he walked with God. That, in all ages, is what has made men really great."

God is calling men today to walk with Him daily. And brethren, whatsoever He says to you, just obey. 

PAUL: WALKING IN HOLINESS BEFORE GOD AND MAN

It's not only in the old testament that men walked with God. Paul the apostle walked before in darkness but became enlightened after Jesus arrested him on his way to Damascus. Many today are fast moving and running on the path that leads to destruction. But God is still knocking on the door. Will you open the door of your heart to Him? 

Apostle Paul lived a holy life till he finished the race set before him. His conscience tells him and the Holy Spirit bears witness in his heart that he was born again. God effected a change in him, and men saw it. He became God's companion, and lost companionship with the world. Darkness was not, but the light shined on his ways. Truly, he walked with God. 

We see boldness and confidence in his first letter to the Thessalonians believers.
 "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved among you that believe."
That ye would work worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. " (1Thessalonians 2:10,12).

He walked before God and men in holiness, and was just and unblameable. And so charged and exhorted them to "work worthy of God." He set an example before them. They couldn't deny his testimony - his life challenged them. 

When you become holy, it's something that's also visible that of which men can see - to glorify your Father which is in heaven. Men saw it, God notice it. God's testimony about him was that he " walked in holiness, just and unblameable. "

It's my prayer that heaven will tell good of us. Please don't be carried away by men's applause. Heaven's recommendation is what a genuine Christian will run after. 

Time will fail us to talk about Joseph who served God faithfully in a strange land; Daniel and his three friends who were not afraid to serve God in the adulterous land of Babylon, Ruth who refused to return back, the Apostles and among others. But the question now is, what about you? Are you living a godly, holy life? 

Would to God that you will pray for that sanctifying power to reach forth to you today! 

THE  POSSIBILITY OF LIVING A HOLY LIFE

It's not out of place to say that if men of old lived such a holy life, we too in our times can still live such a life. The grace of God is what we need. It's not just knowledge, but the abundance of the grace of God. The grace of God is sufficient enough to empower us to live a holy life, even as those saints of old lived. 

Paul later testified that "by the grace of God, I am what I am." He struggled before, but the moment he depended on God, he found it easy to live a life pleasing to God. 

It's my wish that you stop relying on your own strength and turn to the Saviour for help and succor. As many as will come to him, he will not turn away from them. And for as many who might have lost the assurance of their salvation, it can still be restored as they cling to the Lord for cleansing and purging. 

A songwriter wrote:
"What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart; I have light in my soul for which long I had sought, since Jesus came into my heart. "

It's time to pray and seek the LORD till He rains righteousness upon us! 


Written by Obasi Lawrence for BelieveAll Outreach

Twitter @obasi_lawrence




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