My goal in writing about holiness and spiritual maturity is motivated not only to help all Christians spiritually mature as an exercise to enhance their personal relationship with God but also to target the growth of maturity and holiness in American Christians in order for them to be able to restore the Judeo/Christian principles upon which our nation was founded. A person who is a born again Christian—a person who has committed his/her life to Christ and received Him as his/her Savior-is not able to impact and transform the American culture without growing in holiness and wholeness. Of course, I hope this guidance can also help all Christians to be holy wherever they may live because it pleases the Lord and their spiritual maturity will positively impact any society in which they live.
Peter states God’s expectation of all believers: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lust, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:13-16).
Holiness and wholeness go hand in hand. It is impossible to become holy without God working on both areas. His tool for transformation is grace. Grace is not only God’s free gift of the power for the initial born again experience it is also the free gift of power to carry out the sanctification process to complete the salvation process: as Paul exhorts the Philippians, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” ( Phil. 2:12). Grace is the life of Christ in you that has taken residence in your spirit when you accept Him as your Savior. The Holy Spirit makes Christ’s life available to you every moment of every day once you are born again. The goal is to let your spirit filled with Christ’s life now assert guidance and control over your soul and body. That is the sanctification process.
Once the sin nature is dead, you partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). However, you can hold onto the old nature or old man rather than walk in your new man. In order to grow in holiness and impact our nation and all nations, as a member of the worldwide body of Christ, you must commit to the sanctification process with its cleansing, inner healing and deliverance activity. In Romans 1:4 -6, Paul describes our relationship to the Son since He is not only God but also from the “seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.”
You can see how the Holy Spirit is identified with holiness and that God’s grace through Christ provides for our ability to be obedient and have faith to fulfill God’s calling in Him. It is through Christ and His life in us that we receive the eternal life that is active presently and continuously in our spirits, soul and body.
In the next section I will explain the basic process of being born again and the ongoing process of salvation or sanctification. I am basing my explanation upon theological principles that are not accepted by all denominations. I base this teaching on the belief that we are tripartite (three part) beings, spirit, soul and body. This teaching is biblically based as well as depending upon a type of the tabernacle that can be applied to our being or essence. I give a fuller explanation of the type of the tabernacle in Preparing for the Lord’s Return: A Handbook on Holiness and Wholeness, which can be found on http://www.winningtheculturewarthebook.com.
Humans consist of potentially three parts: a spirit, soul and body (2 Thessalonians 5:23). I say potentially because until you are born again, your spirit is dormant because of original sin. When Jesus said you must be born again in John 3:3, He was speaking about your spirit. When you repent and accept Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit revives your spirit, its life is restored, and now the Holy Spirit lives within your spirit. He provides the grace or free gift of salvation along with the faith to enable you to be born again.
Once you are born again with your spirit now alive and animated with the Holy Spirit, your old nature, soul and body with a dormant spirit, is now dead according to Galatians 2:20 and now Christ lives in you. In other words your fallen nature-soul and body with a dormant spirit-is dead, and you live by Christ’s life and divine nature rather than your old, fallen life and nature (2 Peter 1:4). God not only sees you as righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice and shed blood but also because you are now a “new creation.”
However, although you are objectively justified through Christ’s death and resurrection and destined for heaven, your soul and body need to line up with your spirit and Christ’s life in your spirit. That is why you find that you continue to sin once born again. Your living spirit has to establish influence and control over your soul and body. Your soul and body do not immediately obey and conform to the new ruler, your living spirit and the Holy Spirit. That is why, as mentioned above, the Bible says you “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The salvation of justification is immediate in the sense that you are a “new creation” and your spirit is alive and the Holy Spirit is present guaranteeing you will go to heaven, but in the sense that salvation is conforming your soul and body to your renewed spirit, it is a process of sanctification, which you should seek out of a sense of gratitude and a desire to please and glorify the Lord through your transformation. However, remember that you cannot make yourself holy; it is the power of Christ’s in you that accomplishes the sanctification. As you choose to believe God’s promise to cleanse, heal your broken heart and deliver you and choose to be obedient; the Holy Spirit in your Spirit will work with you to accomplish sanctification.
This process of sanctification, being increasingly made holy, is God’s goal for all born again believers. However, I am adding to that goal another goal of American Christians to restore our nation to its founding principles. You cannot live in our culture and influence it without choosing to go on the sanctification journey. I give details on how the Holy Spirit accomplishes the holiness and wholeness in the handbook mentioned above. I hope you will be willing to make the journey of obedience and sanctification for the sake of God’s glory as well as offering yourself as a warrior in restoring our culture to its original covenant and principles. My book, Winning the Culture War, provides the inspiration and strategy on how you can help win the culture war.
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