Category Archives: Holiness

The Holiness of God and the Sinfulness of Man | R.C. Sproul


How is sin to be understood? Is it accidental or essential to our humanity? The term accidental refers to those properties of an object that are not part of its essence; they may exist or not exist without changing what that object truly is. For instance, a moustache is an accidental property. If a man shaves off his moustache, he does not cease to be a man.

On the other hand, essential properties are those that are part of the essence of a thing. Remove that property, and it ceases to be that thing. Sin is not essential to humanity, unless someone believes that God made humanity sinful at the beginning. If sin is essential to humanity, then that would mean Jesus was either sinful or not human. So, sin is not essential. Adam had no sin when he was created, yet he was still human. Jesus has no sin, but He is still human. Believers will have no sin when they get to heaven, and they will still be human.

Sin is not essential, but neither is it merely tangential or on the surface of our humanity. Rather, the portrait that we get in the Scriptures of man in his fallen condition is that he is utterly and thoroughly infected by sin in his whole person. In other words, sin is not an external blemish, but something that goes to the very core of our being.

This excerpt is taken from R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions booklet How Can I Be Blessed? Download more free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.

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Recovering the Priority of Personal Holiness | Alistair Begg

alistair-beggfrom Ligonier Ministries

“If the Word does not dwell with power in us,” wrote Puritan John Owen, “it will not pass with power from us” (The Works of John Owen, vol. 16, p. 76.). This godly minister personified this truth in his personal life and public ministry more than three centuries ago. For years he carried the message of Jesus Christ into the trenches of a culture as chaotic as our own while simultaneously dealing with the death of his wife and all eleven of his children. John Owen was no ivory tower theologian, but rather a zealous pastor who worked to the brink of exhaustion to further the work of the Reformers. He is remembered for shining gospel light into the spiritually dark arenas of politics and academia. And his love of Scripture was clearly and forcefully articulated from the variety of pulpits into which God called him.

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From Brokenness to Mission is the Human Pattern

From Ligonier blog

Dr. R.C. Sproul conveys a powerful gospel dynamic here from Isaiah 6:

There is a pattern here, a pattern repeated in history. God appears, people quake in terror, God forgives and heals, God sends. From brokenness to mission is the human pattern. When God asked, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah understood the force of the word. To be “sent” meant to function as an emissary for God, to be a spokesman for the deity. In the New Testament the word apostle meant “one who is sent.” The Old Testament counterpart to the New Testament apostle was the prophet. God was looking for a volunteer to enter the lonely, grueling office of prophet. “Whom shall I send?”

Notice Isaiah’s answer: “Here am I, send me.” There is a crucial difference between saying, “Here am I” and saying, “Here I am.” Had he said, “Here I am,” that would have merely indicated his location. But he was interested in more than giving God his location. He said, “Here am I.” With these words Isaiah was stepping forward to volunteer. His answer was simply, “I will go. Look no further. Send me.”

From The Holiness of God

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The Ruler of the Waves

“On whom must we build our souls if we would be accepted with God? We must build on the Rock, Christ. From whom must we draw that grace of the Spirit which we daily need in order to be fruitful? We must draw from the Vine, Christ. To whom must we look for sympathy when earthly friends fail us or die? We must look to our elder Brother, Christ. By whom must our prayers be presented, if they are to be heard on high? They must be presented by our Advocate, Christ. With whom do we hope to spend the thousand years of glory, and the after eternity? With the King of kings, Christ. Surely we cannot know this Christ too well! Surely there is not a word, nor a deed, nor a day, nor a step, nor a thought in the record of His life, which ought not to be precious to us. We should labor to be familiar with every line that is written about Jesus.”

J.C. Ryle, Holiness-Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots

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The Gospel-Driven Life-Dr. Harry Reeder III

This is a portion of an article from the January 2008 issue of TableTalk magazine

“Young Christian, the world despises the Gospel in its simplicity and disdains the vessels entrusted to carry and proclaim it. But there is power under the hood. Live the Gospel, believe and preach the whole Gospel — the Gospel blessings that declare who you are in Christ, the Gospel imperatives that call you to your new life for Christ. This Gospel transforms the hearts, minds, and wills of sinners. Thankfully, it continues to transform mine. Preach it to yourself, to each other, and to the lost, and know the joys of the Gospel-driven life.

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The Characteristics of Holiness

This is from the classic work by J.C. Ryle, Holiness It’s Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties & Roots. You can purchase your copy at Monergism Books.

From Monergism Books,

John Charles Ryle’s best-known works have been reissued and widely read over many years. The fine qualities of his writings have ensured that his books are still popular and useful. This present volume has become a classic work and is known and loved by many throughout the world.

In days when evangelical preachers are accused of being either superficial or dull, we have here a great example from one who was neither of these things. As Bishop Ryle explains and applies his texts with his customary simplicity and directness, the reader will find his conscience pricked and his soul examined. Ryle’s Holiness has become essential reading on this most important subject and the first chapter on ‘sin’ has rarely been bettered.

Ryle was appointed as the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880 and was the leader of the Evangelical Party in the Church of England for more than half a century. He is highly regarded for his plain and lively writings on practical and spiritual themes, and their usefulness and impact have been consistently recognized and remain as wise and relevant today as when he first wrote them.

  1. Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God.
  2. A holy man will endeavor to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment.
  3. A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ.
  4. A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, patience, kind tempers and government of his tongue.
  5. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial.
  6. A holy man will follow after charity and brotherly kindness.
  7. A holy man will follow after a spirit of mercy and benevolence.
  8. A holy man will follow after purity of heart.
  9. A holy man will follow after the fear of God.
  10. A holy man will follow after humility.
  11. A holy man will follow after faithfulness in all the duties and relations in life.
  12. A holy man will follow after spiritual-mindedness.
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Holy Special Edition Batman!

from Time 2 Change Churches by Pastor Brian Culver 

“There are too many churches out there that use the word “holy” and it has absolutely no meaning, just as Robin’s use of the word. We are called to be holy just as He (GOD) is holy. We are called to be obedient to His Word. We are not to go after our old ways (flipping people off and thinking God is okay with that! Using foul language and thinking God has more important things to worry about than your use of certain words!) In everything we do, in everything we say, in everything we think, we are to be doing that which is “right” in God’s sight. We are to be “set apart” from the world. There should be something different about us.”


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Holiness: A Sermon by J.C. Ryle

“Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
– Hebrews 12:14

__________THE text which heads this page opens up a subject of deep importance. That subject is practical holiness. It suggests a question which demands the attention of all professing Christians-Are we holy? Shall we see the Lord?

That question can never be out of season. The wise man tells us, “There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh-a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccles. 3:4, 7); but there is no time, no, not a day, in which a man ought not to be holy. Are we?

That question concerns all ranks and conditions of men. Some are rich and some are poor-some learned and some unlearned-some masters, and some servants; but there is no rank or condition in life in which a man ought not to be holy. Are we?

I ask to be heard today about this question. How stands the account between our souls and God? In this hurrying, bustling world, let us stand still for a few minutes and consider the matter of holiness. I believe I might have chosen a subject more popular and pleasant. I am sure I might have found one more easy to handle. But I feel deeply I could not have chosen one more seasonable and more profitable to our souls. It is a solemn thing to hear the Word of God saying, “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

I shall endeavour, by God’s help, to examine what true holiness is, and the reason why it is so needful. In conclusion, I shall try to point out the only way in which holiness can be attained. I have already, in the second paper in this volume, approached this subject from a doctrinal side. Let me now try to present it to my readers in a more plain and practical point of view.

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(Thanks to my dear friend and brother in Christ, Larry Linson, for sharing this link)

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