Sylvia Colville

Part 5 – Be holy, for I am holy & the wonderful Throne of Grace

Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your presence. It is such an honour to be in Your Presence.

Help me and give me faith, in this prayer right now.

Father God, I come before Your Throne of grace and I ask in my time of need – please, help me now as we open up Your sacred Word. Help me to respond to Your Word in a way that honours You. God help me to treat these Words with honour. Help me to value them as precious, as holy.

Write them upon my heart and in my mind I pray.
Praise You, King Jesus. I praise You. I have come to honour You. It is in Your name that I pray. Amen.

  1. As we have studied all about the Preparation of the Bride of Christ, we know what God has required of us.
  2. He is coming for a bride, without spot or wrinkle or blemish. A bride that has been transformed and is shining forth His light. She is illuminated by the Lord God and by the Lamb.
  3. We have studied that our transformation is all the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
  4. We know that our part in the whole story of this wonderful transformation begins by
    spending time in His Presence which leads us to surrender, a desire to please the God whom she loves.

Today we are going to speak about holiness. Let us start with the scripture found in 1 Peter 1:13-16

1 Pet. 1:13-16 – Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought (future tense) to you (when do we receive this grace?) at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, 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.’

What are we studying today? Being holy.

Matt. 23:1-5 – Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe – that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men.

V13-35 Read these in your own time so that you can get a good understanding.

The scribes and Pharisees looked religious in appearance, spoke in a religious manner but as far as Jesus was concerned, they were hypocrites.

What are we studying today? Being holy. Yet we can see from this scripture that religious practices are NOT what MAKES you holy. (Say it with me!)

Yet God requires us to be holy. What then is holy?

Luke 18:10-14 – Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Again, say it with me. Religious practices do not make one holy.
Me coming to church every Sunday, coming to prayer on a Saturday, going to a hospital to pray for the sick… None of these make me holy. They are good things to do, but my works, do not make me a holy person.

I could do all this stuff and still be an absolutely cold, unloving, nasty person who is stealing from her boss and taking bribes.
OR I could be doing all of that and constantly being critical of people around me who are failing and falling, judging others according to the standard of holiness I believe that they should be walking in.
No, just like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14 our own self-righteous religious behaviour is not the measure of our holiness.

Let’s briefly examine the heart attitudes of both these men.

The Pharisee stood boldly declaring his own righteousness and achievements before God and then from the standpoint of his own righteousness, he judged the other man.

The bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps.111:10).

Did the Pharisee have a holy fear of God? Was he reverent before a holy God? No!

What about the tax collector?
The tax collector could not even lift his eyes to heaven. He was filled with sorrow. His entire demeanour spoke loudly about his reverence for this holy God. Humility is a natural outflow for someone who truly reveres God.

None of us are able to stand in the Presence of God because of our own self-righteous behaviour. We can only stand before God because Jesus paid the full price for the judgment of ALL sin. His sacrifice satisfied the righteousness of God.
And because God is the Righteous Judge, He acknowledges that we are justified.
That is why we are able to stand in His presence.

Again we ask – what then, is holy and how do we become more holy?

Strongs: Holy – ‘hagios’ – sacred, physically pure, morally blameless, consecrated (set apart unto).
Oxford languages: Dedicated or consecrated to God for a religious purpose.

It is a matter of the heart. It all begins with ‘first love’. A grateful heart that is awestruck at the grace that an awesome, majestic, all powerful God has shown us. For our salvation, for being adopted into His family, when we deserve none of it.
We recognize the great love that was the foundation of our salvation.

Love created us. Love redeemed us from death. Love reconciled us to the Father. Love is restoring us. Love is transforming us from glory to glory.

We love Him because He first loved us.
It is ALL the work of LOVE and we know that God IS LOVE.

Our holiness can only be the result of the Love of God, working in us, by the Holy Spirit.

The deeper our love is for Him, the deeper our desire to please Him. We see our need for change. To be obedient. To become more and more set apart, consecrated to HIM and this results in a changed heart.
We desire to be like Him and it is these very desires that provoke us to surrender and in humility we submit. It is this act of submission that births the holiness of God in our lives. And that holiness spills over into all of our conduct.

Heb. 12:28-29 – Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which (the grace) we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

It boils down to what we have discussed previously.

James 4:6 – But He (God) gives more grace. Therefore He says, ‘God resists the proud, (the Pharisee so pleased with his own self-righteousness before God) but gives grace to the humble (the tax collector beating his breast in godly sorrow).’

Heb. 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need.

The catalyst for all change in our lives is the grace that He (the Word) provides and it happens as we come to the throne of grace, acknowledging our weakness and our need for help to obey the Word. To obey the wonderful sacred Word – Jesus, the King of kings.

1 Pet. 1:13-16 (Peter wrote this letter to the churches in Asia Minor approx.30 years after the death of Our Lord Jesus). Therefore gird up (gather together – what?) the loins of your mind, be sober, (minded) (so IOW be focused) and rest your hope fully (on what?) upon the grace that is to be brought to you (future tense) (when do we receive this grace?) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (The Word); as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, 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.’

Unravelling the meaning of ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’

According to:
Strongs: Revelation – ‘Apokalupsis’ – disclosure, appearing, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
Thayers: Laying bare, a disclosure of truth, instruction, manifestation, appearance.

  1. Therefore firstly, we can see that the revelation of Christ applies to His First coming, His appearing to the bride at the Rapture, and His Second Coming. That which mankind can see with their physical eyes.
  2. Secondly, the book of Revelation is all about revealing who the Lord Jesus Christ is. He is the main character. He is the Son of God, the Mighty conqueror, the Alpha and Omega. He is the Eternal Creator. Everything was created by Him, for Him and through Him.
    He is the Son of Man. He is the Last Adam, the Son of David, the overcoming, victorious representative of mankind who rescued us from eternal damnation and separation from God the Father.
  3. And thirdly, there is the revelation we receive from the Holy Spirit which enables us to see with the eyes of our spirit – which means receiving an understanding of the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    How? Through the disclosure of truth and the instruction that we receive from the Holy Spirit about the Word.

All of it is about the manifestation, the revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word.

Right now, in this very moment, we are gathering up the loins of our mind. Why is it important to gather together the loins of your mind?

Because, right now, in this moment, the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is busy sowing good seed into your mind. Seed by which He can produce a harvest in your life.

I have pumpkin seeds here in my hand. I can take these seeds and throw them here on the ground, I can scatter them outside on the driveway, the stones, the flower beds – where do you think they’ll grow?

It’s all the same seed. Whether I scatter them here on the carpet, outside on the driveway, in the flower beds. The power to grow is resident in all the seeds. The only thing that is different is where the seed comes to rest. And so it is with the Word.

John 6:63 – The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
His Word is filled with the grace it needs to grow into a great harvest in your life.

God is super intentional.

Strongs + Thayers: Loins – ‘Osphus’. Phonetic ‘os-foos’. The part of the male body where procreative power resides.

Like my Father, I need to be super intentional. I need to take responsibility for the soil of my heart.
You need to be super intentional.

We gather together the loins of our mind so that the seed the Lord Jesus is sowing can fall onto good ground and not be LOST!

Grace is brought to us at the revelation of the Word.
Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favour of God given to us because of Jesus.

The grace that we need to grow His Word – which is spirit and life – only becomes operative when it is sown in good ground.
Good ground is soil that is tilled and ready for the seed. Ground that is focused, dedicated to one thing, the sowing of the seed by Jesus.

Meditating on the word, shredding the word into small digestible pieces that will feed and benefit our hungry spirit greatly.

He tells us to rest our hope fully upon the grace that becomes ours at the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is contained within the seed of the Word? Jesus. It reveals a truth about the holiness of Christ. The grace that we receive when we understand what is resident in the seed has the power to transform us – when we surrender. When we submit.

He commands us to be holy. This is how holiness is birthed in us.

We become more physically pure, more morally blameless, more consecrated to Him and more dedicated to Him.

The holiness He requires does not earn us salvation.
It is the response of someone who is set apart, consecrated, fully committed to God.

And we say, ‘Yes Lord. Here I am. Help me to reproduce Your living Word daily. Amen.”

Not by your might nor by your power

Pastor Marianne and I have been teaching about the Bride of Christ since 2006 and throughout this time I have been aware that the church struggles with the idea of them having to become a bride without spot or wrinkle even though we have consistently taught that all transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit.
And then I came across this teaching by Francis Chan.

Francis Chan and his church have been praying, ‘God will you show me, where I have been deceived?’ And God just keeps answering that prayer.
One of the things Francis was praying for himself was, ‘Father, help me to know Your love, really know Your love.
And God is answering that prayer.
‘You have this wrong about Me. You don’t see this side of Me clearly.’

Francis – ‘God, the enemy has twisted some things in my mind about the love of God and I need to know what that is.’

Rom.5:10 – For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. Much more now, that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.

Francis – I know that I have been saved by grace. I don’t deserve any of it. It’s because God so loved me and because He is a God of mercy, He saw me. The first part of that verse, I know that I did nothing to earn His love. I was an enemy of God. I was dead in my trespasses and sins. I had nothing to offer Him. He didn’t look down and say, ‘Now, there’s a good kid.’ No, He saw me in my rebellion, my sin, my selfishness and He came after me. So I get it. I did nothing to earn my salvation. I did nothing to earn His love and I am saved by grace through faith, so that no one can boast.

But here is where I get screwed up – in my day to day life.
Somehow, I get the sense that He loves me more when I’ve been obeying Him through the week. I would never teach that. I’m just telling you how I feel.
It’s like when Paul is talking to the Galatians and he says, ‘You started in faith and then you kind of made works take over. You understood God’s grace but then something messed up in your understanding and you started thinking, that to stay in His love, I’ve got to do certain things.’ And so I separate God’s one time act of love and my salvation, it’s like after He did that for me, now I’m on my own and now I have to earn my love from Him by living a good life every week. I just feel that sometimes.

Sylvia – I think it’s an underlying sense that we are not even aware of but it is the work of the enemy. We believe there is a certain expectation that God has and when we don’t meet that expectation, there is an underlying feeling of disappointment we have of ourselves. We believe we are failing Him and disappointing Him. So we don’t approach His throne in confidence and faith, but instead we might throw out a prayer in the hope that He might grant it? There’s no faith, just a weak begging hope?

But it’s all the work of the enemy. The disappointment and lack of confidence that we have that God would hear us, stems from a lack of truly knowing and from fully understanding how much God loves us.

He says, ‘Come boldly to the Throne of grace in time of need.’
He is not talking about being arrogant and self-righteousness like the Pharisee. He is talking about, ‘no matter what you have done, nothing can separate you from My love. Come, come to Me. Be bold, don’t fear coming to Me. No matter what, My arms are open wide. Repentance is the gift I have provided to cleanse you from all unrighteousness so that you can run to Me. You have access to My Presence. Repentance is all you need to do. Ask Me and I will help you in your weaknesses. In your moment of weakness, turn to Me, you will find help in your time of need.

I knew from before the foundation of the world that you would need to be rescued from spiritual death. I chose you in Christ. I chose you back then already. Nothing you do or have done is a shock to Me. I knew it all from the beginning and I loved you even then, knowing you would become an enemy. I know what is still to come. I know it all and if I loved you when you were an enemy, then why would that diminish now that you are a son?