My thoughts are change are this if you want change to happen, it must first happen in your heart. You must want the change and ask God to change your heart on a matter. Then change the way you think about it; change your mindset or renew your mind. Then you will see manifestation of the change in the physical.
Dennis is working on a project for a class he his taking right now. It starts out with a scripture study and progress to a paper in which you contrast two sides of an issue. Before he knew about the paper, he choose the subject of Holiness. His premise is that holiness is a heart matter.
We were discussing the project over dinner and he said, “How can Holiness be a subject of controversy?”. Admittedly, I can find controversy in almost anything. I can take almost any subject and argue an opposing point just to find out what the other person really thinks about it. It’s kind of a gift or some might say a curse. I told him, “Are you kidding? Holiness is a great controversial subject, ‘True Holiness verses Legalism’.” We discussed the matter at length. Here are some thoughts that came out of the discussion.
True Holiness is a manifestation of the heart.
Pastor Randy Phillips (He’s popular with me this week) preached a series on Holiness. He made several points that stuck with me (I listened to this on tape driving between Mobile, Alabama and Austin, Texas; 9 hour trip, so I should remember it word for word). Holiness very simply means “Set aside (apart) for the Master’s use”. That is it. When the Children of Israel were preparing to build the tabernacle, Moses took up an offering. They donated forks and spoons and ordinary items to the cause. Once that fork was donated, it was no longer ordinary, it was holy; it was set a part for the Master’s use. When we realize we are “set apart for the Master’s use” some things in our lives will change. There will be some movies we do not watch because they are offensive to our Father. There will be some words we no longer use because we are Holy and those words or common and ordinary. There will be some places we longer frequent because we are Holy and Holy things have no place in those ordinary, common places. When we realize we are Holy, there may be some items of clothing that no longer seem appropriate. Holiness cannot mesh (form close connection) with the unholy. Being “set aside for the Master’s use” makes you special, you are no longer ordinary.
Legalism does not work. The Law was always meant to be the frame of salvation, NOT salvation. It is like a car, cars have frames that maintain the shape of the car, but the frame itself is not the car. You can drive a car but you cannot drive a frame. The frame cannot get you where you are going. Just like the Law cannot save you only Jesus can. Jesus accused the religious people of His day of, “Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Even then, men made rules and taught them as if they were doctrine. How much of that still goes on today? Haven’t we learned yet? Teaching rules and regulation cannot change the heart.
Holiness is a heart matter. You cannot teach a person to be Holy by teaching them rules, you must teach them that they were so special that Jesus was willing to die for them. When they understand they are special, then the unholy things will begin to fall away.