Many will still say that there is no pattern or that any pattern is just a loose guide to be adjusted on the needs of the day. But they really donâ€™t mean that. They mean there is no pattern they desire to follow, and there is only a simile of a gospel plan of salvation which they have sanctioned as both movable and malleable. That there is not pattern of things that absolutely must be followed - whether for justification or for works of any kind. These typically follow after particular theories and doctrines of men and insist that there is nothing much needed to be done to become a Christian; and that are no â€œworksâ€ that must be accomplished in order to please God. They throw everything they define as works into the same basket --- and accept nothing given in Godâ€™s book unless it happens to suit them.
Some Reasons Why We Are Not Holy
1. Our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered. Often we are more concerned about our own victory over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God. Many times the only reason we are upset about sin is because we are success-oriented, and not because we know that we have done something offensive to God. I believe W.S. Plummer said it well, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God…. All sin is against God in this sense: that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught…. Pharaoh and Balaam, Saul and Judas each said, ‘I have sinned’; but the returning prodigal said, ‘I have sinned against heaven and before thee’; and David said, ‘Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned.’” God wants us to walk in obedience, not personal victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self. One shows a self-centered attitude and the other shows a God-centered attitude. We cannot consistently walk in holiness as long we continue to make sin merely a personal battle. God wants us to experience the victory over sin, but that is not the end goal. Personal victory comes as a by-product of obedience. As we concentrate on living an obedient, holy life, we will certainly experience the joy of victory over sin.
2. We must take personal responsibility for holiness. Too often the religious world has tried to impress upon us that true holiness can only come from God and there is nothing one can do to attain it. While holiness is defined by the Lord, as we have noticed, living by faith does not mean that we are to exert no effort at all. We have a personal responsibility to walk in holiness. We will be judged based upon our choices and decisions in this area. We are not passive participants in this world. We are not victims of sin. We have been empowered by God to choose our course and have the responsibility to walk in holiness. Human nature tells us that we need to blame others for our shortcomings and problems. We see this was done in the very beginning as Adam and Eve blamed everyone else but themselves for their sins. The devil made Eve do it and Eve made Adam do it. Holiness will never come as long as we are laying the blame upon others. No one has caused us to sin. No one is to blame for our condition. Certainly we have been affected by other people’s actions, but we have control over our choices. A denial of this fact will continue to lead us into a life of sinfulness.
3. We do not take sin seriously. We need to take our actions seriously and see the devastating effects of sin if we are going to live in holiness. We must not rationalize our weaknesses as tolerable or generally okay. We are committing sins and God does not find our sins acceptable. When we accept this harsh reality we are now ready to separate ourselves from these actions so we can separate ourselves to the Lord. We must separate from the things of the world and dedicate ourselves to God. Only God can define what is holy and unholy, not us. We need to look at sin as a personal offense to God. Will we see our actions as offensive to God and not merely a person defeat? Will we take personal responsibility for our sins, realizing that we must depend upon God’s grace for what we have done? Will we decide to obey God in all areas of life, no matter what is commanded of us? If so, we have take the first steps down the road to the holiness of God.