Holy Priesthood

You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:5

The subject of holiness has been put behind the curtain in modern preaching. Since holiness implies renunciation of the things of the world and withdrawal to God, there are preachers who fear to treat the subject in order not to offend their parishioners. That’s why they prefer to talk about things that are more pleasing to their ears. 1 Peter 2:5 compels us to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

A holy priesthood is opposed to the values ​​of the world because they oppose the values ​​of God. Therefore, as a holy priesthood, we should not only seek our own holiness, but should become the spokesman for it. It is impossible to be a part of a holy priesthood without preaching about sin, repentance, and holiness. The final times are approaching hopelessly and the ministers and servants of Jesus Christ are called to present these subjects to both the unbelieving and the sleeping church.

As a holy priesthood, we must preach by reminding everyone of what Hebrews 12:14 says, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. This is a biblical preaching, which was presented by the apostles and all those who have adjusted to the Bible in all ages. For example, the English preacher John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) said, “We must be holy because this is the only sound proof that we have a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Other servants of Jesus Christ have expressed themselves in similar terms. The American Jerry Bridges said, “Holiness implies more than mere actions. Our motivations must be holy, that is, they must spring from a desire to do something simply because it is the will of God.” Another American, Paul D. Washer, said, “The evidence of justification by faith is ongoing work of sanctification through the Holy Spirit.” Both coincide with what Ryle had said more than a century before.

Many are drawn to Christ with the idea that God has a “wonderful plan” for them. And they imagine that this plan of God implies making them prosperous and happy. Certainly the wonderful plan of God will give us untold treasures in the heavens and the joy of having eternal life with Him. The American Iain Duguid has said in this regard, “God’s ‘wonderful plan’ for our lives is not limited to take us to heaven; it also includes putting the heaven within us by reforming us into a holy people.”

And concerning Duguid, 1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. We are a royal and holy priesthood, we are a holy people, a holy nation. God did not rescue us from the slavery of sin, paying as high a price as the blood of His Son, for we may continue in the captivity of filth.

We are called to be holy. The American preacher Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) once said: “The true Christian ideal is not to be happy, but to be holy.” Let us not deceive ourselves with the lies of the enemy and exercise our holy priesthood with dignity. God bless you.

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Completely Sanctified

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

When we are going to participate in some important event, we always prepare carefully. And more if we have an active participation in it. We try to be clean, well bathed, with our hair well combed, we use a good perfume, we put on our best clothes and we wear shoes that shine clean. We Christians will be participants in the most important event in human history: the triumphal and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this occasion, we must look more impeccable than ever, being completely sanctified.

It is clear that in order to see the Lord, we must go to Him in full dress of holiness. That total and complete purity is impossible to achieve in our corrupt humanity. Self-effort is useless because our nature is sinful and sin is the opposite of holiness. And just as our salvation is received by grace and not by our works, our sanctification needs divine intervention. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says, may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.

God has various resources available to bring us to our complete sanctification. In 2 Corinthians 7:1 we read, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Fear of God does not mean to be afraid of running from Him, but to be afraid of being far from Him. The fear of God is to obey and respect Him, is to recognize His lordship and majesty over our lives. When we submit to God, even the devil flees from us.

In the fear of God, we must put on our side and that means to bend our will and submit to His. Then comes the loving response of God that helps us achieve sanctification. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Our sins were made white in the blood of Jesus and, in His name, we are justified and sanctified by the Spirit of God.

The same Holy Spirit who convicts us of sins so that we may repent and be ready to receive grace, acts in the process of our sanctification. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 we read, But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. Our part in this process is to bring faith, is to believe God that we can overcome obstacles and reach the goal.

We see that sanctification must be of our whole being: and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not to think that we should only have our spirit clean because God is Spirit. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the holy does not dwell in an unclean or filthy place. Our soul, which includes our emotions and our will, must also be completely decontaminated to receive our Lord and King Jesus Christ in His glorious coming. God bless you.

The Supreme Call of God

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

The first call that God makes to every human being is the call to salvation. God did not create man to be separated from Him but to have intimate communion between the Creator and His creation. Sadly, sin formed a barrier, an abyss between God and us. When we accept the call of the gospel to repent and convert to Jesus Christ, we have taken the first step. Now comes the second call, what Paul calls the supreme calling, which is the call to sanctification.

Sanctification is neither instantaneous nor automatic but a process that will not end until we stand before our Lord and King Jesus Christ. Paul recognizes him in himself when he said: I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. If Paul himself had not reached that supreme call, none of us have reached it either. But we must have the same attitude of the apostle: But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal. Let us continue, then, towards the goal.

The call to be holy is seen in 1 Peter 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 to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Grace is not license to sin but the motive of seeking sanctification.

Once we are saved by grace, the fruit that God expects of us is sanctification. From this the Word testifies in Romans 6:22, But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. That is our supreme calling, saved by the blood of the Lamb, our goal is to be holy. It is true that we do not do it for ourselves, but 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us how we can do it, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

If we want to do the will of God, seeking our sanctification should be a priority. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 it says, For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality. And later in 1 Thessalonians 4:7 it says, For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. This is a confirmation of the supreme call that God has made to us, we are called to sanctification, to holiness, to be holy and to leave behind the filth in which we lived before.

As saved by Christ Jesus, we are born again. That is why we must act as the new creature we are. Ephesians 4:22-24 says, that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Let us be like Paul and win the prize of the supreme calling. God bless you.

Perfecting Holiness

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:1

No doubt 2 Corinthians 7:1 is an admonition to all that we have believed in Jesus Christ: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Holiness must be our natural response to God’s love. After receiving salvation and eternal life, it is not for us to continue to practice sin, but to live a life of holiness, separated for God, who rescued us from hell and cleansed us from the filth of sin with the blood of His Son Jesus.

The subject of holiness is one that has been almost completely excluded from modern preaching. With the excuse of respect for each person’s way of thinking, they have lacked respect for God and the fear of Him has been lost. When I speak of the fear of God, it is not to walk in fear of His presence and think that God is a grouchy old man who walks with a stick looking for someone who has misbehaved to punish Him. Fear of God is to keep respect for Him and His Holy Word and stop inventing our own rules of conduct and accepting His own.

It is so important to remain in holiness that Hebrews 12:14 says, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. And as if that were not enough, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 states the following, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. The Lord Jesus Christ will come and expect to find a clean and pure church, without blemishes or wrinkles. That is only possible if we remain in holiness.

Now can we remain in holiness and perfect it in our own strength? The answer in no and 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us how we accomplished it, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Several times in the Old Testament it is affirmed that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and that has been preached enough. Now, how does the fear of God perfects us in holiness? Proverbs 8:13 tells us, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.

If we feel a reverent fear of a Holy God, we will be subject to Him and, therefore, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. God abhors sin, which is the opposite of holiness. With the fear of God we are going to hate evil, we will abhor sin and we will keep separated for Him and we will perfect the sanctity to which we have been called so that we can be part of that church without blemishes or wrinkles that will Receive the Lord in the clouds.

Searching in the Word of God we will learn more of Him, we will respect Him more and we will love Him more. And that fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, will teach us to hate and depart from evil; but it will also give us greater knowledge of God, as Proverbs 2:5 says, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Only in the fear of God will we perfect holiness, which we will need to see the Lord when he returns triumphant and full of glory as King of kings and Lord of lords. God bless you.

Walking as He Walked

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

1 John 2:3-6

The words of 1 John 2: 3-6 deserve more attention because they are a real confrontation for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. To say that we know Christ and continue practicing the things of the world are two incompatible things. We cannot say that we are Christians and at the same time partake of things that go against the Christian faith. Being a follower of Jesus Christ urges us to do things in the same way that He did during His walk on the Earth.

Let’s review the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5, 6 and 7 of the Gospel of Matthew to see the way in which Jesus walked and expects his followers to walk too. I should clarify two things; the first is that the Sermon on the Mount is not limited to the Beatitudes as some think. The second is that because of the extent of the sermon I’m just going to mention the biblical quote without reading the accompanying text.

In the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11), Jesus praises the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, among others. The world tells us to have a spirit of winners and to this end, think positive, believe rich and not let anyone set foot upon us, think first one in the other and wage war if necessary. There are people who call themselves Christians today and act that way because they think that the end justifies the means.

In Matthew 5:13-14, the Lord says we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. The American pastor Vance Havner (1901-1986) said: “We are the salt of the earth, no sugar. Our ministry is really to clean and not just to change the taste.” Walking as Jesus did is not sweeten the ear to the people but to preach the truth, you do not keep them in the shadows but bring to the wonderful light that is Jesus Christ, it is not to teach to break the commandments as the Lord says in Matthew 5:19.

Walking as Jesus did is to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), not only take care of our family and the others fend for themselves. Walking as Jesus did it is not go hawking our charity (Matthew 6:3-4), but taking care to do good without walking displaying it on social networks to praise us for what we do. Walking as Jesus did is to pray without vain repetitions (Matthew 6:6-7) and use the prayer He taught us as a model, not a meaningless litany.

Walking as Jesus did is austerely fasting (Matthew 6:17-19), not get to invent diets and call them fasting as we continue walking as if nothing without seeking His presence. Walking as Jesus did is to find treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), not impose covenants with God pretending that He is a broker of the stock exchange which multiply our investment. Walking as Jesus did is to serve God, not mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Walking as Jesus did is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33-34). And when we look for it, our desire and our concern should disappear because our trust is placed in our loving Heavenly Father. God bless you.

Limit of Temptation

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but Godis faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptations are inevitable. Day after day we have tempting things before our eyes. It is true that in our own weakness often we fall into temptation. If God allowed our temptations were greater than our resistance to them, then there would be no possibility of avoiding sin. However, He only allows us to be tempted to our point of resistance. Not only have that, along with the temptation God gives us accessed to exit. It is up to us to decide if you fall or overcome temptation.

All my life I’ve been a faithful lover of desserts. I have been fascinated with ice cream, flan, three milks cake and my favorite tiramisu. But my life always hung a scourge: diabetes. My father died at 58 being a diabetic. I have reached your age and I still feel and look young look. I was only 2 years old when my father died, so I have no memory of him; but I always heard people referring to him call him old Francisco. As a child I imagined that my father begat me being an old man; but now I understand that his diabetic condition probably made him look older than he was and why he was called old Francisco.

Most of the children of my father have suffered from this scourge. The younger of my two sisters died at early forty suffering a diabetic coma leaving 9 children orphaned. My eldest brother also died being a diabetic and the remaining two brothers have survived for years injecting insulin. Given this situation, and despite my passion for dessert, bread and potatoes, I tried to take care not to fall into the same as the rest of my family.

In December 2013 I became very ill and had to be taken to emergency room in a hospital near my house. My blood pressure was very high as the level of sugar in my blood. Since then my main doctor ordered me to keep a daily control my blood sugar and to minimize carbohydrate intake to prevent me fall in diabetes.

Since then I have seen in my own life which means 1 Corinthians 10:13. I have been subjected to the temptation to eat things that have always loved; but I restricted to do to preserve my health. He wanted to eat a rich vanilla ice cream with candy after a delicious potato salad, no doubt. But God let stand the temptation and not to fall in that. After all, it’s for my own good.

Spiritually I can tell you that every day we are subjected to temptations. God will give us an escape forever and will not be tempted beyond our limits. In our hands is falling or not; but we should not fall and keep the health of the relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. God bless you.

Our Reaction When We Are Saved

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

1 Corinthians 1:2

When we receive Jesus in our hearts, many things happen: we are forgiven of all our sins, we are redeemed by His precious blood, we are justified by His grace, and we are sanctified in Him as says the apostle Paul, being sanctified in Christ. We are called to be holy and this is for all Christians, not just for pastors or certain anointed men and women, but for anyone who calls on the name of our Lord.

Many times we fall into temptations and we ignore the holiness, which is a necessary quality to see the face of God and delight in the beauty of His presence. It is unfortunate that today is preached very little about holiness in the churches, and when it done, the issue is not pleasant for most of its listeners. The ears of the parishioners prefer listening topics that satisfy them and give them emotional support, rather than those that confront them.

What does it mean to be holy? Is it possible to be holy at this time so polluted with worldly things? First, if we measure our holiness to the holiness of God, it is obvious that no human being will be able to reach this standard. And not only in this age in which a good thing is called evil and an evil thing is called good, but in any era of human history on Earth. To be holy means to be separated for God, i.e. opt out of the things that the world loves and God hates.

Now we get another question, do we always adhere to the concept of holiness? I do not know how you, who listen to me or read this message you answer this question; but as far as I am concerned, I can say that I did not fulfill one hundred percent, but often do the opposite. That’s why I can say that I don’t come to give you a lesson because I’m doing things correctly. What I come to say is that, because I have failed God in so many times, I acknowledge my mistake and I try to find ways to make amends. I cannot say I’m going to make myself; but I ask my Heavenly Father to help me every day of my life to achieve the goal of holiness.

When we pray for something that is according to the will of God, the prayer will be answered. According to what the Apostle Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians, God calls us to be holy. Therefore, pray for us to achieve holiness is a prayer that goes according to the plans and purposes of God. Then, why we are not holy? I think James 4:3 gives us the answer: You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. It is likely that here is also the answer to our other unanswered prayers. Let us labor therefore, let pray to the Father asking to help us improving ourselves every day to achieve the goal of holiness and God’s purposes are fulfilled in our lives. God bless you.