Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Holiness: We Shall Be Like Him!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Holiness: We Shall Be Like Him!

“1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (I John 3:1-10).

In our study of Revelation 4:1-8, God opened the door of Heaven to allow us to see a vision of Him in His glory. We understand that the glory of God is the visible essence of His holiness. It is the visible essence of the eternal life of God. The glory of God fills the universe. The eternal life of God is the believer’s present day possession. Within the body of every believer is the Person of the Holy Spirit Who is the “light” of God’s glory and the essence of His holiness.

For all the days our lives on this earth, the indwelling Holy Spirit is our only hope of living holy and wholly for Christ. Holiness is not something sinners are capable of anymore than a dead man is capable. The only hope of practical holiness in this life is when we yield our lives in obedience to the Holy Spirit as He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. The only hope of practical holiness in this life is when we allow the Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ through our lives.

It has been almost 2,000 years since Christ ascended to the Father’s Throne in Heaven. He did not tell us when He was coming back for His bride. He told us to expect Him at any given moment in time. Jesus did not tell us when He would be coming for us because He knew if we thought He might not come in our lifetimes that we would not be as serious as we ought to be in our efforts to reach the world for Christ. He knew that we would think we would always have another tomorrow to do the things we should be doing today. When we live our lives thinking we will have another tomorrow, we do not really believe in the eminent return of Jesus Christ.

If we live our lives thinking about tomorrow when we say we believe in the eminent return of Jesus Christ, how would we live if we knew Jesus was not coming back in our life times? The reality is that we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an answer to our Bridegroom for everyday we wasted; for everyday we did not live in the light of His eminent return. There are four great realities given us in I John 3:1-10.

1. The Bridegroom is coming.
2. When He appears, we shall see Him as He is (glorified).
3. We will be changed to be like Him.
4. If we believe these things, we will purify our lives in this present world.

The first reality is that the Bridegroom is coming for His bride.

“32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:32-40).

If we believe in the reality of something (present or future), we act upon that reality. That reality affects our lives and changes the way we see things and do things. If we do not act upon the reality that we say we believe in, we really do not believe in it. In that case, it is only an idea or a philosophy. It does not really affect our lives and motivate us to change or action. In Luke 12:32-40 Jesus tells us about what a person who really believes in His eminent return will be doing.

He will make extreme sacrifices in this life to invest himself and his wealth in eternal things (v 33-34). He will be prepared for the any moment return of the Lord (v 35-36). He will be living his life in the moment-by-moment anticipation of the Lord’s knock on the door (v 37). That is the view we find in Revelation 3:20 in the last words of the Lord to Christians throughout the Church Age. .

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Secondly, the reality is that when He appears, we shall see Him as He is (glorified).

“7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty 9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:9-18).

In Revelation 1:9-18, we are given another glimpse into the eternal realities of our glorified Lord Jesus. It will not be a lowly carpenter’s son coming in poverty and obscurity. This will be the glorified God/Man, the eternal Son of God coming in power and glory. This is the Jesus we will see at His coming for His bride. This is the vision Christ gave John to be given to all churches throughout the Church Age (v 11). The “Almighty” speaks of God’s omnipotence. There is nothing beyond His power, outside of His control or beyond His judgment.

Third, the reality is that when Jesus does return for His bride, we will be changed to be like Him.

At the end of the Church Age, all those individuals who have been saved from the day of Pentecost forward, both dead and alive, will be caught away. This is called the rapture.

“51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:51-53).

At the end of the Church Age the “dead in Christ” shall be resurrected. Those still alive will be translated. The great truth of that day is that “we shall all be changed.” “We shall be like Him” (I John 3:2). In Revelation 4:1-8, God gives us a vision of Who He is. In I John 3:1-2 we are told that upon our glorification, we shall be “like Him.” Today, each moment of our lives is lived in the expectation of the any moment return of Jesus Christ to take His “bride” away.

Fourth, the reality is that if we believe these things, we will purify our lives in this present world.

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3).

A Church is not Christ-centered until holiness is its foremost priority (even before evangelism; Eph. 2:21). At any given moment of time, in the “twinkling of an eye,” there is possibility of standing before the Throne of God and the Judgment Seat of Christ and having to tell Him in what we invested our lives and on what we wasted our lives.

“9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Romans 14:9-13).

A simple test of the reality of our beliefs regarding the return of Christ for His bride is measured by what motivates us to soul winning and discipleship ministries. Let me ask you this question: if you knew you would receive $500.00 for every soul you tried to win to Christ, how much more diligent would you be in your evangelistic effort? How many Bible tracks would you hand out if you knew you would get $500.00 each? If we are willing do something for dollars that we are not willing to do simply because it is the right thing to do, we love money more than we love righteousness.

The visible manifestation of our possessing eternal life is the visible presence of holiness in our lives. If there is any hope in us of seeing the Lord and being like Him, that reality will manifest itself in purity of life.

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