HOLINESS AND THE FAMILY 5

KEY SCRPTURE: Ephesians 4:32. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”.

In our previous study we considered the need for every couple to have a committed love for their fellow partner. This is what brings the joy of marriage and takes a lot of stress out of the marriage life. The bible said, one will put a thousand to flight whiles two will put ten thousand to flight. (Deut 32:30). How will this happen? It will take the power of unity to do this. This is what a committed love for each other will do for them. We realized that there are a number of hindrances to many couples experiencing this unity for exploits. One of such hindrances is bitterness resulting from unforgiveness oh how unfortunate, many couples are very bitter against each other because of some unforgiven wrong.

Once again, I wish to iterate this point, if you call yourself a Christian then you have ceased to be in the flesh. Romans 8:9. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”. We are one with the Spirit of Jesus. WE are one with him in every way. The root cause of unforgiveness is pride. Stop living and relating with your spouse as Mr. K or Madam Y. You are Jesus in the body of Mr. K, and sister, you are Jesus in the body of Madam Y. AS Jesus what offence can’t you forgive. Please don’t think of these things I am talking about as anything strange. Jesus came not to raise followers but to raise a family who were just like Him. Holiness in simple definition is living like Jesus. This is humanly impossible, yet through our Lord Jesus it is very possible. We are not trying to become like Him, we are like Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17, But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Say it, I and Christ are one.

Accept from now that you are like Jesus. Accept you can love like Him. You can forgive like Him. Dear Christian couple everything about the Christian is supernatural and you have to accept your supernatural state to be able to live that life. Stop relating to your spouse on the plain of a human.  Many Christians have not had victory over various challenges because they see themselves as flesh and blood dealing with hurts and offences that has come to them as humans. Our flesh no longer is the master; it is our Spirit. Rom 8:10 “If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness”. Your flesh which should feel offended and hurt, is dead, meaning it does not lead or rule you. It is the Spirit of Christ, active through you. He is forgiving, so you are forgiving. He is loving, so you are loving. Say this, from today I forgive every hurt and love my spouse totally.

CONFESSION

I am one with Jesus. He is living in me. I can forgive, bless and love all men like Jesus loved. I can love my spouse like Him. From this moment, I forgive every offense of my spouse I do not keep bitterness in me. I have a committed love. Glory be to God.

FURTHER STUDIES

1 John 4:17. “In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world”.

Deuteronomy 32:30. “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?”

HOLINESS AND THE FAMILY 4

KEY SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:9. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good”.

When God brought Eve to Adam, he said in Genesis 2:23, “And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man”. The strength of marriage from God’s point of view is the binding power between the man and his wife. This binding power is sustained by love. The scripture says the two has become one. This is a mystery that defiles mathematical laws. Our key scripture says we must let love be without hypocrisy. This is a requirement that depends on each of you. You must decide to do it. True love establishes that oneness of bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh.

In our definition of holiness, we said holiness is a comprehensive virtue which is, purity, absence of evil, perfect light, perfect love and perfect Justice. The best institution for the manifestation of these qualities is the marriage setting. There is a life of bliss and fulfilment that many couples have not known. This is the joy of committed love to your partner. When couples truly love each other with no external influences, bitterness towards each other because of unforgiveness, and other differences, they really enjoy their togetherness. The barrier to a committed love as labeled above are as follows

1.External Influences

2.Bitterness because of unforgiveness

3.Other differences.

Dear reader the two of you were on cloud nine, that is you were captured by the first love, when you first met and you seemed to be on the moon. Decide you would ones again commit your love to each other in obedience to the word of God. This implies taking away those external influences, forgiving each other and accepting one another as they are. In obedience to God commit your love to your spouse alone. No man can have true joy of life when he has a divided love. There is always a force or a voice appealing, especially to men to love other women. When a man falls into this deception, he loses that joy in life that comes from a committed love to his wife alone. This thing is so subtle yet many men are missing it. Women normally don’t have that challenge yet in response to the attitude of the man or through other causes, carelessly open up themselves to other things which also rub them of this joy of committed love. LET THE PAIN IN THE HOMES CEASE AND BE FILLED WITH THE JOY OF COMMITTED LOVE.

PRAYER

Father, I pray for myself and for all married couples that they would decide to obey God’s word to truly love each other. May they experience the joy of committed love in Jesus name I have prayed.

FURTHER STUDIES

1 Corinthians 13:4,5,6,7.  Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

HOLINESS AND THE FAMILY 3

KEY SCRIPTURE: MATT 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.

The Lord Jesus made a very profound statement in our key scripture. The simple meaning of this statement is if you would come after me, you must lose your independence. To lead a very holy life in your marriage that would please the master, you must adhere to this same principle. You must lose your independence. God set forth His principles for marriage. When you obey these principles, you are pleasing the Lord and therefore you are walking in holiness. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. The Lord said you must leave every past association, beginning from your mother and father who have become your closest association from birth.

You must leave your individual longings and persuasions that oppose the common good of the two of you. Any thought, action, desire or decision that would not project the common good and interest of the two of you must be left. The major cause of pain in many homes is the unwillingness of partners to leave their individual attachments. Any man or woman who has not come to this understanding and committed to it is not pleasing the master. He or she is acting in an unholy manner.

There is a higher form of separation that makes you live a holier life unto God and brings joy and satisfaction to your home. This is to admit that you are indeed dead to self and the person alive in you is Christ Himself who expresses Himself through you. A man or woman with such an understanding is a really matured man for marriage. In this level of separation you would not have extra marital affairs, you would not keep hurts because the Jesus in you would not keep hurts, you would not be selfish , neither will you tell lies to cover up wrong actions ,since you would not commit those actions in the first place. A life of Christ, living through you would make you put the interest of your spouse first. Col 3:18 & 9 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them”.

PRAYER

Father, I pray for myself and for all couple, that they would be truly separated from all old relationships and associations to be perfectly united to the partners. May all couples release themselves from the flesh to let Christ live fully through them.

FURTHER STUDIES

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. Philippians 2:2 (Amp). Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention

HOLINESS AND THE FAMILY 2

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 3:9. “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing”

In our previous study we painted a rather gloomy picture about most families, of which many are Christian homes. Why is this the case? Why are a number of Christian homes on ‘fire’, whiles it should have been a place of peace, love and brotherliness. Many Christian couples do not have personal relationship with GOD.A great number of Christians know their pastors and their prophets, yet they do not know God or they do not have any personal relationship with him. They would quickly run to the prophet or pastor, for prayers, and when things go well, they resort to their old lives A great number of them are also very lazy and do not make time to pray, study the bible or even meditate on the word. In addition to all the above, most Christian couples have not made up their minds to obey the word under any condition.

Dear child of God, the home of every Christian can be a peaceful glorious place. Please throw away the familiarity that couples have about each other and respect one another dearly on the bases of the word of God. God is the third party and the main witness to the marriage covenant. Malachi 2:14 “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant”. Please note this, God is the main witness to your marriage, and is the one to whom the marriage vows were made. Every act of unfaithfulness goes against God. Every act of violence we do to our partner goes against him. You put yourself in great danger before God as a child of God to maltreat your spouse.

Dear Christian couples, you are saints, the separated ones, or the holy ones. You are one with Christ and must reveal the Christlikeness to each other and the world. Stop keeping hurts and getting bitter about each other. So long as you live together there may be offences. Make up your mind to quickly forgive your partner whenever he or she falters. Relate to each other on the bases of the word. Be mindful of the fact that every wicked act towards each other would attract God’s judgement. Don’t allow your marriage to send you to hell, because you failed to honor God’s word in your marriage. You are lovers and must be very moderate towards each other.

PRAYER

I pray for all families to experience the power of conversion and also the working of the Holy Spirit creating harmony and fellow feeling among couple. Let the Spirit of disunity be absolutely destroyed from all these homes in Jesus name.

FURTHER STUDIES

Ephesians 5:33. “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverences her husband”.

Malachi 2:16. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore, take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

HOLINESS AND THE FAMILY

KEY SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:21. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”.

God after creating all things including the first man declared it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a help meet for him. Although God initiated the marriage, many people will either make it to heaven because of marriage, and many more will also make it to hell because of their marriage. Our key scripture admonishes us to submit to one another in the fear of God. This is something very difficult for many to do. I listened to the testimony of a pastor who died and was raised to life again at a church service. He testified that he went to hell. His reason for missing heaven and going to hell was because he would not forgive his wife over an issue, but died during his state of unforgiveness.

I have seen certain Christian couples who appear very nice to each other, when they are in the midst of others. yet at home the wife becomes a punching bag, and the wife also retaliates with very massive insults. The home has become a place of high-level emotional outbursts. This is so because God’s instruction to submit to each other in the home has been flouted so much. The scripture said, they were naked and not ashamed yet, this kind of being naked and not being ashamed has rather been used negatively. Most couples have no respect for each other. Some tell lies to each other with ease. They pretend to be the best of couples when in the midst of others, yet the worst of enemies when alone. God brought the two together to break that loneliness, yet their company at home creates more loneliness than when they are apart. Dear reader, if this is your experience then the Spirit of God must be allowed to be Lord over the home.

Matters get worse when partners become unfaithful to each other. Normally the men are the worst culprits. He starts having an affair with another woman somewhere. The Christian home should be a place of love, respect, trust, and godly examples to influence the children in a positive way. The Lord states one of his reasons for a GODLY home in the following verse. Malachi 2:15a, “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed”. He says he has joined the two together to become one flesh (not three to become one), so he could have godly children. Infidelity in the home defeats God’s plans for the home, that is to raise godly seeds. The above scenarios is a very wrong picture of God’s idea of the home. The Christian must be Christian or like Christ everywhere. The home is the first point of call for both mother and father to reveal Christ. If people do not change from such actions, a lot of Christian couples would end up in hell.

PRAYER

Father, I pray for all Christian couples to fear you above all things, I pray that your word will take first place in their life. May the Christlike life be seen in them.

FURTHER STUDIES

Philippians 4:5. ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand’

Matt 12:3 6. ‘But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment’.

PRACTICAL HOLINESS IN SERVICE UNTO GOD

KEY SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:9. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good”.

We now look at practical holiness in our service of the Lord. What do we mean when we talk about practical holiness in our service unto the Lord? It simply means to demonstrate the Christ life. Someone may say this is impossible. It is very wrong to think that it is impossible. JESUS DEATH AND RESURRECTION HAS MADE US JUST LIKE HIMSELF IN EVERY WAY. 2Corinth 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”. This word “sufficient” is from the Greek word “hikanos”, and it means qualified, to arrive or to be made capable

Serving in holiness is to love without hypocrisy. Love with sincerity. Love God in sincerity. Love all men without hypocrisy. Love is the covenant word that makes one give of his or her best effort. The key scripture says you must abhor evil. Abhor every evil. These include lies, evil desire, strive, anger, jealousy and many more. These things are alien to us, they do not belong to us. They are not part of us. Do not give attention or access to any evil act. Romans 12 :11 instructs us on the right attitude and way to serve in holiness.” Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord”; To be slothful is to be sluggish due to a lack of enthusiasm. Love for God is the answer to all these. It is a selfless attitude

Dear child of God to serve practically in holiness apply all that we have learnt about serving in holiness, which include serving in gratitude, being selfless, living and doing everything for God and to the glory of God, serving in the spirit and ultimately revealing Jesus in all you do. The Christian life is all about revealing Jesus and not ourselves. Be joyful and very glad about the great privilege to serve the Lord in His vine yard in various capacities. 1Corinthians 15:58 ” Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”.

CONFESSION

Jesus is the essence of my being. He is alive in me and manifests himself through me. I am totally solid out to Him serving Him in HOLINESS.

FURTHER STUDIES

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”.

Romans 12:3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

HOLINESS AND SERVICE 3

KEY SCRIPTURE: John 4:24. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”

This study is a continuation of the previous study. The next point to consider in our discussion on serving   God in holiness is to:

3. Serve in the Spirit. The Lord advised all who would follow Him to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. Luke 14:26 says clearly “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple”. Self would always project every other thing but the Spirit. The Lord said if the flesh is not crucified you cannot be his disciple. To serve in the spirit the flesh must remain crucified.

In the establishment of Moses temple, the Lord gave him a special instruction for the kind of garment that, the high priest must wear. Ex 28:2 ‘And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty”. This garment could not be compromised under any condition. It is a holy garment. The garment of the high priest was called the Ephod. This was the garment the priest had to were before he could meet with God and render any service.

The ephod is a symbol of the Spirit. Our key scripture says the true worshippers shall worship the father in Spirit and in truth. The believer is not in the flesh but in the Spirit. How does the believer serve in the spirit.? Romans 8:5 gives us the answer “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit”. The state of your mind determines where you are. In a more elaborate way, to serve in the Spirit is to act or do everything in faith ‘This means doing everything in the light of what the word says and placing your trust in the word. He that bears the name of the Lord must depart from iniquity.”.

The minister of God in any capacity of service, that is whether a preacher. an usher, a singer, or a personal worker sharing the gospel with an enquirer must understand that it is the Spirit of God actively and vitally working through him or her. As the high priest wears the ephod you must never do anything for the Lord without the consciousness that it is the Spirit of God doing the very work through you. Secondly whatever you do directly for God or in your normal life at home, in business, school or for yourself, it must be done with the awareness that the Holy Spirit is with you and acting through you. You can’t have this awareness and tell lies.

CONFESSION

I serve the Lord by HIS Spirit. My mind is ruled by the word of God. It is the Spirit who sanctifies. I maintain the awareness of the Spirit in me and allow Him to function through me as I do all things in Jesus name.

FURTHER STUDIES

Rom 8:9. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”.

Gal 5:16 KJV “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

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