Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #41 --- Holiness
Quotations on Holiness
The chief beauty of grace is in the soul. It takes that which was hard and cold and repulsive and makes it all over again. It pours upon one’s nature what David calls “the beauty of holiness.” It extirpates everything that is hateful and unclean. If jealousy and pride and lust and worldliness lurk about, they are chained and have a very small sweep. ... I declare the grace of God to be the first and the last necessity. It is food we must take or starve into an eternity of famine. ... It is the ladder, and the only ladder, on which we can climb up into the light. It is a positive necessity for the soul. ... The grace of God [is] a necessity for the life of the soul. ...
The grace of God is to be profoundly sought after. With all the concentrated energies of body, mind and soul we must dig for it. No man stumbles accidentally on it. We need to go down to the very lowest strata of earnestness and faith to find it. Superficial exploration will not turn it up. We must strive and implore and dig until we strike the spring foaming with living waters. ... When the Christian is exposed to the Sun of Righteousness, the vapors of pride and selfishness and worldliness float off, and there is chiefly left beneath pure white holiness of heart.
—Thomas DeWitt Talmage, Robinson Constitution, Robinson, Ill., July 18, 1900.
The holiness of beauty is due to the beauty of holiness.
—S. Parkes Cadman, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 25, 1900.
Beauty of holiness is a personal attraction just as physical beauty or intellectual brilliance. Holiness is not harsh, sever, or stern. ... Neither is holiness a dream up in the air sort of thing. I find it intensely practical, related to men and achievements.
—Morris L. Eversz, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 22, 1921.
Holiness means wholeness. The offering which was to be brought as holy to the Lord must be without blemish. There must be no partial surrender and no partial following of the Lord Jesus. The holy man is the man who belongs wholly to God.
—Bryan W. Collier, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 9, 1919.
Holiness is submission to God's law and this submission assumes many forms, yet in spirit and principle it is the same, or rather a holy heart, a heart submissive to the will of God, will always respond to the demands of the law of God. ... Holiness, looking at sin, is penitent; at God, is joyous; at duty, is responsive; at self, is humble; at human woes, is compassionate.
In Abraham the response to the moral law of God was obedience; in Job, it was patience; in John, it was love. And yet in all three it was the same thing. If the heart responds to the moral law in one phase it would respond in every phase; if it refuses to respond in one phase, it would refuse to respond in any other. Thus Job would have been obedient if God had commanded him to leave his country, and Abraham would have been patient under suffering like Job. We hear nothing of Joseph's patience, nor of Samuel's faith, nor of Daniel's brotherly love. But it was the same spirit, nevertheless, which reigned in all their hearts, it was submission to the law of God. It was holiness-- attachment to the cause of God--which caused them to desire to keep pure in their lives His divine commands.
—J. Benjamin Lawrence, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., July 10, 1911.
Frank Ballard says, “Holiness is the goodness which surpasses all other goodness; and the one purpose of Christianity is to make men holy.” It is higher-toned goodness. It is goodness produced by fully accepting Christ. That man is holy who has Christ dwelling within his heart and who does great things for His sake; who sees in everyone that is distressed, Christ’s brother. ... Such holy men and women may be found wherever the name of Christ is truly named. And wherever a holy life is found there you have a tremendous influence for good.
—Charles G. Beck, Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., July 20, 1925.
As we look upon [Christ’s] life, there we see holiness dwelling in the midst of humility. The life of Christ was truly humble. In later years, He had not where to lay His head and while in Nazareth He worked with His hands from sunrise to sunset. It is still possible for men to be righteous while living in the midst of humility. Indeed it is desirable so to live. When the mind is occupied and the body exercised, then the world’s work will be done and many temptations to sin escaped. Every person should be so engaged, even those not under constraint. Christ labored though He possessed all earth and heaven.
But that which is especially to be emphasized is that when Christ lived in Nazareth, we have the wonderful spectacle of holiness swelling in the midst of evil. Nazareth was proverbially wicked. No doubt it was divinely ordained that Christ should be reared here to teach us that we can lead righteous lives though surrounded by evil on all sides.
I do not wish to say that we should deliberately choose such a place in which to live, but when circumstances, that is, when our work, our finances, or our obligations to others, lead us to such a sport we should often think of Christ living in Nazareth and remember that it is possible to keep God’s holy law under the most untoward circumstances.
No matter where we live, we live in the midst of sin. In olden times men often tried to get away from evil surroundings by living alone in the mountains or desert. It is best to remain in the midst of people.
—Charles G. Beck, Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., Jan. 4, 1926.
"But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18.) We must grow in grace, because holiness is development of the spirit and because Jesus Christ is the fountainhead of all grace. We must grow in character and strive to develop the powers, emotions and perfections of the human heart and of the human soul and to become as near like Christ as we possibly can. we must have springs of pleasure flowing from the satisfaction of trying to upbuild a stable and earnest character, spiritually, and with determination to grow steadily like Him who is perfect in character, life and mind.
—Wallace T. Palmer, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Jan. 27, 1908.
When holiness is rare, righteousness is of low degree.
—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 5, 1928.
Holiness is character; righteousness is conduct. It emanates from a holy character.
—F.M. Warren, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 26, 1923.
Holiness defines something or someone who is sacred or connected with God in some special way. I like to define holiness as availability. We are holy when we make our lives available to God.
—Dan O'Connor, The Church Today, Alexandria, La., March 1, 1995.
A little every day help is worth a lot of Sunday holiness.
—Henry F. Cope, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., Nov. 6, 1910.
Holiness is the voluntary act of body and soul in a noble deed and sacred purpose or relationship of involving our duties to mankind and obligations to God. Hearing of some fine deed in another man, we love and emulate him because of the good he does–this is the holiness of brotherly love and kindred spirits. When people are in sorrow and troubles, we long to help and do our best for them–this is the holiness of compassionate service for others. When some man is faithful to his trust and dies at his post of duty, there is something which stirs our souls to the depths and we are ashamed of our own unworthiness–this is the holiness of humility, burning out the dross of envy and jealousy.
—C.C. Young, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., May 1, 1930.
The Ten Commandments reveal God’s holiness.
—I.H. Amore, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 25, 1922.
It is not enough simply to believe in God or to analyze the personality of God, to know Him. To know God is to take Him into our lives in such a way that we are different people because we know Him. To know the holiness of God is to have the holiness of God come into us so that we are clean in thought, in speech and in deed. And to have the love of God, we must look out on the world and the people in it, with God’s eyes. If we do not love our brothers whom we have seen, we cannot love God whom we have not seen.
—Clarence A. Barbour, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 24, 1929.
The holiest Christian is the one that talks the least about his holiness.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Aug. 20, 1896.
A genuinely holy man is a great deal more likely to confess his sins than he is to confess his holiness.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Sept. 3, 1896.
Righteousness is the outer garb of inward holiness.
—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, July 25, 1901.
Holiness is not a donation, but an achievement. Spiritual life must grow or it must die.
—W. Jasper Howell, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 1, 1909.
Love is the heart of holiness.
—Joseph A Hughes, North-Central Louisiana Register, Alexandria, La., Aug. 23, 1963.
It behooves us to be constant recipients of the Holy Spirit, that His enlivening and prompting influence may, under all circumstances, guide our feet in the paths of virtue and holiness, that we may thus merit the protection of heaven and the guardian care of the angelic throng, whose duty and pleasure are “to administer to those who shall be heirs to salvation.” The thought of the divine and angelic presence in our houses, and in and around our persons ought to prompt us to make them pure and sanctified places.
—Amos Milton Musser, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Nov. 1, 1856.
“A highway shall be there and a way and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it and it shall be for the redeemed.” (Isaiah 35:8.) We are to make our pilgrimage along the highway of holiness which is unmistakably plain. Conscience tells every one of us the right course to choose. God’s way is safe. We are not promised immunity from sorrow or pain but we are taught they cannot harm the soul. The outcome and ending of the journey should make us sing for joy. “The ransomed of Jehovah shall return and come with singing unto Zion and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” At the end there is the Father’s House.
Is not the journey worthwhile? What comradeship is promised! What opportunities of service for humanity meet us every day! What joy is ours in helping those whom we pass along that road, remembering that in helping our fellowmen we help the Christ.
—Stanley A. Hunter, Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley, Calif., Feb. 25, 1924.
Your character and mine is like a beautiful river, if it takes its rise in the Holiness of God; if it is flowing from the Holy Hills, a life-giving stream. God’s love is not only flowing, but is overflowing. Is your life and mind full and overflowing with love of fellowmen?
We must ask ourselves, is ours a life of service? Some of our lives are like the sea, like the Dead Sea. Five living streams run into it; yet it is poisonous. Why? Because it has no outlet. A good many individuals are that way, absorbing all which comes into life, and giving out poison. That is because they, like this seas, have not outlet, only an inlet to their lives.
—Kerrison Juniper, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 23, 1925.
Today it is too easy to drift with the crowd. Little effort is required to step in the shallow stream of human events and float downstream with the undisciplined, undirected throngs of people. But to reverse direction and buck the crowd while trying to swim upstream is altogether a different experience. It requires disciplined effort, a sense of positive purpose and Gibraltar-like fortitude to keep at it.
Yet nothing short of this current-bucking will produce the holy life which be the goal of every professing Christian. Each human life which goes in the name of Christ should make noble effort to imitate His life. The servant should resemble his Master in conduct and thought.
But the word "holy" doesn't appeal to our affluent, jazzy society. It rings too much of the cloister and times gone by. Not that it actually is archaic but that we have no mood nor mind for holy things. If we are to check any degree of our speed toward world catastrophe, then we must discover the meaning of a life set aside--a holy life--for God's own pleasure.
Jesus defined such a life as submission to divine grace. Its rare nature places no premium on negative living, nor does it claim any merit for gloom. Real holiness is fidelity regulated by God's edicts and a granitic stability in their practice. It is the process by which God's endorsement is sought as man tries to shape up in his Maker's likeness.
Holiness is clear delineation between conformation to the world's standards and transformation of the world. It is faith in coveralls, love with biceps, ethical principle coined into conduct, an emphatic urge toward every downtrodden creature.
Genuine holiness is consecration of all things considered secular. It blushes when laid alongside any type of vulgar sacrilege. What man, place, or circumstance is profane when holiness sounds a note of significance?
Holiness is the process by which the metal of the soul is embossed to a shining finish. It is an ennobling sentiment which is vulgarized only by impiety. Such a rare virtue disdains distance from God and sets up a rarefied antagonism to every form of organism.
In action, true holiness has made more converts than all sermons combined. It has spread the good news of salvation farther and wider than all printing presses. Today it stands as Christianity's most persuasive testimony.
One single solitary life, when totally dedicated to the highest purpose of serving God, is a stronger argument for Christian faith than every other medium within the province of human knowledge.
Such witness speaks though tongues be silent; proclaims though words be none; wins though effort be unperceptive.
—Roy O. McClain, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., April 27, 1963.
The salvation the scriptures teach is one in which the soul is in agreement with God; one in which the will agrees to let God rule; it is the agreement of love deeper than the sweetest endearments of wedlock. Because a man says he makes no great profession doesn’t lessen his obligation to be made free from sin, live a pure life, and have his fruit unto holiness. “Reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin,” “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled,” are scriptures suggesting the larger spirit-endowment.
Too many professed Christian look upon the Spirit-filled life simply as desirable and optional, rather than indispensable and imperative. Is Christ among us simply as a mighty man who cannot save? Is He a Savior who purposes to simply make us partially right and good? Are we justified in going halting and blind spiritually through life? Is Christ exciting within us spurious and fanciful desires alien to the human being? Is this type of spiritual life, save completely, simply a luxury and not a necessity.
It will not answer to say, “I will do the best I can;” “I will accept the death of Christ to save me from the punishment of sin.” We need to be saved from sin itself and to have our hearts cleansed by accepting Christ Himself. That is the way Paul went at the matter; his old life died and Christ lived by the power of the cross within him. Is it not the first lesson of the Christian faith that Jesus suffered and died, endured such grief and agony, that we may be holy, and perfect, and not simply happy or comfortable? If the Christian is not Christlike, what other test or proof has he to offer?
Christians are enjoined to be continuous, ceaseless, unremitting, always abounding in the work of the Lord, to pray without ceasing, to rejoice ever more, never to be weary in well-doing. This involves a completeness of Christian life which is only possible as the Spirit of God is permitted to work his perfect work in us. What [is] need[ed] today is the spirit of completeness, the sense of complete redemption, full salvation, which experiences, “now are ye clean,” “every whit whole,” “saved to the uttermost.” Too many these days who covet the fruit of the Spirit make the common mistake of trying to graft it on rather than grow it. The Spirit of God will cause us to walk in His statutes, and work a spontaneous and continuous growth in us.
The Spirit of God will impart the only possible perpetual motion, that in grace. He will give ... a quenchless zeal, an irrepressible fervor, “a holy perpetual motion,” which sustains faith, love, zeal, activity. And here lies the only secret of spiritual sufficiency and efficiency. No man’s salvation is complete that is not effective. One may be good, but be as an “unprofitable servant,” a “good, good-for-nothing.” Too many are bound hand, foot and mouth by fear, fear of sin within and without. Unless Christ is able to make a man superior to his circumstances and master in all situations, He is no Savior for this day. The Christian who is fearful, despondent, full of doubts, murmurings, and impatience, in the midst of his trials, hardships, and sufferings, misrepresents Christ as a Savior. On the other hand, the Christian who in his trials, is resigned, trustful, jubilant, courageous, hopeful, successful, bears a powerful witness for Christ. ...
Holiness is not a momentary pause in a life of worldly self-seeking. This kind of a religious experience comes not to the man who occasionally drops to his knees for a 100-words-a-minute prayer. It is not a pause in life, but a power for life we need. ... In brief, as Bishop Brooks said, “It is not by striking off all allegiance, but by finding your true Lord and serving Him with complete submission that you escape from slavery.” ... It is ... receiving Jesus Christ into our lives that He may do his perfect work in us.
—Frank K. Baker, Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley, Calif., Jan. 23, 1920.