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WORSHIPPING GOD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS

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INTRODUCTION

WORSHIPPING GOD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
; ; 98:18; ; ,; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
We talk so much about Holiness in this Church; and we believe the people of God should be holy unto God. Although many of us have some idea of what holiness is all about, I think that true holiness is lacking in the life of many professed believers today. I think also that that lack is caused by another lack – the lack of understanding of what through holiness involves. Holiness involves beauty and worship. Holiness is not just a thing of the heart; it also involves external comportment and behaviour. Holiness involves both separation and attachment, leaving and cleaving. You separate from sin; you attach yourself to God. You leave the world to cleave to Christ.

1. A HOLY GOD

; ; ; ; 1sa.6:3; ;
It is well understood by every believer that God is holy. But what is holiness? Holiness is both separation from sin and devotion to God’s own glory. In ; , God is called the Holy One of Israel. God Himself declared to Israel, and to us…I the Lord thy God am holy (). God is Holy. God is separate from sin and any form of evil. He is pure and holy. Everything He does is righteous altogether. Moses was commanded to remove his shoes when he encountered the Presence of God in the burning bush (). Why remove His shoes? Because nothing dirty should be found in the presence of a Holy God! The dust of the desert must not be brought into the presence of God. If that was so then, imagine what it means if you are full of sin and enter the presence of God. How might God react?
Isaiah cried with fear when he saw the glory of the holiness of God ()! This time it was not his shoes, it was his heart? He felt unclean in God’s presence! Nothing unclean will be permitted in the presence of God.
How many Christians today cry out in fear of the holiness of God? The fear of God seems to be totally absent in the worship of God in many places. The fear of God is the fear like that of Isaiah, which was generated by the absolute purity and holiness of God. God is so absolutely Holy that anything upon which His light shines will automatically appear to be unholy. The apostle John saw the vision of the glorified Christ in the full radiance of His Holiness and fell like one dead (). God is Holy. Christ is Holy. The Holy Spirit is Holy. No wonder many are not filled with the Holy Spirit. No wonder revival tarries! Because the Holy Spirit possesses the same intense holiness that made Isiah to cry, woe is me! He possesses the same awesome holiness that made John to fall as one dead at the feet of the Holy Christ!
God commands His people to be Holy because He is holy. Christians are God’s people and are commanded to be holy. We are to perfect holiness in the fear of God. We are to follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. And it is the pure in heart that shall see the Lord.

2. A HOLY NATION

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When Israel came out of Egypt, from out of a nation full of idol worshipping, God declared to them that He was making them into a Holy Nation. From that time on, any people God calls, are called to be part of this holy nation. Peter calls them, a Chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation and a Peculiar People! This is how special the people of God are. When Christ came, God began calling gentile people into this Holy Nation. He began by washing them by the blood of Jesus (). Anyone who turns from sin and unholiness and believes in Jesus is called into this Holy Nation. As a holy nation Israel had some restrictions in what they were allowed or not allowed to do. A good example is the use of the anointing oil for sanctifying the Tabernacle, the vessels, Aaron and his sons. No one was permitted to use those ingredients to make perfume for personal use under pain of death! Every offering made to the Lord by the holy nation must be without blemish, without defect. Any offering to Gog which has any form of defect is rejected (). Many people have the erroneous belief that they can worship God anyhow they like. No sir. There is a defined prescription on how to worship God. You can’t just worship your own way. You have to worship God’s way! How do we worship God in God’s way? We do that when we worship in the beauty of holiness. Jesus said we must worship God in Spirit and in Truth ().

3. A HOLY PEOPLE

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The Holiness of God affects everything the people of God must do – our day to day activities, our relationship with other people, our service to God. We are separate from all other people. Sanctify yourself means, separate yourself as well as cleanse yourself. In order to be clean, God’s people have to separate themselves from unclean things and from unclean people. If we say that we are believers and we are God’s people, and still continue to live like the rest of the unsaved world, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us! We are simply living in an unequal yoke. But the Bible declares that we have no fellowship, no communion, no concord, no part and no agreement with unbelievers.
God demands separation from whatsoever is contrary to His mind. And He demands a separation unto Himself.
As a Holy People God demands
(i) Separation to Him in our desires
(ii) Separations to Him in our motives
(iii) Separation to Him in our actions
(iv) Separation to Him from the world, from the bad ethics, bad practices, even bad laws of the world
(v) Separations from false teachers ()
Our separation is not from contact with the present world; nor is it from carnal or worldly Christians in the Church (; ). Instead we separate from taking part in their worldly activities, from their evil ways and behaviour.
says to present your body as a living sacrifice, meaning that you will sometimes be in contact with people who do things against the will of God. This means you will have to abstain from such actions and give yourself wholly to God.
Our worship must be wholly in the beauty of Holiness. It will be very beneficial for you to read ; and , to appreciate the extreme care and detail that was used in preparing the dress of the High priest and other priests of God. Their clothing was made:
(i) For dignity and beauty
(ii) To cover their nakedness
(iii) They have many different parts – breeches, tunic, sash, turban, robe, ephod, breastplate.
Why did God go to such length to design the garment for the priest? It shows us why we need to dress in a way that will bring glory to God when we come to Church to worship. This involves both men and women. All the casualness of this world must not be brought into the Church. We are a holy people and must dress that way!
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