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Highway of Holiness Is 35 V8-10

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TEXT: ISAIAH 35:8-10

PROPOSITION: Holiness is one critical area that the Church needs to address today and Church leaders must create paths of growth that help congregants in this aspect of their Christian life because God requires Christians to travel on the pathway of holiness on their way to heaven.


One aspect of the Christian life and consequently congregational life that the Church needs to address today is this aspect of Holiness because God requires Christians to travel on the pathway of holiness on their way to heaven. 


Many congregations, however, do well in the areas of worship, church growth, expansion of facilities, salvation (helping people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Christ) but they often struggle in areas of discipleship, regeneration, and sanctification, in this thing called Holiness.  Churches are struggling with finding ways to help Christians practically live out what they have been taught.


How does a redeemed, ransomed, & unregenerated person leave the wilderness and successfully navigate down the highway of holiness and achieve the goal of getting into Zion.  How do I make it down the Highway of Holiness to my ultimate destination with an unregenerate mind?


  1. Stay of the path.
    1. God placed me on the path
    2. Get to my destination when I follow the path
    3. Guaranteed protection while on the path.
  2. Summon others on the path.  Invite other to the path to walk with you for support, accountability, and strength.  Serve.  This is your service.
    1. Serve God by inviting other
    2. Share your testimony
  3. Shout on the path.  Why do I shout why do I celebrate
    1. Remember where I’ve been
    2. Revelation of the Prophesy
    3. Rejoice in the presence of God.  Celebrate on the path.  This provides encouragement and motivation during the journey and invites the presence of God.

CELEBRATION: We celebrate because there is one who ransomed us and made it




My brothers and my sisters in Christ Jesus and in creation, one aspect of the Christian life that the Church needs to address today is Holiness.  The Church needs to address this today because God requires Christians to travel on the pathway of Holiness while on their way to Heaven.  Not only must we address holiness but also Pastors, Church leaders, staff, and Christian Educators must work cooperatively to create paths of growth to help congregants in this area of the Christian life.  Again because God requires Christians to travel down the pathway of Holiness, the Highway of Holiness while on their way to Heaven.  You don’t have to believe me, God says in 1 Peter 1:15-16, “In all of your behavior, in all of your conversation, in all that you do, be Holy!  Because he who called you is holy, he who saved you is holy.  As a matter of fact, it says, you shall be holy, you shall become holy, and you are holy!  In other words, make no mistake about it you will be holy.


Holiness is not a denomination, it is not a false outward appearance, it is not some air of religious superiority that reveals itself in arrogance.  Holiness is not something that you put on and it is not what wear (on our head or on your body) but rather Holiness is an outward expression of an inward dedication to a God who is Holy.  It is one of the essential attributes of God’s divine nature.  It is separation or setting apart from all that is sinful, impure, or morally imperfect.  Holiness strikes at the core of character and conduct.  You see, we were created in the image of God, whose attribute is holiness, but because of our fallen state, because of sin, we lost one of the most essential features of that Divine nature – holiness.

In Christ however we regain that attribute, not through putting forth some strenuous effort, or through exertion of human will, but rather holiness is regained as an outcome of God’s gracious work in salvation through Jesus.


God redeems me, sets me on a path, and as a result of his redemptive work he:

  1. Positions me in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2, 30)
  2. Presents me as being of Christ (Rom 6:11) – sanctified experientially
  3. Personally conforms me into the image of Christ (Rom 8:30)
  4. For the total Glory of Christ


And the reason the Holiness does not get its proper press is because Holiness requires self-denial, Holiness requires sacrifice, and Holiness requires submission to Jesus even unto death.  But the good news is that even as God raised Jesus from the dead, so shall he raise you.

Many congregations, however, do well in the areas of worship, church growth, expansion of facilities, salvation (helping people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Christ) but they often struggle in areas of discipleship, regeneration, and sanctification, in this thing called Holiness.  Churches are struggling with finding ways to help Christians practically live out what they have been taught.

In know we must grow in the area of Holiness because, according to George Barna, the great researcher for the Kingdom,

  1. 1 out of every 3 people on earth is unchurched.  You cannot tell me that 2/3 of the earths population does not have an effect on the 1/3.
  2. While 4 out of 5 believer donate money to their church only 8% of believes actually tithe.  And on top of that 16% give absolutely nothing to the support the institution that Jesus created to nurture their faith.
  3. 50% - ½ of Christians believe that the bible is not totally accurate.
  4. 50% - ½ do not believe that they have the responsibility to evangelize.
  5. 44% (less than ½  ) believe that there is not absolute moral truth and do not that their faith must be based on biblical truth.

Israel has come out of bondage.  They came out of exile because God delivered them from the hand of the Assyrians.  And how many of you know that God is a strong deliverer?  How many of you know that when you have taken just enough that God will make a way for you and that God will redeem his remnant?  Judah was coming out of Assyria and Babylon, they were coming out of self-inflicted exile and the bible declares that God made a way for the exiled to return home.  He made a way for the lost sheep of the house to return back to Zion.  But wait, those that are going back are not going back the same way they left.  Those who are returning have trading in their sorrow, they’ve traded in their shame, and they have laid their sighing aside to return to Zion with singing.  They are returning with Joy.  But the Zion they left is not the same Zion that they are returning to.  In fact, the pathway for them to get back is not the same for God has created a new way, a new path, and it is called the Highway of Holiness.  They are returning with freedom, they are returning having been delivered and possessing a new hope.  However, there is one challenge.  While the pathway is new and the atmosphere is new, the redeemed and ransomed people going into a new place, down a new path, into a new city called Zion, but yet they are still struggling with the hurts, habits, and memory of their past.  These redeemed and ransomed folk still struggle with their wilderness experience and although they are free in terms of their relationship with God, they are still in bondage in their minds.  Held victim to the memory of their past.  Their position with God is not, but their mind has not yet been regenerated.  Their journey is now new; their walk is supposed to be new; but their mind has not yet been regenerated.  And when the mind is not yet regenerated, when the individual has not been made over, they have a tendency to go back and live life the way they used to.  The challenge in this text is the same challenge that many churches face today, and that is how does a redeemed, ransomed, rescued, and restored people make it down a path of Holiness resulting in getting to a new place, Zion itself, when their minds are not renewed?  How does a ransomed, redeemed, un-regenerated person get to Zion?  HHow do I make it  How do I make it to Glory and survive the Highway of Holiness?  Come on wrestle with me.  I’m save, I’ve said I believe, I’ve walked down the isle, gave the preacher my hand, God my heart, but my mind has not yet been regenerated.  I mean, I’m a babe in Christ, I’m new in Christ, I know I’m supposed to live a certain type of way but all this stuff is so new and I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.  God has brought me through so much stuff, he’s brought me out of the Wilderness, out of exile, and placed me on this path, and my mind is saying do one thing but yet my body is saying do another.  How do I make down the Highway of Holiness to my ultimate destination, which is Heaven, the New Jerusalem, with an unregenerate mind? 



In order to walk the path and ensure your destination is Zion, you’ve got to stay on the path.  And to stay on the path you must saturate your mind in the Word of God.  You cannot overcome the power of your old experiences and your old memories unless you create new healthy thoughts and though processes.  So you must read the word of God, get a bible reading plan, pray the word, meditate on the word of God, because if you do this the Word of God will guide you.  The word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path (Psalm 119:105).  I mean daily saturation.  Stay in it.  In your quiet time, in your daily walk, saturate your mind in the word.  Listen what Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).  The text says that the prophet spoke to Hezekiah and delivered a message to the people.  Not just any message but the word of God.  If Hezekiah had not heeded the message of Isaiah, if Judah had not heed the words of the prophet and not left the wilderness, they would never get to the path, let alone walk the path, or get back to Zion.  If they had not saturated their minds in the word of God that was delivered to them then they would have stayed in bondage under the authority of the Assyrians.  If they had not heeded the word of God, perhaps Edom as well as the Assyrians would have conquered Jerusalem.

And for those who are not new in the faith, don’t think that you have it all together because it was not the new people in Jerusalem/Judah that did not heed the word of the Lord, it was folk who were already established.  It was their lack of heeding the word of God that got them into trouble in the first place.  It was the established folk that led the nation into apostasy.  So if they had heeded the word of God they would have never worshipped idols to begin with.  How may of you here today can tell your story that one day, you did not heed the word of God, the word of the Lord, you did not listen, you did not obey, and you got out there into a world of trouble, and then you realized that the price you paid and the consequences of your actions was just not worth it.  How many of you have ever said, “I should have just done what the Lord told me to do?”  You must saturate your mind in the word of God if you are to stay on the path.  But not only that but you must also regularly practice the discipline of confession, repentance, and submission to the word of God.  Hezekiah admitted his fault and turned to the Lord. You must also practice the spiritual discipline of prayer.  Why?  This sets us up to be transformed and enable us to stay on the path.  Watch the text.  Verse 9 says that when one stays on the path, that not even a fool will go astray.  Here is what the text is teaching: Staying on the path sets me up to be transformed.  Now, if I start out on the path as a fool on the way of holiness, one thing is for sure, if I stay on the path and when I get to the end, I wont be a fool anymore because the God that I encounter on the Highway of Holiness will not allow me to stay the same.  There is no way, in heaven or in earth, that one can encounter God and remain the same.  Jacob encountered God one day, and left out with a limp.  Moses encountered God one day and traded in his shoes for a staff.  Saul of Tarsus encountered God one day and walked away a blind leader of the greatest movement in the history of mankind.  You cannot encounter God and stay that same.   Not that spawns another thought.  The text does not say it explicitly but implicitly the text implies that encountering God in worship, as we glorify God on the path of holiness, that we will be transformed too.  Stay on the path!  Why?  We should stay on the path because it helps us from going back.  We should stay on the path because there is guaranteed safety on the path.  We should stay on the path because it’s hard to lead others to the path and the destination if we are not on the path ourselves.


That leads me to my second point.  In order to navigate the Highway of Holiness, and make it to Zion, you must invite others on the path and point them to the destination and to God.  First, your chances of survival, of getting out of the wilderness, and your chances of success in getting to Zion greatly increase when you don’t walk the path alone.  One challenge that redeemed and ransomed folk have is sometimes we think that we are strong enough by ourselves to whip the devil and that’s a fatal thought.  In fact, the devil prefers you to be alone and welcomes your challenge.  Come here Eve, where was she when the devil tried to trick her.  She was by herself.  She was alone and separated from her husband.  That’s the struggle for men.  Men struggle in isolation.  Isolation is the breeding ground for secret sins to dominate.  You don’t have to believe me lets talk bible.  Judas got isolated from his group, and he ended up hanging himself, David got isolated from his group and he ended up becoming a murderer and an adulterer.  That’s why it is extremely important that a church must have a strong men’s ministry.  The backbone of the church must be its men’s ministry.  Show me a church with a strong men’s ministry and I’ll show you a strong church. 

Invite others to the path.  Watch the text.  Text says in 9, the “redeemed walk there.”  It does not say a redeemed person is there.  No, the text is very specific.  It says, the redeemed are there.  The redeemed is not an individual; the redeemed is a group.  So there is more strength in the group.  The reason that you point other people to the destination is that it brings glory to God.  Listen, if you are not inviting and pointing other people to God, it stands to reason that you are pointing them to….


The text says in verse ten, that the ransomed of the Lord shall return and not only shall they return, but they shall return with singing.  And more than that, they shall return with everlasting joy upon their head.  Celebration is a spiritual discipline that you must exercise as a child of God.   In fact, celebration is holy.  It contributes to your holiness and it is the result of your holiness.  As you worship, as you give honor and glory to God, you are being made holy.  Because you are coming into contact with

  1. Celebrate, not the prize, not the promise, but the prophecy.  Your celebration on the “Highway of Holiness” is, and should be, a celebration of the manifestation of the prophecy.   Most people mistakenly believe that the manifestation of the prophecy is the Zion.  No, that’s not what Isaiah is talking about.  See we worship, we shout, we celebrate about the wrong stuff.  Its not, Zion that is worshiped and celebrated.   It’s not the palace that we worship.  It’s not the fortress of God.   It’s not the blessing that we worship.  You don’t celebrate Zion.  You don’t celebrate a place, you don’t even celebrate a person; well you do celebrate The Person.  But we should be celebrating before the blessing, before the breakthrough, before the healing, before the miracle, before you get the job, before the answered prayer because the manifestation of the prophecy is not the prize, the manifestation of the prophesy is not the building, and the manifestation of the prophesy is not the blessing; but the manifestation of the prophesy is your exercise of faith before you get the blessing.  What brings God glory is your faith.  So while you are waiting for the blessing you ought to celebrate and say “thank ya for the blessing, thank you for the healing, thank you for the building.”  Listen, when the Lord called me, the lord said Donald, you didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and I ordained you that you might bear fruit and that your fruit might remain.”  Now, I’m not going to wait until I taste the fruit, touch the fruit, or see the fruit, before I thank God for the fruit.  Naw, I’m going to shout now, thank you for the fruit, before the manifestation of the fruit.  I celebrate not the prize, not the promise, but I celebrate the prophecy while I’m on the path of Holiness before I get to the destination. 

But wait, there’s another part of this.  Not only do you celebrate before the manifestation of the prize, but you also celebrate before you get to the prize.  You celebrate before you get to Zion.  Watch it.  They did not wait until they got to Zion to worship, to celebrate; they worshiped all along the way.  You don’t wait till you get to the church building to worship; you worship God while you are on the journey.  I’m not talking about your journey to the building, I’m talking about your in the way of holiness, your Christian journey.

  1. We celebrate the manifestation of the prophesy, but we also we also celebrate because while you are on the “Highway of Holiness” God protects you from the present dangers and enemies around you.  Watch the text.  Isaiah says in verse 9, “no lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come upon you.”  No ferocious animals will hinder the redeemed from traveling on the highway nor shall the hinder them from getting to their destination.  Look closer.  The text does not say that there is no lion is not around or no ravenous beast is not around, because this is the wilderness.  Of course there is danger present.  But what the text does say, is that the lion and the ravenous beast will not come up on the path.  We don’t celebrate because of the absence of the enemy or because there is not threat from the enemy.  We celebrate in the face of the enemy.  That’s why David said in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear, the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat of my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and they failed, though an army, though the enemy encamps against me My heart shall not fear.”  We celebrate in the midst of adversity, in the midst of our enemies, in the midst of our pain, in the midst of our troubles.

  1. We celebrate the manifestation of the prophecy; we celebrate in the presence of our enemies; but we also celebrate in spite of our ultimate impending battle. Follow me. 

Isaiah has issued this prophesy on behalf of God.  Right?  In general he has issued it to Judah who is in exile but specifically he has issued it to Hezekiah, king of Judah.  Hezekiah, a third generation king, hearing the prophesy from Isaiah, looks back beyond his father to his grandfather Jotham who reigned 15 years and to his great grandfather Uzziah who reign 52.  And between the two, Hezekiah realized that if his grand father and great grand father could live a holy life, lead the people to be a holy people and prosper in His sight, then he too could live in a similar fashion.  And so it was that Hezekiah, determined in himself, with the prayers and prophesy of Isaiah, to not be a wicked king.  This sent Sennacharib (Sin–nack–er–rib) into a mass fury. I mean he was perturbed.  He was so ticked off that he began to systematically conquer 46 of Hezekiah’s strong walled cities. And so Hezekiah, determined to end and reverse 15 years of wicked leadership and apostasy, began to fortify the moral and spiritual defense of his country.  He rooted out Canaanite fertility cults, cut down pagan contaminations, removed, idols, broke down their golden calves and pillars and broke the bronze serpent in half.  I mean he cleaned house!  And the more Hezekiah did this the more Sennacharib went into a fury.  He was so wroth with anger that he and the Assyrian army even dared to come up against Jerusalem.  It got so bad they had Judah on the run, and Judah was found hiding behind the walls of Zion, behind the fortress of God.  But my brothers and sisters, that’s not a bad place to be, is it, when you are fighting an enemy that got you on the run.  The fortress of God, is a great place to be.  And so, armed with the prophesy of Isaiah and his prayer, Hezekiah enlisted the help of God.  And the bible says, that the angel of the Lord set out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of Assyria.  And in the morning when they came out of the strong tower, they were all dead.  My brothers and my sisters, for those of you who have been saved, and you are struggling with your greatest battle, remember that God is our strong tower, God is our refuge, God is our strength.  God is a very present help in a time of trouble.  So celebrate.

  1. We celebrate because of the prophesy, we celebrate in the presence of our enemy, we celebrate because of our battle, but finally my friends we celebrate on the path because God has placed us on the Highway of Holiness in spite of our transgression.  The text says that only the righteous, only the redeemed, only the ransomed shall return.  The redeemed o the Highway to Holiness have come out of exile, out of their wilderness, and out of their sin.  They are not on the path because of what they have done.  In fact, the ransomed one is the recipient of the work done by another.  I wish you’d get this, the ransomed are on the path, not because they earned it, not because they deserve it, not because they’ve been a good church member, not because they have been righteous, they are on the path because somebody else, paid the ransom price for them and for their return.  In this case, the children of Israel and the children of Judah are able to go down the path of holiness in spite of their apostasy, in spite of their idolatry, in spite of their turning from God because Hezekiah, the spiritual leader and the spiritual king. 

Oh my brothers, oh my sisters, there is another one, who paid the price for our sin, who has placed us on the path of holiness and he didn’t have to do.  There is one who paid the ransom price for us.’  , not because of what they have done the redeemed and the ransomed shall be there.  .  suggests that you have Follow me, we not celebrating getting to Zion.  That’s not why you celebrate.  The celebration in this passage comes from a people who have already made it to Zion.  They’ve been saved; They’ve been ransomed; They’ve been delivered; They’ve known and tasted the power of God already.  But these people have transgressed.  They knew the law, they have known the way of the Lord, They have know the right thing to do, they know right from wrong but yet they still sinned, they still made a conscious decision to worship other Gods

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