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Next:The Lamb of GodUp:SermonsPrevious:Thy Will Be Done

The Beauty of Holiness

The Shedding Room

It's a privilege to be here, see all of you, and to think of every one listening in to the sound of our voice tonight for I have a message I feel the Lord has given us. Early in the summer a dear lady called me on the phone and said, ``I'd like to read an article to you.'' And she read it to me and she said, ``Would you like to have it?'' And I said, ``I would like to have it very much.'' Two days later it arrived in the mail. I spent the summer in a very spiritual way. It was a wonderful time--many things to pray about, studying God's word, praying with people, talking about the Lord. And also I was thinking about this article. I'd like to read a portion of it to you. This was given in the Capitol Hill's Toastmaster's Club which met in the House chambers. This article was based on an address delivered by David Jorgenson of Morehead, California. This is a portion of it:
We all need a shedding room. It could be located in a central location just off the floor. Prior to debate, all members would pass through the shedding room, and leave those things that inhibit understanding, wisdom, and success.

The shedding room would be a repository for affectation, bias, and bigotry, a store room for blotted egos, vanity, and envy. There would be shelves for pettiness, intolerance, and extreme partisanship. There would be compartments for forgone conclusions, obsessions, hasty judgments. In the corner would be an open bin for closed minds. Stacked in the shedding room would be evasion, subterfuge, pretense, insincerity.

A member would walk into the shedding room a bully, and come out a good guy. With a purification system functioning the atmosphere in the House would exude common sense, charity, and enlightenment. Gone would be scorn and ridicule. The environment of the House would encourage excellence and statesmanship, and would produce laws that were just and helpful. The House would inspire admiration and respect.

The shedding room would not take up much space because once bias and pettiness and pretense are removed from their carriers, they become extremely small requiring skimpy storage space.

The idea of purging oneself of these flaws that inhibit positive growth is a reasonable one and a necessary one, necessary because betterment needs to be pushed. It is also necessary because we have a society that's beginning to look like Humpty Dumpty after the fall. We are fragmented into many demand groups, each listening with a biased ear. We are approaching the time when we either mend our ways and our fractures, or we prepare for conflict. The shedding room is a harmless cerebral game that could help. It can be played anywhere, at any time, by anyone, at no cost.

When I read that it sounded to me like the scripture. And I thought of where our shedding would be. I remember visiting a nursing home--In fact, my mother was in the nursing home for two months before she died.--and I heard down the hall the music There's Room at the Cross For You. And it brought tears to my eyes when I thought of where I was, where I was visiting, and those that needed this kind of comfort and encouragement.

And so the shedding room might be at the foot of the cross. And this might be in our closet, or it might be our under a tree, or it might be at the alter in the church. In thinking of the Old Testament, I thought wherever it is, it becomes the Holy Place. This has been provided for us by Jesus Christ because He has gone to prepare a place for us. He said He was going to prepare a place, and that place is a holy place. (cf Jn 14:2)

What Heaven is Like

Thinking about all of this, it was a thrill to think about heaven. I wish I had time to go around and ask each one of you tonight to contribute just one thought about heaven. What kind of a place is heaven? or what do you know about it? Please allow me to just read from a little list I made recently: When we think of this, I'd like to read what St. Paul said to the Corinthians about heaven. And as I love to mention, these are my father's last words on this earth, the last sentence he spoke.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Co 2:9)
And many times the minister will end right there, or the person will finish quoting the scripture there. I'd like you to continue to the tenth verse which says,
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God....Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Co 2:10,12)
You hear that?
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Co 2:13)
So as we look around at one another tonight, or today, or this morning, we must know that the Holy Spirit has revealed to us something about heaven because we just read it. And not only that, that we must prepare for this place; and the Holy Spirit has shown all of us that we're not going to go with any impurities in our hearts, any uncleanness, that we are going to be ready and prepared for this beautiful, holy place.

Worship the Lord in the Beasuty of Holiness

I have two texts, and I'd like to give one of them now. They are both in Chronicles. One is in I Chronicles, and the other is in II Chronicles. I'll give the first text now.
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. Bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (1 Ch 16:29)

The List

I had the privilege of sitting in on a few of Mrs. Dallenbach's classes this summer, and she handed me a personal study. One question said, ``Make a list of some things some Christians can do and others can not.'' And it was easy. I made a big list, and I lost the list and I made another one. I realized something as I was making this other list, and it was growing longer and longer than the first one. I believe it asked for about ten things, and I was going on 14, 15, and so forth. Suddenly it dawned on me how I was making this list. (How would you make it? if you were asked what can some Christians do that others can't do?) I suppose I was saying, ``Now, I can't do this thing because the Lord won't permit me to, but I've noticed that other people are doing this certain thing.'' And it became very judgmental in my mind, the way this list had to be made.

I felt that there's only one way to make it, and that is take our eyes off somebody else, and leave them to the Lord. If we're going to make a list like this, we must compare ourselves to what the Lord allows. What am I doing that the Lord does not allow or is not pleased with? Or whatever we do, am I walking in the light? Am I pleasing the Lord in all He allows? We find out when we compare ourselves to the holy word of God that we need a shedding room. We've either been there or we've got to go. There are scriptures (cf Ro 13:12, 14; Eph 4:22-25; Col 3) that say, ``Put on,'' and ``Take off.'' And we need to make the effort. The Holy Spirit will do the cleansing and do the work.

The Old Man

Of all the many scriptures there are that help us with this, I've chosen one for our study and our consideration. It's in the book of Colossians. In the third chapter, we read, ``seek'' and ``set'' and ``mortify'' and ``put on'' and ``put off'' (Col 3:1-10). It sounds like, with the Lord's help, we can do all things, and He will help us. The Holy Spirit will make the change as we make the effort. I see in here that there is a definite experience where we put off the old man, and we have put on the new man.

As I was looking through here, I started reading ``Mortify, therefore your members which are upon the earth.'' (Col 3:5) Now here is something I need to compare myself to. Have I done these things? Mortify

fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, ... covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these. (Col 3:5b-8a)
We have been to the cross. We have been to the alter. We have been to the holy place; and we have put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of our mouths, and so far, so good. When the Lord forgives our sins and cleanses us, He takes these things, and He removes them as far as the East is from the West. We become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Not only that, the Bible says we put on the new man which is Jesus Christ. We see in one another the Spirit of Christ, and the image of Christ. His very qualities we see in one another as we recognize that we have put on the new man.

But on thing here really troubled me. As I mentioned at another time, I got all the commentaries I could find, and the Bible helps, and studied and searched in my Bibles to find out what this meant. I'm looking at the ninth verse. ``Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man.'' (Col 3:9-10a) I could not reconcile this: Lie not one to another. Who of us who has put off the old man and his deeds, and put on the new man, and is walking in holiness and in the Spirit of Christ would lie? Is somebody going to say to you, ``Did you go to town yesterday?'' ; and you went to town, and you're going to say, ``No, I didn't.''? What kind of lying does the Bible speak of? I tell you I can't say enough how this troubled me! To think that there's a possibility that those walking in newness of life, and who have put on the new man, purity, holiness, beauty, the beauty of Christ, would lie one to another.

I finally found a cross reference to the Old Testament. It took me back to Zechariah 7:10. In the latter part of this verse, the scripture says, ``And let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.'' If you read on farther in the scripture, you find out that Zechariah really preached a hot sermon on this. The Bible says they ``Refused to harken, and pulled away their shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.'' (Zec 7:11) We go back to that if we have put on the new man, ``let none of you imagine evil against him brother in your heart''. It doesn't even say, whispering to somebody else. ``I think so and so has such and such a motive,'' judging somebody's motive. Or, ``So and so said so and so. I think they are thus and so,'' giving a wrong interpretation, maybe to somebody's feelings, or again motives. The Lord won't even allow us to think things like this. Now we are talking about walking in newness of life, and having within our hearts Jesus Christ, and His Spirit, and His image. The holy word of God, the Holy Spirit will not allow us, since we have put on the new man, to imagine evil against anybody in our hearts.

The New Man

No wonder the Bible talks about the ``beauty of holiness.'' (Ps 96:9) This is where the beauty comes in, the love, and the trust, and the sharing, and the lifting up of one another, and the opinions that we can have of one another which are good and pure. It is beautiful. It's a beautiful experience.

St. Paul goes on to say, ``and have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.'' (Col 3:10) When God made His creation, the Bible says that He created man in his own image. (Gn 1:26) Some people may say, ``Well, that was about the length of God's nose, and the shape of His face, and the width of His forehead. He made Adam to look like himself.'' I think not. He made him in His own image of purity and holiness. This is what He restores in our very heart when He puts within us the new man, which is Jesus Christ. He restores all of this beauty, and all of the purity, and all of the holiness of Jesus Christ, and the love.

Charity is the Bond

Going on in Colossians: ``Put on therefore,'' we are in the shedding room, we have taken off all of these things,
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies... (Col 3:12a)
When we read that word ``bowels'' in the holy scripture, it means down in the center of our being. You really mean it way down inside. ``Mercies'' means for one another.
...kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all things, (every thing else) put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Col 12b-14)
Going back again to the DNA molecule, this marvelous molecule that has millions of atoms, the largest molecule known in science, very delicately bound together by a hydrogen bond. The most delicate thing can upset this and cause an untimely splitting, for instance, certain drugs. Some drug can cause such a disarray of this molecule that there is never a healing of it as long as the person lives. Here St. Paul said, Let charity be the bond. It is not a hydrogen bond. It's a bond of charity. Sometimes the smallest thing, the most insignificant thing can upset charity and destroy it. All these other things that we hope for, that we read here, kindness, mercy, all these other things can not function if something destroys the bond of love.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Col 15)

Sing Praise to the Beauty of Holiness

I wish to come to a conclusion, and give my other text before the time is up. So we will turn back to II Chronicles. A most wonderful text! II Chronicles, and I find it in the twentieth chapter, and the twentieth verse. You can read the story for yourself, but it is sufficient to say that Jehoshaphat was sending out an army against the enemy, and he said, ``Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so you shall be established. Believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.'' (2 Ch 20:20b) Then he consulted with the people, and then he said, I want singers to go out before the army. And, he said, I want them to sing praise to the beauty of holiness, as they go before the army. (cf 2 Ch 20:21) You can read it in the twentieth chapter. Praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the army! Praise the beauty of holiness.

I said something to Mrs. Dallenbach. I said, ``What are some songs that praise the beauty of holiness?'' She tried to think and I tried to think. I said, ``If there aren't any, a lot of people should write some songs to Praise the Beauty of Holiness.'' We decided on one in the Cross & Crown which is The Joys of Canaan, the words and music written by Alma White. She says,

The joys of salvation are flowing.
I'm living in Canaan's fair land.
I came to the great swelling Jordan,
and crossed o'er with Joshua's band.

My heart is now filled with his rapture.
My days are so happy and blessed.
I'm singing and shouting his praises.
Oh, how could there be sweeter rest?

One more verse:

The shadows that once gathered round me,
no longer my pathway pursue.
I'm walking through vales of his promise
near hills that are sparkling with dew.

Oh, how can I tell of such rapture?
Oh, who can the mystery unfold?
The mountains are dripping with honey.
The glory of God I behold.

In Canaan there's fruit in abundance,
in gardens where olive trees grow.
I drink the new wine of the kingdom
where rivers of life ever flow.

Let us praise the beauty of holiness.

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