Holiness Necessary

by Frank Jones


Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: ... Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.(1 Peter 1:8, 16)

Salvation manifests love for God and His person. What was once abhorrent - the holiness of God - now becomes a believer's joy and pursuit. He sees radiant beauty in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; drawing him to behold. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. ... Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. (Psalm 27:4; 50:2). May God’s people be drawn into an adoring obedience, gazing upon His holiness.

[Charles] Hodge claimed that "holiness is essential to the correct knowledge of divine things and the great security from error." "Wherever you find vital piety," he added, "there you find the doctrines of the fall, of depravity, of regeneration, of atonement, and of the deity of Jesus Christ." Hodge applied this lesson to the seminary students:

"Keep your hearts with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life." Remember that it is only in God's light that you can see light. That holiness is essential to correct knowledge of divine things, and the great security from error. And as you see, that when men lose the life of religion, they can believe the most monstrous doctrines, and glory in them; and that when the clergy once fall into such errors, generations perish before the slow course of reviving piety brings back the truth; "what manner of men ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness." Not only then for your own sake, but for the sake of your children, and your children's children, forsake not your God ...

Finally, lean not to your own understanding. If there be any declaration of the Bible, confirmed by the history of the church, and especially by the recent history of European churches, it is that "he that leaneth to his own understanding is a fool." When men forsake the word of God, and profess to be wise above that which is written, they inevitably and universally lose themselves in vain speculations. ... Submit yourselves, therefore, to the teaching of Him, in whom "are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." It is only when thus taught, that you will be able to teach others also. (David Calhoun, Princeton Seminary, Vol. 1, 123-124)