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Ancient Words: Holiness, a

Joyful Thing

The Ancient Words offer great insight into the joy of holiness. “Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness (Rom 6:19).” Paul writes to the Roman church about how they lived when enslaved to wickedness. The result was an unhappy and depressed life as no hope for a future existed. Becoming a slave, instead, to righteousness produces a joyful and happy life. A bright future now exists so that anticipation of that future generates a joy of excitement.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (Rom 6:22).” Holiness is defined as “total devotion to God”. Leaving the slavery of sin and becoming slaves to God leads to eternal life and equally important—assurance of eternal life. Holiness will never disappoint! Joy beyond measure is totally inherent!

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption (1Co 1:30).” Our holiness is and will never be perfect. We have a sinful nature always at work in us while we set our minds to the law of Christ. But thanks be to God, because of His son, He (Christ) has become our holiness. Jesus is our righteousness, our holiness, and consequently our redemption. Halleluiah! We are made perfect in Him!

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2Co 7:1).” The promise of God the Father will never fail his child. Knowing the grace of this promise, would we all not be compelled to seek purity, to seek the right thing, and to allow the joy of holiness to translate in all that we do, or think, or say. So, count it all joy!

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22-24).” Take off the old coat and put on the new…. Remove the old wineskins and put the new wine of joy into new wineskins. For everyone who has been baptized into Christ has put on Christ and now—“ it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.”

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14).” —-“Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy. Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (Rev 22:11-15).” Joy beyond measure always awaits holiness!

(Scott and Jane Johnson minister with ast Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected])

• • •

Are You Ready For Some

Football?

It’s finally that time of year again! They say that fall is right around the corner (not that I could really tell by the El Dorado heat) and that means football! The NFL pre-season is well underway, high school football has started, and college football starts today! Oh, how I have longed for football season. I am an avid baseball fan and of course I have the MLB package so that I can watch my beloved Washington Nationals play, but there is nothing like football!

The rivalries, the predictions, the fantasy leagues, the tailgating, the parties, the face paint, the superstitions of wearing the same jersey or shirt week after week, the hoopla and just the overall excitement has me crazy! I feel like that kid on a roller coaster for the first time approaching the top of the hill knowing that the ride is about to get going!

I have been accused of being a super fan of my teams. I don’t know about that, but I will say that usually on game day my wife leaves whenever my team is playing. One time I had a neighbor come over to check on me because they thought that I was being attacked. Not sure why, I just remember that my team blew a huge leadb and that it caused me a little unhappiness so to speak.

It is a brand-new season and I am anticipating that The Dallas Cowboys will win the Super Bowl! Now, I know a lot you just groaned, and others may have thrown your newspaper. I will wait for you to pick it up or gather your thoughts.

Back to the column. Now that I have predicted the championship for my Cowboys let’s talk college football. In the year that I have been here I have realized that the two big team favorites around here are LSU and Arkansas. I have tried to align myself but as a true sports fan I am loyal to my Virginia Cavaliers! I have game day apparel that I wear every game. Same pants, jersey and even socks every week. Sometimes it is accompanied by face paint! I sing the fight song when we score, I scream on every play to the point of sometimes losing my voice.

I wonder why us fanatics who are so passionate, loyal and committed to our love of the game are not that way when it comes to church or our faith. As Christians we should have that same excitement for church and praise and worship on Sundays! We should be looking forward to church the same way we look forward to the games after church!

This Sunday when you go to church “get in the game” and get excited! Give Jesus your praise and worship!

“The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.” 1 Chron. 29:9

Peace and Blessings,

(Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.)

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