Pursuit of Holiness. Lesson 11. Holiness in an Unholy World.


Background reading    The Antithesis-Godly Living in Ungodly Times

Read here:


  1. We noted that Bridges interpretation of believers being salt was flawed as has been the teaching of most churches and many commentators. The church was never meant to be a preservative to keep the world from going rotten although it may act as a restraint oftentimes. Salt’s main purpose as Matthew 5:13 states, is to season and make food tasty and that is what we as the salt of the earth make the earth to God. Salt was also offered with every kind of offering and we offer up our lives as a living sacrifice. Next paragraph seems to teach that we never are to denounce sin but it is sometimes called for (see Eph.5:11).

2. Matthew 5:13-14 teaches us to maintain our purity in the place where God places us-we ARE salt and light. Salt may make others thirsty and light illumines.

I Peter 3:15-16 teaches us to be ready to answer any questions about our faith with meekness and reverence and to keep a good conscience to silence false accusations.

John 17:14-16 teaches that we will inevitably be hated, tempted and we are separate but encouragingly prayed for by Christ v15 (c.f. Luke 22:32).

3. In responding to abuse or persecution we are to know we are blessed and rejoice (Matt.5:11-12 and I Peter 4:12-13), expect it (John 15:19 and I Tim.3:12), continue to be scrupulously honest and do good works (I Peter 2:12).

4. Christ’s life is the example of how to mix with the ungodly while maintaining absolute moral integrity (Luke 5:29-32 and Hebrews 7:26), it is a SPIRITUAL separation. At home and in tearooms with ungodly relatives or colleagues it is often difficult to know how to respond to godless behaviour-whether to leave or speak or wait to speak to an individual later.

5. I Cor.10:13 along with Psalm 23:3, II Cor.12:9 and Isaiah 41:10 (see handout) promise God’s provision for our integrity and the preservation of our holiness as we apply Scriptures we know are applicable to our situation e.g. when Samson was tempted he ought to have remembered “Thou shalt not commit adultery”.

6.What do these verses say about:

Verses Holy among unholy Joy of holiness
       Psalm 51:10-13 Need to pray. Result was witness Prayed for it
I Corinthians 5:9-11 Avoid professing believers who are notorious sinners e.g. fornicators
Ephesians 5:5-12 Avoid looking at certain things, certain actions and certain places and even the company of unbelievers. Reprove if led to.
Philippians 2:14-16 Don’t murmur or dispute Joy comes.
I Peter 4:3-4 Avoid excess
II Peter 2:7-9 Lot made a wrong choice, do not covet (greed).
Hebrews 12:1-2 Cast off weights (unhealthy preoccupations), endure cross, despise shame. Christ causes us to persevere. Future joy (c.f. I Thess.4:24, Phil.1:6)



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