A very comprehensive word…

(John Angell James, “The True Christian” 1846)

“You ought to live holy and godly lives.” 2 Peter 3:11

Holiness is a very comprehensive word, and expresses a state of mind and conduct that includes many things.

Holiness is the work of the Spirit in our sanctification,

Because it is the fruit of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore Holiness is the operation of the new nature, which we receive in regeneration.

It may be viewed in various aspects, according to the different objects to which it relates.

Toward God, holiness is . . .A very comprehensive word
supreme love;
delight in His moral character;
submission to His will;
obedience to His commands;
zeal for His cause;
seeking of His glory.

Therefore toward Christ, holiness is . . .
a conformity to His example,
imbibing His spirit.

Toward man, holiness is . . .
charity,
integrity,
truth,
mercy.

Toward sin, holiness is a hatred of all iniquity, a tender conscience easily wounded by little sins, and scrupulously avoiding them; together with a laborious, painful, self-denying, mortification of all the known corruptions of our heart.

Because toward self, holiness is . . .
the control of our fleshly appetites;
and the eradication of our pride;
the mortification of our selfishness.

Therefore toward divine things in general, holiness is . . .
spirituality of mind,
the habitual current of godly thought,
godly affections flowing through the soul.

And, toward the objects of the unseen world, holiness is heavenly-mindedness, a turning away from things seen and temporal, to things unseen and eternal.

Therefore Oh, what a word is holiness!
How much does it comprehend!
But how little is it understood, and how much less is it practiced!

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