Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Re-defining Holiness by Ryan Rufus

This sermon was preached by Ryan Rufus at City Church International, Hong Kong on Sunday 2nd May 2009

"The week before I preached a one-word title message called "Rest" and this morning I have a two-word title message called; "Re-defining Holiness". I am excited to preach this word and I believe God is excited about this word this morning. It is His Word and He wants to do something here this morning. "Re-defining Holiness" - re-defining what holiness is.

Living a holy life should never be defined as "living without sin". In fact sin has got nothing to do with holiness at ALL!

We have been programmed to think that it does and this morning I want to undo that programming. The religious world has made not sinning to equal holiness. They have made that the most important issue for the church today. The religious spirit across the world today is trying to put pressure on leaders to preach more on holiness and not sinning and it seems so virteous! But it is a demonic deception and many are blindly falling prey to the religious spirit. This morning I want to come out strong. There are some things in the Body of Christ that need to be smashed down today!

The lie that says "If you don't sin then you are holy but if you do sin then you are unholy" - that is the 10 Commandments right there! What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Holy". Stop sinning? If that is the first thing we think of when someone says "Be holy" then it means our minds have been programmed by the law to define what holiness is.

Holiness has got NOTHING to do with sinning or not sinning! If that is what we think, then we think WE are the cause of our holiness and I am telling you there is only ONE Person who is the cause of our holiness and His Name is Jesus Christ!

If you are in Him, then YOU ARE HOLY! You don't have to try and be holy or get holy - you ARE holy!

Hebrews 10:10 - it is amazing that this is in the Bible. "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all". You have been made holy once and for all! Now I am going to try and define what holiness is and it isn't complicated.

God was holy long before sin ever existed. In fact God's holiness could not be referenced to sin at all. Sin wasn't around! If we limit the holiness of God to the mere abscence of sin then we are limiting His awesome holiness! God's holiness is far greater than just the abscence of sin.

What is holiness then? Holiness is who God IS. God IS holy! If you are in Him and born again then you are holy!

The sin of Adam that we were all born into - we were made sinners (Romans 5 says) - and it is the sin of Adam and our state of sin that seperated us from God. Now it wasn't that sin was unholy. It was the seperation from God that was unholy.

A state of seperation from God is a state of unholiness.

Then Jesus came and offered the once-for-all sacrifice that permamently removes all of our sins and makes us blameless before the Father. He made us righteous and blameless and because of that we were able to come into God. It is the coming into God that makes us holy! People confuse holiness and blamelessness! We mustn't confuse the two. Blamelessness is the removing of our sins. Holiness is the coming into God. Let me read to you Ephesians chapter 1:4; "He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight". Blameless is us becoming righteous. Holy is us coming into God.

Now holiness is not about what you DO. It is about where you ARE. Where you ARE will affect what you DO.

So the question is; "Where are you?". If you want to understand what holiness is then you need to understand where you are. So where are you!? Ephesians 2:6 tells us; "God raised us up with Christ" - that is being born again. "And seated us with Him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus". You are seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus! That is where you are! That is your heavenly position seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus! What else is true about this heavenly position? Ephesians 1:3; "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that is in Christ Jesus". Your heavenly position is that you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. God cannot bless you anymore in the heavenly realms - He has fully blessed you in Christ Jesus! You have received every blessing in the heavenly realms!

Your heavenly position in Christ is that you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ! Colossians 2:9, 10 says; "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ". Other translations say "You have been made complete in Christ". That means you can't receive anymore fullness in your heavenly position in Christ! That means you have been made absolutely complete in your heavenly position in Christ! Some of you are looking like you don't believe that! You need to see where you are! We are not talking about your flesh or your soul but your spirit that has been made alive with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms! How can God be in heaven and also living inside of you? That is the glory realm! It is multi-dimensional and don't try to understand it with your mind! You have been given fullness in Christ! That means you don't have to try and achieve anymore righteousness or achieve anymore perfection. You have got 100% righteousness and 100% perfection and 100% obedience and love and faith and authority and health and riches! And 100% victory and passion and access to God all the time! That is your heavenly position in Christ!

What is your heavenly position? It is that you are seated in the heavenly realms and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus and have been given fullness and made complete in Christ. You have been made holy and complete in Christ and that is your heavenly position!

Living holy is not about living without sin! Living holy is about living from your eternal heavenly position in Christ Jesus!

That is holy living! That is holiness! The Greek word for "holiness" is the same word for "sanctification" and it means two things. 1. Seperation or seperated or seperate. 2. The life that flows out of someone who has been seperated. So you have been seperated from your old life of sin and we are talking about what it is to become holy. It means you have been seperated from your old life of sin in Adam and you have been brought out of that and into Christ and seperated unto Christ and brought into your heavenly position in heaven. Now the life that you live flows out of that place. Or at least it has the potential to flow out of that place because if you don't see and have revelation of that place then you will live your life from this natural earthly place.

To live holy is to live from your eternal, heavenly position. To live unholy is to live from your current earthly condition. It has got nothing to do with sinning. It has got to do with position. It has got to do with where you are living from.

The truth is we live in our current condition from our eternal heavenly position. Sin is not unholiness - it is the by-product OF unholiness. Or rather it is the by-product of not living from our eternal heavenly position. If you were to live 100% from your eternal heavenly position you would never sin while in your current condition. But it is not about sinning anyway! The religious world makes it all about sinning! It is all about what you have got to do and what you have got to change! It is all about behaviour modification and it is trying to put behaviour modification on your current condition. Forget behaviour modification! Forget change!

Forget trying to change your character in your current condition and SEE your heavenly position! As you SEE your heavenly position then THAT begins to flow through your current condition!

The religious world makes holiness the most important issue. I believe holiness is the most important issue but not the way the religious world has defined it as living without sin. God wants you living holy - they say! God wants you living without sin! Actually God is not that interested - and that is not God's priority! God's priority is that you live holy - but that is living from heaven! From your eternal position! We have got to seperate the concept of sin from holiness and see heaven!

When you define holiness as living without sin, people automatically think if they stop sinning then they are holy! That gets their focus on themselves, on their flesh and on their human efforts and makes them think that not sinning is the cause of their holiness. But there is only one cause of holiness and that is Jesus Christ! And if you are in Him then you are holy forevermore!

Now to live holy is to simply live from that place where you are in Him and are seated and given fullness in Him and that is it! That will get your eyes off yourself and onto Him and who He is and who He is in you and who you are in Him. The more you see that the more that will begin to flow through here.

The more you see your position the more you begin to live from your position and the more you begin to live from your position the more you will overcome sin but greater than that the more you will see heaven coming to earth through your life and the more you will start doing the works Jesus did and greater works.

God did not leave us on earth to see how much sin we could overcome! He left us on earth to see how much heaven we could bring to earth through our lives!

The religious world says "Produce fruit!". It is actually so important and serious what I am saying this morning. God is shifting mindsets in the body of Christ and bringing down the lies that have blinded men and women for centuries and bringing them to see true holiness. How they have limited what holiness is and how they have got people involved in what God is not involved in! God is involved in seeing heaven come to earth! The more you over come sin but the more that realm breaks in through your life! At the end of our lives we are not after saying "God I didn't sin!". That's useless! We want to be able to say that we walked in all the things He had for us in this life. We want to see heaven come to earth and see this world shaken and thousands of millions saved and brought into the Kingdom. The religious world says "Produce fruit! Change!". Grace and truth says "No - get established in the love of Jesus Christ!". I believe the way we get rooted and established in the love in Jesus comes through seeing our heavenly position, seeing what He has done for us through His love in Christ and taking us up and seating us in the heavenly realms and giving us fullness. The more revelation we get and the more we see the heavenly realms - that is faith! Faith is seeing the heavenly realms! It is not about what you DO - it is by faith. Simply believing. Simply see by faith the heavenly realms.

The more you see by faith your heavenly position - then the more your current condition gets rooted in the heavenly realms and the fruit of being rooted up there will show over here! You don't even have to make it manifest. You won't be able to stop it manifesting.

The religious world tries to pull on leaves and branches to make the tree grow. Forget it! Feed the roots and the tree will grow and produce fruit! Get rooted and established in the heavenly realms and the fruit will show up in the earthly realms!

If you don't see that holiness is about living from your position and who you really are, then when you read Scriptures about holiness - you will assume all they are talking about is not sinning - when in actual fact they are trying to say that if you live from your position in the heavenly realms then you will not only overcome sin but you will see heaven coming to earth and you will see the kingdom coming to earth!

Go back and read all the holiness Scriptures! People will send me emails about this and that Scriptures and that is fine! I am for that because I believe this with conviction! Go back and read with conviction!

Bill Johnson says; "Our destiny is to go to heaven but our assignment is to bring heaven to earth!". My version of that is that; "We have already achieved our destiny because we are already seated in heavenly places and now the life we live, we live from heaven to earth bringing heaven with us!".

You could say the more you live from the heavens, the more the heavens will show up in your life. It is not bad to live from the heavens. Don't mock people who are always in the heavens and living from the heavens. You need to live more from the heavens - you need to be truly more holy! That is the appropriate way to say that! When you hear that you don't think; "Me, my, what I must do, my sin". You think, "Him and what He has done and how awesome He is". As a consequence of that faith errupts in your heart to lay hold of the things that are yours in Jesus Christ. I want to leave you with this thought.

The more you find out about your position in heaven, the more you find out about your potential on earth.

You have the potential for total victory over sin! You have the potential to walk in divine health! You have the potential to walk with God in the glory realm 24 hours a day, great wealth to finance nations, blessed with every spiritual blessing, to continuously hear the voice of God day in and day out, to raise the dead, to do the works Jesus did and all that God has planned for us to do! I don't preach on faith! I am not against faith. Some people focus on faith. Preach the thing that produces faith and you won't even have to preach on it! Same with sanctification - forget about it! Don't worry about sanctification! Focus on the things that cause sanctification! Stop trying to preach obedience and holiness but rather the things that empower it! Sanctification is not about trying to sin less and less but learning to live from hte heavenly realms more and more. It is not about trying! But seeing! Seeing who you really are! The church preaches too much about who you aren't. A sinner - filthy, disgusting! No - you need to hear who you really are! Son of God! Righteous forever! Perfect! Seated in the heavenly realms! Blessed! Made perfect! Holy! Made complete! That is your true identity!

"Come and undo in a moment centuries of false doctrine".

"It doesn't matter what abusive leaders were against you - He is for you! And He is representing your minstry to the world!".


lydia joy said...

Go Dan, Go!!

I absolutely loved this message!!! Yahoo!!

Phil Robertson said...

I lead a men's ministry and we are studying the book of Ephesians and the whole group was intriqued with this phrase, "in heavenly realms" found only in Ephesians. I had a hard time explaining it, though looking at it in the context of all five of its occurences in Eph helped. I found your message on this through a google search and you enlightened me and I am going to enlighten my little men's group. Thanks, brother!!

Dan Bowen said...

It's my pleasure Phil! Glad it helped - Ryan's teaching is just awesome.

Anonymous said...

A lie right out of hell! This man has gone to great lengths to give us his opinion on what holiness is without the support of Scripture. The one verse of Scripture he quotes (from whatever Bible translation) in Hebrews he misinterprets because he has failed to study the difference between the Greek words “Hagiazo” and “Hagios”. By the way this heresy is not new, in fact it’s the same one the Apostle John addresses in his letter to the Church in Ephesus in 1st John. The reason why people have no desire to live holy lives is because they love their sins; they love darkness rather than light, and do not see themselves as the poor in spirit. As in Matthew 7:22-23 they might call Jesus Lord Lord, but unless they repent, Jesus will also say to them on that day: 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' A quick study of 1 John exposes this lie, because you are stuck as to what to do with verses like these:

1 John 1: 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2: 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.