Why I Preach Holiness
While serving as Executive Director of the Christian Holiness Association a pastor asked me if I felt pressured into preaching holiness messages because of my position. I assured him that I did not and that thought had never entered my mind. I preach holiness messages because I love God and He has transformed my life. God is holy and the great passion of His heart is to have a family who will be like Him. He wants to see His character reproduced in us. He commands us to be holy as he is holy. Therefore, if I am in tune with the heart of God it will be my passion to preach Biblically based messages on holiness. I preach holiness messages because it is the only solution for man’s lost condition. Every preacher wants to deliver messages that speak to the spiritual needs of their listeners. Biblically based salvation messages, that include the message of Sanctification, are always relevant and effective. The message of full salvation strikes to the very core of mankind’s deepest need. Messages on other subjects can be helpful but it is the holiness message that offers the only solution for man’s sin problem. Man’s deepest problem will never be solved with positive thinking discourses, messages on Church growth, the dynamics of leadership or the end times. These are important subjects and they have their place in our preaching but never to the neglect of presenting messages that point to the way one can be delivered and set free from all sin. In Dr. Richard S. Taylor’s book, “The Main Issue”, he reminds us that, “In the Bible God’s position concerning sin is zero tolerance, now and forevermore.” When we make allowance for even a little bit of sin we do not understand what it means to be a Christian. In Romans 6:1&2 Paul writes, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? He did not say, “We are trying to die to sin, or we hope to die to sin, or we expect to die to sin, but we have died to sin—past tense. Those who say they sin a little every day in word, thought and deed have a false understanding of sin or they have never really repented. It was sin that sent Christ to the cross and if we persist in it, it will send us to hell. Until we understand the two fold nature of sin we will never understand the necessity of preaching entire sanctification as a second definite work of grace. At the moment of conception our humanity was infected by sin. The scriptures refer to this infection as the body of sin or the carnal mind. We are not responsible for this condition because we inherited it from Adam. However, because this body of sin has corrupted our humanity we came into this world with an anti-God disposition within us. At a very early age we began to disobey God and commit willful acts of sin. Because we have all willfully sinned we must ask the Lord to forgive us. When we repent we are forgiven of all our acts of sin and we pass from death unto life and become a new person in Christ Jesus. However, even though we are forgiven of the sin’s we have committed the body of sin that we inherited remains within us. There is an enormous internal warfare taking place in the heart of every born again believer. It is the conflict between the Spirit of the Lord within you and the inherited body of sin. The born again believer wrestles with self centeredness, selfish ambitions and desires. There is still a disposition within that wants to disobey God. In most churches people will never hear that there is a solution for this sinful anti-God disposition. This is another reason I preach holiness messages. This truth makes clear that at the cross Jesus shed His blood and laid down His life to provide not only for the forgiveness of our acts of sin but also to provide for the cleansing from our hearts this sinful anti-God disposition. The salvation message includes both the forgiveness of our acts of sin and for cleansing from the body of sin. I often hear pastor’s bemoaning the fact that so many of their people are not deeply committed to Christ and the Church. This is another reason I preach the holiness message. It challenges people to come to a place of being totally sold out to God. If there has ever been a time when the message of full salvation was desperately needed it is today. The shallowness, the lack of commitment, and the self centeredness of our modern society demands that I must preach the holiness message. John Wesley said, “Where Christian perfection is not strongly and explicitly preached, there is seldom any remarkable blessing from God, and consequently, little addition to the society, and little life in the members of it…..till you press the believers to expect full salvation now, you must look for any revival.” If I am to be true to my calling and faithful to the souls to whom I preach I must preach the message of full salvation frequently and with great passion. It is both my responsibility and my privilege. Furthermore, everyone who attends one of our churches has the right to expect to hear this message on a regular basis. If we fail to do so we are failing our people and our Lord. This is the only message that adequately deals with man’s sin problem. This is not the time to back off. The great need of the hour is to increase our teaching and preaching of scriptural holiness. I can do no other and my prayer is that all of our ministers will be faithful in doing the same. It is the message that helps to build solid churches and growing saints. I preach holiness messages because there isn’t any other truth as important as the message of full salvation. It lays the foundation for all other themes and subjects. It declares the reason why Jesus left heaven and went to the cross. It was so He could restore us to the image of god. There is a fuzzy uncertain sound coming from many of the pulpits in America. It might be hip and entertaining but it lacks substance. The end result is a church that is more secular than spiritual. Biblically based holiness preaching will bear good fruit and produce deeply committed Christians. In Richard S. Taylor’s article entitled “What is Wesleyanism” he states, “Recently a young pastor commented to a friend, ‘the doctrine of entire sanctification does not fit this age; it is not the need of the hour.’ What should have concerned him was, ‘Is the doctrine true?’ If it is not true, it is not the need of the hour.’ But if it is true, then it remains the desperate need of the church---now.” Personally, I wouldn’t want to be known as anything other than a holiness preacher. It is my calling and my passion!