[The following is an excerpt from Bishop J.C. Ryle's book, Holiness. Bishop Ryle was Bishop of Liverpool, England in the late 1800's and the foremost leader of Evangelical and Reformed Anglicans. I would highly recommend the reading of his entire book.]
Let me try, in the next place, to show some reasons why practical holiness is so important.
Can holiness save us? Can holiness put away sin - cover iniquities – make satisfaction for transgressions - pay our debt to God? No: not a whit. God forbid that I should ever say so. Holiness can do none of these things. The brightest saints are all “unprofitable servants.”
Why then is holiness so important? Why does the Apostle say, “Without it no man shall see the Lord”? Let me set out in order a few reasons.
(a) For one thing, we must be holy, because the voice of God in Scripture plainly commands it. The Lord Jesus says to His people, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:20). Paul tells the Thessalonians, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thess. 4:3)
(b) We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it.” (Eph. 5:25-26). In short, to talk of men being saved from the guilt of sin, without being at the same time saved from its dominion in their hearts, is to contradict the witness of all Scripture.
(c) We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we have saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Twelfth Article of our Church says truly, that “although good works cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith; insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by its fruits.”
(d) We must be holy, because this is the only proof that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. This is a point on which He has spoken most plainly, in the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of John. “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” – “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me. ” – “If a man love Me he will keep My words.” – “Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 14:15,21,23; 15:14). Surely that man must be in an unhealthy state of soul who can think of all that Jesus suffered, and yet cling to those sins for which that suffering was undergone.
(e) We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God. Children in this world are generally like their parents. The Lord Jesus says, “If ye were Abraham's children ye would do the works of Abraham.” – “If God were your Father ye would love Me.” (John 8:39,42) If men have no likeness to the Father in heaven, it is vain to talk of their being His “sons.”
(f) We must be holy, because this is the most likely way to do good to others. We cannot live to ourselves only in this world. Our lives will always be doing either good or harm to those who see them. They are a silent sermon which all can read. You may talk to persons about the doctrines of the Gospels, and few will listen, and still fewer understand. But your life is an argument that none can escape. There is a meaning about holiness which not even the most unlearned can help taking in. They may not understand justification, but they can understand charity. I believe there is far more harm done by unholy and inconsistent Christians that we are aware of. Such men are among Satan's best allies. They pull down by their lives what ministers build with their lips. They supply the children of this world with a never ending excuse for remaining as they are.
(g) We must be holy, because our present comfort depends much upon it. Our justification is not by works, -our calling and election are not according to our works-but it is vain for anyone to suppose that he will have a lively sense of his justification, or an assurance of his calling, so long as he neglects good works, or does not strive to live a holy life.
(h) Lastly, we must be holy, because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasure, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth?
I fear it is sometimes forgotten that God has married together justification and sanctification. They are distinct and different things, beyond question, but one is never found without the other. All justified people are sanctified, and all sanctified are justified. What God has joined together let no man dare to put asunder. Tell me not of your justification, unless you have also some marks of sanctification. Boast not of Christ's work for you , unless you can show us the Spirit's work in you. Think not that Christ and the Spirit can ever be divided.
Clarime Conn passed away April 22, 2013 at the age of 93. She was preceded in death by her husband Ted and is survived by her daughters Linda, Catherine and Lorie. Our prayers are extended to the Conn family.
Patsy Zator was taken to be with the Lord on May 27, 2013 at the age of 77. She is survived by her husband Frank and children Frank, Ellen, Alice and Matthew. Our prayers are with the Zator family.
The Tinley park Ministerial Association observed the National Day of Prayer, May 2, 2013, with public prayers near the fountain on Oak Park Avenue.
The ladies and girls of the parish had a Mother/Daughter Salad Supper in the Parish Hall on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
A Youth Group was started at St. Andrew's May 19 th with Adult Sponsors, Beth & Will Garrison, leading. Seven teens were in attendance at the first meeting, It was an Organization Meeting to discuss a name for the group, activities they would like to do, projects, and pizzas were enjoyed by all.
The Preschool & Kindergarten Music Program and Graduation took place on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
2ND YOUTH MEETING
June 9, 2013 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
All Teens Welcome! Meeting in the basement of the church.
Please be in much prayer for our VBS this year that God will truly bless the boys and girls, teens, and adult staff. Plan now to attend a Very Exciting Bible School “A Jungle Journey to Discover Jesus!.” Explorers explore the Amazon with Scouts, Guides, Puppeteers, crafts, songs, verses, and wonderful Bible stories. It will take place Monday - Friday, June 10-14, 9:00-noon with the Closing Program on Friday the 14th at 1:00 p.m. Your children will stay that day and be served lunch before the program. Please send Registration cards back quickly to help us get a count of VBSers for ages 4 to those completing 6th grade.
Check you closets, attic and hiding places for treasures for the Rummage Sale! Also, price those yummy baked goods for the 22nd! Then, join us to see the wonderful items available. Saturdays, June 22 and 29, 2013 from 9 – 1:00. The Rummage Sale is an Annual Fundraiser for missions by the Women's Guild.
TASTE OF TINLEY PARK CHURCHES
“A Fundraiser for Love INC” Saturday, June 22 3:00-8:00 p.m.
Faith Christian Reformed Church
8383 W. 171st Street
Fun, Food, Activities for all ages!
Come one, come all!
St. Andrew's has a booth!
MISSIONARY of the MONTH
Please be in prayer for Judy King and the ministry in the Amazon. Judy helped write Bibles in the Amazon language. The VBS children will be bringing their offerings for our Mission Project this year, which is to purchase Bibles for the Amazon children. Please make a pledge to help with the purchase of these Bibles. The Bibles use to cost $1.25 apiece a few years back; now they are $8.00 each.
Rev. Robert Novak
Frank Levi, Jr.