1 Peter 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Be ye holy, for I am holy.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.
THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): There is not more counterfeit coin this day in the world than there is counterfeit holiness in the world.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There be those who, in order to purge themselves of sin, flagellate their bodies, observe protracted fasts, wear sackcloth and hair shirts next to their skin, and even some have gone so far as to imagine that to refrain from ablutions, and to allow their body to be filthy, was the readiest mode of purifying their soul. A strange infatuation certainly! Yet today, in Hindostan, you shall find the fakir passing his body through marvellous sufferings and distortions, in the hope of getting rid of sin.
JOHN BROWN (of Haddington) (1722-1787): Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervors, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.
JOHN OWEN (1616-1683): Some would have moral virtue to be holiness.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): A man may not be morally evil, yet not spiritually good.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Why, self-love will carry a man to perform all moral actions. A man, perhaps, will not get drunk for fear of making his head ache; a man may be honest, because it would spoil his reputation to steal. And so a man who has not the love of God in his heart, may do moral actions.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): The natural man’s attitude towards morality is generally negative. His concern is that He should not do certain things. He does not want to be dishonest, unjust or immoral. The Christian’s attitude towards morality is always positive; he hungers and thirsts after a positive righteousness like that of God Himself…Something more than morality is necessary―a radical change of heart is necessary.
C. H. SPURGEON: There is a young man here who says, “I mean to lead a perfectly pure and holy life. I resolve to serve God.” Now should we dissuade such a man from the attempt? By no means! It has been sometimes said that we speak against morality. Never!—never a word against it!
THOMAS BROOKS: Ah, sirs, holiness is a flower that grows not in Nature’s garden. Men are not born with holiness in their hearts, as they are born with tongues in their mouths: holiness is a divine offspring: it is a pearl of great price, that is to be found in no nature but a renewed nature, in no bosom but a sanctified bosom.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): No one leads a holy life except he is united to God.
C. H. SPURGEON: You must get a new heart or you cannot be holy…Holiness is better than morality. It goes beyond it. Holiness affects the heart. Holiness respects the motive. Holiness regards the whole nature of man. A moral man does not do wrong in act; a holy man hates the thought of doing wrong―a moral man would not commit outward sin; a holy man would not commit inward sin.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): When we are born again, then our sanctification, our inward and outward holiness begins.
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): There are three things which are essential to inward gospel holiness: 1. The Holy Ghost
2. Faith in Christ
3. A new heart and new spirit.
Without these three, there is no such thing as gospel holiness in man.
ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): The Holy Spirit assumes the office of the sanctifier of the people of God.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The Spirit sanctifies us by bringing us to the Word, the Word that brings us to a knowledge of Jesus.
C. H. SPURGEON: You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; nor will you ever discover a truly holy life which does not have at its root a living faith based upon the righteousness of Christ. We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The Holy Spirit came in order to reveal Christ to us. His primary work is to make Christ real to us, to show us what Christ has done for us, to remind us of His teaching, to give us a longing and a love for Christ, to enable us to live as Christ lived―to conform us to His image.
A. W. TOZER (1897-1963): The Holy Spirit is first of all a moral flame. It is not an accident of language that He is called the Holy Spirit, for whatever else the word “holy” may mean it does undoubtedly carry with it the idea of moral purity. And the Spirit, being God, must be absolutely and infinitely pure. With Him there are not―as with men―grades and degrees of holiness. He is holiness itself, the sum and essence of all that is unspeakably pure…At the base of all true Christian experience must be a sound and sane morality.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): We may depend upon it as a certainty that where there is no holy living there is no Holy Ghost.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,” Ephesians 4:30. We have here what really makes Christian ethics what it is, and differentiates it from every other kind of moral or ethical system. There is no other kind of moral ethical teaching which ever makes this kind of statement. This is the peculiar thing about Christianity. All the others will tell you not to lie, they’ll tell you always to speak the truth, they’ll tell you not to lose your temper, but always to be controlled and disciplined, they’ll tell you not to steal, they’ll tell you not to use bad language, or any kind of corrupt communication, and to be kind and good and helpful and philanthropic―they do all that! But never in their systems do you find this―grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. Never!
A. W. TOZER: As water cannot rise higher than its source, so the moral quality in an act can never be higher than the motive that inspires it.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: And that is important of course in this way: that unless our conception of the Christian life, and of Christian conduct and behaviour includes this, is based upon this, and always leads us to this, it is not truly Christian. Good conduct is not of necessity Christian. And this is a tragic fact in the life and history of the Church, as we all know so well; that so often morality is taken for Christianity, a morality which uses Christian terminology. But this is the test. Is our whole life centered around a truth like this? Is this at the very heart of our whole outlook upon conduct and behaviour, and at the very heart of our practice?
JOHN OWEN: Gospel truth is the only root whereon Gospel holiness will grow.
THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Holiness, or that piety which is proper and genuine, is wrought by a Divine Truth, otherwise it is superstition, not godliness―and civility, not holiness.
JOHN BERRIDGE (1716-1793): All fancied sanctification, which does not arise wholly from the blood of the cross, is nothing better than Pharisaism…Holiness, as well as pardon, is to be had from the blood of the cross.