Holiness, God’s Purpose for His People

BANNER OF TRUTH MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE 2007

Dr Sinclair Ferguson spoke here on Tuesday evening and again this morning on Holiness. His first address was titled, “Our Holiness: The Father’s Purpose and the Son’s Purchase”. From Titus 2 and other Scriptures he powerfully exhorted us to make tangible progress in our holiness, seeing as it is God’s purpose for those whom He saves. He cited Romans 8:28 to lay a foundation of purpose, and then 2nd Timothy —

1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a HOLY calling, not because of our works but because of his own PURPOSE and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began…. (esv, emphasis added)

One illustration he gave swept through the gathering with piercing effect. He said imagine you owned a treasured family portrait of a loved one, but it was stolen. The police later come to your home to tell you that the thief was apprehended, and the crime was solved. Would this, alone, satisfy you? Or would a question gush forward to your lips: Did you recover the precious painting?? Dr Ferguson’s point was this: God’s purpose in salvation is not merely to stop Satan and solve sin, but He wants also to “get His painting back” — to have those He saves live Christ-like and holy lives for His glory!

A second powerful illustration came from the airline travel magazine he had seen coming to the conference. In it famous golfer Greg Norman was speaking of a brand new golf course in his native Australia, something to the effect that: ‘this parcel of land was a golfcourse just wainting to happen’ — all i did was get rid of everything there that was not “golf course”! With this Dr Ferguson’s point was God purchases sinners for Himself by the work of Christ, and desires them to be holy — like Christ. And God works to remove everything in us that is not “Christ like” and holy.

I hope this gives you a flavor of the Tuesday night message (when I learn about how to order the audio CD, I will post that info here).

Friend, if you count yourself to be a Christian, are you making progress towards God’s goal of holiness? Are you increasingly Christ-like? Is God getting rid of the things in your life that really do not fit with these purposes?? Pray that He is. Continue to pray for the men here at the conference.

Yours by divine mercy, Pastor David

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