Standards Are a Root, Not a Leaf

“Standards” are a prescribed order of action or conduct.

In the biblical sense “holiness standards” are God’s prescribed order of conduct for His people. Standards prescribe what one wears externally, but its essence flows from what one wears internally as the “new man.”

If one sees the word “standards” as being only outward guidelines of clothing they need to broaden their understanding to encompass the fuller picture of acceptable ways to please God in all our ways.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
Paul prophesies “perilous” times in the last days.
“Perilous” Greek – “chalepos” = hard to do, dangerous, savage.

Paul explains the reason for the peril of the end-times.
“…men will be lovers of themselves…” Greek – “philauto” – literally = “selfish” or “self-love.”

… having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Power = dunamis -moral excellence. Attempting Spirituality without moral standards.

People that discard the standards of spirituality are embracing a form of godliness, however, they are denying the power of godly standards.

The fact that Cain and Abel knew that God had standards of worship and that He expected worship to be offered according to His standards, yet Cain rejected God’s standards. He failed to offer God what God required. Cain decided that he was the better judge of the “standards” of God.

NOTE: He did not mind worshiping God, as long as it was on his own terms, in his own way. Man cannot do away with the external standard and please God nor can he say he is justified with only a so-called internal standard.

God rejected THEN and rejects NOW those that abuse His standards!

Cain’s obedience, in order to have been pleasing to God, would have had to have had an external portion (the placing of the sacrifice) and an internal portion (the true heart of worship). He had to have both. When the heart is involved in the “standard” internally then the hands perform the “standard” outwardly.

Opposed to what some may believe God’s laws and standards bring freedom not bondage. For Instance, a piano player practices long hours learning the fundamentals and rules of music. Every day he/she learns to play by the rules with more precision. Weeks, months and years are spent learning techniques. There is boring routine as the techniques are practiced over and over and over again. But the more he/she dedicates himself/herself to the fundamental rules of music, the more freedom he/she has to play with beauty and poise. The more attention a musician pays to the rules of music the more freedom they experience and the more joy they find in their music.

God’s laws do not limit us, they empower us — and give us freedom. When we ignore them we find we are in bondage. The world gives the false promise of freedom, but the scripture sees through that lie when it states, “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter 2:19). It is not a coincidence that this untoward culture, which is intent on discarding the standards and holiness lifestyles of God, is also one of the most worldly addicted groups of people in the history of the world.

God’s laws are a blessing because they allow us to live life with dignity, honor, joy and freedom. The only difference between a river and a swamp is that one has boundaries and the other does not. One runs confined by its banks, the other stagnates without anything to guide it. The one has direction, the other does not. The banks of the river are not restrictions, they are what give the river freedom to flow in a set direction. And where, may I ask, are we headed?


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