I Am Not Ashamed
“Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). This article is about the fundamental foundation of our relationship with God—holiness. If we look at holiness as a set of rules, a list of things we should do and things we should not do, then we have misunderstood the whole concept of holiness. Holiness is designed to be a blessing to God’s people and is the result of a love relationship with God.
The world would like the church to compromise God’s Word. There are some churches that would suggest we compromise a little bit. Some say we should not be so different from the world. Some will say since we live in this world, we need to be accepted by this world. This has caused many students to be “ashamed” of their identity in Christ. In the book of Joel, God’s people are warned to turn away from their sins. If they would repent, God would restore them and prosper them. This would remove the ridicule from the nations around them and God’s people would not be ashamed.
Two times in the book of Joel, the Lord declares: “My people shall never be put to shame” (Joel 2:26-27). There is a growing, antichrist spirit aggressively trying to get the church—especially students—to be ashamed of WHO we are, WHAT we believe, and WHERE we stand. The enemy knows there is power in separation (the word “holy” means “separate”). Holiness is the result of a love relationship with Christ that protects, directs, and empowers believers.
What causes us to obey? What is the motivation behind our obedience? If it is fear, it will not last forever. If it is guilt or a sense of duty, we will get tired after a while. But if it is love, it will endure. 1 John 5:2-3 states, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Love must be the motivation for our obedience.
God has always desired people to stand and declare, “I am not ashamed of my God!” That is why God said in Leviticus 18:3, “Do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you [future promise].” The Promised Land had giants. The Promised Land had challenges that would tempt God’s people to compromise, but the LORD commanded them not to imitate their way of life. “Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches…When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me — Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end” (Psalm 73: 12, 16-17, NKJV). Sometimes it may look like the people of Canaan are successful, secure, and strong. In the end they will be defeated and destroyed because they serve sin.
Love must be our motivation. Holiness is all about a relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The more I love Him, the more I want to live for Him and the more I will submit to the leadership of God’s Word. Rev. Tim Zuniga said, “The world wants you to be loud about your immorality but quiet about your faith… people are acting more scared about holiness than they are about sin.” The world does not care if you boast about your sins. The world does not care if you display your immoral lifestyle. Just do not stand for truth; do not call sin sin. But Jesus said in Luke 9:26, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
If we desire our relationship with God to remain strong throughout our lives, we will need courage, boldness, and understanding. Seventeen times in the New Testament, the disciples prayed for boldness. If the disciples prayed for boldness, we need to pray for boldness. We are a “called out” people. We are different from the world, so we will look different, act different, think different, and talk different. We will love, live, and lead in ways that will not always fit in with the culture around us. Francis Chan said, “Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”
Holiness is not a bad word! Without it no man shall see the Lord! Holiness protects us. It helps us. It keeps us pure and continues to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ. Holiness is designed to be a blessing to God’s people and is the result of a love relationship with God.
Chad Flowers is married to his best friend and teammate, Mendy. He’s a daddy to two incredible little girls, Jadyn and Keira, and one son, Chandler. He lives in Mesquite, Texas where he has a private practice as a licensed professional counselor and serves as pastor of Emmanuel Pentecostal Church.