The Book of Isaiah is sometimes called the 5th Gospel, due to its extensive coverage on Christ. Its chapter 35 describes glorious prophecies regarding the way of holiness. Its is the way that excludes the wicked and the unclean (v. 8). Heaven does not welcome the unholy (Revelation 21:27).
What is holiness?
Holiness leads one’s heart and life to conform to God and His will, including being just, excellent, loving, and doing as He does. Our life and conversation reflect our hearts. Our deeds reflect our faith. So, without deeds, there is no corresponding faith (James 1:26-27, 2:18-20).
Holiness implies conforming to Christ, the Father’s expressed image (John1:18). Christ is holy. He demands us to follow Him (Matthew11:29). Imitating Christ leads to holiness.
Holiness implies conforming to God’s laws and commands, such as in Psalm 119 and the Sermon on the Mount. These laws are written in our hearts (Jeremiah31:31, 33; IICorinthians3:3).
Holiness is important because our just God must punish sins (Exodus34:7, Numbers14:18). Also, sin leads to misery, causing the soul to suffer. God cannot unite with the unholy. So, the unholy cannot enjoy the love of God, or the happiness of heaven. The unholy will not be admitted into heaven. Otherwise, heaven will be defiled. If heaven is filled with the unclean, heaven will be turned into a mere hell.
Only the born again can be in the Kingdom of God (John3:3). Unless purified by the blood of Christ, our sins will not be forgiven and will be with us. We need to be new, with new attributes, such as love. Without love, we are nothing (1Corinthians13:1-3).
How to test if we are on the way of holiness?
Meditate on God’s holiness. Do our souls conform to it? Do we find delight in the meditation?
Do our souls agree with God’s words, which are written in our hearts? Do our souls love God’s commands?
Does our life resemble in any way the life of Christ?
Are there any similarities between us and the holy people, such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul?
Do we imitate the heavenly saints and angels? They love God above everything and love each other.
Holiness is a necessity. It makes our soul pure, divine, serene, delightful, bright, and excellent. So, earnestly seek holiness.
Summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards