MEANS TO HOLINESS
"The branch cannot bear fruit of itself"
(see also Motives to Holiness)
1. Union to Christ (see John 15 below) (consider also Hosea 14:8)
a. The believer (one who is united to Christ by faith) is holy in Christ by virtue of His imputed righteousness. The person who has the righteousness of Jesus Christ is holy in the sight of God.
b. Christ adorns His people with fruits of faith and repentance. The believer brings forth fruit by virtue of his union to his Saviour in whom alone there is a pleasing righteousness before God. The believer ever confesses that he has no goodness in himself, but he rejoices to confess that in Christ is his holiness, his life, and his sanctification. The believer leans on Christ for strength to overcome in the battle against sin, for without Christ he can do nothing. (see John 15:4-5 below)
2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
3. Kept by the Power of God.
SECONDARY MEANS = the means of grace that God uses to establish His children in Christ so that they may bring forth more fruit unto His glory. Secondary means always focus on and point back to the primary means listed above. God uses the secondary means to increase the faith of His children, to increase their reliance on Christ, and to keep them abiding in Christ the Vine through whom alone they can bring forth fruit. (see John 15:4-5 below)
1. Prayer. drawing near to God; living in His presence
2. Searching of the Scriptures. hearing the voice of God
3. Communion of Saints. provoking one another to godliness
4. Meditation on the Word. "by looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct, His likeness shall see"
5. Resisting the devil.
6. Avoiding temptation.
7. Being watchful.
8. Singing Psalms/Hymns.
9. Hearing the preaching of the Word.
John 15:1 I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.
John 15:5 I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.
John 15:6 If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:7 If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 15:8 Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.
John 15:10 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:12 This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:14 Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.