Discussing Holiness & Soul Salvation


Sunday 07/26/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

MESSAGE: Discussing Holiness & Soul Salvation

(Part 6 of Thinking through Suffering …a Dialogue)


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Discussing Holiness & Soul Salvation

This week we focused on questions 20-24 in our ‘Thoughts and Questions‘ list which is downloadable by the link above. 

The questions we are looking at this week probe our understanding of the meaning and life application of holiness and soul salvation.

Again, our goal and intention in doing this is to allow this dialogue format to help us think through these questions and so help solidify much of what we have been teaching since the beginning of this year.

Key passages we’ve covered which touch on these topics:

  • 2Cor. 4:6-11 – Suffering, Jesus formed in us
  • Ephesians 1:1-11 – holy, blameless, in Christ, Created for good works
  • Ephesians 1:19-22 – Temple, tabernacle, dwelling place
  • Phil. 3:7-14 – Knowing Him, faith, maturity in Christ
  • James 1:2-4 – Trials
  • James 1:12-18 – Temptations, life
  • James 2:18&20 – Faith, works
  • 1Peter 1:6-9 – Trials, soul salvation, faith
  • 1Peter 4:12-19 – Trials, glory, Christian suffering
  • Heb. 10:13 – Temptations
  • Heb. 10:35-39 – Need for faith, patience, life
  • Heb. 12:1-14 – sin, weights, maturity, chastening, righteousness, holiness 

One message which touched on MUCH of these things was ‘Suffering…who for the Joy’.

Thoughts & Questions:

20. What is holiness? Complete and undivided devotion to God. Its technical definition is “uncommon”, “other than”, separated or consecrated. How this is lived out – is loyalty and 100% devotion. These are relational terms which are not at all out of place in this topic since when there is a breakdown in loyalty – in other words, when we sin – God often returns to marital examples and phrases in His rebuking His people. James, addressing the Jewish Christians of the dispersion called them “adulterers” – this is because their lack of separation unto God WAS relational treason…it was adultery. 

21. Write down a list of synonyms for holiness.

  • Devotion
  • Consecration
  • Separation unto
  • Purity
  • Sanctification
  • Loyalty
  • Faithfulness
  • True
  • Justification (does not focus only on the act of God’s free grace in justifying sinners, but also the result of that justification, which makes them just and equips them to recognize the rights of God on his life.)

22. What does holiness have to do with a pure heart? 

If our hearts are single in their devotion – they will be faithful, loyal, true and consecrated to God alone. The strict definition of Holy is “other than” so such devotion places one’s heart in a condition of being holy unto the Lord, which is completely “other than” the hearts of unbelievers.

23. What are some other ways of saying ‘soul salvation’?

 (Example: Christ in you)

  • Maturity in Christ
  • Growing up spiritually
  • Glorification
  • Renewal of the mind
  • Submission
  • Christ in you
  • Conformity to Christ
  • Obedience in character and action

24. What does faith have to do with the salvation of our souls?

It is the necessary avenue by which God does His perfecting work in you. We must Trust that His ways are best and so desire the full conformity of our thoughts and lives to it. We must NOT BE DECEIVED – but TRUST that every good and perfect gift is from Him. We must Trust in God’s power to complete our maturing work into Christ’s image against all evidence to the contrary. We must seek His active work in us and desire it MORE than we desire satisfying our earthly cravings. We must trust Him to cause us to will and do after His good pleasure.

This is a much overlooked, yet foundational doctrine of Christ. Those who are His, overcome the world and the faith that makes them His and the faith which overcome the world are one and the same.

1 John 5:1-5, “(1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (4) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”        

What are you believing? That He is reconciling my heart to His. Conforming my thoughts and desires to be like His. Convincing and convicting my heart until it yields in loving trust and surrender.

Why are you believing it? For my own good and His pleasure.

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!