Fighting Sin, Fighting for Holiness

Boxing

Holiness is a fight.  It doesn’t come any other way.  We know that our righteousness is IN CHRIST, given to us based on HIS work, not ours.  In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.  God GIVES us the very righteousness that he demands.  But he tells us to BE holy.  And he doesn’t just tell us to be “some kind of holy.” He tells us to be holy as HE is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  He sets the standard.

There is a specific pursuit of holiness.  To be holy as He is holy is not just to do good or abstain from sin.  That is moralism.  He is calling us to be like Him.  He is calling us to be devoted to His glory, and to turn our affections and desires toward Him.  He is wholly devoted to himself and calls us to this devotion.  He expects it and demands it.  But it is a good gift.  It is a gift to take in the glory of God.

One of the realities of the life Christ calls us to is daily death to the desires of the flesh.  It is never easy to die, and the enemy of the flesh never goes away quietly.  But Christ has given us the ultimate example of how to fight.  The writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ was tempted in EVERY way just as we are, yet He never yielded to sin (Hebrews 4:12).  In fact, it is He alone who has ever felt the full weight of sin, because He bore it all on himself and never buckled under it’s weight.  I seem to buckle daily.  Instead Christ chose, daily  in his earthly life, to yield to the will of the Father for the glory of the Father.  Christ has shown us what it looks like to be holy.

The Apostle Paul also identifies with us in this regard.  He said in Romans 7 that evil is always present in his own life.  He says, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand” (Romans 7:21).  The reality is that I don’t need any help when it comes to sinning.

The problem is within me, and it is always close at hand.  The human side of me, made of flesh, desires and demands its own way.  It seeks cheap, momentary thrills that leave me empty in the end.  This is the way of the world and the way of the flesh.  Since Adam bought the snake’s lie, this is how it has been.

Through the pursuit of holiness and submission to the Word of God, I am invited to a relationship with The Father that exposes the cheapness of the desires and pleasures the flesh demands.  I am so grateful that God calls us out of this world and into a relationship that Christ has made available through his victory in life over sin and temptation, and his victory in death over sin and its affects.

There is no fight against sin, apart from a fight FOR holiness.

The Power of the Gospel… the Hope of the Gospel

We travel all over the country, and even to other countries quite often, preaching in a huge variety of settings. Occasionally we are in large, cathedral-type churches, but most often find ourselves in settings that are a little less traditional. This past weekend began with students at SWO, then we hit the road on Saturday night so we could be in a church in South Carolina on Sunday morning. Something interesting happened in the church we were in on Sunday morning. As the worship team was leading, a lady became very distraught and began to cry out loud as she staggered down the aisle to the front of the church. She fell down and began to thrash around and cry out in loud, gargled, unintelligible speech.

Woman praying

This happened early in the service and just before I was to stand up and preach. The commotion was very attention-grabbing and pretty much took everyone in the large building by surprise. It was as if time stopped. People fidgeted, some looked away, some stared. I mean this lady was WAILING. It was loud and disturbing.

Little, my wife, and some godly ladies from the church were very sensitive to this dear, hurting lady, and basically picked her up and carried her out. They ministered to her and learned that she is a woman much like the women Christ often ministered to. She has suffered a life of sexual abuse, substance abuse, broken relationships, and darkness.

Mary Magdalene

I think of the woman at the well in John 4, and of Mary Magdalene, who had been completely controlled by demons when Christ entered her world, setting her free from a most tainted and abusive past. So many people are hurting, and the church should be the place they can come to find answers and freedom. But when they get here, we have to point them to Jesus. The Gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation, and it alone can break the kind of chains that this poor, hurting woman is bound by.

As Little and the ladies at that church shared Christ with this lady, she heard the ONE message that alone can heal her, save her, and set her free from a past of being abused, abusing, and darkness. They spent an hour with her, sharing and praying. By then, the worship service was over so Little walked her home and prayed with her one more time.  She has been heavy in my mind today. I wondered how she will respond to the ONLY thing that can save her. I wonder what she will do with the Gospel.

The long drive home was filled with reflective silence, interspersed with conversation about all that had taken place. It is impossible to look that far into darkness and pain and not be shaken.

Christ was once interrupted while he preached in a synagogue. He silenced demons and demanded they release the man they controlled. We get nervous when people start to talk about the spiritual realm, but we need only an encounter like this to realize that for so many people, the reality of darkness is far more normal than the reality of light. Christ is the only hope for them. He is the only hope for us. We need to find them and give them that hope.

Open Doors: the spirit of adoption

Uganda, Africa

Uganda, Africa

“…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”    — Romans 8:15

For years, Little and I have felt that The Lord would eventually lead us to adopt children in need of a family. We have even worked to prepare our own kids and involve them in the process. For me, adoption is so personal because I have four adopted siblings (I am oldest in a family of eight kids). On a more biblical and spiritual level, adoption is the way Paul describes our relationship with God in Romans 8. He says the relationship we have with God, in Christ Jesus, by the Spirit enables us to call Him father, daddy, papa. He brings us out of darkness and into light. He not only saves us, but He gives us life. He takes those of us who were “enemies” and calls us sons and daughters. In a word, he describes that transition as “adoption.” In his incarnation, Christ was adopted by Joseph. So we have the clearest picture of how God sees us — our relationship to Him through the adoption process — and the relationship it provides.

The Lord now has began to open doors for us to pursue, actively, an international adoption. We are excited to see where the Lord takes us on this journey and how He is going to grow our family, not only numerically but spiritually. We are focused on two little boys in Uganda, ages 4 and 5, who are biological brothers. They are currently living in an orphanage in Uganda. This whole process has been fairly quiet and slow until the past week, when we got the call that a group of young boys were referred to the agency with which we are working.

Uganda hosts a population of 33,640,833, nearly half of which are ages 0-14 years. (Photo credit: www.actioninternational.org)

Uganda hosts a population of 33,640,833, nearly half of which are ages 0-14 years.
(Photo credit: www.actioninternational.org)

We will need to raise between $25,000 and $30,000, but we trust the Lord to provide for the calling He has given us. We do not have the money, but we are confident that God is not rattled by our personal financial needs in this. A lot of you have already contacted us about how you can help financially. If God leads you in such a way, you can send support to Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters (75 Mae Johnson Way, Andrews, NC 28901) with “Holloway Adoption” in the memo. (Donations can also be made at www.swoutfitters.com.)

We hope you will follow and support us on this journey, and I will be writing a lot about it over the next few months. Our next big financial obligation is about six days out. It’s going to be sweet to see how it happens.

Pray with us, please, and help us bring our sons home.

For the Gospel!

NOW AVAILABLE: Brody Holloway Podcast

We have been working to get more audio sermon content available to our readers and listeners. We are excited to make a number of sermon series available directly on our website (under the “Media” tab) and on iTunes. We hope they will be an encouragement to a lot of people.

Let us know if this is a better format, and if you have a request for a specific sermon/message that we can make available to you.

Because we are working to back-post the majority of sermons I’ve preached at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters and at Red Oak Church, subscribers will receive a flood of BrodyHolloway.org emails on Sunday, March 3, when those sermons are posted. We ask that you be patient with us as we try to make these resources available to you. If you are a subscriber and would like to avoid this email push, you can click “Manage Subscriptions” at the bottom of your subscription email, and select “Unfollow” below the blog name. Using this method, you, the user, would have to manually resubscribe at BrodyHolloway.org the following day. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you.

Enjoy, and be edified, for the sake of the Gospel!

Fools for Christ’s Sake

1 Corinthians 4:10 — “We are fools for Christ’s sake…”

I have gotten some funny comments over the “What is the Gospel?” video that was put out for the upcoming Solid Rock Revival. I have had people tell me that I look crazy! I couldn’t help but think of Paul’s words to the Corinthian church. If he was out of his mind, it was for the sake of the Gospel!

That particular video was, actually, pretty unscripted. When the film crew set up the basement scene, they asked me to have a seat in the chair and to answer the questions they would ask. The first question was “What is the Gospel to you?” You can hear it pretty good in the video. My response was just reactionary. I do think that one of the problems in the Church in America is that we try to negotiate the Gospel and the terms of our Christianity.

Christ makes demands that are not negotiable. The Kingdom of God is NOT a democracy.

Watch the Video for Solid Rock Revival.

Check out SolidRockRevival.com more information.