Salvation’s Whole Design is Holiness

Hebrews 12:14 declares, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” 

Scott Brown urged the attendees of The Highway of Holiness conference that, “We must purse holiness.  Salvation’s whole design is holiness. People today try to separate justification and sanctification.” 

“The entire objective of salvation is to undo the ‘unholiness’ of our lives referenced in 1 John 3:8-11,” said Scott. “The Word becoming flesh was to rectify this problem of ours, to crucify the works of darkness.  He is destroying the works of the Devil.”

1 John 3:8-11 says, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”

Watch the keynote sessions at our free live stream:

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Like Sand Fleas Describing the Himalyan Mountains

Scott Brown kicked off the Highway of Holiness conference here in Asheville, North Carolina with this fascinating picture: “We are like sand fleas on the beach, trying to describe the Himalayan Mountains as we try to describe God’s holiness.”

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Highway of Holiness Live Streaming

Can’t Make It to This Year’s Conference?

Join us live online for free by visiting the Highway of Holiness Live Stream Page! Each of our main sessions will be broadcast live and recorded for future playback. By registering for the live feed, you will also gain access to the saved videos which will be made available for 30 days following the conference.

Streaming Schedule

Listed below are the messages which will be broadcast live during the conference:

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A Holy Convocation

Today we begin our holy convocation – The Highway of Holiness… It is a fulfillment of this in Zechariah 8;20-22 who is speaking of the new covenant era of the enlargement of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be like it is with us now,

“…Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.” 22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ 23“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

Come prayerfully and expectantly for “holiness to the Lord.”

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NCFIC Quarterly Report

As we are moving into the final stages of 2015, I wanted to give you an update on our activities over the previous quarter. We are continually grateful to be able to labor for the churches and families the Lord has connected us with.

Last week was a milestone of sorts… I completed 39 one hour survey messages for each book of the Old Testament. After starting this project in the spring… I finished Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament…

I was so thankful for the opportunity the Lord gave me to do this. My plan is to make a “Through the Bible Survey’’ package for families to use before they read a particular book of the Bible, and spend time over the next few years encouraging families to read through the Bible over and over. You can hear the messages on sermon audio.

On a personal/family level, we are delighted to say that it looks like we are going to have two more grandchildren, as David’s wife Monica and Taylor’s wife Blair are pregnant. So now, I’m saying that we have sixteen grandchildren.

Here is a report of some of our activities during the second and third quarters of 2015. It has been a very busy season with lots of travel, and we are now looking forward to our national conference in Asheville, NC next week – The Highway of Holiness. We are putting the final touches on the preparations now… Our staff is very thankful that the Lord has allowed us to spend our labors on such a conference…

At the conference we will be presenting some new products such as, Early Piety, Life Skills, and Not of This World.

Highlights of our activities since the summer were our Church Discipline Conference in July. You can get the audio and video by clicking here.

We also conducted Regional Leaders Meetings in Tennessee, Colorado and Texas.

We took our interns to the Colorado Father Son Retreat and then to the Forge Conference in Texas on the topic, “Love One Another.”

In August, I was able to be “present” in New Zealand via video for a family life/homeschooling conference there.

At the end of September, I took the interns to Mt. Vernon to give them a feel for what they could learn from the life of George Washington.

During the first week of October, I spoke at the Hope Baptist Father Son Retreat. My messages were on, the “Stewardship of the eyes” and “The Stewardship of Your Family.”

Also, we have selected our National Conference focus for 2016 – “The Fear of God.” The following speakers have accepted our invitation to speak at the conference, Joel Beeke, Ken Ham, John Snyder, Jeff Pollard, Sam Waldron, Carlton McLeod, Dennis Gundersen, Craig Houston, and Jason Dohm.

Scott Brown

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Either Your Belief will Kill Your Sinning or Your Sinning Will Kill Your Belief

Charles Spurgeon put his finger on one of the powers of holiness,

“Does anyone think that faith is a little thing? Why, it inaugurates purity of life. The moment that a man believes in Christ Jesus, and trusts Him, he ceases from the sin he formerly loved. Sin becomes to him a burden and a plague. If you believe, your belief will kill your sinning, or else your sinning will kill your believing! The greatest argument against the Bible is an unholy life—and when a man will give that up—he will convict himself. The Book will convict him when he has put out of the way that darling sin that now stands between him and God. A belief in God, as He reveals Himself in Christ, is the inauguration of a life of self-sacrifice and holiness.”

C.H. Spurgeon, “No Fixity Without Faith,” Spurgeon’s Gems, Eternal Life Ministries,

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For Those Who are Unmarried

Here is a really good article by Phillip Holmes about the pitfalls and opportunities of the single years and how they relate to marriage. A key point addressed in the article is that many young people believe that getting married will make them a better person, when in reality, you can only become a better person through Christ.

[M]arriage will not instantly change you. God, because of Christ and through his Holy Spirit, will change you when you’ve surrendered yourself to him, whether married or unmarried.

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What Should Holiness Look Like in Your Life?

Dr. Joel Beeke is a keynote speaker at our upcoming conference The Highway of Holiness. In this video, he talks about what the lifestyle of a holy man or woman should look like.

What would a holy man or woman look like? I think that first of all, a holy man or a holy woman would tell you how unholy they are. Holiness is like humility, the more you have of it, the less you think you have. I had a mother who was a great prayer warrior, she prayed about two hours a day, and I just envied her prayer life. I asked her when she was 80 years old, if she could live her life all over again, what would she do differently, and she said “Oh honey, I’d pray a lot more.” I think a holy person is like that, he grieves over how unholy he is. I think Paul is being very holy in his groanings in Romans 7. 

Secondly, I think a holy man or a holy woman has a very sensitized conscience to sin, not of a legalistic motive, but because he loves Jesus Christ, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit so much. A holy man or a holy woman is one who has distinct communion with the three persons of the trinity as well as with the Godhead as a whole, and learns to say with Samuel Rutherford “I don’t know which divine person I love the most, but this I know, I love each of them and I need them all.” Holiness is trinitarian in it’s object.

Lastly, I think a holy man or a holy woman is someone who realizes that because of their own weakness to sin, their own proneness to backslide, they need to stay in the means of grace and use them conscientiously every day.

To hear more from Joel Beeke, please consider joining us later this month in Asheville NC for the Highway of Holiness conference. Joel will be giving a message entitled: Holiness Of The Holy Spirit.

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Themes of Holiness from Kevin DeYoung’s Book – A Hole in Our Holiness

Holiness is such an broad subject to consider. In preparing for our upcoming conference The Highway of HolinessI’ve spent a lot of time reading through Kevin DeYoung’s book – A Hole in Our HolinessHere are just a few of the many quotes from the book which really stuck out to me:

Holy Son, Holy Word, Holy Spirit:
There’s no question holiness is one of the central themes in the Bible. The word “holy” occurs more than 600 times in the Bible, more than 700 when you include derivative words like holiness, sanctify, and sanctification. You can’t make sense of the Bible without understanding that God is holy and that this holy God is intent on making a holy people to live with him forever in a holy heaven. The whole system of Israel’s worship revolves around holiness. That’s why you have holy people (the priests), with holy clothes, in a holy land (Canaan), at a holy place (tabernacle/ temple), using holy utensils and holy objects, celebrating holy days, living by a holy law, so that they might be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.1

The World Opposes Holiness:
The world stands for everything that opposes the will of God. In its simplest form, this means “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” (1 John 2:16 mg.). Or to put it another way, worldliness is whatever makes sin look normal and righteousness look strange.7 Some nations and cultures are better than others, but in every society there is a principle of Babylon that makes war against the children of God (Revelation 17–18).1

No Joy Without the Pursuit of Holiness:
When we keep Christ’s commandments, we love him. And when we love Christ, the Father loves us. And whomever the Father loves, Christ loves and reveals himself to them (John 14:21). So, there is no abiding in Christ’s love apart from keeping Christ’s commandments (John 15:10). Which means there is no fullness of joy apart from the pursuit of holiness (v. 11).1

DeYoung, Kevin (2014-01-31). The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness (p. 31, 37, 54). Crossway. Kindle Edition. 

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Holiness Flows from Affections Fixed on Jesus Christ

Jason Dohm is a speaker at our upcoming conference The Highway of Holiness. In this video, he talks about what holiness really is, and what it looks like in the life of the believer.

What I’m fighting against is the first thing coming to mind being self-righteousness. A lot of people, when they hear the word “holiness” that’s what they think of. In other words, they think of it badly, it makes them nervous ’cause it sort of makes it seem like self-righteousness which everybody knows we’re not supposed to have.

Holiness is really simply, just being set apart for God, being completely God’s, being His, being available to do His will at all times. This is to come from a heart of love. It is our duty to be holy, but really what we desire is for it to be an overflow of affection for God, God has laid claim to our highest affections. In fact, if you look at what Jesus says in Luke chapter 14, He says: “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brother and sister, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus in saying that, lays claim to our highest affections.

Hearts that love Jesus must want to be just set aside, set apart to do whatever it is that He’s pleased with. This is the nature of holiness, it flows from a life whose affections are fixed on Jesus, and that leads to wanting to be set apart for Him.

To hear more from Jason Dohm, please consider joining us later this month in Asheville NC for the Highway of Holiness conference. Geoff will be giving a message entitled: J.C. Ryle’s Classic: “Holiness”.

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A Highway of Holiness for the People of God

In Isaiah 57:13-21, the prophet is piling up imagery to help us understand the contrast between those who trust in their idols to get them by and those who trust in God. We all go somewhere for medicine and food.

In the previous context of Isaiah 57:1-12, Isaiah has been pronouncing doom on those who maintain an outward religion, but behind their doors, they are hiding their idolatries. The Lord has called these religious people who do their duties on the sabbath, “dumb dogs,” blind watchmen, “offspring of sorcerers,”  and “greedy…” He has told them that their idols will forsake them, and in our text last Sunday, Isaiah 57:13-21,  the Lord declares His sovereign power to change some of them. He changes their hearts, heals them, leads them, comforts them and alters their speech. He will change some of them so dramatically, that instead of continuing in their former fakery, they experience a total transformation where they begin to say, “Heap it up, Heap it  up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of my people.” Here in this section Isaiah shows us what happens to those whom God changes – they start speaking things that they never did before… they rise up and build, and restore by calling all around them to, Heap it up, Heap it up.” In other words: rebuild. This explains why God has left His people on the earth, so that we build up the highway of Holiness (Isaiah 35).

He is speaking of the power of the gospel that is exercised at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the new covenant era. The apostle Peter and Paul both refer to that, Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near.” At the same time there will remain those without peace, they are “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest.” 

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The Message of the Gospel

Geoff Botkin is a speaker at our upcoming conference The Highway of Holiness. In this video, he talks about the Gospel and the effect it has on culture.

The Church has a message that can sanctify the entire world, change the entire world, convert the entire world. The power of the Gospel message can benefit even the unregenerate, who are stubborn in their hearts. If they’re living in a culture and a society which has been touched by the love of the Gospel and the power of the Gospel, they will begin to learn a standard of righteousness and holiness that’s insisted on by the King of kings and Lord of lords. They no longer obey their witch doctors or their local tribal chieftens. They submit themeslves and even bow the knee to a higher authority: Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

The Gospel of the kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes so much more than just a simple little Gospel message. It is all the edicts and the way that the Word was used in the first century, and the Lord Jesus Christ chose His words very carefully. The Gospel of the kingdom is the Gospel of the laws and the edicts, all the prouncements – every single statute which the Lord Jesus represents gives us His standard of holiness, and this is part of our Gospel message. When it sweeps over and overwhelms entire cultures, we’re baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We’re giving them this vision of how they can come out from slavery to sin, and be released from that into slavery to righteousness and freedom in the law of Christ.

To hear more from Geoff Botkin, please consider joining us later this month in Asheville NC for the Highway of Holiness conference. Geoff will be giving a message entitled: How God Measures National Holiness.

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Everything Flows From Your View of God

Please accept our invitation to our 2015 National Conference – “The Highway of Holiness.” Using Isaiah 35:8-10 as our touchstone, we will unfold the doctrines of the holiness of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. After laying this foundation, we will then explain how the holiness of God relates to various aspects of our lives here on earth, for these great doctrines have wonderful practical applications. You will learn about progressive sanctification, wrong views of holiness and sanctification, the means of sanctification, and how holiness relates to family relationships, work, stewardship and the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Everything flows from your view of God. Do you view God as holy? Do you view everything that is of Him as beautiful? That is absolutely the most defining aspect of all of life. Everything hinges on your view of God, wether you believe He is holy or not, and wether or not you believe that holiness is beauty, that holiness always brings forth happiness. That is the most defining issue in all of life. Who is God? We want to try to capture the beauty of His holiness at this conference. I hope you can join us!


Learn More and Register to Attend

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Young Couples Retreat in Texas! – Registration Now Open

Registration for the Getting the Picture Right marriage retreat is officially open. This event will take place January 1-2 in the home of my friend Michael Moody in Georgetown Texas. This is an event for couples who have been married for seven years or less, and we are limiting it to only 20 couples, so don’t wait too long to register!

There is no cost for registration, and food will be provided throughout the duration of the event. Also if you need a place to stay please contact us and we will work to arrange for someone to host you. For more information, and to register for the conference, go to the event page for Getting the Picture Right

I hope to see you there!


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Our Part in Our Own Sanctification

Marcus Serven is a speaker at our upcoming conference The Highway of Holiness. In this video, he talks about the synergistic work of sanctification as compared to the monergistic work of justification.

One of the key texts that talks about this interplay between holiness and also knowing that you are complete in Christ is this one from Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul says: 

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” 

The interesting dynamic in that text, is that you have Paul making an exhortation that you are to work out your own salvation, and if that’s all that he said you would get the impression that it’s all up to you. You have to make the effort, you have to grow, reform yourself, change yourself, put off the old man and put on the new. But then he goes on to say that not only do you make efforts, but God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 

That’s the wonderful dynamic of sanctification. You work and God works. In that respect, whereas justification is a single effort, it’s monergistic in the sense that only God does it. He changes you and declares that you are no longer under His judgment. In contrast, sanctification is synergistic. The Holy Spirit is working in you, but you’re cooperating in this whole effort, you’re working out your salvation in fear and trembling.

It’s an interesting tension point in sanctification, you’re making efforts as you’re convicted of your own sin, you’re making resolutions, you’re going to change your speech, have different values, live a different way, use your money differently, submit your future to the Lord – all these human resolutions. But God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. That brings out the cooperative nature in sanctification, and I think this is one of the key texts to understand sanctification properly. 

To learn more about this subject, please consider joining us next month in Asheville, NC, to hear Marcus’ message titled: Definitive And Progressive Sanctification.

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