Holiness is a characteristic of God.
What is Holiness?
Wikipedia definition – It is that which sets God apart holy or sacred. Holiness is to be clean or pure. to “be ye holy” a biblical commandment from book of Leviticus 20:7.
Years back I read a book called “In the “Pursuit of Holiness”. I remember when I was reading it that my husband laughed and said that I was one of the Holiest people he knew. He obviously didn’t know what the word holiness meant or at the very most what the bible said about being Holy. Now years later I can look back and see that I still have a long way to go, before I ever achieve such status. It is always good to check ourselves with what the word of God teaches. Last Sunday we were given that challenge. It is a big challenge. I can only speak for myself, but I can imagine that I was not the only one sitting in the Sunday service having my conscience seared with the verses our Pastor reminded us to reread. Conviction hung in the air like a heavy cloud on Sunday morning and I’m sure if we are all honest with ourselves and with God, we could have each taken a turn and stood up and confessed our weakness and our sin. In case you missed the service last Sunday, here is a recap. Before we go through the Sermon notes, let us pray for Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth and also empower us to seek change and a closer walk with Christ our Saviour. Amen! I’ll use the first person approach as if relating these questions to me personally and you can do the same.
Do I have a heart of holiness? Good question.
Saved, born again. There are three things that are true.
1. People are dead in sin.
2. We are born children of wrath (devil) until we become children of God.
3. Only faith in Christ can save us.
(Acts 4:12 ESV) “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
(John 14:6 ESV) “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The closer you are to someone the more you become like that person. That is why we should hang out with Jesus. Bad company corrupts good character. We should become more like Jesus. We become Holy because He is Holy. How do I get close to Jesus?
1. Read the Word
2. Spend time with Jesus.
3. Talk to Jesus. Communicate.
4. Don’t ignore Him
5. Be obedient to Him.
6. Seek after Holiness.
What Holiness is not: It is not thinking you are better than others.
The world is watching to see how His Holiness is affecting our lives. They are watching to see what you say when you hit your thumb with a hammer or how you react when someone cuts you off. I like that saying, “when you point one finger at someone, there is usually three other fingers pointing back. People are watching how Christians argue and fight among themselves. Is that shinning His light before men? I don’t think so. Many are religious but not lovers of God, not seeking after holiness. Hitler could be used as an example of someone who made free use of Christian vocabulary. He became a pillar within the government. He told many stories, displayed his tattered bible for people to see. The people welcomed him as a man of God. Many people show an outward appearance of being religious, but inwardly they are not.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (1 Peter 1:14, 15 ESV)
(1 Peter 2:12 ESV) Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
When you are saved, God Holy Spirit transforms you. Do not be conformed to your passions of former ignorance.
(Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
(Colossians 3:5, 6 ESV)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Hebrews 12:14-17 ESV)
1. Strive for peace and holiness or you will not see The Lord.
2. Obtain the grace. Change your the way you live.
3. You may not have holiness and may be rejected and not have an inheritance.
What is wrong with the Church?
We are called to stand out.
(Matthew 5:14, 15 ESV) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Seeing The Lord is being in His presence.
How often do we feel the joy of Jesus in our life?
You can’t stand still as a Christian. If you are not growing than you are standing still.
a. Because our God is Holy we need to be Holy. Be identified as God’s child. Make Him proud.
b. It is not an option.
c. Be separate from the world.
d. Speak, look, walk like the Shepherd.
e. Our world is watching.
(1 Peter 2:12 ESV)”Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
(1 Peter 2:9 ESV) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”
(Colossians 3:2, 3 ESV) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
(1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV) “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
A true test of a dogs loyalty. A dog will go out when you open the door and come back when he gets hungry. A loyal, dog will stay by your side when you open the door.
Point: The true test of loyalty is if you run off in disobedience or if you stay in ear shot of Jesus.
(Colossians 4:5, 6 ESV) “We as believers are ambassadors of Christ Jesus. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:7 ESV) “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
In my pursuit of God’s Holiness I must draw closer to Jesus. First by recognizing the many truths of instruction on how to achieve such a high calling, I have a part to play; choices to make. Our Pastor gave a wonderful illustration to help us understand what many of us do. We have been going to church services for years and are proud to proclaim our Christianity. In the illustration we have three models. One represents God, one represents the Christian and the third represents the world. God stands on one side, the Christian stands to the right side of God and the world stands on the right side of the Christian. Many times, the world moves farther away from God and the Christian moves with the world rather than closer to God. We justify our behaviour by saying well I’m still closer to God. Yet over time the gap between the Christian and God grows in expanse. We wonder why we can’t hear God as clearly. I could relate to the illustration. It is so easy to think we are playing it safe. After all, I’m saved and I’m not like them. How am I different? Yet if one were to look from a distance at the two standing side-by-side, how could anyone differentiate the two. If we as believers draw closer to Jesus, how much more, His Holiness will radiate into us. Wouldn’t it be an accurate conclusion to say that others would see a true genuine difference. Many of the scripture verses we just read would have our name written within each phrase:
1. His light shines through me to all.
2. I am Holy because He is Holy.
3. I am a light on a hill.
4. I do not have only an outward appearance or religion, but an inward Holy Spirit transformation.
5. I am walking in wisdom with His gracious, seasoned salt.
6 I walk in obedience to God.
7. My mind is being transformed to be more like the mind of Christ.
8. My actions would line up with His will.
9. I am better equipped to proclaim the excellencies of the one who called me.
10. My life glorifies my Heavenly Father and His Son Christ Jesus.
(World) + (Christian) = compromise (God = Holiness)
(World) (Christian + God = Holiness)
Inspired by Sermon notes – Sunday March 3/14
Pastor Bryan Vaughn