Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Discussion on Holiness...

Several have asked about my notes from this past Sunday's sermon/teaching time with students.  Here are the notes.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Be Holy, Because I am Holy
July 22, 2012

When you think of the word expectation, what do you normally think of?

I am so excited to be able to meet this morning with the students of Lifepoint Church.  This morning we are going to learn an expectation that God has for ALL His people and how we apply this expectation even in our culture today. 

As we jump in this morning, I want to take an opportunity to reflect on an item that we covered Wednesday night; the idea of our greatest need and that is to know our God!  Not merely know Him, but He must know us; that happens through salvation. 

So if you were with us Wednesday night, how do we know Him?

“The Bible is the self revelation of God, the Bible is the only source from which we learn who God is and where we develop our understanding of Him.”  We do not shape and determine God and ANY of His characteristics, He does that through His Word.

I.  A call to Holiness

This morning we desire to explore and to seek what God would have for us from His Word and as I think about His call for the life of ALL believers I am driven to two similar passages of scripture.

[41] “Every swarming thing that swarms on the ground is detestable; it shall not be eaten. [42] Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, any swarming thing that swarms on the ground, you shall not eat, for they are detestable. [43] You shall not make yourselves detestable with any swarming thing that swarms, and you shall not defile yourselves with them, and become unclean through them. [44] For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. [45] For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”  (Leviticus 11:41-45 ESV)
[13] Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [14] As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, [15] but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, [16] since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  (1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV)

קָדַשׁ [qadash /kaw·dash/]
to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate.
CONSECRATION* Separation of persons, utensils, buildings, or places from everyday secular uses for exclusive dedication to holy or sacred use. In the Bible consecration was demonstrated by an appropriate rite or vow. Hebrew expressions imply “separation” (Ex 13:2; Lv 8:10–12; Dt 15:19), “dedication” (Lv 21:12; Nm 6:9), or “ordination” (
. “filling the hand,” Ex 28:41; 1 Kgs 13:33). NT references are fewer, but they frequently connote the idea of holiness (Jn 10:36; 1 Cor 7:14; 1 Tm 4:5).
In church usage, especially among hierarchical denominations, the term describes solemn rites that establish a bishop. It is also used to describe dedication of shrines, reliquaries, cathedrals, elements of the Mass, or buildings set aside for ecclesiastical functions.
Protestant teaching stresses the priesthood of every believer. Thus all Christians are “saints” (from the same root word as “consecration”), that is, devoted to God for life. In Roman Catholic doctrine the church consecrates (canonizes) great Christians as saints after they have died.
Consecration is significant in relation both to God and to the world. The apostle Paul spells out the term’s meaning in Romans 12:1–2,

[12:1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

stressing that consecration involves a living sacrifice to God. Its importance in relation to people and things is a basic theme of the apostle Peter’s first letter. In everyday life each Christian is meant to live out a “holy” and “royal” priesthood for God’s glory (1 Pt 2:9).

[9] 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 marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Christians consider the consecration of one’s own personality by the work of the Holy Spirit to be an important mark of spiritual maturity.

[qadowsh, qadosh /kaw·doshe/]
Holy One, saint, set apart.

Observation 1:  God’s expectation for us is to be;
1.  Consecrated
2.  Holy
3.  Set apart

II.  A call to mental purity

This observation becomes very challenging when we apply the call of holiness on our lives as we live in a very unholy world.  Specifically in the area of purity.  Living a life of holiness is possible through a life of purity.  What does God’s Word say about purity?

[31:1] “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
how then could I gaze at a virgin?
[2] What would be my portion from God above
and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
[3] Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
[4] Does not he see my ways
and number all my steps?  (Job 31:1-4 ESV)

As believers we are called to purity and to guard our eyes!  Young men, if you are loosing in this area of your life you need to contact me, call me or see me in order to gain freedom from the kingdom of darkness in this area of your life.  Victory in this area of purity does not happen with a shallow walk with the Lord.

[27] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
(Matthew 5:27-28 ESV)

[25] Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
[26] for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
[27] Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
(Proverbs 6:25-27 ESV)
If you have lusted after another, you have committed adultery.  Understand this is another example of failing to desire holiness in your life.  Are you in the battle?

[2] It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.
(2 Samuel 11:2 ESV)

Observation 2: 
The battle for purity begins in the mind. 
A person that is Holy is a person that strives for purity and guards their eyes; singled or married.  Purity does not end at the altar.
[Lusting after another person is defined as adultery by the Word of God]
III.  A call to physical purity

[12] “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. [13] “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. [14] And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. [15] Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! [16] Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” [17] But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. [18] Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. [19] Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, [20] for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:12-20 ESV)

Observation 3:  God’s expectation for holiness requires we avoid sexual immorality.  

1.  As believers, we are members of Christ.
2.  We are not our own (19) but belong to?
3.  We are one Spirit with Him.

I honestly believe there is some significance in a True Love Waits card.  I also recognize that there are those that are here today that God is prompting in your heart to commit your life to Him and to Holiness which means purity.  I want you to be encouraged that both take a great deal of work and if you are only hanging on till you can find Mr. Right or Ms. Right that may not be enough.  God desires our lives to be focused on Him and when we are, He will orchestrate the rest.  Too often we take action and often times their are negative consequences we reap. 

I also recognize that God is a forgiving God and though you may have already given away your virginity and you are not able to return to that, God can forgive you and God will honor your commitment to Him and to a life of holiness today. 

How will you respond to what you have heard?