Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What does holiness look like?

1 Peter 1:15 – 16

What does holiness look like?

John Wesley painted a picture in Paul’s “faith, hope, and love.”


I.         Faith* [belief that changes you]


            A.        “Not to commit sin.”* [1 John 3:4 – 9]


                        1.         Jesus came to take away our sins.


                        2.         Sin and salvation are exclusive to each other.


                        3.         To know Jesus, to have Him take our sin breaks the power of sin in our lives.


                        4.         “Those born of God will NOT continue to sin...”


                                    a.         Knowledge is involved.


                                    b.         Will is involved.

[Note: This subject would take a series to describe in detail.]


            B.        “Enjoy at all times and all places the peace of God that passes all understanding.”* [Philippians 4:7]


                        1.         There is a progression/discipline to get to this peace.


                        2.         “Rejoice in the Lord always.” [v 4] The habit of rejoicing.


                        3.         “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” [v 5] The habit of being gentle.


                        4.         “By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” [v 6] The habit of prayer and thanksgiving.


                        5.         This gives us peace that guards heart and mind.


II.       Hope* (confident expectation not wishful thinking) [belief that gives you confidence]


            A.        We see this in witness.


                        1.         “A good conscience”* [1 Timothy 1:19]


                                    a.         The word “conscience” (in NT Greek) means, “to know oneself.”


                                    b.         Who are you?


                        2.         “The Spirit of God bearing witness with your spirits that you are the children of God.”* [Romans 8:16]


                                    a.         The Holy Spirit, before salvation, convicts. The Holy Spirit, after salvation, confirms.


                                    b.         Being a child of God gives assurance and confidence.


            B.        The witness comes from “rejoicing in Him through whom you have receive atonement.”* [Romans 5:11]


                        1.         The result of atonement is reconciliation.


                        2.         The progression:


                                    a.         “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [v 8] God took the initiative while we were helpless.


                                    b.         “justified by his blood, . . . saved from God's wrath.” [v 9] The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. The only means of salvation is His blood.


                                    c.         “ For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” [v 10] This reconciliation gives us life.


III.      Love* [belief that controls your actions]


            A.        Love God.* [Matthew 22:36 – 40]


                        1.         Total love – with everything, no reservations.


                                    a.         “Heart” where choices are made, feelings.


                                    b.         “Soul” where decisions are made, spiritual.


                                    c.         “Mind” where opinions are made, thoughts.


                        2.         This love is not isolated, it is connected to loving others.


            B.        Love others* [1 John 4:7 – 8]


                        1.         Since love comes from God there is no excuse to NOT love others.


                        2.         “Who ever does not love does not know God.” [v 8]


                                    a.         How simple can that be? Make no mistake, it’s very, very, very, hard.


                                    b.         Jesus taught us to love our enemies. [Matthew 5:44]


IV.      What does this mean?


            A.        Faith, hope, and love.


                        1.         The change us, give us confidence, and control us.


                        2.         The change belief, attitude, and behavior.


            B.        God is holy


                        1.         Our holiness reflects God’s attitudes and actions.


                        2.         We become more like our God/god.


                                    a.         If God is God, we become “other” centered.


                                                1.)       Our lives are marked by service.


                                                2.)       We are filled by “grace and truth.”


                                    b.         If we are our own “god,” we become selfish.


                                                1.)       We feed our own desires.


                                                2.)       We care for little beyond our own small circle.


            C.        Today, right now...


                        1.         Confess and leave (repent) any and all known sins. (By nurturing sin, you are rejecting God and His salvation.)


                        2.         Rejoice in the new life God has given you.


                        3.         Let love for God and others control you.

* indicates ideas from John Wesley.

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