Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Attributes of Holiness – Love to God.

Attributes of Holiness – Love to God.

“And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [Matthew 22:37 – 39]

“There can be no such thing as Christian holiness without supreme love to God.” [B.T. Roberts]

“Failure here involves failure everywhere.” [B.T. Roberts]

***** Loving God (and others) is often replace by self-righteousness [DJW] *****

I.          Self-righteousness from God’s view.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” [Isaiah 64:6 KJV]

“We are unfit to worship you; each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag. We dry up like leaves; our sins are storm winds sweeping us away.” [CEV]

            A.         “Unclean”

                        1.         Legally unclean… like a leper. (Unable to be part of the community, excluded from temple worship, exiled to outside the camp.)
                        2.         “Filthy rags” is literally a “menstruous rag.”

            B.         “Lukewarm”

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” [Revelation 3:16]

                        1.         The lukewarm is considered to be resistant… it neither heats up or cools down.
                        2.         The spiritually “cold” can be reached.  The spiritually “hot” are in right relationship… The spiritually “lukewarm” have one foot in each world without deciding. 
                                    a.         It is the classic “playing it safe” mode.
                                    b.         The energy is gone (heat is energy).  The excitement is gone (heat comes from the molecules energetic movement).  The eternal is given way to the here and now.
                                    c.         They “were for self.” [Dante in the “Inferno”]

II.         What does “love to God” mean?

            A.         We will seek to please God.

                        1.         Actively look for things to do to please God.
                        2.         Even if it involves painstaking self-denial.

2 Samuel 23:14 – 17 David was thirsty for water from a well at Bethlehem.  Three of his men broke through enemy lines and got him a pitcher…

            B.         We will “honestly and carefully endeavor to ascertain [God’s] will.”

                        1.         Study the Bible to know the will of God.
                        2.         The love of God and the love of the Bible are closely linked.

            C.         “The holy person has his ear open to the voice of God in the soul.” [B.T. Roberts]

                        1.         The Holy Spirit guides.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” [Romans 8:14]

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” [Isaiah 30:21]

                        2.         The Holy Spirit also teaches.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” [John 14:26]

            D.         “A lover of God is likely to be a lover of nature.” [B.T. Roberts]

            E.         “IF we love God… we shall hear and support preachers… because they speak the word of God faithfully.” [B.T. Roberts]

                        1.         Often there is a false belief that “polished” or “skilled” means it is not faithful to God.  [Baldwinism]
                        2.         Test the spirits… (search the Scriptures).

            F.         “If we love God we shall manifest it by unquestioning obedience to all His commands.” [B.T. Roberts]

                        1.         Obedience is the test of love… [John Wesley’s idea in “Christian Perfection”]

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” [John 14:21]

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, [5] but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: [6] whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” [1 John 2:3 – 6]
                        2.         “Slaves of fashion” or servants of God?

                                    a.         The “everyone” test is not valid…  [“Majority” had become an idol in American society… what “everyone” is doing, thinking, or believing has NOTHING to do with truth.]
                                    b.         The “results” test is not valid… [We often give in to what we consider “proof.”  American are “pragmatic” and believe if it works it’s right.]

            G.         “He who loves God has a spirit of devotion.” [B.T. Roberts]

                        1.         Worship… “secret, social, and public.”
                        2.         Prayer.  “[Saints] talk a great deal to God.” [B.T. Roberts]

“Elijah was just as human as we are, and for three and a half years his prayers kept the rain from falling.” [James 5:17 CEV]

                                    a.         Answered prayer turns to praise.
                                    b.         B.T. Roberts used the illustration of hiring others to eat our food… it is as silly of an idea as letting others praise God for us.

Issue of musical instruments in the church: “Mere sound, though it be pleasant to the ear, is not worship.” [B.T. Roberts]  

He went as far as calling “worship performed by the ungodly or indifferent… open mockery.”

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