For What? Part 2: We’re for Holiness
It’s far more important for those in our community to understand what we are FOR rather than what we are AGAINST. It’s not even close.
Last week: We are for Jesus.
Being “for Jesus” is about an intimate relationship not some ideal reverence.
This week: We are for holiness.
There are many things about holiness we may not understand. Let’s focus on two important questions:-What is holiness?-Why does holiness matter?
1 Peter 1:14-16NIV14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
First, what Peter is NOT saying:-You have to be perfect to be a Christian. (1 John 1:9)-You better never sin or no Heaven for you. (Luke 23:39-43)-You earn your way to eternal life. (Ephesians 2:8-9)-If you sin it means you aren’t really saved. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)
What Peter IS saying:-You will be faced with evil desires and temptations.-When you are tempted, do not conform to them. Do not obey them for they are no longer your master. (Romans 6:15-23; 1 Peter 2:9; John 8:11, etc.)-Holiness is tapping into the power of Christ in you.-You are not relying on your power and your strength to somehow rise above, but tapping into His power to refuse to conform to evil desires that well up in you.-Holiness is not something you do, it is something you receive.
What is holiness?
Holiness is possible-We can walk in holiness by the grace and power of God Himself through Jesus.-Some teach that we are doomed to walk in the grip of sin, but we believe we can walk in the Light by His power, love and grace.
Holiness is freedom (not a burden)-Holiness is the reflection of the freedom bought by Jesus on the cross.-This is NOT something impossible we have to accomplish. It is something that Jesus has already accomplished – that’s where the freedom is.
Holiness is rooted in love (not duty)-God, our Father, desires for us to live in this freedom because He loves us and so we can be blessed.-The motivation is not one of fear or punishment if we fall short. There is blessing in living according to the freedom available to us in Christ.
Why does holiness matter?
-Holiness is God’s deepest desire for you. It is His redemptive vision for all humanity.-Holy is the way God is. He is incapable of being other than He is.-The whole purpose of God’s redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God.-Ultimately, we surrender to our God and leave our happiness in His hands.
Hebrews 12:12-14NIV12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
God’s ultimate goal is not your happiness, but your holiness.
“Go to God and have an understanding. Tell Him that it is your desire to be holy at any cost and then ask Him never to give you more happiness than holiness. When your holiness becomes tarnished, let your joy become dim. And ask Him to make you holy whether you are happy or not. Be assured that in the end you will be as happy as you are holy; but for the time being let your whole ambition be to serve God and be Christlike.” -A.W. Tozer