We have sung this morning of the holiness of God. We have read this morning of the holiness of God. And as we contemplate the holiness of God, we should be awestruck by His majesty.
But what about us? What about our own personal holiness? The Bible certainly talks about it.
1 Peter 2.9: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession..."
Romans 12.1 tells us to offer our-selves as "living sacrifices" [which are} "holy".
1 Peter 1.15-16: "but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior; because it is written, ’You shall be holy, for I am holy’"
Let’s look this morning at per-sonal holiness
I. POSITIONAL HOLINESS
A. Holiness Begins With The Work Of Christ
1. In Ro 3.26, Paul answers the question as to how God can be both just and still justify sinners. His an-swer? Because He sent Je-sus Christ into the world to pay for our sins.
2. Read 3.21-26
3. And so, he states in Ro 5.1, "therefore having been justified [declared righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
4. The sin issue is settled. We are "in Christ"; our sins are paid for, we are positionally holy in God’s sight
B. The Holiness of Christ is Ap-plied to Us and We Stand Be-fore God Holy
1. Peter, footwashing and John 13
2. V10 - he who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean
3. We are clean, but our feet get dirty!
II. PRACTICAL HOLINESS
A. Definition of Personal Holi-ness
-"A lifestyle characterized by obedience to the Word of God; submission to the Will of God; character like the Son of God; with a sense of the Presence of God"
B. A Lifestyle Characterized...
1. This is how we live
2. What we do; what we are like; what matters; what is important
3. What is your legacy? What will your epitaph be?
4. When people think of you, what comes to mind?
5. How do you order your life? What does your life say?
6. Inside The Actor’s Studio: "If there is a Heaven, and there is a God, what would you like to hear Him say when you arrive?"
C. "Obedience to the Word of God"
1. We can’t have personal holiness without the Word of God
2. 1 Peter 2.2 "like newborn babes, long for the pure mile of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation"
3. James 1.22: "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themeselves" [NIV: do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says"
4. If the Bible is so critical to our spiritual success, why don’t we know it better?
5. We must bring our thoughts, our convictions, our attitudes, our ap-proaches, our beliefs and our practices into confor-mity with the Word of God.
6. The Word is not subjec-tive!
7. There is a God; He has spoken; and we had better listen to what He has to say!
D. "Submission To The Will of God"
1. What is the "will of God"?
a. living by the revealed principles of the Word of God
b. Spurgeon’s Catechism:
Q7 What are the de-crees of God? A The decrees of God are his eternal purpose ac-cording to the counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory he has foreor-dained whatever comes to pass.
Q11 What are God’s works of providence? A God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and power-ful preserving and gov-erning all his creatures, and all their actions.
2. It is understanding really that God is firmly in con-trol, and that all our plans are subject to divine veto or approval (James 4.13f)
3. It is really allowing God to be in control of our lives; and us working in concert with God to work our His plan.
4. God doesn’t make us do things against our wills, He changes our wills!
5. "God is the only person in the world who can control your life without destroy-ing it!"
6. So "submission to the will of God" means learning His will, understanding His ways, and yielding to His direction
E. "Character Like The Son of God"
1. Character is what we are really like
2. "In His Steps" - what would Jesus do?
3. What was Jesus like?
> the Gospels
>Gal 5.22f: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law"
4. Sculptor: chip away what doesn’t look like an ele-phant
5. Song: Be Like Jesus
"I would be like Jesus"
6. We may be the only Jesus some people see!
F. "With A Sense of The Pres-ence of God"
1. Poem: "If Jesus Came To Your House"
2. There is no dichotomy between sacred and secu-lar
> we are Christians 24/7
3. We are always in the pres-ence of God
4. Joseph and Potiphar’s wife
5. David in Ps 139... "I can’t get away from your pres-ence"
6. We should live our lives aware of the presence, majesty and holiness of God!
So, how are you doing? If we are honest with ourselves, if we look inside, I think we must admit that we have our work cut out for us; or rather, God has HIS work cut out!
Truly holy people don’t think of themselves as holy. I firmly believe that personal holiness is something that others see in us, rather than something we see in ourselves. (Paul, "chief of sin-ners")
Speaking of being a sinner, let’s take a moment to make sure that you have taken the first step. Have your sins been forgiven? Have you received Christ as your Savior?
1. Completely giving yourself to God
2. Trusting Christ to forgive your sins
3. And allowing Him to have control of your life
We must take that first step.
Now if we have done that, if we have become a Christian, now we need to act like one; live like one.
We may fool others, and we may even fool ourselves, but we will never fool God. Let me challenge you to determine today, that from this point forward, we will begin the pursuit of personal holiness:
A lifestyle characterized by obe-dience to the Word of God; sub-mission to the Will of God; char-acter like the Son of God; with a sense of the Presence of God.
Let Us Pray.