Summary: Part of being a disciple of Jesus is striving to live a holy life
Be Committed to Holy Living
Spring Life Series
April 13, 2008
A businessman was in the process of selling an old warehouse. The building had sat vacant for several months and had fallen prey to vandalism. Doors were damaged, windows were smashed, trash was thrown throughout the place and graffiti had been painted on the walls. As the prospective buyer examined the building, the owner explained that he would repair all of the doors, replace the broken windows, remove the trash and repaint all of the walls in the building. The buyer explained that there would be no need for any of those things. In fact, he planned to buy the building as it was because his plan was to tear down the building and replace it with something new. The interest was not in the building but instead it was in the site itself.
The same is true of God. He looks at the condition of the human heart and understands that we carry a great deal of brokenness and garbage. The goal of God is not to come in and remodel our existing life. Instead, God wants to do a complete removal of the old life and construct a new life in its place.
The process of discipleship is nothing more than allowing God to have the space in your life to perform the renovation and reconstruction of your life. As we continue to look at the practices of the early church they devoted themselves to four main things
The Apostle’s teachings – Scripture
The fellowship – the life of the church
The breaking of Bread – Sacraments and holy living
John Wesley taught that our pursuit of holiness is seen in sanctification. Sanctification is the divine process that God uses to make us more like Jesus. Peter says that our hope is found in the grace that flows through a relationship with Christ. Sanctification is the work of God’s grace being applied to our daily lives. The pursuit of holiness is not an event that we can point back to and say it was done. Instead holiness is a daily exercise for life. Sanctification begins in a moment and is experienced over a life time.
Holiness is to be empowered to live beyond the ordinary. The power of the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to live an extraordinary life for God. Holy living is simply an appropriate response to God’s love and His gift of salvation through Jesus. We should desire to be different. We should desire to live above the level of our old lives.
How do we live a holy life?
Peter openly and honestly discusses the nature of this pursuit of holiness in 1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 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."
We live a holy life through our focus on Christ
The Preparation for Sanctification
Prepare your minds for action
The word prepare implies an incredible word picture, to gird up. The common wardrobe of the Ancient Near East was a long robe. Before a person would travel, they would tie up their robes to make it easier to walk. Thus, they would be ready for action. Before we can truly be ready to serve Christ, we must have our minds ready.
Holiness is the pursuit of becoming more like Christ. We don’t become holy by chance but by choice. The choices that you make each and every day either make you more like Christ or less like Christ.
The holy person is not one who cannot sin. The holy person is one who will not sin. A.W. Tozer
The Purpose of Sanctification
We are to live our lives with self control. God understands that we cannot do this on our own. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we would be left to live for God on our own and in our own strength and ability. Our strength is honestly never going to be enough.
We can only be as strong as our greatest weakness. It is only when we admit our weakness before God that we can receive His divine strength. We will never be able to be strong until we first admit the fact that we are weak.
I have heard it said many times by godly people that they sin in word thought and deed every day. What defeated way to look at the Christian life. If God has the power to create the universe in six days, can He give you the power to live a holy life? Absolutely! If God had the ability to part the Red Sea, make the walls of Jericho fall and knock down a giant with a stone, can He give you the power to live a holy life? Yes! If God had the strength to raise Jesus from the dead, canHe help you live a holy life? Yes!