Summary: This sermon discusses how we can live holy before the Lord
Be Ye Holy
Text: 1st Thessalonians 4:1-8
By: Ken McKinley
Now if you remember last time we talked about how Paul prayed for the Thessalonians that the Lord would make them increase and abound in love to one another and to all, so that He may establish their hearts blameless in holiness. I also told you how Paul had changed his focus, from what had already happened to the present and the future.
Now the main point of this passage is that God wants us to be holy. In fact, in verse one Paul even says this is pleasing to God. The holiness and sanctification of the Christian is in mind throughout this entire passage. We see it in verse 3, we see it in verse 4 and we see it in verse 7.
Now holiness is not only living a morally pure life. That’s a big part of it, but Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that being holy also involves a form of offering ourselves, totally devoted to the Lord. He says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of god, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Now to a Jewish person, any time the word “sacrifice” was used, they would’ve immediately thought about the lambs that were sacrificed at the temple. Those sheep were raised up, they were fed, taken care of and protected, for the sole purpose of the sacrifice on the alter of God. That’s what a shepherd did. So in a sense, my job as a pastor is to lead you to offer yourselves up to Him in total devotion and service. That kind of puts a new twist on being the Lord’s flock doesn’t it? But in a sense that’s what is expected from us. And sometimes it’s a minute by minute choice that we have to make – Am I going to submit to the Word of God, or am I going to live by my own authority? Am I going to please God or please myself? Am I going to do what I know is right, honorable and holy, or am I going to do whatever I want? Is Jesus the Lord of our lives, or are we?
Over the Christmas break we had our nieces visiting, you all saw them in church last Sunday, and let me just tell you that there are few things in life that I find more enjoyable than being around those kids. Just wrestling around with them and being a part of their lives is a great joy to me. Well one particular evening we all got to drawing pictures and one of my nieces looked at the picture I drew and said, “Uncle Kenny how do you draw so good?” So I took the opportunity to give a quick art lesson, and she said, “I can’t do it.” And I said, “Sure you can, you’ve just got to stop your way and start my way.” And that’s really the choice that we face in every situation in life. Are we going to give up our way of living so that we can learn God’s way? That’s what holiness is about. It’s something that we develop through time, submission, through learning, God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s worldview.