Summary: When life gets tough, the pressure is to compromise your faith walk, but the Bible makes clear that Because we are redeemed children of God, we are to live holy lives.
CALLED TO BE HOLY
Because we are redeemed children of God, we are to live holy lives.
I was listening to a radio talk show. The topic was how a young man was taking his Catholic high school to court for forbidding him from taking his gay boyfriend to the graduation dance.
One caller responded by saying that it is impossible for the school board to do so because it would be a denial of what they believe the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality.
The radio hosts comments were both startling and telling. He asked the caller, “Do you mean to say that people are actually supposed to live what the bible teaches?”
We are certainly living in interesting times aren’t we?
An Ipso Reid poll reported this year that 85% of Canadians believe that the bible is God’s word. But only 55% believe that there is an absolute right and wrong. It would be easy to sermonize that these were non-believers who responded. However, in a similar poll taken among evangelical Christians, the same number said that there was not a clear right from wrong.
Underlying these responses is the philosophy that, “As long as I do not hurt anyone, it is O.K.” If the end is positive then the method is right.
We hear a lot today about the new normal. When I was younger, normal was having a father and mother for life. Normal was going to church. Normal was that being honest and having integrity was a virtue to be honored. When I was young normal was there was a right and there was a wrong, and there would be due punishment for the wrong.
It does not take a brain surgeon to realize that we are living in a .new normal’
The lines that were once clear and concise are now grey or non existence. To say otherwise, brands you a non conformist, a bigot, and intolerant. The pressure for us to compromise our faith is immense and sometimes feels impossible to resist.
The Christians Peter wrote to, were experiencing intense pressure to conform their faith. The persecutions, and difficulties they had to endure might have made for an easy argurment to compromise their faith. Sadly many did.
Peters message for us today is the same as when he first wrote this letter.
P.P. When life gets tough, the pressure is to compromise your faith walk, but the Bible makes clear that Because we are redeemed children of God, we are to live holy lives.
In the first part of this chapter, Peter emphasizes the believers WALK OF HOPE. This hope will be demonstrated he says by our WALK OF HOLINESS.
The two go together, ‘3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.( 1 John 3:3)
Now that we are saved, how does God expect us to live in this world?
My friend Maury Blair, former director of Teen Challenge in Toronto, used to have the perfect dsicpling method. For youth.
Day one, get them saved
Day two, baptize them in water
Day three get them filled with the Holy Spirit
Day four put them out on the street to evangelize
Day five, kill them spo they can go to heaven before they have a chance to backslide.
Chuck Swindoll asks, Wouldn’t it be great if God would save us and then, within a matter of seconds, take us to glory.? We would not have to worry about temptations, trials or tears in this life. We would never have to battle with the world, flesh and the devil. We would never have to worry about the probability of messing up our lives.
The Bible declares that it is Gods will that we live our lives in such a way that brings Him glory. Some have mistakenly opted to separate themselves physically from their world. They believe the only way to live a victorious life in Christ is to not be a part of the world at all. This is what I call the, “hermit’ syndrome.
But God in His wisdom has chosen to leave us in this world,. Has God made a mistake? Of course not! The Bible declares that we are His lights in this dark, sin infested planet. In fact, just before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed this prayer for His disciples and for us as well.
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world anymore than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.(John 17:14-15)
Jesus doesn’t ask His Father to isolate his disciples from the world but to insulate them from the influence of the evil one.