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Summary: A CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE Pastor preaches that holiness is a "birth-right" for the Christian. Experience it! And have fun, too!

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Experiencing Holiness

(With a Little "Sesame Street" Humor)

Author: Dr. Neal Gray

Passage: 1 Peter 1:13-23, KJV

Purpose: Holiness is a "birth-right" for the Christian. Jesus gave you a new life where holiness is the normal experience. Experience it! And have fun, too!

INTRODUCTION

A Little Explanation

I guess I need to explain a little about what I am going to do this morning with this sermon. In short, I’m going to have a little child-like fun! I mean, Jesus said, "...whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all," (see Luke 18:17).

Now, the popular Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television show, "Sesame Street," became popular after my adolescent years. I did not watch it when I was a child.

But while in seminary, in the class on children’s ministry, one of my assignments was to watch one week of "Sesame Street," and one week of "Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood." And then write about what I learned in the ways these two shows teach children.

Let me tell you what I learned:

* The "Sesame Street" show made my head and eyes hurt. The screen flickered between scenes about every 15 seconds. I got so tired of trying to keep up! Funny, that.

* The "Mr. Rodgers" show nearly put me to sleep. Still, it was kinder and gentler to my spirit, and my eyes, and my head!

Other than that, the only other thing I remember is that on one of the "Sesame Street" shows, I learned about the letter, "R." Different characters appeared who looked like "R’s." And they all said, "I am the letter, ’R,’" while the drew out the sound, as in, "rrrrrrrrrrrr."

==> I like the alphabet. Even Jesus used the alphabet. Recall that He said, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end...," (see Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13). So, Jesus is the "A" and "Z," the first and the last; I’LL JUST USE SOME OF THE OTHER LETTERS TODAY!

So, sit back, pray for your Pastor, and let’s learn about "Experiencing Holiness," while using a whole host of the alphabet.

Scripture

Our Scripture is 1 Peter 1:13-21. This passage speaks about "holiness."

It is God’s will that we experience holiness. Holiness is the endearing experience--for TO EXPERIENCE HOLINESS IS TO EXPERIENCE THE HOLY ONE. Holiness is nothing-less-nor-anything-more than--get ready, because here comes the letter "R"--holiness is nothing-less-nor-anything-more than a Radical, Royal, Reliable, Remarkable Romance with the Redeemer.

Okay, let’s look into Jesus’ neighborhood!

EXPERIENCE HOLINESS IN BIRTHING

Introduction

The major topics in this message all deal with the high privilege--and THE HIGH PLACES--of experiencing holiness. They are all brought to us by the letter "B." The first topic is "Birthing."

We will have the help of the letters "D" and "S."

Born Again to the New Birth

Birthing. I’m referring, of course, to being born again--to the "new birth."

In the Older Testament (OT) we find some interesting stuff in the birth of Isaac. His birth is a wonderful, biblical, and practical example of birthing (Galatians 4:22-23, 29 and John 3:36). Wonderful because, by all natural appearances, Isaac should not have been born. His parents were far too old to bear children.


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