Summary: A sermon describing the need for and way to holy living.
I can remember as a young child going over my Grandfather=s land.
We were either Squirrel hunting or something to that nature but we would travel all back on his many acres of woods.
Back in those old woods there would be clearly what was once some kind of road.
It was clearly evident and I=m sure that those roads had a purpose.
Maybe it was once the way to a neighbor=s house.
Maybe it was just an old logging road.
But now leaves and limbs have just about hidden the old road.
Rudyanrd Kipling had an opening verse to a poem titled AThe Way through the Woods@
The first verse said.
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago
Weather and rain have undone it again
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods.
In much the same way the preaching of holiness in God=s people has been a subject that has been hidden to an extent.
It is not the road that is taken much anymore and I must say it has been so hidden that few people know what we are talking about when we speak about holiness.
It hasn=t always been this way.
The Puritans of long ago insisted that all life and relationships must become Aholiness to the Lord@
John Wesley told the world that God had raised up Methodism Ato spread scriptural holiness throughout the land.@
Formerly holiness was highlighted throughout the Christian church.
But how different it is today.
To listen to our sermons and read the books we write for each other, and then to watch the zany, worldly, quarrelsome way we behave as Christian people, you would never imagine that once the highway of holiness was clearly marked out for Bible-believers, so that ministers and people knew what it was and could speak of it with authority and confidence.
AWeather and Rain have undone it again.@
Now we have to rebuild and reopen the road, starting really from scratch.
Like Isaac in the OT we need to reopen the wells that have been dug by our forefathers.
Isaac redug those wells that Abraham had built.
Without this water neither his family, nor his servants, nor his cattle, nor he himself, could have survived.
He knew he would find water in them, once he had cleared them of the earth and debris that the Philistines had piled on top of them.
They tell us you can=t grow a church with such preaching.
I say you don=t really grow one without it.
I would like to briefly define what I mean by holiness.
Once I preached on holiness and a lady complained that such preaching made her think of the Monks in the Monastery.
No God wants you to be Holy right where you are.
What is holiness.
Holiness is only for the Christian.
A non-Christian could never be holy. He could never practice any type of holiness.
To God=s holy ones the word Holiness implies both devotion and assimilation.
It is devotion in the sense of living a life of service to God.
Assimilation in the sense of imitating, conforming to, and becoming like the God one serves.
For Christians, this means taking God=s moral law as our rule and God=s incarnate Son as our model.
This is where Holiness must start.
It is us being different in this world.
It is our relationship with Christ making a difference in how we live our lives.
It affects how we work, play, run our homes.
Holiness effects us all and it effects all of us.
But to have the proper motivation I would like to pose the question this morning.
Why be Holy?
Why do we bother?
Why should we be different at the Work Place.
Why should a Christian home be different.
Why should our Worship be different from that of a cult.
Why should the church be different than the Country Club.
I believe that Peter gives us four sure motivations for us to live Holy Lives before the Lord.
I. Because We are Born Again
This verse begins Peter=s passage on holiness.
This Wherefore points us back to V.v. 1-12 where he speaks about the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord
Another words the basis for our holiness or one of the grounds by which we should live a holy life is found in this wonderful salvation that He has given us.
Abegotten us again@ - born again.
A. It is a radiant salvation
AA lively hope@
It is hope that is real.
B. It is a rewarding salvation
When you think about the fact that we are coheirs with Jesus Christ.
That is how rewarding this salvation is.
All the inheritance that is coming to Christ....We are coheirs.