Summary: A sermon about the freedom that living a holy life gives the believer from the power of the enemy.
I want to talk to you this morning about holiness. And particularly, I want to talk about the freedom that living a holy life will give you from the power of the enemy.
Some Christians are beaten and harassed by the enemy, and they don’t seem to know how to gain the victory. And they read in the Bible where it says: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you”, but they don’t know how to resist him.
A great part of claiming and walking in victory is simply the decisions we make to be holy – to live holy lives.
READ: 1 John 5:18-21
The whole subject of holiness is so absolutely vital; especially in the days we are living in. The Church needs to always be reminding herself of this is God’s great requirement of us – but the message becomes all the more urgent for us as we see the days getting darker.
Jesus is clearly coming very soon, and we must be in a state of readiness for His return. To be unashamed when He comes.
What is holiness? I guess most of us would have an idea of what we mean in a Christian’s life when we talk about holiness, but let me just briefly define it for you this morning. In it’s most basic and literal understanding, to be “holy” is “to be set apart”. Holiness is the condition or the state of being “set apart”, being “removed” from all that is sinful or worldly.
The need for us to be holy is grounded in the holiness of God. The most central attribute of God is His perfect holiness.
A.W.Tozer wrote … “God’s holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered. We know nothing like the divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible and unattainable. The natural man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and admire his wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine.”
God is holy. “My thoughts are not your thoughts. Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) He’s holy – He’s set apart from the ways and thoughts of sinful man.
It’s important to realise the imperative that Christians have to live lives of holiness - and WHY we are to do so. God does not say: “Be holy, and I’ll make it worth your while.” Not even “Be holy, and I’ll bless you.” NO. God says in His law (Leviticus 11:44 – and it’s reiterated in the New Testament in 1 Peter 1:16) … “Be holy FOR I AM HOLY.” Holiness is God’s essential character. The journey of the believer is INTO HOLINESS. It’s about becoming more and more distinct and separate from the fallen condition of this world. The opposite of holiness is “SAMENESS”. To be unholy is to be just the same as everybody else. Our lives should be a stark contrast to those around us who have not come into right relationship with God.
So here is the race the Christian runs. Hebrews 12:14 commands us to “pursue … holiness without which no person will see the Lord.” Everything in God’s presence is holy – set apart for Him, sharing His holiness (e.g. the angels). All in His presence is holy.
Now the thing that makes us holy and fit for His presence is the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. His blood that was shed for us. We are made holy by the Lord Jesus when we believe on Him and receive Him. When God looks at the believer He sees His own Son, their Saviour – standing in their place, and He declares that we are holy.
But Jesus does more than just make us “look” holy. When He comes into our lives by His Spirit He begins the process of changing us from the inside out so that we are empowered to live holy lives – to BE holy in every way.
What is God’s #1 agenda for your life today? CHANGE! He is making you holy. Every day He’s making you to be more like His Son Jesus. He’s setting you apart to be uniquely His – separate from all that is Ungodly.
And I testify today that a life of holiness is a DELIGHT, not just a duty. It brings marvelous joy. True holiness brings us into close, uninhibited fellowship with God. And that in itself is where real joy and fulfillment is found.
You see, the blessings and the gifts and the rewards of God are wonderful - but there’s something far better … GOD HIMSELF. Knowing HIM is the great thrill and enduring happiness of eternity. In Genesis 15:1 God said to Moses: “I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward”.)