Summary: John Wesley taught that perfect love for the Lord would result in living a holy life which would be pleasing to the Lord. Is that true? Let's look again into God's Holy word and see what we can find out.
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Please turn in your Bibles to Deuteronomy 6:1-9
What does the world think about God?
Many people, including some prominent Christian speakers, talk about God as if He is one dimensional and that one dimension is Love.
Others speak of another kind of one-dimensional god and that would be the god of judgment and hate.
We, who love and worship the Lord, know that He is love and He is just and He is merciful and that He is all knowing, and all powerful, present everywhere at all times.
We also know that the Lord is Holy. This is the only attribute of the Lord that is ever repeated three times in succession.
Isaiah 6:2-4 says,
“Above [the LORD seated upon His throne] were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.’
“At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
Revelation 4:8 says,
“Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
I guess it would suffice to say that the Lord God Almighty is Holy!
Here’s the thing, though. The Lord wants us to be holy, too!
Hebrews 12:14 says,
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Some people say that we cannot be holy. They say that as long as we live in these bodies of flesh in this sinful world we cannot overcome sin. They say that the best we can hope for is to be covered with the blood of Jesus and when we sin the Lord sees the cleansing blood of Jesus instead of us and that pleases Him.
The Lord is never pleased with sin.
Romans 6:22 says,
“Now that you have been set free from sin and have becomes slaves of God the benefit you reap is holiness and the result is eternal life.”
And Romans 6:23 goes on to say,
“FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!”
So, I sure hope we can live holy lives!
1 Peter 1:14-16 says,
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I AM holy.’”
With that in mind, please follow along as we read Deuteronomy 6:1-9
In this group of verses we have the key to what it takes to live a holy life.
Who can tell me what the verse is?
Deuteronomy 6:5 which says,
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
This is the key to living a holy life! How do we know this?
First of all we know this because of Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 where Jesus repeats the Old Testament command and says that all the law of Moses and all of the writings of the Prophets hang on these two commandments of love.
Do you mean that we just need to love the Lord and we’re good to go?
Can we just lie on a beach chair out in the sun humming, “I Love You Lord ..” and Jesus will be pleased?
Don’t we need obedience to the will of the Lord as well?
Is holiness a simple self-will driven obedience to the commandments or is holiness a love-driven obedience to the Lord’s commands?
In the Old Testament we see a striking contrast.
In the Old Testament book of Exodus we see obedience to commands. The Israelite slaves certainly obeyed their Egyptian slave masters. If they did not obey they would be punished and the punishment would not be pleasant!