Summary: This is the second sermon in this series based on Jerry Bridges book, "The Pursuit Of Holiness".
Pursuing Holiness – Cleaning Up
Every Christian is to pursue holiness. Every Christian is called to live a holy life. Every Christian is to strive to stay away from sin. Holiness is not an option. The Bible says:
“He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV)
If you are a Christian – there is no exception to this call. This call is not just to pastors, Sunday School teachers or board members. This call is to every Christian no mater what your age. No matter what your gender. No matter what your educational or economic level. Every Christian is called to be holy.
Our call is based on the fact that God is HOLY.
"Be holy, for I am holy."
God wants us to be like Himself. God wants His children to be holy because He is holy. Many Christians adapt to the character and behavior pattern of the Christians around them. But God has called us – not to be like other Christians – He has called us to be like Himself.
What is God’s holiness?
God’s holiness is freedom from all SIN.
We say that a garment is clean when it is free from all dirt or spots. We say that gold is pure when all the dross has been refined from it. We say that an object it perfect when it has no flaw whatsoever in it. So too we should think about the holiness of God. The Bible talks about holiness when it says:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27 (HCSB)
Holiness is complete PURITY.
To be holy an object contains no spot, no wrinkle, no darkness, no flaw or defect.
First John one five says:
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5 (NKJV)
John is telling us that God has no darknes what so ever. He is absolutely pure. He is absolutely free of every defect. He has no blemishes. He character contains no faults. He is completely free of all sin. His thoughts and His actions are holy. Everything about Him is pure. Everything about Him is Holy.
By contrast consider our own lives. How our thoughts will wander from thinking on those things that are pure to thinking on those things that are not so pure. Someone has said that, “Every Christian is a walking civil war.” and rightly so. It is a constant battle for us as Christians to even think pure thoughts all the time. But this is not the case for God. God is holy and He has called us to be like Him.
God demands for us to do more than acknowledge His holiness. He says:
"BE holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV)
We are to strive to "BE holy". We are to pursue holiness. Why? Because He is holy and He wants us to be like Him.
The absolute holiness of God should be of great comfort and assurance to us. Why? Because if God is absolutely holy –
All of God’s actions toward us are always PURE AND JUST.
He can not be otherwise – because He is holy.
As a pastor I have heard people say, “God is so unfair. Why has He allowed this to happen to me?”
Folks let me say this and please listen carefully. God is not trying to be mean to you. He is not playing games with you to tease you. He wants the best for you. If you are going through a rough time right now it is not because God is wicked or mean. God’s character is holiness. God is holy and He wants you to be holy too.
This morning I want to give you four reasons why holiness is so important.
1. Holiness is important for FELLOWSHIP with God.
Look at Psalm 15 with me:
“Lord, who can dwell in Your tent? Who can live on Your holy mountain? The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart— who does not slander with his tongue, who does not harm his friend or discredit his neighbor, who despises the one rejected by the Lord, but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his word whatever the cost, who does not lend his money at interest or take a bribe against the innocent— the one who does these things will never be moved.” Psalms 15:1-5 (HCSB)