Summary: Sermon #1 Using Steve Deneff’s book entitled "Whatever became of Holiness" as a guideline, this sermon talks about rediscovering a Holy God is the first step in the journey of Holiness.
Rediscovering the Holiness of God
Over the next few weeks, I want to take the time to look at holiness. The Nazarene church is founded upon the Holiness traditions of the Wesley’s. In a nutshell, they taught there was more to this Christian experience than just salvation. John Wesley taught that God was calling from our salvation experience to a deeper, more committed walk with the Master.
This thing called holiness calls the believer to be “set apart” from the rest of the world, and make a conscious effort to become more like Christ. We are called to a thing called “Christian perfection.” While we will talk about this topic at a later time, Christian perfection can be described as having our wills bent to the will of God.
Imagine a piece of iron that has been bent. No matter how much we try on our own, we cannot bend it back to its original form. Then imagine a strong magnet. If the magnet is strong enough, the iron will be attracted to both poles of the magnet, thus conforming to the will of the magnet. That is what holiness is like.
For us today to get a better view of holiness, we need to have a better vision of the One who is pure and holy... God!
For years, Christians, instead of striving become more like God, have sold themselves short, and have tried to make God more manageable. Why? It’s easier to deal with a big, fluffy Santa Claus who sits on the shelf until we need then to be faced with an Almighty, All knowing, All Holy God. We feel that we needn’t live up to the expectation of a God when we control what He expects from us.
If we continue to lessen the holiness of God, there is no law because law is based on a commonly accepted morality. If we lessen the view of God, there is no sin, only “alternative lifestyles” and minor steps in goodness. Where God is not holy, there is little incentive to change our behaviour. If God is not holy, there is no gospel. If we forfeit the doctrine of holiness of God, there is a lower level pf commitment among those who would be Christian. In fact, the whole doctrine of God disintegrates if His holiness is diminished.
His Holiness is what makes him “God!” Isaiah came face to face with a Holy God. This morning, before we can journey into holiness, we must come face to face with a holy God. The ideas expressed in this message have come from the book “Whatever became of Holiness?” by Steve Deneff, pastor of College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana.
To grasp the truest sense of holiness, we too must come like Isaiah and seek out this holy God.
1. First, where God’s Holiness is observed, the Lord is “HIGH and EXALTED!”
When we truly come into His presence, and not the presence of our far out view of who He is, He ceases to be a private possession of a few people who live inside a certain denomination or era in history. He becomes bigger than life. This inspires real and spontaneous worship. It maximizes our faith! Christ’s words become even more real when He said, “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). All of this, and more, happens when the Lord is lifted up!