Summary: God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness
(1 Th. 4:1-7) "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."
A survey was conducted in Jan. 2006, that began with this question:
Are You Holy?
The survey, conducted by the Barna Research Group. A very prestigious and well known research group.
The survey found that:
21 percent of Americans consider themselves holy.
> 73 percent of Americans believe that a person can become holy, regardless of his past.
> 50 percent surveyed said they knew someone whom they considered holy.
The study also asked Americans to define holy.
> 21 percent admitted they didn’t know how to.
> 19 percent said holy is "being Christ-like"
> 18 percent said holy is "making faith your top priority."
The survey’s director, George Barna, said...
> "The results portray a body of Christians who attend church but do not understand the concept or significance of holiness....
> ...The challenge to the nation’s Christian ministries is to foster a genuine hunger for holiness among the masses who claim they love God but who are ignorant about biblical teachings regarding holiness."
Even secular surveyors know that...
...While Americans call themselves Christian, they have no concept of Christianity.
> "This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."
> "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
This ignorance is not limited to America...
> A Church of England bishop has urged Christians to recognize the "motherhood" of God.
> The Bishop of Bolton, the Right Rev. David Gillett, said God’s motherly role was an established element in Christian belief and should be emphasized to counter masculine images.
> In the latest issue of Crux, the Manchester diocesan magazine, the bishop said that MOTHERING SUNDAY, which falls on March 26, was a good time to explore the theme.
> "Some dismiss the idea as a modern heresy linked with the rise of feminism," he said.
The Da Vinci Code (book & movie)
Much of the controversy surrounding the book and the film is the proposition that Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene.
> The story line claims she had a child with Jesus – an heir that became France’s royal bloodline.
> It further suggests Catholic secret societies hid these and many other secrets about Jesus.
> It supposes Leonardo Da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton were in on the secret.
> Da Vinci, the book says, tried to covertly alert the world through his painting of The Last Supper.
"The last temptation of Ch------...
> Same assertion, and same lies...
> But by and large it was rejected by most Americans...
The difference is that today, 40 million copies of the book have already been sold... and...
> Tom Hanks stars in what they think will be as well received by Christians as The Passion...
How can a blasphemous book and movie sell so well in America?
Because most Americans have absolutely no concept of Christianity and what it means to be a Christian.
> The country is full of religious idiots!
(V. 7) "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."
"The Call to Holiness"
I. What is the Call to Holiness?
A. A Work of Grace Wrought in the Heart of a Believer.
1. Begins at salvation.
> You cannot be HOLY apart from the Holy Spirit.
> And, you cannot have the indwelling of the Spirit apart from Salvation.
> (Rom. 8:5-8) Describes the difference between the saved and the lost.
> A lost person CANNOT please God.
> (v. 9) A SAVED PERSON HAS THE SPIRIT OF GOD...
2. Begins at salvation but is Distinct from Salvation.
> It is another work of God in the heart of the believer.
3. It deals with a different aspect of sin than salvation does.
> While salvation deals with being saved from the PENALTY of sin...
> The call to holiness deals with being saved from the POWER of sin!
B. An Actual Call of God (1 Ths. 4:7)
1. Just as God calls men into a specific area of service, so God calls all His children into a life of holiness.
> God first calls man to repentance whereby he is born again and becomes a new creature in Christ.
> He then calls man to a life of Holiness so that man can have fellowship with God.
2. "The gifts and callings of God are without repentance."
> That means that God will NEVER stop wanting you to live a life of holiness.
> Straying from God’s call will only double your judgement.
C. The Call to Holiness Is the Will of God (1 Thes. 4:3; Eph 1:4)
1. Same exact Greek word in vs. 3,4, & 7.