Summary: We cannot find what we aren’t looking for and we can’t look for what we don’t know
The Pursuit of Holiness
We cannot pursue that which we do not know. That is like playing the kids game of "Hide and go Seek" without knowing who is hiding. The same is true for holiness, if we do not know what it is how can we know when we found it? C.S. Lewis once said: "How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing it is irresistible. If even 10% of the worlds population had it would not the whole world be converted and happy before a years end?" The word appears in the Bible over 600 times, the book of Leviticus is dedicated to the subject. Holiness according to Harpers Bible dictionary is "separate from the ordinary or the profane, it also implies connection to God. Therefore God is holy and things, people, and actions may be holy by association with God. Holiness also implies consecration and purity from what is evil or improper. When we become Christians we are consecrating ourselves to God. It is not a one-time thing, but an everyday thing.
Holiness is For Us Romans 6:14
For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under Grace.
We live holy lives when we dedicate ourselves to this Grace. It is not just a bunch of dos and don’ts (you know the list Don’t Smoke, Don’t Chew and Don’t go with girls that do) Holiness is more than that. It is a separation to God and conduct befitting those who are so separate. That is the way Jeff Bridges describes it in his book "The Pursuit of Holiness." If it is for every Christian why is it that we miss it.
We miss it because:
1. We have an unhealthy attitude toward sin.
a. We miss the fact that all sin is an offense toward God
b. We miss the fact that all sin grieves the heart of God.
c. When we sin we commit an offense against a Holy God
d. The Prodigal confessed, "Against you against Heaven I have sinned.
e. David confesses "Against you and you alone I have sinned."
We can put away that habit/sin that has mastered us if we truly desire to do so. As long as we accept our personal responsibility for our sins we can put them away. When we accept personal responsibility for our actions then we can tap into the power given to us at our baptism to overcome. We need the Holy Spirit active in our lives to do this.
#2 Holiness is an act of the will
Faith is the root of all holiness, we have faith that is expressed when we live holy lives.
Our Faith says
1. We died to sin
2. We have new life
3. We LIVE for GOD
WE have Changed Kingdoms 11-14
1. Dead to sin alive to God we have come from the kingdom of sin and death to the Kingdom of Life and righteousness.
2. We have become instruments of righteousness
3. We have a new Master.
We need to personally work and exercise Holiness in our daily lives, it is not something imposed on us but something we are given the power to live this life, we are given the Holy Spirit, we must tap into that source of power and have faith that He the Holy Spirit will help us make the necessary changes in our life.
#3 Similar to #1
We must take sin seriously
WE have the "dirty dozen" but as we see in #1 all sin is serious and an offense to God.
Solomon says in Song of Songs 2: "Little foxes that ruin the vineyard"
How do we not know that the little compromises won’t lead to greater pitfalls?
Is God a just lawgiver?
Is he obeyed in everything he commands?
We must call it sin because God forbids it.
A surgeon who selects a scalpel in the O.R. rejects a scalpel with a minute spot of defilement as readily as he would one severely defiled. Because even the smallest spot means the scalpel is defiled and cannot be used in surgery. The degree is inconsequential so it is with sin.
There is a promise we can hold onto v19-23
We have been set free
We are given the gift of Life
1. Will we begin to see all sin as an offense to God?
2. Will we take personal responsibility for our sin and depend on God’s grace to overcome
3. Will we decide today to obey God in all areas of our life?
Make that decision today.
Next week "Holiness is not an option" Hebrews 12.