Summary: There are so many thoughts of half truths pertaining to our own orthodoxies that many get a false sense of what makes us a peculiar group of people to the rest of the world.
“The Stigma of Being Holy”
Over the past few weeks we have interacted with the subject of Stigmas. We’ve talked about the Stigma of what it meant to be Christian. Last week Pastor Chad spoke about the Stigma of a Missionary. So to conclude this Stigma series I want for us to look at the Stigma of being Holy. But lets remind ourselves of what Stigmas are all about.
There are all types of Stigmas that often associate with certain things, that might ring true to you, but to someone else might feel is incorrect. A Stigma is an idea of association with a certain idea, person, or group, based upon the connotation of results of action.
So if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn to the book of I Peter 1:16
Because it is written, You need to be holy; as I am holy.
But how do we contextualize the idea of what it means to be Holy? What does a life of holiness look like? How can I be holy when the sinful nature is within me? What do I have to do in order to be Holy?
Those types of questions are valid…so lets first see what the Bible has to say and how it relates to our lives today.
If you know the story of Zechariah, you understand that Gabriel an angel of the Lord had come to him and told him that despite his age and that of his wife’s that she would conceive and name his son John. The angel muted Zechariah…and for 9 months he didn’t speak. Can you image having a pastor not able to speak for 9 long months? I can’t. That’d be a miracle. But once John was born Zechariah’s tongue was loosed and this is the song of prophesy he sings…
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, that we Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life,
In the Song of Zechariah, upon learning of the birth of his promised son John the Baptist, he not only prophesies over his son, but also about the coming Messiah and what through the Messiah would be accomplished. Look at the last part of 74-75
that we Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life,
Church, it was prophesied even before Jesus was born that living a life of holiness would only be accomplished through Jesus Christ.
What is the Stigma of being Holy? What does a Holy Life look Like?
1.) It’s Christ in Us and We in Christ.
II Cor 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
That sure is an odd thing to say. But really it revolves around the answer that Jesus shares with Nicodemus, when he questions
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
To be in Christ, means that you and I have to be “born again”, but be born not just through the womb of our mother, but born into the Spirit
See, it is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that allows us the opportunity to have Christ living in us. See when you get saved, you come to Christ and confess your sins. What happens here is what is pictured in water baptism. Your sins are washed away, and initially the Holy Spirit comes in and cleans house.
The Holy Life begins at the point of salvation, but for many people, they stop right there and think that’s all that is expected of me. Sure if you are saved you have just begun to live a life of Holiness, you are called to a greater degree.
Living a holy life means that you have experienced the freedom work of Salvation in your life!