Summary: Then there are those who have a genuine desire to live a life that is pleasing to God but become discouraged when they aren’t where they want to be. I want you to see God’s call for us to be holy, the obstacles to being holy, and the path of holiness.
The Struggle to Be Holy
Living the Christian life involves facing both conflict and struggle. You cannot live the Christian life without being confronted with such. Because of these struggles, there are those who would say that it’s impossible to live the Christian life and simply give up and quit. Some professed believers don’t really care whether or not there is any difference in their life: as long as they’re saved that is all that matters. Then there are those who have a genuine desire to live a life that is pleasing to God but become discouraged when they aren’t where they want to be. This morning I want you to see God’s call for us to be holy, the obstacles to being holy, and the path of holiness.
I. The Call to Be Holy
A. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
B. 1 Peter 1:15-16 "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy. in all manner of conversation… Be ye holy, for I am holy."
C. When God saved you He saved you to become His holy people to shine as reflections of Him in a world lost in darkness. -
• 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”
• A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine. - D. L. Moody
D. Holiness means to be separated
• 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
E. Holiness means to be pure, without blemish, without the stain of sin.
• 1 Timothy 5:22 “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.”
• A clergyman once asked the poor children before him, "What is holiness?" Thereupon a poor little boy in tattered rags, jumped up and said, "Please, your reverence, it is to be clean inside." – copied
II. The Obstacles to Being Holy
A. When we come to Christ for salvation we are the recipient of far more than just redemption from the penalty of sin. We have a new standing with God. We are now the children of God with a new direction and a new home. We have a new Master and a new life. But as we strive to live this new life there are forces that seek to stop us dead in our tracks.
B. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
C. 1 John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
D. The World
• James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
• “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when you are serious about being a follower of Jesus, this world just does not “get” you.
• Living a holy life in our world is tough.
• Jesus said, “… all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
• A man said to D. L. Moody, "Now that I am converted, have I got to give up the world?" Mr. Moody answered, "No, you do not have to give up the world; if you have a good ringing testimony for the Son of God, the world will give you up pretty quick; they will not want you around." – copied
• John 15:19 “I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”.
• In its hatred of Christians who live Christian live, the world will, if they cannot destroy them, seek to entice them with promises of pleasure, power, prestige, or prosperity.