Summary: Part 11 of this series discusses why this series was preached. We need to return to holiness by understanding that through Jesus Christ we were made holy and now it's up to us to live out who we are in Him.
The Ten Commandments Part 11
This message is the conclusion of my series on the Ten Commandments. I believe God led me to do this series because being a Christian today has been so watered down that it does not carry the meaning that it once did. It is hard to differentiate a Christian from a non-Christian because our lifestyles are so similar. Christianity in some instances has become the means to prosperity and blessings, regardless of how the Christian lives; as long as they give to the church and proclaim their blessings they are golden. We talk about the blessings. We sing about the blessings. We pray for the favor, all the while continuing to live our lives the way we want. Through this series I wanted us to recognize that it’s time to return to holiness. We cannot continue in sin in our thoughts and actions while claiming to be holy. Now I know that some of you may not have realized that you were made holy when you accepted Jesus as your Savior, but you were. Let me give you the definition of holiness (being holy). It is defined as “dedicated or set apart for religious purposes; devoted to the service of God; having a character that evokes reverence; something sanctified.” We are holy because Jesus made us holy. So let me give you an example of what I am talking about when I say we cannot continue in sin in our thoughts and action while still claiming to be holy.
How many of you have heard the term lip syncing? Lip syncing is when an actor or singer move their lips silently in synchronization with a recorded soundtrack. By all appearances from a distance they appear to be actually saying or singing the words, but in reality when you get close to them, it’s only their lips moving with no sound coming from their mouth. In the late eighties there was a lip syncing controversy involving the German, international, Grammy winning, dance-pop duo Rob and Fab otherwise known as Milli Vanilli. There were performing at a live concert (in which they were supposed to be singing live) when a skipping occurred on the recorded soundtrack. The mishap kept playing the same sentence over and over. For a few moments the duo kept singing and ultimately ran off the stage when the skipping did not stop. It wasn’t until later that the news broke that they had been lip syncing not only during their concerts but also on their recordings (the pair had done an interview on MTV and it was noted that they had poor English skills which further caused doubt on whether they were fluent enough to have sung the vocals on their recordings.) It all came crashing down when singer Charles Shaw told the press that it was his voice on the recordings. The duo was stripped of their Grammy award and was forced to refund album and ticket purchasers for their deception. They never had another hit. Why was their behavior an issue? The issue was they were expected to be doing exactly what they were being paid to do. In their lip syncing they were actually deceiving their audience. I share this with you because there are Christians who are lip syncing their Christianity. They are moving their lips to all the right words and songs but there is no voice behind them – there is no substance to the movements of their lips (their Christianity.) From a distance they look every bit of what a Christian is supposed to look like, but when you get up close to them you see that there is no substance. They are moving their lips but nothing is coming out. There are no words coming from their heart – where our beliefs are generated and stored. I did the series on the Ten Commandments so that we call all stop lip syncing our Christianity! We must be genuine and live who we are, not “act out” who we are supposed to be. Turn with me to First Peter 1:13-16.
It says “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”’ Now let’s see where this is written and the context in which it is written. Turn to Leviticus 11:43-45. “Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean. For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.” Let’s stop here for a moment. Who is God holding responsible for making themselves unclean? The people. How did the people make themselves unclean? By coming in contact with unclean things. The people were deciding to make themselves unclean.