Summary: This sermon teaches that God’s holiness in us HAS to transform us!

Lessons on Faith from the Model Prayer

Transforming Faith

…hallowed be your name…

October 12, 2003


A. [Sort of Dead to Sin]

In a classic Leadership cartoon by Mary Chambers, two couples are seated in a living room engaged in Bible study. One of the women is speaking. "Well," she says, "I haven’t actually died to sin, but I did feel kind of faint once."

B. [Thinking about the Unthinkable, Citation: "Blessed Are the Pure in Heart," Preaching Today, Tape No. 83.

David Seamands tells the story of the alchemist who sold villagers a special powder that he claimed would turn water into gold provided that when they mixed it, they never thought of red monkeys. Well, of course, no one ever got the gold, because you can’t tell yourself to stop thinking about red monkeys or you’ll just keep thinking about red monkeys. It doesn’t work to say, "Well, I’m just not going to think about those things. I’m going to put all of that out of my mind." So often I see Christian brothers and sisters trying to do that.

1. Question: Can you just will yourself into thinking a certain way?

2. Question: Can you will yourself into being a good person?

3. Question: Can you will yourself into being like Christ?

C. [Striving for Sanctity, Citation: From an editorial in the New Oxford Review (July-Aug. 1988). Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 16.]

We must strive for sanctity, for holiness, to the point that we show up at Heaven’s gates "squeezed out like a lemon." This image is vivid and challenging--at once heroic, romantic, and intimidating. Indeed, it is in striking, almost shocking contrast to the consumerist, hedonist, and materialist deliriums of our decadent society.

1. I want to say that that is not my impression of holiness.

2. I believe there all kinds of misconceptions about holiness.

3. I don’t believe that you can just will yourself and squeeze yourself into being holy.

4. [Living the Spirit-Formed Life, Dr. Jack Hayford, Regal Publishing, 2001, p. 203]

I agree with Jack Hayford when he writes the following…

“As often as “holy” is used as a worship expression, it is too seldom understood. We tend to think of holiness as an external characteristic, such as a meditative expression, an organ like tone of speech or a certain style of garment. This restrictive view causes many of us to feel intimidated or disqualified, because we feel we haven’t the necessary external traits of holiness to earn God’s pleasure.

“Others consider holiness to be a stern, forbidding trait of God’s nature, a sort of attitudinal barrier on God’s part-an obstacle created by His flaunting His perfection in the face of our weaknesses and sins. This, too, is incorrect.”

D. Today as we continue our series of sermons on faith, I would like us to consider the second phrase of the model prayer…

1. “…hallowed be Your name…”

2. Last week we looked at, “Our Father in heaven…”

3. This week we will think about, “…hallowed be Your name…” and see if we can learn what holiness really is.

4. And then we will see what we can learn about what holiness has to do with faith.

I. hallowed = holy

A. By now you have probably determined that hallowed actually means holy.

1. In this model prayer, Christ is actually saying, “Holy is Your name.”

2. In this model prayer, Christ is teaching us the importance of remembering God’s holiness when we pray.

B. Now I realize that Halloween is coming up and we might be inclined to think that hallowed as something to do with “Halloween.”

1. It does and it doesn’t.

2. It does in the sense that the two both have the word “hallow” in them.

3. Both of them refer to holiness.

4. However the difference is that “Halloween” is a pagan holiday that celebrates the fictitious holiness of worshippers of Satan.

5. No I know that there are a lot of people who get really offended by referring to a children’s holiday like that, but I’m simply stating a fact.

6. “Halloween” is the evening before the satanic holiday. (All Hallow’s Evening; All Hallow’s Even’; All Hallow’s E’en’; All Hallow Een; Halloween)

7. There are many evil things that are celebrated on that evening and the next day.

8. I know that many innocently observe this holiday in the “trick-or-treat” fashion and don’t intend anything Satanic about it and we don’t condemn that.

9. But we do provide an alternative here at the church on October 31, which we call a “Hallelujah Party.”

a. It is open to everyone.

b. The kids are encouraged to dress up in non-ghoulish costumes.

c. There are games and activities and prizes.

d. And the children receive more candy than they would get going door-to-door.

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