Summary: You will begin to look like the one who has the most influence on your life - God or the world.
January 6, 2008
Title: You Look Just Like Your Dad
I want to continue today with the concept I began last Sunday and one that is not talked about very much in the church world today, and that is the subject of holiness. One thing you do hear about in the church world today, especially from many of the TV preachers, is that you can have everything the world has. God intends for you to prosper and be blessed with all the good things the world has. I have to admit that is a seductive promise. Now, I’m not going to stand here and tell you that God doesn’t want His children to be blessed and prosper. As a matter of fact the Bible bears that out. But what I will stand against is that we are supposed to fall into the trap that we can have everything the worlds has and be all right with God. And even when we talk about God blessing His people, if that is the focus of our faith we become lopsided – even one - dimensional. When we temper God’s promise of blessing with the message of the cross and with holiness we begin to get a different picture- a more rounded picture – of what the Christian life is all about. When we consider holiness our definition of prosperity might differ from what it was before. Here is my point – God wants His children to be holy as He is holy.
Many will hear this today or will read it on the Internet and tell me that I am being a legalist. You cannot make God love you any more than He already does. By preaching holiness aren’t you making grace a small thing? Isn’t it only by grace that we are saved? True enough! But when you look at what the scriptures say about the subject of holiness you will see that there are serious implications for those who think they can live like the world without any consequences.
I want to give you two quotes by some famous Christian thinkers about holiness and I want you to think about what they are saying.
First, C. S. Lewis said, How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets real thing, it is irresistible. C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady, New Bible Commentary, p. 28
Second, Scottish theologian John Brown, "Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God things, and willing as God wills." quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51.
God does not intend for holiness to become drudgery, but to become a way of life because of your relationship with Him and because He loves you too much to let you go back to the lust of the world without consequences.
I want you to listen carefully to what I have to say today and pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened to receive the world of God today.
You look just like your Dad.
I. THE REFLECTION OF THE FATHER. (1-3) 1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! Do you know that God doesn’t love you because you decided to give your heart to Jesus? He loved you before that because He is love. But He lavished His love on us when Jesus went to the cross for us. And because He has poured out His life’s blood for us – He has given us grace – we can become children of God. And that is what we are! That happens through faith. You know what happens when you accept Christ. If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation… Now you have heard me talk about when I was saved and how people told me that I was the same as I had always been – there was no change in me. Perhaps they have said the same thing about you. I understand now why they would say that. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. We really cannot expect the unsaved to understand the spiritual reality that has taken place within us. But you have that inner witness of the Holy Spirit that you are God’s child. Romans 8:16 (quickview) , The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. The fact that God calls us His children describes the depth of His love for us. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This is one of those promises that God gives us that we can see the fruit of it right now. We are children of God. We are supposed to be like our Father. We have the Holy Spirit as a deposit of all the good and perfect gifts that will come. But, we have not reach the fulfillment of the promise yet - when he appears, we shall be like him… Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (quickview) , And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory… or from glory to glory. We are continually being changed to be like Him. Now something has to happen on our part for this to become a reality. We must hold on to the hope that we have. We must desire to be like Him. We must make up our minds that we are going to live under His influence and not the worlds influence. If we are going to be changed into His image from glory to glory we have to want it. You see, If you have made a profession of faith in Christ, but you still keep living with worldly influences in your life, who do you think you are going to be like? My guess is that you are going to become more like the world and less like Christ. Verse 3 says, Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. If you know Jesus as Lord you have been sanctified (set apart). That is one of God’s promises. But, it is up to you to keep yourself separated from the world. That is one of the reasons that you need the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He empowers you to stand against the devil and reject the pull of the world on your life.