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It's a Wonderful Life
07/26/2009
Scripture: Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Romans 1...
Track 5 of 5 in the Making Peace with God series
I will never be able to be holy like Him because He is God and I am human with all the imperfections that desire to do the opposite of God. In fact, there are things about God that are hard to really understand. Because we are imperfect beings and much lower than God, God sent Jesus to help us understand the very essence of God in ways only Jesus could do. He is the personal side of God.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Making Peace with God
It’s a Wonderful Life

I don’t know about you but for many years I struggled with the idea of holiness. I reserved the title or the higher character of holiness to those super Christians or “Saints” who were far better than I was. As a young man I was drawn to the stories of the saints from the past. I always wished I were a lot like them, a person so close to God that a special place was reserved for them because of their piety. My concept of holiness was something a Christian attained or earned in life. But I learned a while ago that holiness is not something we attain or earn, but something we pursue.

Last week we dealt with the concept of a Christian’s position in Christ versus his condition in Christ. In Biblical terms, we looked at man’s justification and sanctification. At first glance both seem totally opposite. Justification is founded on the fact that God makes us perfect in His sight. Our condition has a lot to do with our growth and how the Holy Spirit changes us from day to day making us look more like Jesus in all we do and in character. Let’s review real quickly the definition of a Christian.

A Christian is a person who is becoming what in God’s eyes he already is.”

Hebrews 10:14 Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

When we try to understand what holiness is, the best place to look is upon the one who is perfectly holy, God. He is the example to measure holiness by because he is the perfect example of holiness; in fact, the definition of Holy really is all about God. There is a fascinating pattern found in everything about God. God uses things found in real life to represent what is real in the spiritual realm.

Passover – Redemption from sin
Temple – Heaven
Marriage Covenant – Covenant with Christ
Justification – Sanctification
The Holy – The Personal

The Holy:

• Can not be comprehended rationally.
• Sensed and protected against. Avoided in contact and sight.
• Sins must be expiated and purged.
• Beyond time, yet claims sacred times.
• Beyond space, yet claims sacred space.
• Life-threatening, yet strangely necessary to life.
• Repels, yet fascinates and draws.
• Always awesome, mysterious, unnerving.
• Here one worships and submits.
• Portrayed in the sacrificial system, in tabernacle, Temple, priesthood, and in the cross.

This defines the perfection of God and in this lies the roots to our position. We are made perfect because the very essence of God is perfection. The whole realm of God is bathed in Holiness.

1 Peter 1:15-16 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this passage. It is almost like God is placing on me a task that is impossible to accomplish. I will never be able to be holy like Him because He is God and I am human with all the imperfections that desire to do the opposite of God. In fact, there are things about God that are hard to really understand. Because we are imperfect beings and much lower than God, God sent Jesus to help us understand the very essence of God in ways only Jesus could do. He is the personal side of God.

The Personal

• Understood in terms of relationships.
• One can receive, respond, accept, and love.
• Sins can be forgiven with fellowship restored.
• Redemption shows will, action, goal.
• Creator — creature.
• Father — child.
• Judge — sinner, rebel.
• Savior — needy suppliant.
• Lord — servant.
• Here one believes, loves, serves.
• Portrayed in the incarnation and in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in Israel as the people of God, and in the church.

Both of these are essential and are totally God even though they both seem the opposite. What is important to understand, both of these sides of God are distinct from each other, even opposites, but they are uniquely God and they are one entity…they can’t be separated.

The best way to demonstrate this fact about God to the world is through the everyday life experience of the Christian. When the world sees you and me, they see both the Holy and Personal of God played out in our Position and Condition. Over and over the Position and Condition pint to the real essence of God that someday will be totally understood when we are one with God in Heaven.

What do you think this looks like in real life when the Position and Condition of the Christian comes together and work in unity with each other?

There are two verses that sort set the tone to help us understand the concept of position and condition coming together.

Romans 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.

Who is Paul talking about here? How many of you consider yourself righteous?

Romans 1:17 is explaining the position side (being justified) of our life. We are righteous, it is a girt from God that started with faith and it ends in faithfulness.

Hebrews 3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Hebrews 3:14 talks about the personal side, it is all about relationships. What makes this relationship grow is the confidence we hold. Our confidence is rooted on our position and knowing that we will go to heaven so we are motivated to stay in relationship with Jesus and grow in Him.

How many of you have seen at a fair or at Disney World a balloon within a balloon? This is the perfect illustration ho our position and condition work in harmony together.

Ephesians 1:4, 7-8 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holyand blameless in his sight. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

We are saved because of our position, not our condition!

So if our position in Christ saves us and not our works, then does this mean it is not important to be good?

Of course the answer found in scripture is NO. I must understand the purpose of my freedom in Christ. I am free but what does that freedom mean?

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

When man thinks about freedom, what does he normally think he is free to do? When thinks of freedom, what does he normally know he is free to do?

1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

By doing God’s will – obeying Him, I am demonstrating my love and appreciation to Him for what He has done for me. In obeying Him, I am being faithful in advancing His best interest as He is faithful in advancing mine

Understanding position and condition changes our motivation for being good.

Old motivation: To make me look good
New Motivation: To make him look good

So how does sin affect the Christian today? It is sort of an out of place question to ask considering all the things we talked about concerning our relationship with Jesus and our position and condition in Christ. But sin is a reality since we are living in our physical bodies. But what is a Christian to do when he sins? Many people have a mistaken idea of God’s forgiveness. They have a concept of lined religion.

God asks us to confess our sins.

1 John 1:8-9 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Can someone tell me what the Biblical definition of confession is?

Confess means that we agree with God that what we did was sin. Why do we need to do this? To keep the lines of communication open for love and growth in our relationship.

When Adam and Eve sinned, what did they do? They hid from God and hiding from God achieves Satan’s goals. Separated from God, we are weak. God wants us close to Him. If we don’t confess, God will discipline us.

Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Hebrews 12:10-11 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

How many of you, when you pray, ask for forgiveness of your sins? Why do you do that?

We don’t need to ask repeatedly for forgiveness; we already have it. To ask continually for forgiveness reveals that we don’t have confidence that He will keep His Word. We need to confess our sins repeatedly, always planning to change our sinful ways to God’s ways.

A Christian lives in a continual state of forgiveness. He is not perfect in all his ways, but he is forgiven because of his covenant relationship with God.

Hebrews 9:26-28 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.