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We Must Be Holy
Scripture: Hebrews 12:14; Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:...
Track 0 of in the series
Running time: 57 minutes, 30 seconds.
We have to understand something, holiness is a process, something we never completely attain in this life. Rather, we begin to conform to the will of God. That is why we will always be pursuing, as opposed to attaining holiness in this life.

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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.

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We Must Be Holy

A farmer plows his field, sows his seed and fertilizes and cultivates – all the while knowing that in the final analysis, he is utterly dependent on forces outside his control. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate; he can’t produce the rain or the sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. In order to be successful, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet the farmer knows that unless he does his job in plowing, planting fertilizing and cultivating, he cannot expect a harvest at the end. In a sense, he is in partnership with God. The farmer will reap the harvest only when he does his part as a farmer.

Farming is a joint venture between God and the farmer. The farmer cannot do what God must do and God will not do what the farmer should do. We can say the same thing about our pursuit of holiness. It is a joint venture between God and the Christian. No one will attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, BUT no one will attain it without effort on our part. God has given us the responsibility of doing the walking; God does not do that for us. Holiness s a pursuit, not a God given gift.

We are going to learn from this study the difference between “God’s provisions” and “our own responsibility to walk in holiness”

Someone tell me of God’s provisions in our lives?

• He defeated sin for us.
• Gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to have victory over sin.
• Gives us an escape from in.
• Does not let us handle anything we are too weak to handle

Tell me about our responsibility to walk in holiness? How many us you can say that you walk a holy life?

There are basically two reasons why Christians struggle so much in their pursuit of holiness:

1. We are simply too reluctant to face up to our responsibility. We prefer to leave that to God. Be honest, have you, at least once, asked God to help you be victorious in your walk for Him? Have you asked God to help you live the life He wants you to live? Has he answered you? Sure he has…he has given you His provisions. Too many times we pray for victory when we know we should be acting in obedience.

2. We do not understand the distinction between God’s provisions and our responsibility for holiness. There are two questions we need to understand in order to walk in holiness:

a. What am I to do myself?
b. What am I to rely upon God to do?

I hope to help answer those two questions for you. I want to look into the Bible and see what God has to say about His and our responsibilities. I want to warn you early, this might be an uncomfortable series for you to be in. The things we will study will go beyond the “pew Christian” mentality. It is not going to be for those who like to play church, but for those who want to be the Church. I am not going to be a loving, caring coach; I will be a Bobby Knight kind of coach. Holiness is serious business and it is only for those who are serious about following Jesus.

Let’s start with a hard, important fact:

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Two facts can be found in this verse:

1. Diligence and effort are required
2. It is a lifelong task

We have to understand something, holiness is a process, something we never completely attain in this life. Rather, we begin to conform to the will of God. That is why we will always be pursuing, as opposed to attaining holiness in this life.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Notice in this verse the direct fact that sin’s power has no hold on a Christian. The Christian has one master, Jesus. Whatever your particular sin problem is, the Bible does have the answer for you. There is hope.

God expects every Christian to live a holy life. But holiness is not only expected, it is also the promised birthright of every Christian.

he concept of holiness is really misunderstood in our generation today. How do you see the world’s understanding of holiness?

• Bunned hair, long skirts and black stockings.
• Holier than thou attitude
• Specific prohibitions like no smoking, no drinking, no dancing, a certain type of dress code, an unattainable perfection. In Jesus time, the Pharisee attitude.

In the Bible, the word “holy” in its various forms occurs more than 600 times. One entire book is devoted to the idea, Leviticus. The idea of holiness is woven throughout all scripture.

So what exactly is holiness? To be holy is to be morally blameless. Is to be separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God. The word signifies, “separation to God” and the conduct befitting those so separated.

In practical terms, what does it mean to live a holy life? It is to live a life in conformity to the moral precepts of the bible. It is living a life characterized by “putting off the old self” and putting on the new self” created to be like Jesus.

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

If holiness, then, is so basic to the Christian life, why don’t we experience it more in daily living? Why do Christians feel constantly defeated in their struggle with sin? Why does the Church of Jesus seem to be more conformed to the world than conformed to God?

There are basically three problems:

1. Our attitude about sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned about our “victory” over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God. This comes from our struggle with failure because we are success oriented, not because we know it I offensive to God. (Everyone Loves Raymond). God wants us to walk in obedience, not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self.

2. We have misunderstood “living by faith”. Many will turn to Galatians 2:20-21 and take it to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part. In fact, sometimes we have even suggested that any effort on our part is “of the flesh”. But the scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal exertion and work as well as faith. 8C: We pursue holiness not to get into heaven, we pursue holiness because we are going to heaven and we want to be like Jesus.

3. We do not take some sins seriously. We have categorized sins. There are some that are unacceptable and then there are sins that can be tolerated a bit. QUESTION: What are the categories? Which are unacceptable and which ones are tolerated? What is dangerous about this type of attitude?

Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

What principle does Solomon speak of in his song? It is compromise on the little issues that lead to greater downfalls. When you ask your kids to obey you, how serious is it when they disobey the minor rules?

Are the minor rules as important as the major rules? Why?

The real understanding here is that sin is sin. There is no category of sin. All sin hurts our relationship with God. We are to live a life of holiness, separated from sin and set apart to God. His rules are worthy to be obeyed because he is God and we are not.