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Holiness of God
09/22/2013
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:15-16; Hebrews 12:14; Isaiah 6...
Track 0 of in the series
Running time: 26 minutes
As we move on in our study, we will first consider the holiness of God. This is where holiness begins-not with ourselves, but with God. God is absolute purity and he has a moral hatred of sin. Until we are gripped by the awfulness of sin, we will never be able to start our pursuit of holiness.



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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.


The Holiness of God

As we move on in our study, we will first consider the holiness of God. This is where holiness begins-not with ourselves, but with God. God is absolute purity and he has a moral hatred of sin. Until we are gripped by the awfulness of sin, we will never be able to start our pursuit of 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.”

In order to truly get the idea of what holiness is, we have to understand the Holiness of God. Christians today really have some weird concepts about God. They get these ideas from many sources. But the one concept of God about His holiness is totally foreign to many Christians. The reason I can say this is how casual we act toward our sins and the sins of others.

Sinning and continuing to sin is something Christians don’t understand. God called every Christian to a holy life. There are no exceptions to this call. He calls everyone. This call to holy life is based on the fact that God Himself is holy. Because God is holy, he requires us to be holy.

There is this thing called “cultural holiness”. Anyone want to take a stab at what it means? Christians adapt to the character and behavior patterns of Christians around them. As Christians are luke warm in holiness, other Christians also are luke warm. God has called us not to be like those around us, but to be like Him. 3A: Holiness is nothing less than conforming to the character of God.

Holiness Is Not An Option

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.

Just what do these words mean, “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Does our salvation in the final analysis depend to some degree on our attaining some level of personal holiness?

On this question, the scripture is very clear on two points:

1. The best Christian can never in themselves merit salvation through their personal holiness.

Isaiah 64:6 (NIV) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

2. Scripture repeatedly refers to the obedience and righteousness of Christ on our behalf.

Romans 5:19 (NIV) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The above scriptures teach us that any holiness on our part that counts for salvation is going to come from Jesus and his personal righteousness. Jesus did everything we had to do Himself for us. He paid the penalty for sin and soothed the wrath of God toward us.

Hebrews 10:5-10 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.’ First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Look again at Hebrews 12:14 Does it refer to the holiness we have in Christ or is it talking about another holiness? Scriptures speak of both a holiness, which we have in Christ before God, and a holiness, which we are to strive for.

Both of these holinesses compliment one another for our salvation is a salvation to holiness. The word sanctification plays a big role here. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how the two holinesses work together.

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

Paul tells the church that we are made holy through Christ in our standing with God and we are called to be holy in our daily walk. So the writer of Hebrews is telling us to take seriously the necessity of personal, practical holiness. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at our salvation, he comes to make us holy in practice. If there is not even a small yearning in our hearts to live a holy life for God, we need to seriously question whether our faith in Christ is genuine. 9A: True salvation brings with it the desire for holiness.

What do you think the purpose in life is? If you would ask 50 people you meet on the street, what do you think they would say?

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

So why is holiness required or lets us ask, what is holiness required for?

HOLINESS IS REQUIRED FOR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

How vital is prayer in our fellowship with God?

Psalm 66:16-18 Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened;

According to this verse, what is the result of our fellowship with God if we continue to sin?

What does it mean to cherish sin? To love it to the extent that I am not willing to part with it. I know it is there, yet I justify it in some way like the child who says, “Well he hit me first.” When we are holding onto sin, we are not pursuing holiness and we cannot have fellowship with God.

True or False: God requires a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him.

False, but He does require that we be serious about holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.

HOLINESS IS REQUIRED FOR OUR OWN WELL-BEING

What about disobedience? What do you do when you have a child that continues to disobey? Is the punishment different when the act is a one-time thing verses acts that happen all the time? Why is discipline important? What happens when discipline is not administered to the disobedient child?

What about God? How does he deal with our disobedience?

Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV) Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

When God speaks to us about sin, we need to listen and take action. To fail to deal with sin a particular sin is to risk incurring the hand of God in discipline.

1 Peter 1:13-17 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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. Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

HOLINESS IS NECESSARY FOR OUR ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

The only safe evidence that we are in Christ is a holy life. If we know nothing of holiness, we may flatter ourselves that we are Christians but we do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Everyone who is a Christian needs to ask themselves if there is evidence of holiness in their life. Do I desire and strive after holiness. Do I grieve over my lack of it and earnestly seek the help of God to be Holy? It is not those who profess to know God who will enter heaven, but those whose lives are holy. Even those who do great Christian works will not enter heaven unless they also do the will of God.

Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’