[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Text: Hebrews 12:12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:15 – 17
Today I will be sharing with you a message from a book by Kevin Deyoung – The Hole in our Holiness. The focus is on HOLINESS – a topic many people are ignoring today.
There has been a growing concern that modern day Christians – Pentecostals, Evangelicals do not take seriously the Bible’s call to personal holiness. And we all want to see God and spend our Eternity with Him – Heb 12:10 BUT we are too at peace with worldliness in our homes, too at ease with sin in our lives and too content with spiritual immaturity in our churches.
We are called unto Holiness: (Eph. 5:25-27
God’s mission in the world is to save a people and sanctify His people. We are bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and we are to live for Him. 2 Cor. 5:15. We were chosen in Christ that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph. 1:4). Christ is coming for a holy church – without spot or wrinkle – without blemish.” Titus 2:14-15 is an important message for the church today!
We rightly celebrate, and in some quarters rediscover, all that Christ saved us from, we will give little thought and make little effort concerning all that Christ saved us to.
Reasons for the Holes:
The pursuit of holiness does not occupy the place in our hearts that it should.
There are several reasons for the relative neglect of personal holiness.
1. We no longer take the word of God for what it says. We have little patience for the directives of the word
2. Related to the first reason is the fear that a passion for holiness makes you some kind of weird Christian from a bygone era – old school. Or termed legalistic etc
3. Negative cultural influences – language, entertainment, alcohol, and fashion. Of course, holiness is much more than these things, but in an effort to be current or fashionable, many Christians have figured holiness has nothing to do with these things. They’ve willingly embraced Christian freedom, but they’ve not earnestly pursued Christian virtue.
4. A radical pursuit of holiness is often suspect because any talk of right and wrong behaviours feels judgmental and intolerant.
If we are to be “without spot or blemish,” it necessitates we distinguish between what sort of attitudes, actions, and habits are pure and what sort are impure. We’ve been afraid of words like diligence, effort, and obedience.
• We’ve downplayed biblical verses that call us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) or command us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1) or warn against even a hint of immorality among the saints (Eph. 5:3) or that warns us to run away from all appearance of evil I Thes 5:22-24
What we find today:
You can find plenty of young Christians today who are really excited about justice and serving in their communities. Christians fired up about evangelism. Lots of Generation XYZ believers passionate about precise theology. Yes and amen to all that.
• But where are the Christians known for their zeal for holiness?
• Where is the corresponding passion for honouring Christ with Christlike obedience?
We need more Christian leaders on our campuses, in our cities, in our seminaries who will say with Paul, “Look carefully then how you walk.” (Eph. 5:15) “We are a chosen generation – I Pet 2:9 – 12?
The Challenge: – I Pet 1:16, 2 Pet 3:11, Psalm 29:2; Psalm 96:9, I Thes 4:7. When is the last time we took a verse like Ephesians 5:4—“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, When is the last time we took a verse like this and even began to try to apply it to our conversation, our joking, our movies, our YouTube clips, our TV and commercial intake? God would have us be much more careful with our eyes, our ears, and our mouth. It’s not legalism, or fundamentalism or being judgemental to take holiness seriously. It’s the way of all those who have been called to a holy calling by a holy God. We sing
The Way out:
We need the Purifying Fire of the Holy Spirit.! The Lord can do it again.
PURIFY OUR HEARTS O LORD!