Friday, April 5, 2013

Lies About Holiness (and how discovering them can set you free)

Lies About Holiness (and how discovering them can set you free)

Our views about holiness have a HUGE impact on our daily behaviours. Several months ago I studied and preached on this topic It was so freeing and as I was reminded today of these lies and their counterparts (the truth :)) I found it so freeing and life-giving again. I pray it does the same for you.

Here they are...

1.      Holiness is no big deal

a.      Truth: God is furious with sin and wickedness
James 4:8-10 “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

1 Cor. 3: 16,17 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
Rom. 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” (Ps. 7 – God is righteous and angry w/the wicked every day)

Jude 1:4 “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
                  b.      Truth: Sin is absolutely destructive

Gal 6:7-9 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – flee evil desires…
                   c.       Truth: God gave His very life to make you holy
2 Cor 5:21 “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

(Is 53:5,6 “he was crushed for our sins…. the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.”  3 – the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him…

d.      Truth: God calls us to make every effort to be holy
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.” – Jesus – why do you call me Lord, Lord if u do not do what I say...

2.      Holiness is the ugly, tough, no fun side of the faith journey

a.      Truth: Holiness is wonderful, amazing and beautiful

 “Who is like you - majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”  Exodus 15:11
“Worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness.” 1 Chron. 16:29 (One of most sad things about sin is it messes up our ability to see what is truly good and beautiful... one day... I what? For what?)

b.      Truth: Holiness is wholeness – becoming who you are
“You can readily recall, can't you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing--not caring about others, not caring about God--the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God's freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?

But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!” Romans 6:19-22

c.       Truth: Holiness is a joy and results in life (not burdensome)
John 15:10-11 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

 3.      Holiness is all about a complex system of do’s and don’ts
              a. Truth: Holiness is first about who I am, then about what I do (my nature, then my actions)

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…” (you are a child of God…so act like one) – you don’t get to become one by acting like one, you act like one because you have become one
          b.      Truth: Holiness is inside out

Matthew 23:28 “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” – where does all this wickedness come from? Improper rituals? No, wicked hearts!
Isaiah 1:13-17  “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice.” – these people are close to me with their mouths but their hearts r far from me…

             c.       Truth: Holiness is as much about what I do as what I don’t do and it’s all about love

Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
 It is not a complex system of do’s and don’ts ... it’s a heart condition that results in loving action’s

4.      Holiness is my part in the God equation

Truth: Every ounce of true holiness always starts with God but then it requires my full engagement
Phil 2:12,13 “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

1 Cor. 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

5.      Holiness is something I arrive at and then coast

Truth: Holiness is something I grow more and more in
2 Cor 7:1 “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”

2 Cor. 3:18 “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
Rom 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

 “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”