The Committed Christian
1 Peter 1:13-16
Generally, when we think of someone being "holy" we think in terms of a monk in a cloister, with a shaved head, beanie cap, long brown ropes with a suffering look on his face.
One extreme was from a writer who expressed it this way. He said, it is like a monk claims to be living a strict of life following Jesus, so he breaks fellowship with the world, begins to live a life of seclusion, then claims martyrdom, because no one likes him. This is not the picture the world should see when it looks at the Christian. Often, because Christians want to please the Lord and live a godly life they are accused of having a "holier than thou" attitude toward those around us.
Another extreme is the idea that a person who is holy walks around all day, smiling, making religious statements, glowing with a halo above their heads, and totally unlike you or I.
Well, we surely ought to live clean and godly lives which is a sign of holiness, but a Christian knows he is no better than any one else. The bumper sticker we often see says it well: "Christians are not perfect, they are just forgiven."
Some denominations and Christian sects wear different clothes, no make up, comb their hair in a particular way, and generally try to look plain and think that makes the look holy that others. There are even churches who promote "standards" such as dress codes and rules to live by for their members, and those who come to church. There is nothing wrong with godly standards, but often they are taken to the extreme and are substituted for genuine Christian living.
ILLUS: A preacher I know said he visited a church while traveling in Georgia and across the entrance of the front door was a sign saying, "No long hair or women in pants." If a lost man with long hair came to their church he would not be welcome, or a women who came wearing women's pants. That is the same philosophy the Pharisees had in Jesus's day.
Some sincere churches, misunderstand what the Lord meant when he told Christians not be conformed to the world. (Rom. 12:2) Wearing black clothes, or a particular dress, having a certain pious look, does not make one holy. My wife was working the check out counter of a local store and some ladies came in wearing white caps. She told me they were such sad looking ladies she felt sorry for them.
Biblical holiness is the state of the heart, in devotion to God which controls the believer's life and directs him to "abstain form even the appearance of evil." (1 Thess. 5:22) We need to know without confusion what it means to be holy! Being Holy is an attitude of the heart. One does not become holy by looking a certain way or dressing up our outward appearance or even actions.
Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says: "separated unto God."
The Greek word "Hagios" to be "separated" Among the Greeks this was what sacrifices given or dedicated to pagan gods was called. The HEBREW word means: "something sacred, consecrated to God"
ground men convocation places habitation gifts sabbath garments nation anointing oil
These things were not "holy" within themselves, but became holy when they were dedicated and set apart for service unto the Lord.
EXAMPLE: The gold in Ark of Covenant: It was holy once it was placed in the tabernacle and dedicated to God. It had no moral qualities! It in truth it was the same as it was before in the ground, only now it was refined and used in service to the Lord. What made it HOLY? It was totally separated to service for the Lord. It was used for nothing else and no longer could it be used in any other way. Being holy, comes from an attitude of the heart toward our relationship in our lives to God. Being holy is to be dedicated to the Lord. If we truly make the commitment to live for the Lord we will seek to do what is necessary to carry it out. We will make every decision considering how it effects our belonging to God. The Christian will see himself as God's instrument and will keep themselves free from sin. The believer's commitment to the Lord will direct how he lives his life.
A person who in his heart does not see himself as totally dedicated to the Lord's service, could clean up his life, dress right, look right, talk right and act right, but still not be living a holy life! You see God tells us, "Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7)
I. GOD IS HOLY. 1 Peter 1:13-16
2. God is Holy. Lev. 11:44 God is totally separated from sin.
The statement means believers are to be severed from worldliness which as the state the people outside of Israel were in. The were worshipped idols and false gods and their society was morally corrupt. In other words Israel was to remain separated (severed) from the evil and sinful pagan around them.
Look at John 17:9 and Jesus' prayer for Christians. He said in verse 11 "these are in the world" meaning believers are in a sinful world. In verse 13 Jesus reveals one purpose of His prayer, "That they might have joy." Verse 15 notes that Jesus did not pray that we be taken from the world, but they we should be kept from evil (sin). You see this is the key. Holiness is being separated to God, which has the effect of keeping us from sin.
e. Verse 17 says, "sanctify them through thy truth; thy word; thy word is truth."
The word "sanctify" is similar to the word holy. It too means to "be set apart." In Hebrew the word sanctify (kaw-dash) means to "to holy, set apart, to hallow, dedicate, be separate."
2. Set your hope, fully on the Grace the Lord has given you.
3. It means you must desire and make a determined effort to do what the Lord wants.
The instruction here is presented as a strong Negative! In doing this you must, stop conforming your desires after the evil desires you had when you were lost. Many Christians struggle with the issue of holiness because they have never made the decision to once and for all live for the Lord! Many also near prepare themselves to deal with sin.
ILLUS: Why are people trained in advance to deal with certain emergencies. We are told to have a plan in the event we have a fire in our homes. We are told to place fire extinguishers in places were fires might develop. We are told to have emergency numbers by our phones so we can quickly call for help.
We are instructed to practice or have fire drills in our homes, schools, and places of employment to prepare for the eventually of a fire happening. Why? So you can be prepared. So when the problem comes up you know already how to react in the moment of danger.
In our Christian lives were are also to be prepared. First, we are recognize the potential danger of falling into sin and becoming unfaithful. Folks, if you think you are above sin and failing the Lord you are a prime candidate for a fall.
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)
Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. Be not conformed to the world (NEGATIVE). Be ye transformed or "changed"!(POSITIVE). How? By renewing your mind.(POSITIVE). And then the warning not to think too highly of yourself.
In Luke 18:11-13 Jesus illustrates the point by telling of the Pharisee and the publican in the temple. The Bible says, "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." That publican probably was living a godly and holy life, but he saw himself as the sinner he was and his need for God's forgiveness and mercy.
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full." (John 15:9-11)
b. Because of our testimony and witness before others. Ezekiel 33:1-3 explains the job of the watchman: The watchman's job was to blow a loud and clear signal on the trumpet to warn those in the city. If he blew an unclear note, it caused confusion and the Scripture says that the blood of those who died would be on his hands.
Do we want to stand at the Great White Throne judgment, and see wives, husbands, children, friends, neighbors, business associates, being judged as we stand there and see them point the accusing finger at us and say: You never told me!! You never showed me, I never really knew it was any different. I lived as good as you did, or better?
c. To some degree a Christians all teachers.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus said that Christians were to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. This commission was given to his disciples. Telling them what they were to do as a church. We can not teach what we do not know ourselves.
That's why we first must students to be able to teach others. The Bible says Christians are to tell others about Christ. That one of the things He told taught them and they were to teach others. How can we teach others if we are not doing it ourselves. Can we be an example and teach others to tithe and give to the work of the Lord in gratefulness to Him if we do not tithe ourselves? What are you teaching other by the way you attend the services of our church. Hebrews 10:25, says we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
Maybe you are not the Christian example you think yourself to be? Would you let Christ give you the victory of the sin that still yet remains in your life?
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Do you really mean business with the Lord? Then let him give you the strength to conqueror that problem.
Make up your mind to be holy, separated unto God, and then go from this place already with the victory assured.