Category Archives: Holiness

20Apr/18

Are you wholly holy? (Part 2)

1 Peter 1v22 – 1 Peter 2v3

Last time we looked at verses 13-21, and we pulled out from that passage the call to action to be holy, to be people that are determined to live to the standards of God and I’d like to expand on that pursuit of holiness 

The American TV sitcom “Friends” centred around the lives of 6 people in their 20s-30s living in Manhattan and it had a title sequence with a song by The Rembrandts called “I’ll be there for you”

When we think of friendship, we tend to think of people that are there for us through thick and thin.  

Someone once said, that friends give you a shoulder to cry on. But best friends are ready with a shovel to hurt the person that made you cry.

You may define friendship as being about spending time with people you like, whose company you enjoy.

There is the story of 3 best friends stuck on a desert island and they discover a magic lamp containing a genie who grants them each 1 wish.  The first one says he misses his family and wishes he was back home. Poof! gone.  The second one says the same. Poof! gone. The third one looks round and says I miss my best buddies, I wish they were here with me.

Now when it comes to holiness, we tend not to think of it in the context of friendship, but I want to suggest, from the passage we read earlier that the pursuit of holiness is very much about friendship because the call to holiness is a call to love.  And the call to love is based on the word of God, which contains the standard of God, which is holiness.

So let’s just briefly remind ourselves of that standard of holiness.  What is God’s holiness? 

Well we can define it as freedom from all sin and complete purity.

We say that a garment is clean when it is free from all dirt or spots. We say that gold is pure when all the dross has been refined from it. We say that an object it perfect when it has no flaw whatsoever in it. This is how we should think when we consider the holiness of God.

1 John 5 says “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  John is telling us that God has no darkness whatsoever. He is absolutely pure. He is absolutely free of every defect. He has no blemishes. He character contains no faults. He is completely free of all sin. His thoughts and His actions are holy. Everything about Him is pure. Everything about Him is Holy.

So that’s what, that’s who, holiness is, but when it comes to living a life of holiness, there are two big theological words that are used to describe this.  Justification and Sanctification.

Justification is ‘just as if I had never sinned’.  It’s the moment when we accept Christ into our lives and He forgives us and He declares us to be righteous – the demands of the law for our sin have been met through the death of Jesus on the cross.  Jesus makes us holy.  That’s our position in Christ, because Christ is holy and we are in Christ.  That’s our standing before God. Hallelujah.  But the work of Jesus on the cross did not stop there

J.C.Ryle, a 19th century bishop of Liverpool said “We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world… Jesus is a complete Saviour.  He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more, He breaks it!”.  

He breaks the power of sin in our daily lives.  Alistair Begg said that while sin may remain it no longer reigns.  Jesus has broken the power of sin in our lives so we can overcome it. Hallelujah, when Jesus comes into our lives and makes us born again by His spirit we are no longer slaves to sin.

Jesus not only justifies – He sanctifies which basically means we are a work in progress, but that is not an excuse to sin for we can know the power of Jesus in us to break the power of sin in our lives day by day making us more and more like Him – as Paul writes we are changed from one degree of glory to the next – we are on a journey to meet the standard of holiness, which remember we defined as freedom from all sin and complete purity.  

As Paul writes to the Philippians – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 

And we press on to holiness because that’s what Christ has taken hold of us for

Justification means blotting out what was against me: the act of a moment.  Sanctification is a process that starts when we accept Jesus and ends when we see Christ.

Because we are to BE holy, as He is holy, but we cannot instantly become like Jesus.  It takes time, it’s a process.  In Genesis we read that God made man in His image. But sin entered and broke that image, so through Christ, God is restoring broken images to be fit for His purpose and for His glory.  

Remember I said the call to holiness is a call to love.  And the call to love is based on the word of God, who is Jesus – He is our standard, and His standard is holiness.  So let’s look at how the word of God helps us chip away those things in our lives, and how the power of sin that He has broken allows us to become more like Him.

And to do this, I’d like to ask 1 question – how passionate are you about living la life of holiness.

The answer to that question, I would suggest is based on 2 things

  1. Your passion for the word of God
  2. Your passion for putting it into practice

So first of all, our passion for the word of God

The passage we read is very much about the word of God.   In verse 22, it talks about obeying the truth; in verse 23 it talks about us being born again through the living and enduring word of God; in verse 25 it talks about the word of the Lord standing forever and this is the word that was preached to us; In 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 2 it talks about craving pure spiritual milk; in verse 3 it talks about tasting that the Lord is good.

So when we come to the word of God there is a lot there and we have to get beyond just reading the bible to knowing the author.  Remember that I said at the outset that when it comes to holiness, we tend not to think of it in the context of friendship, but having a passion for the word of God is very much about friendship.  Our friendship to Jesus.

Jesus’ friendship to us is that He knows us, I mean really knows us; because He does not look on  the outside but looks at the heart and He sees what is in our hearts, and yet He still moves towards us – because of His love, because He is holy.

But friendship is a two way thing, so we need to get to know Jesus – if we class Him as our friend. And the way we do that is through reading the bible, but not just reading it because we have to, we read it because we want to get to know our friend Jesus more and more.  Bible reading is meant to deepen our personal relationship with Christ.

John Piper says, “I have a burden for my people right now, just like I do for myself, that we get beyond propositions and Bible verses to Christ. I do not mean ‘get around’ Bible verses, but ‘through’ Bible verses to Christ, to the person, the living person, to know Him, cherish Him, treasure Him, enjoy Him, trust Him, be at home with Him. I want to count Him more to be desired than all other things — wife, husband, children, success in career, leisure, vacations, health, food, sex, money. He’s more precious.”

Paul put it this way – “ … I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”.  He wanted to know Christ, and Peter encourages us to do the same, because knowing Jesus, knowing His holiness and what we are to strive towards, is a key to living in holiness. Is a key to be Holy.

Jesus wants us to know Him more – He prayed in John 17 – “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you would protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth.”

The only way we can pursue holiness is through the truth, Jesus is the truth; He is the living word of God.

One of the great things about friendship is getting to know people – you find out this and you find out that, there are things that you discover all the time that you did not know about each other.  And so it is with the Lord.

Peter tells us to crave the word – let His word be our milk and food – let it be something we simply cannot do without – we simply cannot do without Jesus – of all the things that stand the test of time, nothing can compare to the word of the Lord which stands for ever.   Nothing compares to Jesus. So whatever we hear, whatever we read, nothing, can compare to the word of the Lord, so let’s be people that don’t settle for second best, but desire the best, desire His word, desire Jesus, and the surpassing greatness of knowing him, above all.

The second thing we need to consider is our passion for putting the word into practice.   In effect obedience.  Obedience to the word of God.  We just can’t get away from that one. Peter mentions obedience in verse 2 of chapter 1, then again in v14 and again in v22

Neil Marten MP served as the conservative MP for Banbury from 1959 to 1983. Once he was giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then lord chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Lord Hailsham recognized Neil Marten among the group and cried, “Neil!” Not daring to question or disobey the “command,” the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees!

Maybe that’s how we view obedience – just blind obedience.  Someone above us says jump and we say how high….But obedience is not just about doing as you are told. Obedience that just does as you are told is more like an employer / employee relationship; more like a master / servant relationship, maybe for some more like a husband/wife relationship, but Jesus longs for us to put into practice what he says because of love – He says if you love me, you will obey my commands.  

When the Israelites failed to obey and enter Canaan, they basically showed they did not love God and spent the rest of their lives wandering aimlessly. Obedience out of our love for Jesus is so important, because if we love Him we will obey His commands.

There are some things that only certain people can get away with saying.  There are some truths about ourselves that we can only take from certain people.  These people are true friends – as the book of Proverbs says – faithful are the wounds of a friend.  These are the people that want what is best for us, who have our best interests at heart, because we know them and because they know us.

So if we love Jesus, if we value His friendship, then when He challenges us through his word about things in our life that are nor right, then we should be able to take it, because we know He has our best interests at heart, because we know Him. Hebrews 12v10 says that our fathers disciplines us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his … holiness.    

Jesus speaks truth to us, challenging us on things not right in our lives but He’s not leaving us on our own to live this life of holiness, He’s helping us – if you like He’s at the top of a cliff, his love is round our waist and while we are hanging on hoping we don’t fall, His love has us secure and, He is pulling us up telling us how to climb.   And because we know Him, we trust Him. Because we love Him, we obey Him. We climb no matter how difficult it is for us, no matter how challenging this next bit is. Because we desire to be like Him, to be where He is, we press on towards the goal through obedience to the word of Jesus.

Maybe you look around and think everyone is way more holier that you,  I mean they may have holes but I have chasms.  How am I ever going to get there. I mean the holes in my holiness are so huge I don’t know where to start.

Well thankfully the Lord tells us.  We have been born again not of perishable seed but of imperishable.  The seed of a man allows him to be fruitful and multiply, but in time those perish and die; but the seed of the Lord when we were born again by the spirit of God is imperishable.  That means because that imperishable seed is from God, it contains the means by which we can be free from sin and completely pure, we know the power of God in our lives right now that break the power of sin, because Jesus is a complete saviour. One day we will be in heaven where there is no sin and where everything is completely holy.  But while we are on this earth we can sow the seed of His word knowing that the holes in our holiness can get smaller, as we seek to know Him more and put into practice what he tells us.

We can sow to living in holiness and that seed will not perish. From wherever we are starting from this morning, we can live to holiness and BE Holy as He is holy.  It’s not an instant fix but as we sow that seed of holiness in our lives, it grows, it develops, it gets stronger, it becomes fruitful and it multiplies because it is born out of a relationship of love, an intimate friendship, with Jesus who is cheering us on, like a best friend cheers us us; and even if we slip up, he picks us up and dusts us down and sets our feet back onto solid ground so that we can run towards him again. Oh the wonders of his grace to us!

One of the outcomes of that pursuit of holiness is not about saying look at how holy I am.  Paul says to the Corinthians if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don’t fall.  An outcome of becoming more like Jesus is expressed in how we love others. 

Verse 22 of 1 Peter says that an outcome of living in holiness is that we will have sincere love for our brothers and sisters, loving one another deeply from the heart.  You know we can say that Jesus and I are like that (fingers together).   We can have a passion for knowing Him, but if we fail to love one another deeply from the heart, then there is a hole in our holiness.  

It’s interesting that Peter tells us therefore to get rid of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.  Because these are the things that are so often in our relationships with each other.   When we get upset or offended, this is how we react.  We talk behind people’s back, we gossip, we are not truthful with each other – These are things that should not be evident in our relationships with one another, so the evidence of our holiness is outworked in how we are with each other.  In other words as 1 Peter 2v2 says we grow up, we grow up, in our salvation the more we know Christ, the more we put his word into practice. 

The outcome of holiness is to like Jesus and Jesus does not speak malice or deceit to us; He is not hypocritical; He does not envy or slander us.  He loves us deeply from the heart.  And that is the seed He has planted in our hearts when we were born again, so that is the seed that should be sown towards others – for the seed is within itself. We love because He first loved us. 

Conclusion

As we said last time, God demands for us to do more than acknowledge His holiness. He says: “BE holy, for I am holy.”  We are to strive to “BE holy”. We are to pursue holiness.

So often in our lives we look at Jesus and rejoice that we have a friend in Jesus.  He’s always there for us.  We can come to Him; we can learn from Him; He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.  He is the one we can come to with all our griefs and pains to bear – what a friend we have in Jesus.

Scott Sauls in his book about iron sharpens iron friendships says the true test of friendship is not that you like someone or enjoy their company, he says the true test is when they offend you and you move towards them instead of away from them.  And we offend Jesus, we hurt Jesus by sinning, but because He is holy, because He does not speak malice or deceit to us etc. Because He loves us deeply from the heart. He moves towards us, not away from us.  He decides to stay – He will never leave or forsake us – such is His love for us, because He is holy.

So when when the Lord points out something in our lives that he wants to challenge, or correct.  When he brings in that discipline, do we walk towards him. Do we decide to stay, because that is the true test of our friendship with Jesus. 

How passionate are you and I to live a life of holiness?   How passionate are you and I be more like Jesus? What passion do we have for the word of God, to know Jesus more and more.  What passion do we have for putting what He says, however difficult it is for us to hear, into practice, because of our love for Him.

Are you wholly holy, or is there are hole in your holiness.

Jerry Bridges in his book, the pursuit of holiness, says that we could not take one step in the pursuit of holiness if God in his grace had not first delivered us from the dominion of sin and brought us into Union with His risen son. Salvation is by grace and sanctification is by grace.

We don’t deserve this privilege of experiencing something of his glory while here on earth. But Jesus broke the power of sin on the cross and he gives us the know how of how to live in that power. He not only justifies, but he sanctifies until one day we will see him in glory. What a privilege we have.

1 Peter 1v25, this is the word that was preached to you.

This is the Word of God that has indeed been preached to us. Over and over.  Again and again. Let’s have a passion for His word, a passion for putting it into practice. A passion for pursuing holiness. A passion for Jesus.  He has shown how much He loves us, let’s show how much we love Him. 

Amen.

20Apr/18

Are you wholly holy? (Part 1)

1 Peter 1v13-21

Now often when we think of someone who is Holy, we think of the three persons of the Trinity – the holiness of the Father, Son and Spirit.   It’s something way up there beyond us.  Maybe we think of the saints of old, the one’s that we see who have their heads in a yellow dome as they are depicted in a painting or in a stained glass window.

When I was looking for a video clip to use last Sunday evening when we we talking about evangelism, I came across a video clip promoting the ‘christian bubble’.  The advertising slogan was – are you tired of having to avoid all the sinners you come in contact with every day?  Are you disgusted by all the non-christians around you?  If only there was something that could keep the unclean heathens away from you… and what it was as a product called – the christian bubble -and it was a product like a big ballon or ball that you then put it over your head.  The video said that it allowed christians to ignore the world around them and live in their own world of holiness.  It was specially designed to deflect the sights, sounds and smells of a world  that they are simply too good for.  It was poking fun…

But Maybe that’s your view of holiness, being separate from the world completely.  After all the phrase to be holy, means to be set apart. 

Maybe you think holiness is walking round with a halo round your head.  I’m not sure if the phrase ‘holy joe’ is still used, but there was a time that it was used by those who perceived Christians to be the eternal party pooper or the judgemental person telling everyone that what they are doing is wrong.

There are lots of perceptions about what it means to be holy. 

So far, in 1 Peter 1 we have have been talking about battles and blessings, how we will need the blessing of abundant grace and peace from Jesus to help us through battles that we face in life.  We talked about the great salvation in Jesus, accomplished through His death and resurrection, and the hope that gives us when we accept Jesus as Saviour, and how that hope in Jesus, can see us through the suffering and grief and trials of many kinds that we face.

And now as we come into verse 13, this word, ‘therefore’ appears – I’m sure you all know the cliche that says where you see the word therefore in the bible you have ask what is it there for.

And verse 13 tells us very clearly what it is there for – minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming

In other words there is something that we have to do.  And that is clearly articulated by Peter in verses 14-16 when he says, like obedient children to God, be holy as God is holy.  Don’t be conformed to evil desires like you used to have, but live your lives as those that are holy, to be holy as God is holy. 

Eh, ok….. how am I supposed to do that?

1 Samuel 2v2 says  “There is no one, no one, holy like the LORD..”

God’s holiness is like way up there… I’m like down here…. God is like, perfect, I am like, not perfect.  How on earth am I supposed to reach that standard after all the bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, so what’s the point in even trying.

But if that is our view point then we miss the point of what Peter is encouraging us do.  

Ok, we have battles and blessings, we have suffering now and glory to follow.  The hope that Jesus gives through this great salvation that we have received through trusting in Him, helps me  through through trials, but Peter is also encouraging us to live as those who want to receive the grace to be brought to us when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming

You know for those of us who have accepted Jesus as saviour, we acknowledge that we were not good enough.  We could not meet the standard of God, we were sinners who fell short, but God showed his love to us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us, and when we repent and turn to Christ and put our trust in his redeeming work, believing He paid the price for our sin, then we know the grace of the Lord Jesus.  We know God riches of salvation achieved for us at Christ’s expense.  We know the favour of God, of forgiven sin, of being made new, of being a child of God, not because we deserved it, but because we did not deserve it – that’s what grace is – being given what we don’t deserve and we glory in it. We glory in the Cross. Hallelujah for the cross. 

And as those of us who have accepted Jesus as saviour, we have received grace.  But Peter here is telling us – verse 13 – that there is a grace to be given to us when Jesus Christ is revealed.  There is something else to be given to us that we don’t deserve.  That inheritance, that can never spoil or perish or fade, kept in heaven for us, the goal of our faith in Jesus;  through the battles and suffering and the blessings of this life, this hope what we have that results in praise, glory and honour. There is a grace that is still to be given to us that we do not deserve, but will be give to us when Jesus Christ is revealed.

And that hope that holds the future in the present because it is anchored in the past, Peter says, ought to motivate us to living to God’s standards.  And there are two reasons he gives to motivate us.  The first one is judgement. Ooo scarey….

Verse 17 says, since we call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers, here, in reverent fear.

Now the reality and finality of God’s judgement are often affirmed.  We are taught that Christ will be Judge on that day –  Acts 10v42 says that Jesus is the one that God appointed judge of the living and the dead; Romans 2v16 says God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ.  Christ will be Judge on that day.

And at the same time as affirming the reality of Gods judgement, we are also told, as those who have accepted God’s great salvation, that God’s verdict on us has already been pronounced; in Christ we are justified – just as if I had never sinned; we have passed from death to life. The Judge will be our Saviour – Romans 8v33-34 – who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus who died – more than that was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for, who?  for us!

God’s final judgement will glorify his justice; he will pronounce for all those who have received this great salvation in Jesus the satisfaction of Christ’s death and the merit of His perfect obedience.

And this is the second motivational factor Peter gives to be holy as God is holy because it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that we were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to us, but with the precious blood of Jesus, a lamb without blemish or defect.   He, Jesus, was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for us.  For our sake!  Because it is through Him that we believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him. It is because of Him, because of Jesus, that our our faith and our hope are in God.

There is a judgement but there is also a salvation, so does that mean the salvation cancels out the judgement?  No it does not..

But while have our faith and hope in God, Peter says in verse 15 that we are to live as strangers, here on this earth, in reverent fear of God because on that day of judgement, as those who know Gods great salvation, the faithfulness of the Lord’s people will also be displayed, not as the basis of their acceptance, but to show the reality of their faith in their Saviour, and there are warnings in scripture regarding those who are unfaithful.  Matthew 7v21 says that not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter he kingdom of heaven, but, listen, only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’

1 Corinthians talks about the judgement seat of Christ – we are not judged for our sins, for we are justified in Christ, but we judged – Eric Parker put it like this – how have we walked, how have we run, what have we thought, said and done, and if those things were not the evidence of living faithfully to God’s standards then those things will be burned up and if it is burned up, scripture says he will suffer loss; yes saved; but only as one escaping the fire. That’s on the negative side, but on the positive side heavenly reward will, will be proportionate to the faithfulness of God’s people living in this world knowing that they are in this world but not of it, whose hope are in Jesus, whose lives shows the reality of their faith in Jesus.

We have to live to the standards of God because our hope is in God, that’s where our faith is, it’s in God, and while there is a grace yet to be given to us that we do not deserve because of Gods great salvation in Jesus, there is also a judgement to come that we do deserve either positively or negatively, and our judge is Jesus.

Jesus gave His all for us – his all – everything.  Are we willing to give our all to live to his standards.  To be holy as He is holy.

God is Holy and because He is holy we must be holy, for we are His people – we need to be identifiable as His people, and so I say again because of this great salvation in Jesus, because we have a hope that holds the future in the present because it is anchored in the past, because we set our hope on a grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed, because He gave His all for us, because there is a judgement to come that will reward living faithfully for Him, are we motivated, will we show the reality of faith in our Saviour, are we willing to give our all and live to God’s standards – To be holy as He is holy.

And there two things that Peter tells us are required of us right at the outset to achieve this.

And the first one is we have to prepare our minds for action, or have minds that are alert.  Literally, gird up the loins of your mind.  This girding up of loins describes what a man wearing a long robe had to do had to do if he had to go into action – gather the garment up between his legs and tuck it into his belt.

There are a couple of examples in the old testament of this – When the nation of Israel were about to be rescued from their slavery in Egypt, they were told to eat the Passover, with your cloak tucked into your belt – be ready to move – be ready for the journey ahead.

After the experience on Mount Carmel, Elijah knew heavy rain was coming, so he prayed, and asked his servant to look towards the sea – he kept praying, he kept asking for his servant to look – seven times until a cloud as small as a man’s hand rose from the sea, and Elijah tucked his cloak into his belt and ran – Jeremiah at the start of his ministry was told by God to get ready! 

Peter is encouraging us to get ready! Get ready for action – get ready to move.  This faith, this hope, needs to be outworked – we are on a journey to glory, we are on a mission to go where Jesus calls us to go and on a mission to say what Jesus wants us to say because as I shared last Sunday night, we are ambassadors of Jesus on this earth and we not only represent Him where we are, but we also promote Him.  Our hope is in Jesus and we need to be ready to show the reality of faith in our saviour – in our sufferings, in our battles and in our blessings.

Are you ready?  Are you ready ready ready?  Do you hear that call of the Saviour that says, ok you’ve got this great salvation, you have this hope, now get on your marks, get set…..  are you ready for living to a new standard – not one you used to live by, not one this society says you need to live by, not a standard that you think a Christian should live by, or a church expects you to live by, but a standard that your Saviour, your hope, your faith, calls you to live by.  Are you ready! 

How does a world-class sprinter deal with the drama of a big sprint showdown?

It might sometimes be over in less than 10 seconds. That doesn’t mean it happens by accident – they think about the race – how they want their start to be, how the execution of the rest will be.  They get focused. 

They are ready with a towel – a pair of running spikes

They get their fuel, their energy – water, sports drink and a few sweets for the sugar burst.

15 minutes before the gun goes, they will go down to the track and start some warm-up. They do some drills, some strides and then some mental preparation.

They get nervous before the race, everyone does.  They say it’s good for you. You’ve got to have a little bit of that you get you in the right state to race.

Called to the line by the starter, on the blocks they don’t try to think of anything apart from just run. Just run to the line.

Are you ready?  Am I ready?  Have we prepared our minds for action.

Have we got before our Saviour and brought before Him our race today. Have we got focused.  Have we got our fuel – have we read from His word, got our daily bread, have we drunk from his fountain of his love,  asked Him to fill us with His Spirit. 

Have we warmed up – have we worshipped him, prayed about what’s ahead today

Are we nervous about what is ahead – good – means we need to depend on Him

So we’re called to the starting line.  Are we ready?  Are we ready to show the reality of our faith in Jesus today.

The second things we need to have is to be fully sober, or sober minded as some versions put it

In Luke 12, Jesus tells the story about being servants being ready for their master coming. He says that those who say to themselves, oh well, he’s taking a long time to come back, so let’s just eat, drink and be merry and live in the now will miss out.

And maybe Peter is thinking of this when we writes  these words in verse 13 to be fully sober because Jesus was contrasting the watchful expectancy of a faithful servant with drunken indifference to the return of the Lord.  Drunkenness is a refuge for those who have no hope, but we have a hope in Jesus.  Being sober minded means having our minds alert to the voice of Jesus.

Peter is saying there is marked difference from what we were because we  know this great salvation, through knowing Jesus – drunken-ness is a picture of what people in this world revel in – I hear so often in the office about a great night out someone had where much alcohol was consumed.  A great night can’t be had without getting drunk – what a shame that is. But we revel in Jesus – in His great salvation.

Again Peter is calling us not only to be ready, but to have an attitude that says – I’m living for Jesus, and it’s not a joyless gloom, it’s a living hope expressed as we live out the reality of our faith in Jesus with an alert wisdom that seizes the opportunities to represent Him and promote Him. In other words have an attitude that is ready to go. Ready to live for Him.

Conclusion

Are you wholly holy? In other words are you fully holy, or is there a hole in your holiness.  We will delve a little bit deeper into that next time but for now, there is a call to action, there is a call to determine that you and I are going to live to God’s standards – to be holy as God is holy. 

To be “holy” means that we are, first of all, “set apart for honorable use.”   The Lord took the initiative to pull us out of our former lifestyles. He saved us, cleansed us, and set us apart for righteousness. He has made us holy, that’s our position in Christ.

However, the pursuit of holiness does not end when we come to Christ.

In fact, it just begins! Yes there is a positional holiness that we inherit when we are in Christ but there is also a practical holiness which we must actively pursue. God expects us to cultivate a lifestyle of holiness – to be holy as he is holy – and that’s what Peter is promoting in the verses we read this morning and encourages us to live our lives for God here with a reverence for Him because he’s saved us through his son Jesus and he will judge us for how we have lived for him.

God’s ultimate desire for His people is that we be holy—conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. Holiness is the will of God for our lives.  It’s living for Jesus to become like Jesus.

Are you determined to live for Jesus.  Are you determined to be wholly holy, to be fully holy.  Its not a suggestion, it’s not a optional extra – it’s actually a command, it’s a requirement.  But it’s a requirement that I gladly accept because my hope is in Jesus and my faith is in Jesus, so I want to live for Jesus.

Lord help us to people that prepare our minds for action every day, to be people that are sober minded – living in the reality of a hope in You that holds the future in the present because it is anchored in the past.  Help us Lord to be children of obedience that seek your will; to live by your standards, and help be ready to serve you as your ambassadors, ready for your voice, your call to go and represent you and promote you.

Lord help us to be good servants, faithful servants so that we will know the well done of you, our master. And its all because you have saved us, you have purchased us with the precious blood of Jesus. Oh Lord help us we pray to live for you, to become like you. Help us to do our part for we want our lives to be to the praise, glory and honour of Jesus, for he has given us this great salvation.  Help us to determine to be Holy, as you are holy. To live for Jesus to become like Jesus.

Amen