Presentation on theme: "In pursuit of holiness The holiness of God Holiness: an impossible dream? Dead to sin; alive in Christ Holy living with the Holy Spirit."— Presentation transcript:
In pursuit of holiness The holiness of God Holiness: an impossible dream? Dead to sin; alive in Christ Holy living with the Holy Spirit
Holiness: two common reactions Indifference Anxiety - policeman syndrome! We like to hear about the love of God… but the holiness of God is a challenge.
May the God of peace make you holy all the way through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 5:23
When we hear the news we are saddened in our hearts. But we shouldn’t be surprised. People do people things. And we have no power to purify ourselves. How can a godless society expect to be godly? And what might our response be?
Imagine if the church were truly holy. Not personal piety; Not theological study; But a deep collective transformation.
God’s people are called to be distinctive. A holy priesthood - in our community. And we can’t light a fire if we aren’t on fire! If we’re looking for revival in our town holiness will be at the heart of it.
How do we do this? Find and follow Jesus. Not simply as a doctrine to be learned but as a Lord to be served and a life to be lived.
Holiness is at the heart of the story of God. Holiness is who God is. Majesty; purity; wholly other. His holiness is violated in Eden Gen 3. And is restored in Rev 21. Holiness and love are indivisible.
Holiness is about being fully human. A return to Eden’s ideal. A taste of paradise. Not God’s burden but God’s best. A deeper relationship with God.
How little people know who think holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing… it’s irresistible. CS Lewis
So would we like a powerful encounter with God? We think it would be a WOW! But Isaiah found different…
Isaiah 6: 1 - 8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered
their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the L ORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the alter.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, Send me!”
Wow turns to woe is me… v3 How can an encounter with God leave us undone? Isaiah is learning something about God.
God reveals his kingship and majesty. v2 I saw the Lord high and exalted seated on a throne. God reveals his power. v2 His train filled the temple. The doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. God reveals his command over all creation. v3 Holy Holy Holy. The whole earth is full of his glory.
God’s holiness exposes our sinfulness. I am a man of unclean lips… The preacher covers his mouth. God doesn’t tell Isaiah he’s sinful. This encounter with God simply shows things as they are. I live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King… v5
Something we need to know about God. He can’t pass over sin. Like oil and water – sin and holiness don’t mix. Sin must be dealt with in some way.
If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. 1 John 1:8 Peter Go away from me Lord; I am a sinful man. Luke 5:8 Sin is our universal imperfection. Active and passive.
Hebrew: deviating from the path set for us by God. Putting ourselves at the centre rather than God. Sin isn’t just an offence against our neighbour but a personal offence against God.
Isaiah says he is ruined by the encounter with God. This tells us something about true repentance. Different from just feeling sorry. It’s a deep awareness of having offended God.
But the God who is holy is also the God who is love. It’s his love that finds a way to cover over our sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness. 1 Jn 1:9
I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. 2 Cor 7:9 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Cor 7:9
This is not cheap grace! It cost Jesus his life… Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance. Rom 2:4
God sends a seraph to cleanse Isaiah Isaiah doesn’t ask or deserve but God graciously cleanses him. Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. v8 God doesn’t reveal himself to destroy us but to redeem us.
Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said “Here am I. Send me!” v8 Holiness is about healing. Holiness is about commissioning. Holiness is about changing hearts, lives and the world.
Sin is a powerful word. But it’s not the last word. Holy love has found a way. We get the position of holiness in an instant. The practice of holiness develops over a lifetime.
The only one who has never sinned is Jesus. Tempted but never sinned. Never deviated from the perfect will of God.
Next week… The holiness of God Holiness – an impossible dream? Dead to sin; alive in Christ Holy living with the Holy Spirit