Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

10/22/2017 P.M.

 

Walking In Holiness

1 Peter 2.9-10 & 1 Timothy 6.3-12

 

This morning... We talked about Holiness...

• What is it...

• How to be Holy...

• And some hindrances to Holiness.

 

We also noted that we live in a spiritually skewed culture... Where Holiness is not given a prominent place... For instance we live in a culture where...

• We want wealth without work…

• Pleasure without conscience…

• Knowledge without character…

• Capitalism without morality…

• Sciencewithout humanity…

• Worship without sacrifice…

• Politics without principle…

• Religion without commitment.


Tonight...We continue our thoughts by noting two passages that encourage Holiness.

 

From First Peter chapter two... You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation... A people belonging to God... That you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not His people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

 

Indeed...God calls to be something special...

chosen ones...

• A royal priesthood of believers...

• A Holy Nation...

• A people belonging to God

• Called out of darkness into His light...

• those who will praise them with their lives...

• Our King James says... Peculiar People.

 

Are we willing… Are We?... Really?

 

Now...In light of this calling... Paul gives us The How To... Things that we must exclude and include in our lives daily... In order to become... A Holy people... living stones... A royal priesthood.

 

Obtain a Worship Handout... And let’s read our text together... First Timothy six... I begin reading with the verse numbered three...

 

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 

Let’s see what we can learn about

Becoming a Holy Nation...

The people god called us to be...

 

Flee.. Run from the sin of... Pride... Human conceit.

 

Gotta tell you this is the number one reason most of us are not the person God calls us to be.

• Pride... Arrogance... Narcissism... Self-Love… Self-Worship.

• Thinking more highly of self than we ought to.

• Boot strap philosophy.

• Placing our own interest... Our own rights... Above the interests and rights of others.

Ask me if we Americans suffer from this sin?

Ask me if it gets in our way to being God’s Holy People?

 

God hates Pride?

In Proverbs chapter six... Solomon gives us a list of seven things God DETESTS

Do you know what tops God’s list?... You got it!... Pride.

Pride erects barriers to our salvation.

 

Jesus spoke of two men who went to pray.

One prayed in pride...

• God I thank you that I am not like others.

• God... You are so lucky to have me in Your church... This church... I don’t know what they’d do without me.

 

One prayed humbly... God be merciful to me a sinner.

 

Here it is church... Prideful people cannot be saved.

Pride makes it impossible to accept God’s forgiveness... Because pride can’t see our short- comings... Our faults... Our sins... What we don’t see... We don’t repent of… Amen?

 

Flee... Run from... envy... jealousy.

Envy is a desire to have what others have... Envy leads us into all kinds of human ugliness.

 

Perhaps the greatest witness against envy in the Bible is the family of Jacob.

• In this family envy caused division and disunity.

• It set mother Rebecca against her husband and her own oldest son.

• It caused Jacob & Esau to lie to their father about their birthright.

• It caused brothers to contemplate murder.

• Envy caused these brothers to hurt the father they loved.

• This envy caused them to live years in family estrangement.

• Envy denied their happiness...

• Later... The envy of Jacob’s sons caused him to live for years in Grief and Mourning…Thinking Joseph was dead.

 

Is it possible our family... Our church... Is embracing such envy... Are we living like Jacob’s family?

 

We can never be... holy... God’s living stones... With envy and jealousy in our hearts.

 

Flee... Run from strife... The NIV says quarreling.

 

Some people love a fight.

 

Some are so twisted that they believe happiness is living in a teapot.

 

If there’s not a crisis going... They will create one... Don’t you hate it!!!... So does God!!

• Crisis in the family...

• Trouble on the job...

• Disunity in the church,

• Dissension within themselves.

 

Have you noticed who these people are?... They are the ones who ask controversial questions in a Bible Class... Not to gain knowledge... But to start an argument or embarrass the teacher.

 

Church...Let’s get rid of this kind of behavior... It doesn’t help our HOLINESS.

 

Plus...It doesn’t help us personally... Jesus said...Happiness... God’s blessing... belongs to the peacemaker... Not those who cause strife and contention.

 

Jesus contended that we will be known as... Holy people... lIVING STONES... When we love the brethren... Not when we cause discord... Amen?

 

Flee... Run from... malicious talk... Railing in our King James.

Listen to Peter in chapter three... Verse ten,... Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

 

I have a sermon... The Tongue Is Not For Biting.

Most of us think it is childish to bite others with our teeth... But think nothing of biting others with our tongue...

• James says... A biting tongue is full of deadly poison.

• Solomon writes... Cruel words crush the spirit.

 

You see... When we’re Gracious...loving... forgiving... with our tongue we know that it is under the control of God and that we’re His Holy People.

 

Flee...  Run from... surmising... Evil suspicions.

This is simply having an evil imagination.

 

We must know tonight that evil thoughts bring about evil emotions... Evil emotions result in evil acts... Listen to this progressive truth...

• Sow a thought and you reap an emotion.

• Sow an emotion… Reap an act.

• Sow an act… Reap a habit.

• Sow a habit… Reap a lifestyle.

• Sow a lifestyle… And we reap a destiny.

 

Church...Evil thinking cannot be hidden... It ultimately comes out in our behavior.

 

Paul gives us the cure in Philippians four... Whatever is... True... Noble...Right... Whatever is… Pure... Lovely... Admirable... If anything is excellent or praiseworthy... Think about these things.

 

Holy People... God’s Living Stones... Are those who discipline their thoughts… Control their attitudes and behavior.

 

Flee... Run from... materialism... The love of money.

Paul’s speaking of the love of things... Our unending search for financial gain.

 

Do we understand tonight that God didn’t create us to be materialists... To love money.

 

He created us to have a relationship with Him and with one another.

 

Materialism was the problem with the rich young ruler... Money was more important than Jesus. The narrative says he went away in sorrow... And so will we... And so will we… When we place things before our God and our worship of Him.

 

Flee... Run from youthful lust... Evil desires.

Thanks to modern television... DVDs... And the internet... Things are taking place in our living rooms that never, never took place in Sodom and Gomorrah... Can I say that again?

Sexual lust is an illusion...It’s a lie... Sexual lust can never, never, never be satisfied... Ask the registered sex offender... None of them intended to end up on this list or in prison for their evil desires.

 

Sexual lust is an empty promise... The more pornography we see... The more we want to see. The frenzy grows and grows... Becomes more and more intense... Until it drives men and women... teens... to do hideous things to one another and to children…Sometimes to their own.

 

Make no mistake about it... There’s no end to sexual lust. Not stopped… It will consume us. God’s Holy People must flee such evil desires.

 

We’ve been... Fleeing...excluding... Some things from our lives.

Paul turns our attention to those things that we must... include... Embrace...

In order to be... Holy People... living stones.

 

Remember Jesus’ narrative of the man possessed with evil...

Who cleaned his house... His heart... But failed to fill it with Holiness...

Satan returns and his condition is worse than at first.

 

pursue righteousness.

Righteousness is simply that which is right... Living Holy lives... Consider three verses...

 

• Psalm 119.138 and 172... All Thy statutes are righteous... They are fully trustworthy... May my tongue sing of your Word... For all your commands are righteous.

 

• Matthew 3.15... Jesus told John the Baptist… Let it be so… This baptism is to fulfill all righteousness.

 

Jesus knew that… All of God’s commands are righteous... And that Holiness is living out His commands.

 

Embrace godliness.

Godliness is that which is Godlike.

Godliness includes the moral attributes of God....

• He’sloving....

• He’s patient....

• Long suffering....

• Merciful....

• Gracious...

• Forgiving....

• Kind...

• Good...

• Truthful.

Paul told the Corinthian church... And us... Do not compare yourselves with yourselves, but compare yourselves... to Christ... to God in the flesh.

 

Genuine holiness is our taking on the attributes of God.

 

Keep the faith.

The Hebrews writer tells us that without faith it is impossible... To please God... To be Holy.


John tells us... The victory that overcomes this world is our faith.

 

Faith is a trust and confidence enough that we will be...

  • Like Enoch... We’ll walk with God.

  • Like Able... We’ll offer a correct sacrifice... In our case a living sacrifice.

  • Like Noah... We’ll prepare a way of escape from this world... To a new world.

  • Like Abraham... We’ll go where God calls us to go.

LIVING STONES are those who have Faith… Who have a trust and confidence in God.

 

We must LIVE IN love.

I don’t know any better way to preach this than to read First Corinthians chapter13...

 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move  mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy... Does not boast... Is not proud. Not rude or self-seeking. Love is not easily angered... Keeps no record of wrongs. Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. There’s faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Church...What kind of sound are we making?... Just a noise... Or the sound of love?

 

PERSEVERE.

James says regardless of how your faith may be tested... We must persevere... And perseverance makes us... Mature... Complete... Holy... Lacking nothing.

 

Then finally... Practice gentleness.

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit... An attribute of Jesus.

Gentleness carries with it the connotation of meekness with restraint.

Gentleness is the opposite of harshness... And can be seen in...

• Loving our enemies.

• Praying for those who… persecute... abuse and misuse… us.

• Caring for those who do not appreciate it.

• Bearing one another’s burdens.

• Forgiving others as we have been forgiven in Christ.

 

Well... That’s it!...

If we’re genuinely interested in becoming... Holy People... LIVING STONES in God’s house.

• There are some things we must... flee... run... from... Exclude from our life.

Some things we must... Pursue... Embrace… Add to our daily walk.

 

What do you and your preacher need to do tonight to become a child of God?

• Forsake some of these sins we talked about in genuine repentance?

• Be born again in New Testament Baptism?

 

My prayer is that… As His children... The lessons today will... Prompt us... Compel us... To become holy People as we stand and sing together.