Drop files to upload.
Faithlife Corporation

A Vision for Holiness

Notes & Transcripts

A Vision for Holiness

2Corinthians 6:14-7:1            November 23, 2003

 

Scripture Reading:

Introduction:

This is Stewardship Sunday. We have it once a year on the Sunday right before Thanksgiving to promote the stewardship theme – to fix it in our minds for another year.

The first question we might ask is, “What does the word ‘stewardship’ mean?”

The duties of a steward are to supervise or administrate what has been entrusted to you by someone else.

In the case of an airline steward or stewardess, he or she takes care of the needs of the passengers that have entrusted their destinations and lives to the airline for the trip.

They are the ones that serve you with safety announcements, comforts like pillows and blankets, and serve you food as well as occasional humor to lighten the stress of your unfamiliar experience.

Here are some real examples of some airline humor that has been heard or reported:

Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

But seriously, why do we stress the idea of stewardship right before our Thanksgiving celebration?

It is just this. That in the idea of giving thanks is the realization that we have nothing we have not received. Even the seemingly bad things.

During a harvest festival in India, an old widow arrived at her church with an extraordinarily large offering of rice - far more than the poor woman could be expected to afford. The itinerant pastor of the church did not know the widow well. But he did know that she was very poor and so he asked her if she were making the offering in gratitude for some unusual blessing. "Yes," replied the woman. "My son was sick and I promised a large gift to God if he got well." "And your son has recovered?" asked the pastor. The widow paused. "No," she said. "He died last week. But I know that he is in God's care; for that I am especially thankful."

All we have is from the hand of Almighty God by his grace and goodness. For these things we give thanks.

But also in giving thanks we realize we have been given a responsibility along with the gift. If it is from God, whatever it is, then we must value it and take care of it.

As Christians, what is the most valuable thing we have been given? OK, you say that your salvation is the most valuable thing. But now let me ask, “What did your salvation give you as a trust that is more valuable than anything else?”

What did your salvation give you as a trust that you must safeguard, watch over, protect and care for?

The answer is in today’s message in 2Corinthians 6:14-7:1 on page 1800 in your pew Bibles if you would please turn there with me.

Let us stand and read this passage together.

Generally, these ‘stewardship’ messages are about giving to the church. A message prompting and reminding us that the ministry needs our monetary support is appropriate at least once a year if not more often.

This morning’s message is not about that, per se. But we will get to it. It is coming in 2Corinthians 8. But we aren’t there yet in our preaching through 2Corinthians.

But as is most often the case, God has a message in mind for the passage that just happens to come up on a particular Sunday.

But I will say that you have been a marvelous church in the way you have given to missions (we support 8 different mission families or ministries on the field at over 17% of our church budget – or $15,600 out of $89,800), and the way you have given to upgrade and maintain the facility that God has given us with the many projects we have completed over the last several years. We have more needs awaiting and I encourage you to keep giving.

But as I said, that is not what this message is about. This message is about something much more important – the reason we give to those other things in the first place.

Let us remind ourselves where we came from in the last message to see where we are going in this one, since all Scripture flows together in a marvelous river of truth.

2Corinthians 6:3-13 ---

In what ways might we know whether a servant of Christ is serious about serving?

A serious servant of Christ does not discredit the gospel message by a passionless presentation.

A serious servant of Christ charts a path to God by passionately going the distance - no matter what.

A serious servant of Christ speaks of his passion by his life.

A serious servant of Christ calls for passion in the life of others.

Even though we cut off last week’s message with this last point, there is another point in the same format that today’s passage will address.

What we could say is that, “A serious servant of Christ has a passion for holiness.”

Today’s message will transform that into a ‘vision’ for holiness.

Big Question:

In what ways should we carry out our passion for holiness?

-Or (in light of today’s theme) -

In what ways are we to be stewards of the gift of holiness we have been given?

We must guard against sinful relationships.

We must guard against satanic entrapments.

We must guard against defaming God.

We must celebrate our difference.

We must celebrate our new family relationships.

We must enable God’s promise of holiness for ourselves by participating in it.

Can you guess what is the greatest gift we have been given that we are to be stewards of? Yes, it is holiness – the holiness of God that must not be defiled.

As we move from chapter 5 to 6 to 7 and to 8, we see the following progression taking shape.

Motive         Passion          Joy          Generosity

Quite frankly, all this is because of the greatest gift we have been given – God’s holiness through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 6:14)

          B.      Implication

We must guard against sinful relationships.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (v. 6:15)

          B.      Implication

We must guard against satanic entrapments.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (v. 6:16)

          B.      Implication

We must guard against defaming God.

          C.      Illustration

Did you know that..... (E-mail from Joanna Zarriello)

As you walk up the steps to the Capitol Building which houses the Supreme

Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ... it is Moses and the Ten Commandments!

As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.

As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall right above where the Supreme Court judges sit a display of the Ten Commandments!

There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.

James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement... "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves

according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country, said ..."It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians ... not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher...whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established churches in the colonies.

Thomas Jefferson worried about that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law ...an oligarchy ... the rule of few over many.

The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said ... "Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers."

How then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 200 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

Family Research Council:

The following is from a reader of the Update in response to the Massachusetts court decision on same-sex "marriage." We couldn't have said it better ourselves:

"An entire state's marriage laws were turned upside down overnight. There were no townhall meetings, there was no vote in the legislature, and there was no referendum on the ballot. Marriage in Massachusetts was uprooted by a lawsuit.

By issuing this reckless decision, these radical jurists have formed their very own four man constitutional convention. In fact, the court has now forced the citizens to amend the constitution - no small task - just to maintain the status quo.

What happened to 'We the People'?"

- Josh from Virginia

 

CBS Continues Trend of Worsening TV Content

 

It is "Sweeps Week" and CBS has fallen back on that tried and true strategy of sexual exploitation to win the week. Last night CBS dumped an hour-long Victoria's Secret special onto the public airwaves. Women in g-strings and bras were paraded around seemingly endlessly on a cat walk as cameras zoomed in to what should have been the model's private parts. Was CBS' goal to sell underwear? Hardly! It was selling sex and nothing more.

This raises the question: Who owns the "public airwaves"? CBS believes it owns a chunk of it, yet they belong to us - hence the word "public."

The show was scheduled to run after 10pm both in the East and the West, presumably to avoid violating Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations which prohibit indecency on network television from 6 to 10pm. Any stations that aired it early could face FCC enforcement, although they probably have little to fear because the FCC cares little for its enforcement role. No network affiliate has ever been fined by the FCC for indecency violations, to our recollection. Recently, the FCC even ruled that the use of the "F" word by rock singer Bono during the Golden Globe Awards was not a violation of decency standards.

If we are going to clean up our culture and teach our children well, a good place to start may be with the FCC and our television networks.

          D.      Application

IV.    Cycle Four

 

          A.      Narrative (v. 6:17)

          B.      Implication

We must celebrate our difference.

          C.      Illustration

In a play on the homosexual agenda so ‘in vogue’ in our society these days, but in a much more holy sense, let us have a ‘coming out’ party. Let us be silent no longer. Let us come out of the ‘closet’. Let us celebrate our difference unabashedly!

Chicago Tribune: 11/20/03, Friday, “Gay-rights proposal shelved in legislature”

          D.      Application

V.      Cycle Five

          A.      Narrative (v. 6:18)

          B.      Implication

We must celebrate our new family relationships.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

VI.    Cycle Six

          A.      Narrative (v. 7:1)

          B.      Implication

We must enable God’s promise of holiness for ourselves by participating in it.

          C.      Illustration

          D.      Application

Conclusion:

Big Answer:

In what ways are we to be stewards of the gift of holiness we have been given?

We must guard against sinful relationships.

We must guard against satanic entrapments.

We must guard against defaming God.

We must celebrate our difference.

We must celebrate our new family relationships.

We must enable God’s promise of holiness for ourselves by participating in it.

Timeless Truth:

One cannot be holy without a passion for God, a vision for his or her place with God, that sets apart unto God the life that God created in his image.

How will you be a steward of holiness?

How will you carry out this vision for yourself, for your family, for your church, for your nation?

Let me give you some pointers and an example on having vision ---

ILLUS: Visioneering by Andy Stanley, pp. 16-56 9 (selected)

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →