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Called to be holy - part 4

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1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) – page 1219
13
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

·         Called to be Holy

·         In the preparation of your minds for action and being sober-minded on this Lord’s day, bring to your minds this passage of Scripture

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) – page 1199
16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

·         Last Sunday I open with an introduction illustrating the family and the family structure to point out that your status within your family does not change but your ability, responsibility, and accountability within your family does change, it is the same with the Lord!

·         At this point in Peter’s letter, my goal is for you to leave here confident in these matters

·         Confident that your status with God does not change, confident that your ability, because of God’s grace, does change

·         Confidence in your new nature

·         And today the question is are you confident in the Holy Spirit?

·         Are you convince on this Lord’s day that in order for you to be holy in all your conduct, you must have confidence in the Holy Spirit?

·         Do you not know that in order to say Amen to the call to be holy, you must have faith, a growing faith, in the third person of the ‘Blessed Trinity’, the Holy Spirit?

·         Today I stand before you leaning on, depending on, the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and having faith that the Holy Spirit is more than just in this place, He is dwelling in you O Saints of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

·         No illustrations at this point, just the Word of God

·         Trusting in the Holy Spirit to make it plain for you, where you are in your walk with the Lord

·         Listen

John 14:15-18 (ESV) – page 1086
15
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:25-27 (ESV) – page 1087

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 15:26 (ESV) – page 1088
26
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

John 16:12-15 (ESV) – page 1088
12
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Acts 1:8 (ESV) – page 1095
8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

·         Too many times and too many situations and on far too many occasions, you have believed that this call to be holy is based on your skill level and your assessment of your level

·         The book I am preaching through is a letter authored by Peter, one of the Lord’s apostles  

·         Listen

Luke 22:31-34 (ESV) – page 1063
31
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

·         What is the point that I am trying to make in this opening?

·         Just this, Where would Peter had ended up if Jesus had not prayed for him?

·         The Word of God allows us to see the sanctification of Peter and a few more of the elect of God

·         For there to be a letter addressed to, well listen again to it;

1 Peter 1:1 (ESV) – page 1219
1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

·         Jesus had to pray that Peter’s faith would not fail

·         It’s interesting that Jesus prays about the faith in Peter’s life and not about the facts of Peter’s life – like health, wealth, strength, knowledge or learning ability

·         But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail

·         Heath,  may fail but your faith may not fail

·         Wealth,  may fail but your faith may not fail

·         Strength,  may fail but your faith may not fail

·         Safety,  may fail but your faith may not fail

·         Even Security,  may fail but your faith may not fail

·         And when you have turned again, Peter, strengthen your brothers.

·         If Jesus had not prayed for Peter, what would Cornelius have done

·         If Jesus had not prayed for Peter, how could there be letters called first and second Peter?

·         Do you realize that the same Satan demands you?

·         Scripture speaks of his conversation about Job and why would you think that you are exempt?

·         But the same Jesus has prayed for you collectively and individually

·         Listen back in John

John 17:20-23 (ESV) – page 1089
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“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

·         Prayer for the collective church

·         The song says somebody prayed for me, they had me on their minds, they took a little time to pray for me, I’m so glad they prayed but here more specifically,

·         Jesus prayed for me, He had me on His mind and He took time to pray for me, I’m so glad He prayed!

·         But recall that this context of prayers by Jesus is also for the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:16 (ESV) – page 1137
16
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

·         Jesus tells Peter back in Luke, and when you have turned again (for surely you will turn again) strengthen your brothers

·         This is what Peter does in his letter

·         You shall be holy in all your conduct!

·         How?  How can I be holy in all my conduct?

·         Peter has given the answer in his opening to his letter

1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV) – page 1219
1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

·         Holiness in all of your conduct is accomplish by faith in the Holy Trinity but especially faith in

·         The sanctification of the Spirit

·         Do you have faith in the Holy Spirit?

·         Are you convinced that He knows what He’s doing in your life, all of it?

·         Peter does not reinvent the wheel and neither should we

Galatians 3:1-5 (ESV) – page 1170, 1171
1
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

·         Faith is what got us here and faith is what keeps us here – Amen!

·         Again Peter does not, at this point, says much other than; “you also be holy in all of your conduct”

·         How?


Galatians 5:16-17 (ESV) – page 1173
16
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

·         Holy in all your conduct means that you have power over sin

·         Holy in all your conduct means that you are able not to sin

·         Holy in all your conduct is not based on your will power but on your humility power

·         It is believing and trusting in the theology that through Christ a true supernatural power is at work in you that makes otherwise impossible changes occur.

·         Your status before God changes not at all, but your ability to change for the good is fundamentally altered and improved by the Holy Spirit who lives within you!

Galatians 5:22-26 (ESV) – page 1173
22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

·         Do you believe this?

·         For if you do, then I can say to each of you today;

·         You are not bound by those past spiritual snapshots of your yesterday and today sins. 

·         Snapshots that always catch you in a state of missing the mark.

·         Because you have not been spiritually photogenic does not mean that your future spiritual photographs will look like the old ones.

·         I want you leaving here today confident that tomorrow doesn’t have to be like today!  Amen

·         Not only have you changed, there is hope for change!

·         And even though you may look somewhat the same on the outside, that is people can still recognize you,

·         You are being rehab on the inside, with new wiring, new programming, rehabbing the emotions, rehabbing the thinking, faith is strengthened, hope is refreshed, and love gets an extra coat of polish.

·         One author said it this way; “Because I am a new creature in Christ Jesus, the Spirit of God indwells me and I have the means of grace available to me by which the Spirit teaches, trains, and rewires me so that I can mature in knowledge and righteousness”

·         We are still in a fallen condition but our attitude toward sin has been changed

·         You and I will sometime still yield to temptation, but the rehabbing by the Holy Spirit causes us to hate our own susceptibility to the wrong

·         That is one way of knowing that a wonderful change has come over you.  I don’t know how this effects each of you but sometimes I get mad with myself because of the things I find myself doing or thinking.

·         I want to also remind you again as I said in an earlier sermon;

·         As important as the spiritual disciplines (prayer, quiet time, bible reading and study, worship, fellowship) are in spiritual maturity, the supernatural process of sanctifying you is still based on the grace of God not on your works

·         And it proceeds at his rate of speed and not our

·         Not of works so that no one can boast

·         Let me also give this warning be careful of having pride in your spiritual maturity or from too hasty judgment of other’s spiritual condition

·         For instance, I could be tempted to take pride in my pasturing, my marriage, my grown children, this fellowship, your friendship and on and on, by virtue of how the ministry is blessed, my wife is saved, my children didn’t cause much trouble growing up, a praying fellowship or lasting friendship


·         However, I may learn upon my entry into heaven that the reason God so blessed me was that my faith was too weak to have persevered with a more troubled pastoral situation, an unsaved wife or troubled children, a shaky fellowship or weak friends 

·         These various situations of life that we face are for our ongoing sanctification and only the Holy Spirit knows what is best for the spiritual nurture of each individual, and He matures us by natural and supernatural means.

·         This is why Peter can write to exiles of the dispersion in various places in Asia Minor and say –

1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) – page 1219
13
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

·         Do you believe in these words?  And can you rejoice as a result of these words?

·         I opened today with this Scripture passage  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Allow me to close today by giving you the entire passage from Paul’s letter to the Galatians chapter 5 verses 16-26 and say you can be holy in all your conduct as He who called you is holy!

Listen


Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV)
16
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

·         Be confident as you leave here today that your status will not change before an unchanging God

·         Be confident as you leave here today that your ability does change, be patient with me for God is not through with me yet

·         And be confident as you leave here today that you can be holy in all your conduct as the result of this progressive sanctification! 

·         Now to Him, To Him, who is able to keep you from stumbling

·         To Him, who is able to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy

·         To Him, the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord

·         Be glory, be majesty, be dominion, and be authority

·         Before all time and now and forever

·         In Jesus’ name

·         Amen

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