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Holiness Commanded

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Text: I Peter 1:14-16; I Thessalonians 4:1-7


What is Holiness?  The best definition of true holiness is God Himself.  God is holy and perfect.  The word Holiness means "separation" or "to be set apart."  "Holiness is a general term used to indicate sanctity or separation from all that is sinful, impure, or morally imperfect.  It is moral wholeness." (Quote 1: New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)  God wants Christians to be holy.  In fact, Christians are commanded and called to be holy in body and in spirit.

I. The Command for Holiness (I Peter 1:14-16) (Lev. 19:2; 20:7)

            A. God commands Christians to be holy.

            B. Holiness is God's will for Christians (I Thessalonians 4)

                        (Explain the three aspects of Sanctification.)

(Transition: Now that we know God commands all Christians to be holy, let us take a look at holiness in body.)

II. Holiness in Body (I Thessalonians 4:1- 4)

            A. Abstain from fornication. (Quote 3)

                 1. “Fornication is defined as sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage.”  (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)         

                 2. “FORNICATION: Used of illicit sexual intercourse in general.”  (From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary)

            B. Abstain from drugs and alcohol (Visual #1: poster)

(Story:  Drugs and alcohol mess up peoples lives.  My close friend in high school got involved in drugs in his senior year.  It completely ruined his life.  He went from being a Straight A's student and an all star baseball player to being a C student and an average baseball player.  He was a good Christian until he became addicted to drugs and alcohol.  He did not try to live a holy life separate from the world, and instead he ended up falling into a lifestyle of sin.  I ended up losing a good friend to drugs and alcohol.)

(Transition: Now that we know how to be holy in body, let us take a look at holiness in spirit and mind.)

III. Holiness in Mind and Spirit (I Thessalonians 4:5-7)

A. Abstain from lusting after things

         1. The Pulpit Commentary defines concupiscence translates this phrase as “not in the passion of lust.”

         2. Webster’s Dictionary defines concupiscence as “strong desire, usually a sexual desire.” 

         3.  The Greek word Epithumia means desire, or a selfish desire. 

B. Don't let any corrupt thing proceed out of your mouth. (Ephesians 4:29)

(Poem):  Sow a thought, reap an act;                                                                                                                             

Sow an act, reap a habit;                                                                                                                                 Sow a habit, reap a character. (Quote 4) (Quote 5) (Visual #2: Full color OH)

IV. Why Should Believers Be Holy?

Paul “offered three reasons that the Thessalonians and all believers should abstain from sexual immorality: because of God's vengeance, because of God's purpose, and because of God's Holy Spirit.”  (from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary)


In conclusion, God has called and commanded Christians to live holy lives.  Christians are to be holy in body, in mind, and in spirit.  All Christians should strive to live holy lives that are pleasing to the Lord. We are new creatures in Christ, and we should separate ourselves from the world in order to live holy lives.


Holy Bible. King James Version. I Thessalonians 4:1-7 & I Peter 1:14-16

Mortensen, Mr. Marc. Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Westwood Lake. Pastoral Interview. 28 April 2002.

Sermon Central. "Holiness." 24 April 2002.

New Unger's Bible Dictionary. "Holiness." Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois. 1988.

Concordance.  "Holiness."  PC Bible study Program (Version 3).  Biblesoft. [CD-ROM] 2001.

The Pulpit Commentary.  "Holiness." PC Bible study Program (Version 3). Biblesoft.  [CD-ROM] 2001.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary.  “Fornication.”  PC Bible Study Program (Version 3).  Biblesoft.  [CD-ROM] 2001.

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