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Can God’s People Live Holy Lives?

Colossians 3:12-17


12 ενδυσασθε ουν ως εκλεκτοι του θεου αγιοι και ηγαπημενοι σπλαγχνα οικτιρμων χρηστοτητα ταπεινοφροσυνην πραοτητα μακροθυμιαν   13 ανεχομενοι αλληλων και χαριζομενοι εαυτοις εαν τις προς τινα εχη μομφην καθως και ο χριστος εχαρισατο υμιν ουτως και υμεις   14 επι πασιν δε τουτοις την αγαπην ητις εστιν συνδεσμος της τελειοτητος   15 και η ειρηνη του θεου βραβευετω εν ταις καρδιαις υμων εις ην και εκληθητε εν ενι σωματι και ευχαριστοι γινεσθε   16 ο λογος του χριστου ενοικειτω εν υμιν πλουσιως εν παση σοφια διδασκοντες και νουθετουντες εαυτους ψαλμοις και υμνοις και ωδαις πνευματικαις εν χαριτι αδοντες εν τη καρδια υμων τω κυριω  17 και παν ο τι αν ποιητε εν λογω η εν εργω παντα εν ονοματι κυριου ιησου ευχαριστουντες τω θεω και πατρι δι αυτου

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


Are you a Holy Person?

Three different English words translate three related Greek words

  • Holy – Associated with the character of God
  • Saint – Associated with one who manifests the character of God
  • Sanctify – Associated with the conduct which manifests the character of God.

  • To many, holiness is nothing more than the practice of self-righteousness. – Pharisee in the temple – Holiness is being purer in ones own eyes than the next guy.
  • To others, holiness is unachievable in this life and in this world.  It is a goal to shoot for, but not possible. 

What is the key to Holiness?

That which is holy is “set apart for special use

  • A church building can be “set apart for special use.”
  • A gift in the offering plate is set apart.
  • Many things can be set apart for special use.

If it is set apart unto God, it must also be free from any defilement.

Sinless perfection is impossible this side of glory, but dedication is possible.

Are you a Holy Person? – You are called to be in this passage.


Last week: Why don’t more Christians wear their Christianity where people can see it? 

This Week: Why don’t more Christians live holy lives in public?

Three reasons:

I.       Being Holy requires personal participation

A.     The reality of who I am rests in the finished work of Christ

1.      Holy Is Who I am – Col 3:12 | 1Cor 1:2

2.      It is mine by virtue of New Creation – 1 Cor 6:9-11

B.     But the practice of holiness is unnatural, and therefore commanded / 1Pet 1:13-16

1.      Is it possible to be a “saint” without acting saintly

a)        1 Cor 1:2 – No church in the NT was as polluted in their thinking and activity as was Corinth

2.      If the practice of holiness was “natural” to the New Birth, there would be no need to appeal.

a)        No reason to say, “Put on Christian character: holy”

C.     Let me illustrate: Sanctification at the coffee maker

1.      Check into a hotel

a)        Problem in the lobby – drips coming from ceiling

b)        5 pails, 1 coffee maker

2.      Next morning – Free Breakfast

a)        5 pails, a waste basket is where the coffee maker was.

b)        The coffee maker is sitting on the counter filled with fresh coffee – What would go through your mind?

3.      Lessons

a)        When does a coffee maker become a coffee maker?

(1)      Answer – When its maker makes it to be one
(2)      We become “holy” when our Maker makes us holy – Position

b)        Is a coffee maker in the box at the Wal Mart store a real coffee maker?

(1)      Answer – Yes! It is a coffee maker, but it is not doing what it was created to do
(2)      Saints hiding their holiness in the box – their holiness shines only in the presence of other coffee pots

c)         The coffee maker is most effective when it makes coffee

(1)      Those who are holy fulfill their Maker’s plan when they practice holiness

d)        Can the coffee maker be used in a vile way and still be a coffee maker?

(1)      Not without defilement
(2)      Sometimes not without damage – made unusable
(a)       There are sins that remove pastors from their pulpits
(b)       Story of the Sunday School teacher on the business trip

4.      Three aspects to holiness

a)        Holiness is secured in your life when you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior

b)        Holiness will be fully realized when Jesus returns

c)         Until that time, Saints are called to manifest God’s holiness to a world that is hostile toward holiness. – John 17:14-16

5.      Holiness requires the believer to know God’s truth and act upon it. – John 17:17

II.     Being Holy invites great expectations

A.     If your light shines, men will see it.

1.      1Peter 4:1-5

2.      Eric Liddell – As hard as they tried, Hollywood did not get it right; Liddell was ridiculed for his stand, not admired.

B.     Evil will be exposed

1.      Mark 5:1-20

2.      6-7 – Holiness will trouble the very deeds of Satan’s demons

3.      15-17 – Holiness will trouble those who are “not so bad”

4.      18-20 – He wanted to live at camp

C.     People will force their double-standards upon you

1.      “You call yourself a Christian, yet you will not give to my charity?”

2.      Jesus feasts with publicans and sinners

III.   Being Holy displays great contradictions

A.     Because it is spiritual, the natural man assumes holiness is hypocrisy.

1.      He who has no Holy Spirit dwelling within cannot see any pure motive for living a holy life.

2.      He is moved by three natural forces

a)        Conformity to his Society – Peer pressure

b)        Control by his addictions – Enslavement

c)         Energized by his passions – Lust Control

3.      To act holy without first being holy is frustrating

a)        Dressing chimps in human clothing

b)        Training Coco the chimp to act “human”

Will Coco go back to her species and teach all chimps how to be more like humans?

c)         The Sin-controlled world fears that it is our intention to force “holiness” upon it.

(1)      One day, that will be realized – Zech 14:1ff – Jesus will return to earth / The enemies of God will be judged instantly
(2)      Zech 14:20-21 – Universal recognition of every aspect of life – Holy bells will ring everywhere

d)        If you do not have Jesus Christ as Savior, the call to holiness is nothing more than religious rules.

B.     It is not hypocrisy if …

1.      The disciple is truly born again

a)        His nature is not recreated

2.      The disciple is dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God

a)        His purpose for life is regenerated

3.      The clothing of our past life is cast off before we put on our new clothes

a)        He does not see his life as “multi-purpose”

b)        Two lives: sacred & secular

c)         If the very bells on the livestock are holy, what aspect of your life is too ordinary that it cannot come into conformity?

d)        1Cor 10:31 – eating and drinking

C.     The clearest example of Christian hypocrisy occurs …

1.      Wears his holy life to church

2.      Hides his holy life the rest of the week

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