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Pursuit of Holiness L8 - Holiness in Body and Spirit

Pursuit of Holiness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Holiness in Body

Opening Illustration
True holiness includes control over our physical bodies and appetites. If we are to pursue holiness we must recognize that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God with them.
Much sin is a perversion of God given desires.
We have an appetite - we can enjoy using that appetite - but sin will have us being gluttonous.
Don’t we often lie in bed because we don’t “feel” like getting up.
“If your body makes all the decisions and gives all the orders, and if you obey, the physical can effectively destroy every other dimension of your personality. Your emotional life will be blunted and your spiritual life will be stifled and ultimately will be come anemic.”
Paul even mentioned that he had to deal with his body and its appetites lest he be disqualified from ministry.
1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
(Ill of preacher who got sick and was sent a get well card by the owners of the pizza buffet he ate at daily.)
The Pursuit of Holiness Chapter 11: Holiness in Body

Paul further urged us to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, and to not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1–2). Quite possibly there is no greater conformity to the world among evangelical Christians today than the way in which we, instead of presenting our bodies as holy sacrifices, pamper and indulge them in defiance of our better judgment and our Christian purpose in life

Romans 12:1–2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We need to stop to consider our relationship to food regardless of our weight. There is no ban on obesity in scripture but their is a ban on gluttony.
ASK How can we also respond wrongly to eating other than over eating.
ILL. I open the chapter of the book I am finishing on decision making with how I used to wake up worrying about things and would us a bowl of honey nut cheerios to calm down.
The issue is that if we don’t deal with a wrong relationship with food then it will be harder to mortify other sins.
“They that would keep themselves pure must have their bodies in subjections and that may require, in some cases, a holy violence.” -Thomas Boston
While you would expect a list of sins to include sexual immorality, impurity, and lust
Colossians 3:5 ESV
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Covetousness is also mentioned.
Materialism wars against us in two ways.
1. It makes us discontent and envious of others.
ASK: How do we see some of this discontentment play out? (Credit cards, college debt, even going to college)
2. It leads us to pamper and indulge our bodies so that we become soft and lazy.
When we get soft physically (again not talking about fatness) then we tend to get soft spiritually).
Start: A good place to begin controlling our cravings is to reduce our exposure to temptation.
2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
The answer wasn’t for Timothy to put himself in temptation and try to resist.
Romans 13:14 ESV
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Do not preplan your disobedience.
Do not make easy your disobedience.
Science, to no surprise, supports this that we have an expendable amount of will power - so if we struggle to overeat, we can say no a couple of times but wear down to exposure through the day.
It is probably why we don’t often hear of people waking and eating cake and ice cream for breakfast.
We need to assume our responsibilities for keeping sinful desires of our body under control.

Holiness in Spirit

2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
But if we could put all the thoughts from your mind from the last week on the screen here - would we be finished?
For so many in the OT times they looked at the rules as out ward, but Christ in the sermon on the mount made sure that they knew it regulated inward as well..
Don’t kill - outsde
But don’t hate - inside
Don’t commit adultery - outside
But don’t have lustful looks or thoughts - inside
Colossians 2:23 NKJV
These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
The prior verse was talking about all the outward rules of don’t taste, don’t touch.
Sow a thought, reap and act;
Sow an act, reap a habit;
Proverbs 23:7 ESV
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Paul warned us to think holy thoughts ().
Paul admonished us to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2)

Be careful little eyes what you see.

The worlds works to squeeze us into its mold.
Ill. of hamster that got away and I tried to catch and eventually lured back.
So if Satan and the world can’t get you by quickly dragging you into watching pornography, then it will be offering up shows that aren’t really really bad, but then aren’t really really good either.

Be careful little ears what you hear.

We might often apply this to avoiding gossip, but as i know from creating video - music drives the emotion. I spend hours and hours carefully selecting music for the opening and closing sections of the film. I want the music to say the right thing.
Sometimes I pick a song and then make the movie to fit the song.
Wrong watching and wrong listening might be two more respectable sins that we commit.
What happens next in many sermons is that specific application is made. Name the songs - name the shows. Wouldn’t necessarily be wrong but we should be very careful how we apply this to ourselves.
Too often we run to the riskier - that is our heart.
Rather it would be better to approach in a “be not drunk with wine” fashion.
What was the elder brother in the prodigal son’s problem? Good life but inside he was full of envy and self righteousness.
Saul was consumed with jealousy.
Asaph in struggled when he saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Bitterness

Ill. chicory coffee being bitter.
Like Asaph looking at the wicked becoming rich, we can get bitter.
ASK: What could we become bitter about?
Romans 12:19 NIV
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
We also have to be wary of

Critical Spirit

Luke 18:11 ESV
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
We have to be very careful how we look at others in our hearts. We tend to look at others faults and excuse our own sinful failings.
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