Holiness- The Key to God's Nature
1 Peter 1:13-16
HOLINESS-The Key to God’s Nature
God’s holiness unlocks the door to understanding and making sense out of everything else about Him…… This attribute infiltrates all the other attributes.
·His love is holy love. Everything has been infiltrated by this defining attribute of God called holiness.
God even calls Himself by that name. Throughout the Old and New Testaments He is called “The Holy One.”
When Mary was reciting her praise to God at the news that she would be the mother of the Savior, she said in Luke 1:49: “The Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name.”
God’s holiness is central to understanding who and what He is.
·Nowhere in Scripture is God called “love, love, love”; “eternal, eternal, eternal”; or “truth, truth, truth.”
·He is never emphatically called by any name except one: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3).
·Whenever you see three words like this, you are reading an emphatic statement meaning that this is a centerpiece, this is key, this is something you don’t want to miss.
·At the heart of who God is, is His holiness.
The Bible declares that God’s law is holy (Romans 7:12) “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”
and that God is holy in all of His being (Leviticus 19:2) “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
¨ Holiness is the centerpiece, the defining point, the heart of the matter of who God is.
Children don't have to be told to mimic their parents. They do it naturally
As God's children we are commanded to imitate him in holiness. This will affect every area of our lives.
Mark Twain said, "Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
Peter's picture here is in v. 14 'obedient children' and how they are brought up: Christians whose obedience affects every part of their personalities (verse 13) and whose lifestyle is a reflection of their Father's character (verses 15-16).
Ø The prophets in the Old Testament looked ahead to the coming of Christ his sufferings and glory. In doing so, their minds were fully engaged (verses 10-11).
· Similarly we look for His coming again (verse 13) and our minds together with our wills and desires, must also be properly focused.
Þ Our faith is to impact every area of our lives.
Keith Miller puts it this way:
It has never ceased to amaze me that we Christians have developed a kind of selective vision which allows us to be deeply and sincerely involved in worship and church activities and yet almost totally pagan in the day in, day out guts of our business lives and never realize it.
Christianity is not just a high-sounding ritual which we perform on Sundays. Christianity is abiding by Biblical standards of personal holiness and in turn seeking to bring holiness into the society in which we live.
-- Charles Colson, Loving God.
Encountering a Holy God----That’s how holy God is, how totally unlike us. -------We have to do the adjusting---------------------- He’s not going to change. -----------------------When you come to understand the holiness of God, something has to happen!!!!
--------------- When the prophet Habakkuk ran into the holiness of God, he said, “My inward parts trembled . . . my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones” (Habakkuk 3:16). He had a different view of himself.
When Job encountered the holiness of God, he cried out, “Behold, I am insignificant . . . I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:4). “I repent in dust and ashes” (42:6). And Job was a good man. God said so (see Job 2:3).
When Isaiah beheld God’s holiness, he could only say, “Woe is me!” (Isaiah 6:5).
v When you come face-to-face with God, You discover you are not what you thought you were when you see God.
¨We do not take living the Christian life seriously enough because we don’t know who God is.
Kids sometimes forget who is the parent and who is the child. When they forget that, they will try anything. So every now and then parents have to remind their children who’s who.
¨We are like children at times. We forget who God is, so we try anything.
¨If we are going to be serious about walking with God, we have to understand who He is and who we are in light of Him.
¨We must hallow His name.
¨We must worship Him seriously.
Most people hurry to get to work on time because they don’t want to upset the boss. But they come to church saying, “As long as I get there before the benediction, I’m on time.”
When God sees us treating our bosses better than we treat Him, He says, “You don’t know who I am. I am the Holy One.”
Our minds must be prepared for action
The word “gird up-'prepare”' (verse 13) conjures up a familiar sight in the East.
The long flowing robes which people wore in Peter's day often hindered freedom of movement. For the purpose of walking or running they were gathered up and tucked into a belt (1 Ki. 18:46) and then there was liberty to make progress.
Þ Christians need to be free to run the race unhindered, as they look toward the finishing tape (cf Heb. 12:1).
To that end they must be mentally alert.
Þ Today we might describe it as mentally 'rolling up our sleeves'.
This is vital because what we think affects how we live:
The aim is spiritual alertness.
For example drunkenness is out for the Christian (4:3; cf Eph. 5:18).
We are also to be 'sober' spiritually (1 Thess. 5:~).
Why do we need to be self-controlled?
Þ Firstly because time is running out and judgment is on its way
Þ I Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
Þ Secondly because we are in a full-scale battle with the devil
Þ I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversity the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Þ so nothing less than being fully alert will do!
Someday the church can relax her guard…but not yet, not yet…
The healthiest person has enough lethal bacteria in him to kill him within 24 hours except for one thing-the amazing power of the human organism to resist bacterial attack. Every mortal body must fight its internal enemies day and night. Once it surrenders its hours are numbered. Quite literally it must fight or die…
**The church lives in a hostile world. Within and around her are enemies that not only could destroy her, but are meant to and will unless she resists force with yet greater force!!
Ø The Christian would collapse from sheer external pressure were it not within her a counterpressure sufficiently great to prevent it!!!
The power of the Holy Spirit is, therefore, not optional but necessary…without it the children of God simply cannot live in life of heaven on earth!!!!
-- A. W. Tozer,
God is holy and holiness (is) the moral condition necessary to the health of his universe. ...Whatever is holy is healthy, ...the holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of creation are inseparably united. God's wrath is his utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hated the cancer that would take the life of the child.
In Scripture, holiness speaks of God being distinctive in terms of righteousness.
Þ Morally he is like light with no pockets of darkness at all (cf I Jn. 1:5).
Þ For us, therefore, holiness means 'being different for His sake' by living rightly.
***Not being different for difference's sake, but rather being different because we now belong to Him!!!!
12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Christians are to be 'nonconformists' in lifestyle, that is, to live differently from the rest of the world.
Þ The Spirit's work is to aid us in this process of becoming holy (1:2).
What He requires of us He gives to us.!!!
Þ God is 'holy' because of who he is in and of himself. He doesn't just do things that are holy! In fact, God would not be God without being holy.
v Above all, his people in both Testaments are intended to be holy.
· They should be holy because he lives among them!
Hebrews 12:10 says that God is so eager for our holiness He “disciplines” His children “that we may share His holiness,” just like we discipline our children that they might be partakers of our rules and regulations and guidelines.
¨If you know Jesus Christ, if you have been saved, your actions should be pleasing to Him. You won’t always pull it off… You will fall on your face at times because we are all just saved sinners.
¨But when you fall, God will forgive you if you confess your sins (1 John 1:9).
¨If you fall, get up in the name of Jesus Christ. His blood not only saves you, it keeps you in contact with God.
¨When you come into the holy presence of God, you see more of your sin, not less of it.
Have you ever been real dirty and stepped into a nice, hot shower? You are filthy, but you get in that shower, turn on the hot water, and say, “Ahhhhh!”
God will tell you that you are dirty. If you will just admit you are dirty and stop thinking you are clean, He’ll come alongside you and scrub you up so you can walk away clean, saying, “Ahhhhh!”
But not only that, after God has cleaned you up, He will fix you up so that He can use you up.
So our prayer must be like that of David: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
In other words, “Lord, give me a clean heart. I’m dirty. I’m sinful. I’ve messed up, but if you will scrub me, I will be clean. Then you can dress me and send me on my way.”
Do you know who God is?
You must express complete faith in His finished work on the cross, where He shed His blood for your sin. If you will do that, if you will trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, God will make you His child.
¨If you are a Christian, your job is to keep short sin accounts with God and to walk always wanting Him to clean you up.
You know what cleansing you need even today. Go before God right now and ask Him to use some “spiritual detergent” to clean up the dirt that may have accumulated in your life.
“BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT, WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSES US FROM ALL SIN.” I JOHN 1:7
The root meaning of the word translated holy is “different.” A holy person is not an odd person, but a different person. His life has a quality about it that is different. His present “lifestyle” is not only different from his past way of life, but it is different from the “lifestyles” of the unbelievers around him.
A Christian’s life of holiness appears strange to the lost (1 Peter 4:4), but it is not strange to other believers.
“The revelation of Jesus Christ” is another expression for the “living hope” and “the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Christians live in the future tense; their present actions and decisions are governed by this future hope.
Just as an engaged couple makes all their plans in the light of that future wedding, so Christians today live with the expectation of seeing Jesus Christ.
The argument here is logical and simple. Children inherit the nature of their parents.
--God is holy; therefore, as His children, we should live holy lives.
We are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) and ought to reveal that nature in godly living
To a dedicated believer, there is no such thing as “secular” and “sacred.” All of life is holy as we live to glorify God. Even such ordinary activities as eating and drinking can be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).