Good Morning Beloved!
It brings such joy to my soul to teach the Word of God
I am thankful for each of you, who come to hear it.
Let's give some praise to the God Who makes all this happen!
Great are Your gifts,
May we be reminded to seek not Your gifts,
but to seek those in which we need to share them with
Give us ears to hear the silent needs of those we encounter,
You have given us hands, not so that we may hold them out
to receive more, but to give more
You have given us hearts, Not only that we may be loved
but show love towards others
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours,
let us feel the pain that others face
Shift our focus from our comfort.
but to offer comfort to those less fortunate than ourselves
Just as we, Your children, depend on You
let others count on us
Create in us Your kindred spirit
In Jesus' name we ask and pray
Whose ready for a Word from God?
Concepts of Separation:
Whenever we look to the subject of practical Holiness of dress the constant questions are
WHY BOTHER? WHO CARES ANYWAY? The answer, as always, for the "church" is in God’s book...
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"
1 Corinthians 6:19
Notice that God asks a key question....ARE YOU HIS OR NOT?
We have been bought by Calvary’s blood. THEREFORE...glorify him in BOTH spirit & body! After the New Birth we become God’s property.
THE GREATEST HURDLE TO GROWTH is the Issue of Personal Sovereignty.
Notice what else Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:22, "For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave."
Beloved, these scriptures are not written by accident!
"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."
2 Peter 1:20-21
"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled"
HOLINESS = State of being holy HOLY = Spiritual purity
This tells us God wants us to be spiritually pure and that we are to FOLLOW after peace & holiness
FOLLOW = "to ensue, to press forward"
GOD HAS INDEED CALLED US TO HOLINESS: Both inner & outer... Each one is capable of destroying the other!!!
"but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:15-16
Beloved, as anyone can plainly see, holiness is not optional!
It is a direct command!
To be like Jesus is our goal... ONLY HE CAN MAKE IT SO!
Holiness is not outward dogma...it is conforming to the character of God.
The New Testament talks of being specifically transformed and conformed.
Transformed, is the process and being Conformed is the result of that transformation!
On your spiritual journey, sooner or later God will bring you down this path.
The word HOLY occurs 600 times.
In Leviticus it’s the very theme of the book.
To sum it up in a nutshell: Holiness is being separated to God, for God...and as such, our conduct must be befitting those who are separated.
Let's just take a look at this for a moment, beloved, we cannot just speak, and act in anyway we desire!
"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God, just as you actually do walk, that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another"
1 Thessalonians 4:1-9
BELOVED, THAT ONE CONCEPT SUMS IT ALL UP!
Because We Are His we try to please Him.
I WANT to please him because I LOVE him!
I ASK YOU, ARE YOU MORE INTERESTED IN PLEASING SELF THAN GOD????
Are you more concerned with the instant gratification of this world, than that which is eternal?
We can change our conduct... but only God can change our heart!
What is outer holiness without inner holiness?
That's self righteousness! Which is "filthy rags" and guess what, filthy rags are useless.
BUT REMEMBER THIS: "BALANCE" IS WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR!
Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Beloved, there is no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to say it clearly and concisely,
There is NO in between, we belong either to God or to Satan!
"Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you."
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
And to be sure this is understood correctly
Presenting your bodies is not an issue of body building or being involved in every new health fad. Surely God does not get glory out of us being unhealthy. But that’s the point, He does not really get glory out of our health per say either. There will always be people that are "fat, skinny, smart, simple, rich, poor, sick, well, short & tall" in the world as well as the church. These are not distinguishing factors.
I know some of you are chuckling, but I've had people assume that is what is meant here.
"for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance."
1 Timothy 4:8-9
Believe me, this verse is in no way condemning health clubs, eating and living healthy and being in shape but it does place a Biblical perspective on it. Our flesh is going back to dust but our soul is going to live forever!
The current fad in religion today with "aerobics" in the fellowship hall and "Christian weight lifters" is probably not hurting anything, but surely borders on being "silly" at best as far as gaining God’s favor goes. What God does get glory from is our separation from the world! We cannot distinguish ourselves with our health, but we can distinguish ourselves by our attitude and our outer attire.
When we come to God we think this holiness stuff is "stupid."
Of course many thought Acts 2:38 was too! DON’T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE THINGS BEFORE YOU HAVE SINCERELY SOUGHT GOD FIRST.
REMEMBERING GOD IS OUR LAW GIVER:
Obedience is required of us.
IF IT PLEASES GOD IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO ELSE IT DISPLEASES! And vice versa
Even though we wrestle with our flesh God has given us a mind & heart to cooperate with His spirit. WE MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO MAKE OBEDIENT CHOICES!
"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
We must be consistently obedient.
Work out your salvation WITH "Fear AND Trembling" and sincerity.
Beloved, this is a major short coming in our modern Christian culture.
Obey his word without complaining!
I mean really, who do any of us think we are to tell God how we are going to conduct ourselves?
We are to shine like lights to this world!
Reasonable standards bring glory to God by distinguishing His people in the earth.
SO WHAT IS A STANDARD?
A banner or flag that identifies you; it represents your nation’s customs, philosophies & lifestyles. IN BATTLE: It distinguishes the sides
Our church standards represent our VALUES & CONVICTIONS to our city.
WHY BOTHER WITH STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE?
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
It never ceases to amaze me, how some will wear the most ridiculous and absurd costumes and uniforms in the name of a career, a minimum wage job or a social event yet they stumble at the thought of the church having a dress code? I think we should consider the signals we send God sometimes...
When we build a house, the building codes seem annoying, even silly, overkill to normal conditions. But when Hurricane Hugo came through, the USA did not sustain near the damage the Caribbean did. Why? BUILDING CODES!
WE ARE ESTABLISHING A CHURCH THAT WILL SUSTAIN STORMS!
By upholding reasonable standards, we help to protect our spirituality. It is not bondage if it is done right! But in reality it’s freedom!
"A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty."
Proverbs 27:12 HERE'S CONCEPT OF THIS...
I won’t be lost by drinking a beer but I could be for drunkenness. So we set some values to live by such as I choose not to drink at all.
Beloved, it is far better to draw the line BEFORE you approach the danger zone....
WHERE DO STANDARDS COME FROM?
THERE ARE THREE BASIC TYPES OF CONVICTIONS:
Concerning the church:
Does a church have authority to set local standards? Consider the fact that the Holy Spirit spoke to our brethren about tobacco long before the AMA discovered its health threat.
"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell."
Many today like to lay hold to claim the phrases,
"I make my own decisions." "I have the right to..."
Let me remind each and every one of you; You are NOT your own!
We all belong to God, whether or not we choose to believe it or even accept it.
And those who reject that statement, will soon find out the truth of those words.
The only thing that matters is what God thinks, not what you think!
Let me give an example of the importance of the original standard:
When setting trusses 1 foot apart, you place your original where it belongs. Then you don’t measure the next 1 foot from the last, you measure 2 foot from the original. You may have made a slight error in your truss. Therefore, if you measure the current one from the last one, you will suffer what is called the "mount up of error."
The ONLY way to protect this is to always measure from the original!
That's why it's imperative to measure your spirituality from the original Acts church.
Not the generation right behind you!
If you measure your experience from just those behind you, lest you get off course over time.
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE don’t think that outer disciplines themselves will make you like Him. Only the work of the Holy Spirit can do that !
HOLINESS IS A MANDATORY GOAL: BUT IT IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.
Just like a farmer after doing all the right disciplines....he waits for God to do His part.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
We are called to be Holy!
We can live Holy!
We must live Holy!
"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?"
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved