Hope and Holiness and Ethics in our world today
"There's a storm out on the ocean, and it's moving this way.If your soul's not anchored in JESUS, you will surely drift away." Words from an old song. We serve a holy God, and He wants us to be holy too.
1. Basic message of Hope!
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17
"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:13-16 [love = agape - the kind of love God has for us.]
a) Are you stretching far enough? We are indebted to the world to bring not only the message of God but also an encounter with God. There is no better way to do this than to live a holy lifestyle ourselves as we serve people with the delivering power of Christ's love.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:14-15
"for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:" Acts 17:23
"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent," Acts 17:30
b) Cleansing the Body first. Spiritual lather isn't just to stir hunger and excite the spirit, but to propel us toward cleansing. If you're not willing to be cleansed, soap is pointless.
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow." Isaiah 1:16-17
c) Where is the fruit? In the NT fruit is almost always personal holiness. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Gal 5:22-23
2. Dying in the Lord.
a) "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." Rev 14:12-13
"and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels," 2 Thess 1:7
b) Righteous by faith - trusting in God and walking with Him.
We sing: "Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe! Sin had left a crimsons stain, He washed it white as snow."
"who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," Heb 1:3
"just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." Romans 4:6-8
"Our nature, as guilt-laden, could not, without our great High Priest's blood of atonement sprinkling the heavenly mercy seat, come into immediate contact with God."—Jamieson- Fausset- Brown Bible Commentary
We sing: "Trust and obey, for there's no other way."
"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance." Acts 26:19-20