Holiness Is Still Right - Sunday, October 10, 2021

Holy, Holy, Holy”, a timeless hymn, penned by Reginald Heber, shortly before his death in 1826; musically composed by John B. Dykes in1861; and holds court as the introductory hymn for the New National Baptist Hymnal. Holy, Holy, Holy exalts and celebrates the absolute, essential, and eternal holiness of God. God's holiness is unique as an attribute because it is the only attribute of God that is especially emphasized. The Scriptures declare twice in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8, that God is “holy, holy, holy.” Holy is the only attribute of God biblically mentioned in triplicate, which signifies its predominance in God’s nature.  
 
God is perfectly pure. He is separate from sin, evil, and defilement. He is untainted and incorruptible. We are made in His image, but unable to attain holiness of ourselves. As believers, we are literally set apart, made holy, because of our relationship with Jesus, the One who bridges the gap between a holy God and sinful human beings.

My Brothers and My Sisters, as we take a short pause between sermon series, I’d like to bring this standalone message to the forefront of your thoughts, “Holiness is Still Right!” Our foundational scripture in I Peter 1:13-16 (ESV) reads:

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

A.W. Tozer comments, “Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard. Because He is holy, all His attributes are holy; that is, whatever we think of as belonging to God must be thought of as holy. God has made holiness the moral condition necessary to the health of His universe.”  If we prepare our minds with the things of God, then our actions will line up with the things of God!

Yes, God is holy, and He wants, intends, and desires for us to be like Him. How you ask? Our thoughts are the precursor to our actions. Preparation for holy living begins in our mind…our thoughts…

With the right attitude, we can - (1) Conform to His Character - a disciplined mind is vital to holy living. Oftentimes we mistake conformity (adhering to) with appearance (outward show). It is not our dress that will impress. Conformity has everything to do with our attitude (the way we think, feel, and position ourselves). Because of our attitude towards certain people, we act a certain way in their presence. Our attitude towards God, will determine how we act before God. Holily or Loosely…it is our choice.

Linked to the right association - (2) Come Out of the Sphere of Ordinary into the Realm of Extraordinary - Holiness is not a spiritual state of ecstasy, but a verb in action. Holiness Is Still Right and is a movement from sinful to spiritually astute. ORDINARY is making the decision to live immorally in an immoral human society, but EXTRAORDINARY is making the choice to live morally in an immoral human society.  Holiness is transformative, the Greek word, “ginomai” translated BE in I Peter 1:16, ”You shall BE holy, for I am holy” is not a verb of being, but a verb of becoming; to enter a new state; to evolve; convert; to become sober minded (not intoxicated by the allurements of this world). Transitioning from ordinary to extraordinary does not make you or I better than someone else, it’s about developing into a BETTER YOU!

If you have the right attitude and linked with the right association, holy living requires the right action, Consecrating Every Power to His Service  - The act of consecrating every part of yourself to His service.  Holiness is not about what we can’t do or shouldn’t do, but it’s about what we do and what we should do. We misrepresent, misinterpret and misuse grace. The truth about grace is that it ought to propel us to consecrate every part of our being to His service. This grace doesn’t give us license to sin, but it gives us license from sin. Grace gives us license to love and serve God more fully. This grace opens our eyes to live for Jesus to please our Lord, it frees us from being conformed to the passions of our former ignorance and allows us to be holy in all our conduct.  
   
Some folks may try to keep up with the Joneses’ and the Kardashian’s. Some folks strive to be like Mike, but Apostle Paul instructs, “So try to be like God, because you are His own dear children” – Ephesians 5:1 (WE), because Holiness Is Still Right!

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