Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Can We Develop a Deep and Intimate Faith? (Part 3)

Introduction:

We have been studying together the theme of, “How Can We Develop a Deep and Intimate Faith?” This morning we will begin part three of this series and study together the topic of Holiness.

Let us start today with a question, how can holiness help me in my quest of developing a deep and intimate faith? After all, the Bible says in 1 Peter 1:15-16, 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.” Now the pressing truth of this passage is that verse sixteen is found in Leviticus 11:44. So, this lesson is so vital that it is taught in the old and new covenants. So, it must be very important. But, to make it even tougher Hebrews 12:14 says; 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

But, there is a problem with this truth, isn’t there? Holiness has always been taught as something that the body of Christ is ordered to do. So, it has become our performance. It becomes something that the church has to achieve for God to be pleased with the believer. Then, how can the church of Jesus Christ behave in a divine matter of holiness? Since God is divinely holy, how can His body be what he is and that is holy, since He is God and we are not? The answer is it cannot be done, behaviorally. Subsequently, what is the answer?

Let us read together Hebrews 10:14-16, let us begin there in search for the answer. The Bible says, 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.

Outline:  So, what really is biblical holiness and how can holiness help the believer develop a deep and intimate faith?

  1. Holiness is not an external, behavioral performance.

Hebrews 10:1

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

Hebrews 10:10

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

  1. Holiness is an established declaration by God for the believer.

Hebrews 10:14

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

  1. Holiness is lived out daily by the believer from the inside out, not the outside in.

Hebrews 10:15-16

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.”