Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Holiness That God Requires

Greetings, in the name of Jesus!

My friends, you know I speak what is on my mind and I tell what God has placed on my heart. Doing so has caused others to say I am judgmental, I think I am better, I am Ms. Holy ..... oh no, not at all. I am just a sinner saved by God's grace, a sinner who knows what the Word tells me I must do and how I must do it. I am writing this message with boldness, not arrogance or judgment because God is our judge.

Friends, I cannot call myself a follower of Jesus Christ, knowing what God's Word tells me, yet, just sit back and not address what I see around me, that is, the "sanitization of sin". Yes, the sanitization of sin that Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant had addressed a couple years ago to women at the Sisters Keeping the Covenant Conference.

It is alarming how even in the church we turn a blind eye to adultery, abuse of spouse, divorce, backbiting, lying, and we can go on and on. However, what concerns and distresses me the most is that we hide these issues under the rug, no one tells that person, "hey, that is wrong becuase the Word tells us it is wrong." We hide the issues, we sanitize these issues by finding excuses. This weekend, I could not help but think what Dr. Williams would say to us today. Lord help us.

I recall a Sunday School lesson titled, "A Holy People". This lesson was written and summarized by Dr. Phyllis Jones. In her summary of the lesson, Dr. Jones wrote, "God desires that all believers live a holy life." She further summarized that some may view this as difficult, if not impossible, in contemporary society because modern culture often contradicts the holiness God requires. (Dr. Phyllis Jones, A Holy People)

What is the holiness that God requires? The holiness that God requires is found in 1 Peter 1:13-23. God requires:
1) for us to have self-control (v13);
2) that we be obedient children of God, not living as we did in the
past (v14);
3) us to be holy in all we do, just as God, the One who called us,
is holy (v15);
4) for us to be holy. "As it is written in the Scriptures: 'You must be
holy because I am holy.'"(v16);
5) that we should live with respect for God v17);
6) that we do not live in a worthless way because we are saved from that
useless life (v18);
7) that because we were bought not with gold and silver, but with the
precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb, so
must we (v19);
8) for us to have true love for our Christian brothers and sisters. So we
must love each other deeply with all our heart (v22).

The Christian life, stated Dr. Jones, requires turning from evil, and a desire to be holy. My friends, we cannot be a holy people if we are engaged in and with unholy things. Holy things we know are not popular, but why not let us set that trend? The more we live a holy life, the more the world will retreat from their evil ways and follow us. God wants us to respect Him, have love for each other, and to live in a Christ-like manner. We cannot be obedient to the Lord if we are sanitizing sin, that is, tunring a blind eye to the evil that is taking place in our churches, in our homes, in our society.

I urge you to read 1 Peter 1:13-23. We find that Peter is encouraging us in our Christian walk to have respect and love for God, for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. Remember, John 15:19 tells us, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (KJV) and then our dear brother, Paul, in Ephesians 6:12 warns us, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (KJV) Amen, amen.

Iti s high time for us to stand up and make the unpopular choice, nevertheless, it is God's choice. Glory.

Ta ta,
Therese from Belize

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