THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 6-1-14

LESSON TITLE: “CREATED IN HIS HOLINESS.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING, LET ME WELCOME YOU TO THE PROGRAM. THE LIVING WORD IS A WORK OF OUR LORD, DEDICATED TO DOING GOD’S WILL IN HIS WAY! AS ALWAYS, IT WILL BE OUR PRIVILEGE TODAY TO SING SONGS OF PRAISE AND TO STUDY FROM HIS WORD. IN THESE ACTS OF WORSHIP, MAY WE ALL BE ENCOURAGED, BUT ULTIMATELY MAY WE EACH PRAISE GOD ACCORDING TO THE SACRIFICES TO OFFER TOWARD HIS THRONE. IT WILL ALSO BE OUR HONOR THIS MORNING TO SPEAK WITH GOD THROUGH PRAYER. WILL YOU BOW WITH ME AS WE TALK TO OUR CREATOR?

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE AND THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN AND TO SERVE YOU EACH AND EVERY DAY. FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO IN OUR DAILY LIVES AND THE THINGS YOU GIVE US THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THE ABILITY TO LIVE EVERY DAY AND TO HAVE WHAT WE NEED. FATHER, WE THANK YOU ULTIMATELY FOR THAT GREATEST GIFT OF JESUS THAT SPIRITUALLY HELPS US TO BE FOUND ACCEPTABLE IN YOUR SIGHT THROUGH HIS BLOOD, AND THAT WE SOMEDAY MIGHT HAVE THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ABLE TO WITNESS THE FACT THAT SOMEONE CONFESSED THE NAME OF JESUS, REPENTED OF THEIR SINS, AND WAS BURIED WITH CHRIST IN BAPTISM, THUS OBEYING THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST? ISN’T IT EXCITING AND ENCOURAGING TO BE A PART OF SUCH A JOYOUS OCCASION? OUR FIRST SONG THIS MORNING TALKS ABOUT THE REASON WE SHOULD WANT TO OBEY GOD AND FOLLOW HIS PRECEPTS! SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

ISN’T IT HARD TO FIND THAT WHICH YOU CAN TRULY TRUST IN TODAY? HOW OFTEN DO OTHERS MAKE COMMITMENTS AND SAY THEY WILL DO CERTAIN THINGS, YET THEY DON’T LIVE UP TO THEIR WORDS? THE GOOD NEWS IS, THAT ALTHOUGH MOST IN THIS LIFE CAN’T BE COMPLETELY COUNTED ON THERE IS SOMEONE YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST, WHO WILL ALWAYS COME THROUGH. YOU CERTAINLY KNOW WHO I AM TALKING ABOUT THIS MORNING - OUR GOD.

SO, WHY IS IT THAT WE CAN BE SO SURE OF GOD AND CAN COUNT ON HIM IN THIS WAY. WELL, THE BIBLE TELLS US CLEARLY THAT OUR GOD IS A GOD OF TRUTH! GOD IS PERFECT, HE CAN NOT LIE, AND HE DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES. IN TITUS 1:2, PAUL TOLD THIS YOUNG EVANGELIST THAT HE HAD, “HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE WHICH GOD, WHO CANNOT LIE, PROMISED BEFORE TIME BEGAN.” THE INSPIRED PAUL KNEW THAT HE SERVED A GOD WHO CAN NOT LIE AND WHO WOULD DO EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID, AND FULFILL EXACTLY WHAT HE HAD PROMISED.

FURTHERMORE, WE CAN COUNT ON GOD BECAUSE THE SCRIPTURES TELL US HE IS ALL POWERFUL! IN LUKE 1:37, WE READ, “FOR WITH GOD NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE.” GOD CAN BE COUNTED ON BECAUSE HE ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH AND HE IS ABLE TO FULFILL WHATEVER HE HAS COMMITTED TO.

FINALLY, CONSIDER THE PROOFS THAT WE HAVE ABOUT GOD FROM HIS WORD THE BIBLE. CONSIDER ALL THE PEOPLE AND EVENTS, OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS THAT SHOW US WHO GOD TRULY IS AND HOW HE DEALT WITH HIS FOLLOWERS. NOTICE THE MANY EVENTS AND STORIES THAT HELP US TO SEE THAT GOD IS A BEING OF HIS WORD. WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE PROPHECIES MENTIONED IN HIS WORD, ALL WHICH CAME TRUE AND WERE FULFILLED ACCORDING TO THE PROMISES GIVEN. FURTHERMORE, CONSIDER THE SCRIPTURES UNITY AND SINGLENESS OF PURPOSE, CONFIRMING GOD’S LOVE FOR US AND HIS HOPE FOR MANKIND. YES, WE TRULY SERVE A LOVING AND CARING GOD, WHO HAS DONE, IS DOING, AND WILL ALWAYS DO THAT WHICH HE HAS CONFIRMED THROUGH HIS BOOK - THE BIBLE! ARE YOU SERVING SUCH A WONDERFUL AND MAGNIFICENT CREATOR? IF NOT, DO WHAT HE HAS ASKED, OBEY HIS WILL AND BECOME A TRUE FOLLOWER BY DOING THOSE THINGS HE HAS SAID, WHICH ARE ACCORDING TO HIS PRECIOUS MESSAGE!

IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. THIS MORNING, WE WILL CONTINUE OUR SERIES OF STUDY ENTITLED, “CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING IS, “CREATED IN HIS HOLINESS.” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG, WE WILL BE LEADING IN THIS IMPORTANT STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD.

AS FAR AS OUR GUEST SPEAKER, WE ARE HAPPY TO AGAIN HAVE BROTHER BRENT GREEN WITH US. BROTHER BRENT IS A FULL TIME INSTRUCTOR AT THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI. HE ALSO PREACHES FOR THE HWY 13 CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BOLIVAR, MISSOURI. WE THANK HIM FOR BEING WITH US AND LOOK FORWARD TO HIM LEADING OUR THOUGHTS FROM GOD’S WORD AFTER OUR NEXT SONG. IT’S NOW TIME TO JOIN IN THAT NEXT HYMN OF THE DAY, IT’S NAME, “THERE’S NOT A FRIEND.”

LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

WHAT A GREAT PRIVILEGE IT IS AS ALWAYS TO OPEN GOD'S WORD AND STUDY IT. IF WE GO BACK TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS AND IN GENESIS 1:26, THERE THE WORD OF GOD SAYS, “THEN GOD SAID LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, ACCORDING TO OUR LIKENESS, LET THEM HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, OVER THE BIRDS OF THE AIR, AND OVER THE CATTLE OVER ALL THE EARTH, AND OVER EVERY CREEPING THING THAT CREEPS ON THE EARTH. SO GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE AND IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HE CREATED HIM MALE AND FEMALE. HE CREATED THEM.” WE SEE THERE THE VERY FIRST ONSET OF THE BIBLE IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 THAT GOD TELLS US THAT HE MADE US, THAT IS HE MADE MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE. WELL, IT CAN'T BE MERELY THE PHYSICAL LIKENESS BECAUSE WE KNOW GOD IS SPIRIT. WELL, WHAT DISTINGUISHES MAN FROM THE REST OF CREATION IS THAT MAN HAS A SOUL. MAN HAS A SPIRITUAL SIDE AND WHAT GOD TELLS US IS THAT WE ARE MADE IN HIS IMAGE.

AS YOU BEGIN TO CONSIDER THAT AND TO BEGIN TO THINK OF THAT, THAT SHOWS US THAT WE'VE GOT A LOT TO LIVE UP TO. THE GOD WHO MADE US AND ALL THAT HE IS, WE'VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'VE BEEN MADE IN HIS IMAGE. AS GOD CREATED US HE MADE US TO LIVE IN HOLINESS. WE BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURE THAT, THAT IS WHY WE HAVE BEEN CREATED: TO LIVE FOR GOD. SO OFTEN THE CONCLUSION OF ECCLESIASTES HAS BEEN REPEATED BUT IT IS A REMINDER THAT SERVES TO TELL US THAT INDEED WE HAVE BEEN CREATED TO LIVE IN HOLINESS, AS GOD IS HOLY.

ECCLESIASTES 12:13-14, THERE IT SAYS, “LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER, FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS FOR THIS IS MAN'S ALL.” YOU SEE, AS WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE TO LIVE FOR GOD AND THAT WE ARE TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, THAT'S THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIVES ON THIS EARTH. WELL, AS WE LIVE FOR GOD, AND AS WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS WE WILL BE HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY. YOU SEE, WE WERE CREATED BY GOD TO LIVE IN HOLINESS. WE ARE THOSE WHO ARE TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDMENTS AND WE UNDERSTAND ALSO THAT IN ECCLESIASTICUS CHAPTER 12 THAT GOD WILL BRING EVERY WORK INTO JUDGMENT. HE'S GOING TO KNOW HOW WE LIVE IN THIS LIFE AS HE LOOKS AT US AND SEES HOW WE ACT, AS HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT WE SAY AND HOW WE SPEAK, HE'S GOING TO KNOW WHETHER WE ARE LIVING HOLY OR NOT.

SO THUS, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE WERE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND WE WERE CREATED BY HIM AND WE WERE CREATED TO LIVE IN HOLINESS JUST AS HE IS HOLY. WHY DO WE CONTINUE TO MAKE THAT STATEMENT THAT WE NEED TO BE HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY? WELL, THAT'S A CONCEPT WE FIND THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURE BUT I WANT US TO SEE IT AS WE LOOK AT THE TEXT FOR THIS LESSON, SPECIFICALLY IN FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1. THERE IN VERSE 15 OF FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1 IT SAYS AS HE WHO CALLED YOU IS HOLY YOU ALSO WILL BE HOLY IN ALL OF YOUR CONDUCT BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN, BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. AND YOU CAN SEE THERE EVEN IN VERSE 16 THE PART THAT SAYS BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. PETER THERE IS ACTUALLY QUOTING THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE. WE CAN SEE THAT, NOT ONLY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BUT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AS WE GO BACK, YOU CAN SEE THAT GOD HAS EXPECTED HOLINESS FROM HIS PEOPLE. YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT THAT, JUST FOR A MOMENT THERE IN VERSE 16, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT GOD DID EXPECT OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. AS PETER SAYS IS WRITTEN. WHERE WAS IT WRITTEN? WHERE WAS IT GIVEN TO GOD'S PEOPLE AS SCRIPTURE THAT THEY NEEDED TO BE HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY. WELL, YOU CAN SEE THE PRINCIPAL THROUGHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT. GOD HAS EXPECTED HIS PEOPLE TO BE HOLY THROUGHOUT THE AGES.

WE CAN ALSO TURN SPECIFICALLY THERE UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES AND SEE IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS WERE THAT PRINCIPLE IS REPEATED TIME AND AGAIN. THAT GOD EXPECTED HIS PEOPLE THERE TO LIVE HOLY LIVES. I WANT YOU TO SEE THAT WITH ME AS WE DO LOOK THERE AT THE OLD TESTAMENT. LOOK AT THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS AND YOU CAN SEE THE PRINCIPLES AS GOD EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO BE HOLY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? YOU BEGIN TO SEE AS YOU LOOK AT SOME THE SCRIPTURES HERE IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS UNDER THE OLD LAW IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHAT THAT MEANT FOR GOD'S PEOPLE.

BEGIN WITH ME THERE AT LEVITICUS CHAPTER 11 AND SPECIFICALLY AT VERSE 44. NOW THIS IS AFTER GOD HAD BEGAN TO GIVE HIS PEOPLE MANY DIFFERENT LAWS THAT RELATED TO CLEANLINESS. THERE IN CHAPTER 11 HE DEALS WITH THE CLEAN AND THE UNCLEAN ANIMALS. LOOK WHAT HE SAYS THERE IN VERSE 44. GOD SAYS, “FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD. YOU SHALL THEREFORE CONSECRATE YOURSELVES AND YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. NEITHER SHALL YOU DEFILE YOURSELF WITH ANY CREEPING THING THAT CREEPS ON THE EARTH.” THE LAWS THAT PERTAIN TO GOD'S PEOPLE AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE CERTAIN ANIMALS THAT WERE CLEAN AND THERE WERE ANIMALS THAT WERE UNCLEAN ANIMALS. ANIMALS THAT THEY COULD EAT AND ANIMALS THEY COULD NOT EAT. OTHER LAWS THAT PERTAIN TO THOSE THINGS AROUND THEM THAT THEY HAD TO MAKE SURE THEY KEPT THEMSELVES CLEAN AND NOT DEFILE THEMSELVES WITH THE THINGS THAT GOD HAD RESTRICTED. AND WHY? VERSE 44, AS WE JUST READ, GOD GAVE THE REASON, “BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.” CONSECRATE YOURSELF, SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM THOSE THINGS THAT GOD SAID WERE A DEFILEMENT, THOSE THINGS THAT ARE UNCLEAN. WE READ IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE, THERR IN CHAPTER 11:45. HE GOES ON TO SAY, “FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHO BRINGS YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT TO BE YOUR GOD. YOU SHALL THEREFORE BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. GOD GIVES A FURTHER REASON. YOU NEED TO BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM YOUR GOD AND YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. I'M BRINGING YOU UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT. I'M TAKING YOU TO THE LAND OF CANAAN, THE PROMISE LAND. THEREFORE, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE? YOU NEED TO BE HOLY.

TURN OVER A FEW CHAPTERS LATER AGAIN THERE IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, LEVITICUS CHAPTER 19 SPECIFICALLY THERE AT THE VERY ONSLAUGHT OF THAT CHAPTER, THERE IN VERSE 2. SO, AS YOU CONTINUE TO READ THROUGH THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, YOU SEE ALL OF THE LAWS THAT GOD BEGINS TO GIVE AND THROUGHOUT THE BOOK YOU SEE THIS REMINDER, WHY DO I NEED TO FOLLOW THESE LAWS GOD? AS YOU ARE PEOPLE HERE UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES. WELL, LOOK AT WHAT HE AGAIN SAYS THERE IN LEVITICUS 19:2. SPEAK TO ALL THE CONGREGATION OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AND SAY TO THEM YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I THE LORD YOUR GOD AM HOLY. AFTER HE SAYS THAT ONCE AGAIN, HE GOES ON TO GIVE THEM MANY OTHER LAWS PERTAINING TO MORAL AND CEREMONIAL LAWS. LAWS THAT WOULD GOVERN THEIR WORSHIP. LAWS THAT WOULD GOVERN HOW THEY WERE TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY KEPT THEMSELVES SEPARATE FROM THE THINGS OF THE WORLD THAT SURROUNDED THEM. WHY DID THEY NEED TO FOLLOW LAW? BECAUSE GOD SAID THAT THEY NEEDED TO BE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY.

THE VERY NEXT CHAPTER IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, CHAPTER 20, SAYS THERE WERE CERTAIN PENALTIES AS THOSE WHO WOULD BREAK THE LAW. SOME OF THE CRIMES GOD TALKED ABOUT BEFORE GOD'S PEOPLE EVER ENTERED INTO THE PROMISED LAND, ONE OF THE MOST ATROCIOUS ONES WAS HE SAYS IF YOU SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN, YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH. NOW, HE GIVES IN THAT WARNING BUT THEN HE GOES BACK TO THE SAME IDEA THERE IN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 20:7. “CONSECRATE YOURSELVES, THEREFORE, AND BE HOLY FOR I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.” DON'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE PRACTICES OF PAGANISM OF THE LAND. DON'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THAT WHICH WILL DEFILE YOU. KEEP YOURSELVES CLEAN. CONSECRATE YOURSELVES. FOLLOW THE LAW AS IT HAS BEEN GIVEN. WHY? BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY AND YOU LIKEWISE NEED TO BE HOLY.

ONE MORE TIME THERE THIS PHRASE WE'RE GOING TO SEE HERE FOR THE FIFTH TIME. IT IS USED IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, LEVITICUS CHAPTER 20, THERE AT THE END OF THAT CHAPTER VERSE 26. GOD AGAIN SAYS “AND YOU SHALL BE HOLY TO ME. FOR I AM THE LORD, AM HOLY, AND HAVE SEPARATED YOU FROM THE PEOPLES THAT YOU SHOULD BE MINE.” OF ALL THE VERSES WE READ THIS HELPS US MAYBE BEST TO UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF WHAT GOD EXPECTED OF ALL THE NATIONS THAT WOULD SURROUND THEM. OF ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE LAND OF CANAAN AND THAT THEY WOULD GO IN AND DRIVE OUT AND TAKE POSSESSION OF THAT PROMISED LAND. GOD SAYS YOU ARE TO FOLLOW MY LAWS. I HAVE SEPARATED YOU FROM THE PEOPLES OF THAT LAND TO BE A WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE? A HOLY PEOPLE. AS WE LOOK AT THOSE VERSES AGAIN, WE UNDERSTAND WHY PETER SAID, AS WE'VE ALREADY READ IN 1PETER CHAPTER 1, “IT IS WRITTEN.” WHERE WAS IT WRITTEN? WELL, IT WAS WRITTEN HERE IN ONE PART IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, IN THE LAW OF MOSES. MANY TIMES GOD SAID BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.

YOU SEE, GOD EXPECTED THAT HOLINESS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, BUT AS PETER REPEATED THAT AND AS WE HAVE ALREADY READ THERE IN 1PETER CHAPTER 1, GOD STILL EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO BE HOLY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. THAT PRINCIPLE OF HOLINESS GOES ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING. GOD HAS ALWAYS EXPECTED HIS PEOPLE TO LIVE HOLY LIVES. REMEMBER AS WE STARTED? GOD MADE MAN IN HIS IMAGE AND AS GOD IS HOLY HE EXPECTS THAT WHICH HE MADE, THAT IS MAN, TO BE HOLY. YOU SEE GOD EXPECTED IT OF THOSE HE MADE IN THE BEGINNING. HE EXPECTED THAT OF ADAM AND EVE. HE GAVE THEM LAWS AS THEY LIVED IN THE GARDEN. HE EXPECTED IT AS THOSE WHO LIVED UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES THERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. THEY WERE TO FOLLOW GOD'S LAW. AND AS PETER SAID IT ONCE AGAIN, IT IS WRITTEN BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. WHAT DOES GOD STILL EXPECT TODAY? HE STILL EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO BE HOLY. THAT'S A PRINCIPLE THAT IS A STANDARD OF GOD'S WORD THAT HAS REMAINED UNCHANGED. AN ETERNAL PRINCIPLE. GOD MADE MAN AND HE EXPECTS MAN TO BE HOLY.

SO IF WE GO BACK THERE TO FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1, WE CAN UNDERSTAND A LITTLE BIT FURTHER ABOUT WHAT GOD EXPECTS FROM US AS HE EXPECTS US TO BE HOLY NOW AS WE LIVE TODAY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT UNDER THIS NEW LAW. THERE AGAIN IN 1PETER CHAPTER 1, AGAIN AS WE READ IN VERSE 15, IT SAYS, “HE WHO CALLED YOU IS HOLY.” CONSIDER THAT FOR JUST A MOMENT AS WE UNDERSTAND THAT AS CHRISTIANS WE HAVE BEEN CALLED BY GOD TO BE HOLY. NOW, PETER IS WRITING TO THOSE WHO ARE CHRISTIANS. YOU GO BACK IN THE SAME CHAPTER THERE IN 1 PETER CHAPTER 1 AND IN VERSE 1 HE REFERS TO THESE AS PILGRIMS OF THE DISPERSION. THESE ARE CHRISTIANS WHO HAD BEEN DISBURSED OR SCATTERED BECAUSE OF PERSECUTION. HE REFERS TO THEM THERE IN VERSE 2 AS BEING THOSE WHO ARE ELECT, AND ALSO THOSE WHO BEEN SANCTIFIED. EVEN IN VERSE THREE IT SAYS THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BEGOTTEN AGAIN TO A LIVING HOPE. WHO'S HE TALKING ABOUT? HE'S TALKING TO CHRISTIANS AND HE'S TALKING ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE OBEYED THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND WHO HAVE PUT THEIR SAVIOR ON IN BAPTISM. YOU SEE, HE'S TALKING TO THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME CHRISTIANS. IT SAYS THERE AGAIN IN VERSE 15 HE HAS CALLED YOU. YOU SEE, GOD CALLS THROUGH HIS WORD. IT'S NOT APART FROM HIS WORD, IT'S NOT IN SOME OTHER WAY THAT THE WORLD MIGHT PRESENT. GOD CALLS US THROUGH HIS WORD. WE CAN SEE THAT VERY CLEARLY IN THE SCRIPTURE AS INDEED GOD HAS CALLED US TO HOLINESS.

HOW ARE WE CALLED TO BE CHRISTIANS IN THE FIRST PLACE? LOOK WITH ME THERE AT THE WRITINGS WE FIND IN THE BOOKS WRITTEN TO THOSE BRETHREN AND THESSALONICA. FIRST LOOK WITH ME AT 2THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2 AND SPECIFICALLY IN VERSE 14. HERE PAUL SAYS, “TO WHICH HE CALLED YOU,” BY OUR WHAT? “BY OUR GOSPEL, FOR THE OBTAINING OF THE GLORY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” HOW DID GOD CALL? JUST AS PETER SPOKE OF THE FACT THAT GOD HAD CALLED THOSE CHRISTIANS THERE, HE CALLS THROUGH THE GOSPEL. AS HIS WORD IS PREACHED AND PROCLAIMED, HE IS CALLING THE LOST TO RESPOND TO HIS WORD. SO AS THOSE OUT THERE IN THE WORLD WOULD ANSWER THAT CALL AND OBEY WHAT GOD'S WORD SAYS, THEY BECOME THOSE WHO ARE THE ELECT. THEY BECOME THOSE WHO ARE THE SANCTIFIED. THEY BECOME THOSE WHO ARE BEGOTTEN AGAIN. GOD CALLS THROUGH HIS WORD.

NOW, IN THE PREVIOUS EPISTLE TO THOSE IN THESSALONICA, AND THERE IN 1THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4 THIS TIME AND VERSE THREE. HERE HE SAYS, “FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD, YOUR SANCTIFICATION.” HERE, AGAIN HE TALKS ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS IS GOD'S WILL AND HE WANTS YOU TO BE SANCTIFIED. TO BE WHAT AGAIN? TO BE HOLY. THERE IN THE SAME CHAPTER, CHAPTER 4:7, HE SAYS, “FOR GOD DID NOT CALL US INTO UNCLEANNESS BUT IN HOLINESS.” GOD CALLS US THROUGH HIS WORD TO FOLLOW THAT PLAN OF SALVATION TO BECOME CHRISTIANS. HE SAYS THAT IS HIS WILL; THAT YOU WOULD FOLLOW WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS TO BECOME HIS CHILDREN AND THEN TO LIVE WHAT? TO LIVE HOLY LIVES. AS WE UNDERSTAND WHAT PETER IS TRYING TO SAY, THAT'S THE FIRST PIECE OF THIS. THAT CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED BY GOD TO BE HOLY.

BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THERE AGAIN AS WE GO BACK TO FIRST PETER CHAPTER 1. AS IT SAYS AGAIN THERE IN VERSE 15, “YOU ALSO BE HOLY IN ALL YOUR CONDUCT.” GOD HAS CALLED HIS PEOPLE, GOD HAS CALLED CHRISTIANS TODAY, TO BE HOLY AND HE HAS COMMANDED THEM TO BE SUCH. IT'S NOT A REQUEST, IT'S NOT A MAYBE OR YOU MIGHT DO THAT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO. GOD SAYS YOU MUST, AS A COMMAND, BE WHAT AS HIS PEOPLE? YOU MUST BE HOLY. CONSIDER THERE AGAIN HOW IMPORTANT THAT IS FOR US TO BE HOLY IN THE CONTEXT OF THESE VERSES. IF YOU BACK UP EVEN TO VERSE 13 HE SAYS YOU NEED TO GIRD UP YOUR MINDS. MAKE YOUR MINDS READY AND FOCUSED UPON DOING GOD'S WILL. THERE MAKE SURE ALSO THAT YOU ARE SOBER AND YOU REST YOUR HOPE FULLY ON CHRIST. YOU PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD. THERE IN VERSE 14, AS WHAT? AS OBEDIENT CHILDREN AND NOT CONFORMING YOURSELF TO THE FORMER LUST. WHEN YOU BECAME ONE OF GOD'S CHILDREN, WHEN YOU PUT YOUR SAVIOR ON AT BAPTISM AND YOU WERE ADDED BY GOD TO HIS CHURCH AS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN, WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP? ALL THAT WHICH IS WICKED. THE FORMER LIFESTYLE. ALL THAT WHICH IS OF THE WORLD TO BE WHAT? AN OBEDIENT CHILD OF GOD.

YOU SEE HOW IT IS THE SAME? THE EXPECTATION THAT GOD HAD OF HIS PEOPLE OF OLD IS THE SAME EXPECTATION THAT HE HAD FROM THE BEGINNING. AS GOD IS HOLY, WHAT IS EXPECTED TODAY? WHAT DOES HE COMMAND? HE COMMANDS US AS CHRISTIANS TO BE HOLY AGAIN JUST AS HE IS HOLY AND SO WE BEGAN TO SEE THAT FROM THE CONCEPT AND UNDERSTAND THAT HOLINESS IS A SEPARATION FROM ANYTHING THAT WOULD DEFILE US. TO BE SANCTIFIED, TO BE SET APART, IS LITERALLY WHAT THE WORD MEANS THERE TO BE HOLY. REMEMBER WHAT WE READ IN LEVITICUS 20:26? GOD HAD SET THESE LAWS IN ORDER THAT HIS PEOPLE MIGHT BE SEPARATED FROM THE PEOPLES AROUND THEM. WHEN WE LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD'S STANDARD IT DOES SET US APART. IT DOES MAKE US SANCTIFIED. IT DOES SHOW US TO BE DIFFERENT FROM ALL THAT DEFILEMENT THAT SURROUNDS US. GOD COMMANDS US TO BE SET APART.

ONE FINAL THING AGAIN AS WE GO TO 1PETER 1:16. HE SAYS THERE IN VERSE 16, “BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.” THE WORD BE IS ACTUALLY MORE THAN A STATE OF BEING. IT LITERALLY MEANS TO BECOME HOLY. WHAT WE UNDERSTAND HERE FROM THE LANGUAGE IS THAT CHRISTIANS CHOOSE TO BE HOLY ON A DAILY BASIS. GOD DOESN'T MAKE YOU HOLY. HE DOESN'T FORCE YOU TO BE HOLY. IT'S SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE TO DO. SO EVERY SINGLE DAY OF OUR LIVES WE HAVE TO BE THOSE WHO MAKE THE CHOICE TO LIVE AS GOD HAS CALLED US TO LIVE. AS A RESULT OF FOLLOWING HIS STANDARD EVERYDAY AND SETTING OURSELVES APART FROM THE WORLD EVERY SINGLE DAY, BECAUSE WE ARE LIVING AS HE WANTS US TO LIVE WHAT DO WE BECOME AS A RESULT? WE BECOME HOLY. YOU SEE, THE WORDS OF PETER SHOULD RESOUND IN OUR MINDS EVERYDAY. BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY. GOD CREATED US THAT WAY.

CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN THIS OFFERING TO GOD. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND BLESSING TO ALL OF US. WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS SERVICE OF GOD!

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO SERVE A HOLY GOD. FURTHERMORE, HOW WONDROUS IT IS TO STRIVE TO OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS AND TO BE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY! ARE YOU STRIVING TO BE HOLY AS GOD DEMANDS THIS DAY? OUR PRAYER IS TO HELP THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT GOD THROUGH THIS TELEVISION PROGRAM. THE LIVING WORD HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU UNDER THE OVERSIGHT OF THE ELDERS OF THE KANSAS EXPRESSWAY CHURCH OF CHRIST IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST.