5/21/2000 11:00 AM
1 Peter 1:13-16
God's church is a holy church. Its message is one of holiness. Many times people think that in order for the church to be holy we need to go back to the law. However, holiness is a condition of the heart. You can either have right motivations from the heart, or a list of rules to measure up to. We desire to live as God would have us to live. Many people claiming to be holiness would bind the law on people. Holiness is not bondage, great demands, or extreme strictness. It is pure desires and motivations of the heart. The desire is "what would God have me to do?" God wants to do the best for all people.
God has chosen us before the foundation of the world - the plan of God is that all should be holy and without blame before him in love. He wants us to have pure desires.
1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13
"...the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another..." Holiness is tied in with the love of God in our hearts. It is perfect love. We'll desire good toward each one. We don't want to do anything to be a hindrance to the walk of others. Our desire toward others should be good. We need to change things to be a help toward others. God intends we each one have holiness of heart.
1 Timothy 1:3-11
Paul left Timothy to establish the gospel. We're endeavoring to accomplish charity out of a pure heart. Our goal isn't to give expecting to receive. We want to be kind because it is the right thing to do. Vain jangling - desiring to be teachers of the law - binding on people. We should be a giving people. There's a difference between giving from the heart and "if you don't give it's a sin." We can learn from the law, but if there is holiness of heart it won't have to be bound on you. These "teachers of the law" aren't grasping what Christ came to do. If you must be continually reminded to obey the law, then you should be concerned. It's not holiness. With holiness the law is written within. The law was given because the people were lawless and disobedient. God's church is not lawless and disobedient. If this is the church, we need to start preaching salvation. Holiness of heart is what is needed. Purity within lived to the outside is what we need. We should have a desire such that correction won't be a problem. There should be a desire to stay pure within. It will affect the life we live, but it will not be externally applied. You can enjoy a holy life when there is holiness within.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1
We shouldn't be yoked up with unbelievers. God's church is pure. You can't be a part of it without holiness of heart. You can't "join" God's church. If the heart is not holy, then you are not a child of God. We don't want to mix with that which is not of God. We want to draw closer to those that are pure in heart. Yet God has not called us to be sectarian in our actions. We can stand apart from the world, and yet not be unkind to them. We can show them what God has to offer. Purity of heart means taking a stand within ourselves for that which is right. WE are the temple of God. The church is not something man can draw a line around. It is the ones that serve God. You might associate with God's people, but that won't make you a part of God's church. (Only salvation can make you a part of his church.) With a promise such as is given, it should stir us to draw closer to God. Our heart's desire should be one of purity and right. Anytime we see something that doesn't look good (attitudes, etc.), start cleaning house. There needs to be a genuine seeking to please God. We don't want to let the world set the standards for us. Keep every aspect of your life pure. With this desire the preaching of the law is pointless.