…Our Reasonable Service It is laid upon us… the saved, delivered, redeemed, and sanctified -to actively seek the grace of God to cooperate with the working of God inside us to bring forth the fruit of God. This is of course not for our own benefit- as we already have full credit in Christ with God! But there is need of this fruit of holiness and righteousness in the earth. The world needs to see the difference in us that it might be made manifest that we are the children of God*** We know that God is holy….but what is our part? Well first we are commanded to be holy. 1 Peter 1 15but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” God Is Holy. 100% pure. There is nothing in Him that is not goodness, mercy and light. He is God. and He is good, there is no evil in Him. Also As Pastor Larry pointed out in his sermon. There is no one Holy. There is no other source of Holiness except God. You cannot earn Holiness. You cannot make enough brownie points to have holiness bestowed upon you. There is in fact never going to any holiness bestowed upon you. Ever. ” But if I can’t get Holy then how can I BE holy?” By being less of yourself. ” Less of me?…..You’re going to have to explain that one Mr. Prophet.” Okay I will. But first I want to show you something Jesus said. Its in John 17: 14-23 This particular stretch of scripture from John 13 through John17 is hard to break up because it is the embodiment of what Jesus wanted us to know. This is just before he went to the cross. But this section is key for understanding holiness. First Jesus is praying for His disciples, then those who would follow because of their work. 14I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. Jesus Prays for All Believers 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. There are two parts that are key in understanding Holiness in the preceding verses 1.16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. and 2.that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, You may ask, ” Okay where in there is Holiness mentioned?” The word sanctification and the world Holiness mean pretty much the same thing, and that is this. To be set apart. To be made Holy, is to be set apart. When Jesus asks His Father to sanctify them….us….by the Word of truth He is asking the Father to use His word to set us apart or make us Holy. “So then the Word makes us Holy… I kind a figured that….but how?” The second passage answers that question for us. In God. The Father in the Son, the Son in us. The Father in us, and the Son in the Father. “How many is that?” Just one. When we are one in Jesus, and He is one in us and by extension the Father, and by presence the Holy Spirit. All equal one. “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one,” It is the oneness IN God (not with, but in) that makes us perfect. Or, Holy. “So now not only do I have to be holy, I have to be perfect… Who do you think I am…God?” No. But God is in you. And it is His perfection and His Holiness that make us perfect and Holy. “So if God is in me, and I in Him….why is it that I still don’t feel perfect or Holy? Well because the glass is not empty. Remember, we have to do our part. “Huh?” Okay example time. If you take a glass and fill it half with dirt and half with milk, would it be appetizing or even palatable? “Uh..no” Okay how about 1/10 dirt and 9/10 Milk…better? “Better Yes, but I don’t think the FDA would approve.” Well think of yourself as that Glass. When you came to God, you came as a dead man, and He made you alive. He gave you everlasting life when you were born again. You have a new spirit, born of the Holy Spirit. Glory to God! BUT…..your not finished then. Man (and woman) is a three part being (sounds familiar?) He is a spirit He has a soul (mind will and emotions) And he lives in a body. When you are born again your spirit…you, are born anew, you are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) Old things have past away, all things are new, and all things are born of God. Your spirit is with and in God. Your body..well, it will never be redeemed. Your body is going to die and there is not a thing we can do to save it. We can receive healing so that our allotted time on earth is spent in productive health, But when your number is up..you go. In heaven we will receive a glorified body. What your walking in around now, is a worm food factory on the hoof. And your body…your flesh is going to want to do the fun things it used to do before it was saved…..you know. Sin. (Sorry if that was a bit graphic….) But your SOUL now there is the battle. Your soul is the glass that we talked about….what is your soul full of. Are you of the world…no. You are of heavenly places. When you got saved, your spirit was reborn, but you came with a soul full of worldly baggage. everything you ever had in your mind will and emotions before you got saved, came with you into your new life. Every thing except your sin. “Be Holy, even as I Am Holy” “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” God is telling us to get out of the world and fill ourselves with Him. The less there is of our old selves, the less there will be of the world in us. The less there is of the world in us, the more room there is for the things of God. To Be Holy….we have to have less world. And perhaps even none. ” So here we are, but you still haven’t told me how to be Holy and be perfect.” Okay…So how do you fight the desires of the flesh…and how do you overcome the world in your soul….Romans 12: 1-2 Romans 12 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. To deal with your body….there is nothing to do but sacrifice it. Make it a living sacrifice to the Lord by requiring it to serve the Lord and not its base nature. In other words. Say no to the flesh and its desires. Whether, those desires are bound up in sexual lusts, slothfulness, gluttony, or anything else. Do not let the body dictate what you will do in the kingdom of God or in the world. Rather you dictate to the body what it will do to serve the kingdom of God. presenting our bodies holy (sanctified or set apart to Godliness) acceptable to God…..is our reasonable service. And to deal with the soul…..we must not allow the mind (which rules the will and emotions) to conform itself to worldly delights, habits, ways or anything. But rather transform it by the renewing of our mind….. How do we renew our mind? 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” By the Word of God. Reading the Word, studying the Word, meditating the Word, praying about the Word, seeking God and being led by His Spirit. Ingesting the word into your soul until the first response is one from a biblical stand point and not a worldly standpoint. When a person cuts you off while driving. Is your first response to forgive or do you first get angry at them and perhaps act on that anger. I know I have work to do. I think we all have to feed on the word until the truth of sanctification is more powerful than the draw of the world. Then we have to think what are we feeding on. Many people will argue that listening to worldly music or watching worldly TV or engaging in harmless worldly activities won’t hurt you, and certainly won’t cause you to go to hell. Well no, you won’t go to hell if you do those things…..but it will impede your progress to sanctification. Mark 4 relates the cares of the world….both pleasurable and not as being weeds in our gardens. We all know about gardens, about how we carefully till the soil…we tenderly remove rocks and impediments. Then we plant the tender seed, and watch over it . We water it, we tend it, and if we do everything right that plat will grow and produce some yummy veggies. But it takes care. This kind of production in mark 4 is related to the Word in us (that sanctifying factor). Now….does anyone plant weeds? No. Does anyone care and nurture weeds? No. But any gardener can tell you weeds sprout like ….. well , weeds. So then If the nature of the word in us is one of caring a nurturing to get it to produce, and the nature of the world in us is that of a rampantly growing weed, how much world can we really afford to take into us. Back to the glass. If you took a teaspoon of milk and poured into a glass of dirt. The dirt would be fairly unaffected, it would get a muddy spot that would soon dry. If you however reverse the process, one teaspoon dirt in a glass of milk would ruin it completely. How much world can we afford to take into us? Not very much it seems. If we want to be Holy, then we need to be in God and God in us. And we need to be renewed by the Word of truth that sanctifies us. We also to need to be set apart (Holy, Sanctified) from the world. After all, it is our reasonable service. May the Grace and Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ Be upon Your Lives
Our Reasonable Service
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