The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life

The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 1 Peter 1:14-16, Hebrews 12:14
Date: 02/11/2017  Lesson: 6
"To keep the law is not legalism; it is faithfulness. The law does not save us. It never can. The law is never our way to salvation. Rather it is the path of the saved. The law, so to speak, is the shoe in which our love walks and expresses itself."
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church located in rocklin, California. We're so glad that you're tuning in from across the country and around the world. Whether this is your first time or you're joining us every week, we're just glad that you are with us. I'm going to tell you about our free offer today. It is a dvd by Pastor Doug called spiritual warfare - part 1, which means there's obviously more than one part, so this is the first one.

It's offer #822 and if you want that you can call 866-788-3966 or it's easy to remember - 866-study-more. You can also watch this online and download it, but if you would like a copy of spiritual warfare go to our website at amazingfacts.org and you can request that - offer #822 - we'd love to hear from you. Our song goes along with our lesson study on the Holy Spirit and it is found - #262 - sweet, sweet spirit - #262. Join me in prayer. Father in Heaven, we know that your sweet spirit is here in this place.

We ask you, today, to fill us with that spirit to send your angels to enlighten our minds with the words that Pastor Doug has to share with us today, and I just pray that you will be with our extended family around the world. We are looking forward to that day when we can all join together on the streets of gold. And we just praise you and we thank you for blessing us, for loving us, for dying for us, and giving us that hope that one day we will see you coming in the clouds of glory. Be with our speaker as he opens up Your Word and we study together. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor here at Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church. Thank you, debbie and musicians. Morning, friends. Morning.

We have a really important lesson today and so I hope you'll pray for me as we embark on this study. We're going through our series dealing with the Holy Spirit and today's lesson may, in my opinion, be one of the most important in the quarter. It's talking about the Holy Spirit and living a holy life - something of a neglected subject. I want to welcome our friends that are watching from satellite television or maybe you're watching on the internet. We know some are watching this live-streaming.

I probably should take a minute - I look at the screen and I realize you're seeing something different behind us and that's because we, here at the Granite Bay church, are in the midst of a series that we're doing on the life of David and that will be going on for several weeks and so we've got a few props here, but I don't know if I'll reference anything here, especially during our lesson today, but that's what that is. And I want to welcome our friends who are online members. We're glad that you're studying with us today. Our memory verse is in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse - if you've got your quarterly you can read it there; it's from the new American standard Bible - 1 Thessalonians :23 - I always appreciate when you can say that with me. Are you ready? "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

" Now, the real message in what we're studying today is the importance of holy living and that the Holy Spirit is the power that inspires us to live holy and gives us the strength to live holy. You've got to be very careful when you talk about this subject because some people think that when you talk about holy living that, you know, you're implying 'I am holier than thou' - and sometimes those who talk about holy living do it from a legalistic mentality. And so, in an effort, I think, in an effort to avoid sounding legalistic or holier than thou, a lot of churches and pastors have given up completely talking about one of the most important things is that God has called us to holiness and without holiness, nobody's going to see God. You'll hear me quote that a few times in the lesson today. It is so vitally important for us to understand this subject.

And so, I know you'll pray for me as we proceed. Our first section is dealing with the holiness of God but, perhaps before I do that, you know, I read this once before but I've got to be careful not to assume that everybody watching has seen every lesson, or even everybody here has been to every presentation. Let's define 'holy'. It's a good idea to repeat that again as we delve into God's calling us to holiness. What does 'holy' mean? The word 'holy' in - the Hebrew word is 'qodesh' - and it - in Greek it's 'agios' - it means 'to be separate' and it must be an important subject in the Bible - it's found 731 times in the Bible.

So if we're going to be a Bible church, and if I'm going to be a Bible preacher, and the Bible says so much about holiness, we should not be afraid to talk about it. Amen? Holy means to be separate - to be set apart. We call marriage holy - it's because two people are making vows so they are, in a special sense, set apart in a unique way - in an exclusive way, for each other. This book - I've got Amazing Facts version - it's really big - you can't miss it. What's it called? Holy Bible.

Spanish - santo biblia - it means that there's something sacred - set aside - this is not like any other book. It's a sacred book. It's a holy book. You don't treat it like every other book. The words in it are of more value than any other book.

So when God calls us to holy living in this world, the fact that we're called to be separate or to be sacred, it means that we're to live differently. Now that came out in our memory verse. It says that he's called to sanctify you completely and that your whole spirit and soul and body - it's not just spiritual holiness, our soul - our body - our whole life - be preserved, how? Blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has called us to holy living and you can't do the holy living part without the Holy Spirit. Now, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Alright, let's go into the section on the holiness of God and, in a moment someone's going to read for me Isaiah 6:3 and I will be reading 1 Peter 1 - and this is in your lesson - verses through 16, "therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the Revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts," - before your salvation - "as in your ignorance;" - before you knew the truth - "but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in most of your conduct" - all of your conduct. Anyone following along? It doesn't say that. "Be holy in all your conduct," - it says here - "because it is written, 'be holy, for I am holy.'" God is holy. What is a Christian? A Christian is a follower of Christ. Is Christ holy? Yes.

I just noticed on the monitor - if I stand like this, I've got a crown on my head. (Laughter) it's a lot bigger than my head. That's what you call a pastor with add. So the Lord has called us to be holy. A Christian is a follower of Christ and Christ is holy.

Yes, we are called to be different, as Jesus was different. We are to reflect him in the world. Someone said - oswald chambers, actually, "the destined end of man is not happiness or health, but holiness. God's one aim is the production of saints" - holy ones - "he is not an eternal blessing machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity, he came to save men because he created them to be holy.

" The purpose of the plan of salvation is to restore the image of God in his creation and it is a holy image. So we are called to holy living and, you know, that's the gauge that we should be using every day as we fix our eyes on Jesus as our model and we evaluate everything we do and, at the end of the day, review our lives and say, 'am I modeling the life of Christ? Am I living in a holy way that reflects him in this world?' And I believe God's able to do this because the Lord will not ask you to do anything without giving you the ability to do it. You know, I was - Karen and I were watching a religious program last night. It was a preacher not of our persuasion and we didn't have to watch very long before we found out he was a prosperity preacher. Have you heard - you've heard that phrase before? These are the pastors that, in kind of a certain ilk of Christianity that's always emphasizing that - it's almost like God exists to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise in this world.

I don't even know if the wise part is emphasized very much, but certainly the wealthy part is emphasized and it seems like their sermons are all fixating on how God wants to - 'there's nothing wrong with being rich' and 'God wants to bless you' - it's like that idea that chambers just talked about, that God's an eternal blessing machine. We pray about all the things we want. What should be the most important part of our praying? If the purpose of God is to make us holy - not just happy - you won't be happy until you're holy, so the first priority ought to be holiness. Blessed are the pure in heart - you don't get the blessing of happiness unless there's a purity of heart. So the supreme objective of our praying should not just be 'I want this' and 'I want that', you know, that can be part of it, but every prayer ought to be punctuated, 'Lord, if this will contribute to glorify you and my reflecting you and my being holy' - that's really how we ought to be praying.

That's why we pray for the Holy Spirit, is that God might make us holy. It's the most important thing. Go ahead, please, read for us Isaiah 6:3. "And one cried to another and said: 'holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!'" So this is part and parcel of the name of God. When the angels are there about the throne and they're looking for a way to define the creator, they say three times, 'holy, holy, holy' is the way you describe God.

If we were to be brought right now - somehow, if we could be transported into the presence of God, or if we could be given - you know, if you look at the sun it'll burn your eyes. But suppose you were given a special pair of filtered lenses where you could peep into heaven and you could somehow manage to look at it, the thing that would impress you the most is the purity of God - the holiness of God - and when you see that, what did Isaiah say when he saw the holiness of God? 'Woe is me.' I think that the equivalent of that is, if you know yiddish, 'oy vey iz mir' - you ever heard a Jewish person say, 'oy vey'? It means 'woe is me' - 'I am undone'. And we would all see that and so the reason is then, when we realize that God is so holy, we become aware it's the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. Can I rephrase that a little bit? The holiness of God leads us to repentance. We see his holiness that helps us see our sinfulness, then we repent, and then he cleanses us.

So it's so important to begin with knowing something about the holiness of God, because that leads to genuine conversion. Psalm 89:18, "for our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the holy one of Israel." He's always defined - when they talk about the different Gods, the God of the jews was called 'the holy one' - you know, in the different pagan Gods they, you know, they have their different territories - they had the different neighborhoods and one was a - you had a God of the rocks and the bushes and the trees and the frogs - just, you know, with the way that the Israelis define their God is the holy one - he's pure - he's good - he's just - and all the different adjectives you could use to describe holiness. Isaiah 40, verse 25, God says, "'to whom then will you liken me, or to whom shall I be equal?' Says the holy one." Now, holiness is frightening to unholy people. So that's while you'll even find churches that say Christian on the front, but if you go in that church and talk about holiness, they'll throw you out the door because there's a lot of things people like about a church - there are social things that happen in a church and, depending on what the messages are, the messages may make them feel good, but some churches don't appreciate when you talk about holiness. And it frightens us when you think about what it means because why aren't we holy? Because there's sin that we love, and the idea of the holiness of God, we realize, 'look, I either need get rid of God or I need to get rid of sin.

' Moody used to say, about the Bible - the Bible, a holy book - he said 'the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible.' But they don't coexist very well, and if you keep reading the Bible, you'll be convicted - you might be uncomfortable but it leads you to holiness. And if you keep looking at the Lord, it leads you to holiness. There's a story in Luke 4:34, you remember when Jesus confronted a demon, and what did the demon say? 'I know who you are, the holy one of God.' It made the demon uncomfortable. When Jesus was around, the devils didn't like it one bit. And so, holiness can be an uncomfortable subject even in a church.

I know that sounds strange. Do you know what I'm talking about? Yes. Yeah, I mean, it's okay, you can talk about blessings and you can talk about grace and you can talk about mercy and all these different things - and they're important subjects, don't misunderstand, but holiness just really - it - it's the edge of the knife and it helps us realize that, 'hey, we've got to be transformed.' And the Bible's pretty clear about that. Luke 1:35 - listen to what the angel said to mary, "the holy spirit will come upon you, and the power of the highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that holy one who is to be born will be called The Son of God." And who is that holy one? Yeah, that's one of the names. That's how the angel described him.

Unlike other people, this is the holy one.' Hebrews 7:26, "for such a high priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate" - remember, what does the word 'holy' mean? Separate, unique - Jesus is holy. So here we have him holy in the incarnation; we have him holy as he is now in heaven as our high priest - "harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;" - Peter describing what happened to Jesus - he said to the Jewish people, "but you denied the holy one and the just and you asked for a murderer to be granted to you." What a contrast - would you rather have Jesus - and don't forget this: this was a question that pilate put to the church - and you wonder, 'is the church today much different than it was back in the days of Israel?' Pilate said, 'would you like to have barabbas? He's a do-it-yourself man; he's a bootstrap Messiah. He was going to overthrow the Romans single-handedly - rob them along the way, but he was sort of like robin hood. Would you like barabbas or the holy one?' They said, 'barabbas. Crucify him.

' And so they were ready to crucify the holy one. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verse 7, "for God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us his Holy Spirit." So can you have holiness without the Holy Spirit? And this is where it really ties into our lesson - it's through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are given the desire for holiness. It's through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of our sin. And it's through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are given power to turn away from sin and live a separate life.

And so, everything has to do with the power of the holy spirit. Amen. There is no holiness without Christ. John 17:11, Jesus is praying, "...holy father, keep through your name those whom you have given me, that they may be one as we are." So even Jesus, when he addresses The Father, he addresses him as 'holy father'. And this is an important verse identifying Christ - Isaiah 35, verse 8, "a highway will be there, and a road, and it shall be called the highway of holiness.

The unclean shall not pass over it." So what is that highway of holiness? What does Jesus say is the highway? John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." - So what is the highway? Jesus. Jesus. The Bible says, 'thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my way.' And so you've got Christ and His Word. This is a highway of holiness - it is foreign - it is different. It is not the broad road, it is the straight road.

It is a road where you take up a cross. And if anyone is going to follow Jesus, he must deny him or herself daily. How does that work? 'I want to do this but it's not holy so I'm going to deny what I want and do what God wants.' It's that simple. 'I want to say this.' 'I want to watch this.' 'I want to listen to this.' 'I want to eat this...but that would not be holy, and so, I'm going to deny myself and I'll be blessed because I know I'm in God's will. I'll have the joy of the Lord, but I'm going to live a life of self-denial and holiness.

' Now people think that - 'pastor doug, that's - that sounds difficult.' It's a lot easier than being lost. Life is tough. You're going to be a slave. You've just got to decide who you're going to serve. You're going to be a slave to the devil and there's going to be problems on that road - it's a broad road to destruction, you'll be caught up in the current, and you'll have no peace or joy.

' Or, you can climb the mountain. It's a little harder but you know you're heading towards the light. Amen. And so, that's - everybody's got to make that - but it involves self-denial to take up your cross - and it's not once or twice, it's a daily - Paul said, 'I die daily.' What do you think he was talking about? He was crucified with Christ every day. For what purpose? That he might be holy.

Thomas watson said, 'holiness is the most sparkling jewel in his crown. It is the name by which God is known.' And that's what is says there in Exodus 39:30, "then they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription like the engraving of a signet: holiness to the Lord." Now, was that just for aaron to wear that - that tag? No, it's interesting, the high priest had there above his head 'holiness to the Lord'. When Jesus took our sin, above his head it said, 'this is the king of the jews' and he really - he became the King of sin for us. But we're called to be a nation of priests, isn't that right? And so the Bible says we're a holy nation. Matter of fact, in that opening verse that I read in 1 Peter where he said, 'as he who called you is holy, so be holy'.

You know, it also says, 'you are a holy nation.' There Peter is referring to a statement of Moses where he said, 'I've called you to be a nation of Kings and priests.' You also find that in Revelation, where it talks about the 144,000 live and reign with Christ. We are a priesthood, and in the same way the ancient priests had said, 'holiness to the Lord' every one of us, right there in the middle, holiness to the Lord. The beast has got something in his forehead, it's allegiance to the beast. God's people have holiness to the Lord - the name of God. Isn't that what it said is in our forehead? Now, you might be thinking, 'Pastor Doug, I thought that seal was the Sabbath.

' Well, let me get you to think about this for just a minute. Maybe it's one and the same. Now, I know I've said this before, so bear with me. Some haven't heard it, but I want you to think of a big target - a big bulls eye where you've got a center and you've got all these other rings around it and you've got - or, you've got our planet and on the planet they've got something they call 'the holy land'. Alright, let's zoom in a little bit and in the holy land there was a place called 'the holy city' - what was that? Jerusalem.

Alright, you zoom in a little further, and in the holy city there was a holy mountain. These titles are all found in the Bible. What was that mountain? It goes by a couple of names, they call it Mount Zion, they call it mount moriah - it's where the temple was. And on the holy mountain they had the holy temple - you with me? But in the holy temple they had even increasing holiness. They had the holy place, but then they had a place called the inner sanctum - the holy of holies - and in the holy of holies was what? The ark.

The holy ark of the covenant - it was actually called 'holy' too - and what was in the ark of the covenant? Ten Commandments. The holy law. And you find the word holy one time in the Ten Commandments. Where is it? The fourth. Sabbath.

'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' And so, having the name of God - he says, 'holy is my name.' Holy, holy, holy. Having the name of God in your forehead and having the Sabbath, it's part and parcel of the same thing, does that make sense? Yes. So, this is like the seal. Holiness is one of the identifying characteristics of God's people. And will people who are holy keep the holy day? Yes.

Yeah, you'd think so. Psalm 111, verse 9, "holy and awesome is his name" - his name is written in their foreheads. Luke 1:49, "for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and" - his name is holy - "holy is his name." Timothy - I'm not - you know, I told you I can't go through all 700 verses, but I'm trying. 2 Timothy 1:8 - by the power of God he has saved us and called us to a holy life - 2 Timothy 1:8. So what is - what is it that gives us the power to live a holy life? The Holy Spirit - the power of God - God the Spirit.

Alright, someone's going to read for me here in just a moment, Ephesians 1:4 - dan, you'll have that? I'm going to start out - I'm going to actually jump to Ephesians 5. It says, "husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself" - now here's how Christ presents the church - "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." So, is that just talking about the church, sort of as a big gang? The church as a big entity? Or the people in the church are being called to be holy and without blemish? It's what the Bible says. You're going to have to take that up with the Lord. He's calling us to a different kind of life. Read for us, please, Ephesians 1:4.

"Just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." There you've got it again - holy, without blame. Now, there's two kinds of holiness in the trinity of salvation steps. The salvation steps are big theological words that we use called 'justification' and 'sanctification' and, ultimately, 'glorification'. When you first come to the Lord and you are declared holy, it is by faith you are justified. God will look upon you just as if - that's where you get 'justification' - a good evangelist will help them picture 'just as if' - acation.

the Lord looks upon you just as if you had never sinned. Like the thief on the cross, he was not saved because he lived a holy life; he was saved because he was justified by faith. He didn't have time to do anything beyond that. He died within a few hours. Everyone is saved because we are justified.

But then when you are saved and justified by faith, then you go on and you now live a life of sanctification where God transforms you. And that leads us to our next section: the Holy Spirit is the agent of sanctification. If you say, 'we're going to have a cleaning party' and bring to your cleaning party the different cleaning agents, one of those cleaning agents you might bring ammonia - anyone got ammonia in your house? Kind of stinks, but they say it cleans. Bleach? You've got to be careful with that - you've got to water it down. I didn't know that once, the first time I used bleach, I used straight bleach to wash my hands.

Someone said, 'use bleach' - I had poison oak. Just about burned the skin off my hands. But it's an agent. But an agent's not only a substance, an agent can be a person. We might have a secret agent here sent from the vatican.

(Laughter) so an agent can be a person, right? So the Holy Spirit, is he a substance or is he a person? What kind of agent is he? Person. It's a person. Now, we've been emphasizing that along the way, but some people still struggle with that. The agent of our sanctification - I don't want you to think substance, I want you to think person. 1 Corinthians - someone's going to read for me 2 Corinthians 3:18, okay? Corinthians 6:11, "and such were some of you.

" - He's talking about the sins - "but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." So who is it that cleansed them - that made them holy? It says through the name of the Lord and spirit - through faith in his name and through the power of God's Spirit we're cleansed. First justified, but that same spirit - not only do we experience joy through justification, that same spirit then gives us power to subdue the carnal nature - to say 'no' to self - to deny ourselves and to live holy lives. Say 'yes' to God and 'no' to the devil - that's what it amounts to. Please read the next verse for us. "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

" So how are we being transformed? By the Spirit of the Lord - the Holy Spirit will transform us. Now, in that verse we just read - John just read for us - it says, 'are being transformed' - does the sanctification - justification, how long does that take? As soon as you believe. Very quick. Sanctification is of being transformed. That's where you find in Isaiah 1, it says, 'cease to do evil.

Learn to do good.' It's a learning - you spend your life sinning, you've got to learn. And I know, when I came to the Lord - just one thing, in particular, that was difficult for me, you know, Christians speak a different vocabulary and if you grew up in a Christian home, it's natural for you. But if you didn't grow up in a Christian home, like me - my mother, my father, my grandparents, had really salty language and so when I became a Christian - you know, the first thing I was really convicted about was just even taking the name of the Lord in vain. That changed pretty quickly. I was convicted about that, but it was almost like it was so natural - it was just part of your vocabulary.

But, gradually, the Holy Spirit began to teach me, 'you shouldn't say things that way' or 'you shouldn't use those words anymore' - but that - it was a learning process because I had to reprogram. It didn't all change at once. But the Holy Spirit changed me. And it's that way with a lot of things. You spend all your life doing wrong, the Holy Spirit comes in your life you've got to, sort of, reprogram - it's - you've got to learn a new way of thinking - a new way of doing things.

Alright, sanctification - this is from the book acts of the apostles, "sanctification is the work" - "is not the work" - and this is Acts of the Apostles 560 - "sanctification is not the work of a moment or an hour or a day, but a lifetime." You will always be pressing on to be more like Jesus. And Christian perfection - you might say, 'well, what does it mean to be - Christian perfection - it means that you are doing everything that you can humanly do, by God's grace, to be as much like Jesus as you can be every day, being fully surrendered to his will. Although we've become Christians instantaneously by faith in Christ through justification, sanctification is a gradual process. There are no shortcuts. And so, don't get discouraged if you discover that you're not like the apostle Peter in one day.

Of course, Peter had some sanctification time too, didn't he? Yes. So maybe that's a good example. C.s. Lewis said, "how little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing, it is irresistible.

" Christian holiness should be so exciting to us because it's - it's the real thing - trying to live the life of God being recreated inside of us. Alright, that leads us on to our next section about the rule of holiness is God's law. Romans 7:12 - and we're going to talk about the standard for holiness is the law of God. To summarize the law of God in one word, what word would you pick? Love. Holy.

Holy, well, I said that. Love. But I was thinking 'love'. Isn't love a summary of who God is? And the reason I said 'holy' is good too is because the Bible says God is holy and the Bible says God is love. It uses both definitions.

"Be ye holy for I am holy." The Bible also says, 'God is love.' And so real holiness is real love. Does that make sense? And real love is real holiness. So you can summarize the law - the law is holy, just, and good - and the Bible - and, by the way, that's one of our verses here - Romans 7:12, "therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." And God is love. So, if you break down the love of God into two parts, you've got the first four commandments deal with what? Love for God. And the last six commandments - love for man.

Love for your fellow man. So you've got love the Lord - love your neighbor - the cross goes two directions. All of life is about the cross. It's this love relationship - I always feel like the pope when I do this - it's the vertical love relationship and it's the horizontal love relationship. Loving God - if you love him then you develop a heart where you can love each other - otherwise it's hard.

It's hard to love you without God's help. Right? It taught me to really love the way God wants us to love. That's the way it should be. Here's a great verse - and it's several verses. I want to read 1 Thessalonians 4, verses 1 through 8.

Just talking about, again, holiness in the commandment. "Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus." - So they were repeating the commandments of the Lord. Now, are the Ten Commandments different from the commandments that the Lord Jesus had? Who gave the Ten Commandments? All things that were made were made by him. Without him was not anything made that was made. So I'm going to ask that again, who made the Ten Commandments? Jesus.

Jesus did. I believe The Father was there when the law was declared, but Christ was certainly, at least a co-author of the law. So when Paul says, 'the commandments that we gave you through the Lord Jesus,' - I've just heard some pastors say, 'well, those are different commandments than the Ten Commandments.' No they're not! It's the same commandments. "For this is the will of God," - notice how Paul then describes those things - "your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;" - does that - is that addressed in the ten commandments? Yes. "That each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter," - that's called lying or stealing - that's part of the ten commandments - "because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.

For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness." - So you see what Paul is doing? He's making a direct line between obedience to the law and calling us to holiness. So if God is calling us to holiness, he's calling us to commandment keeping. Can that be misunderstood? Some misunderstand it. There's some churches where you can go and they'll say, 'yeah, God wants us to be holy.' And then I'll say, 'does he want us to keep the law?' 'No, we're not under the law.' Am I right? Haven't you heard that before? Yes. Isn't that crazy? I'm sorry, to me - just - it seems so crazy.

They'll say, 'yes, God wants us to be holy.' 'Should we keep the Ten Commandments?' 'No, that's legalism.' Well, you can't have holiness - you can't say, 'I'm living a holy life and yeah, I am stealing and committing adultery, but I've been called to holiness.' So a real life of holiness is a life of obedience in commandment keeping. This is frightening to people, but this is what Christianity is about. He saves us from our sin and what is sin? Breaking the law. He's saving us for holiness. Psalm 19, verse 7, "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;" - and that's a great segue to the next thought: holiness is the best agent for evangelism.

Now, you might think, a lot of churches try all kinds of different things - they say, 'how are we going to grow our church?' First of all, the idea of growing a church is not for the sake of just having more people in the building. If we - I - there's lots of things - we can give away free money and get more people in the building. There's a - you know, you can have - give away more sweets - you can give away all kinds of things and get people in the building. And some churches do that to get people and then preach the word and, ostensibly, convert them, but it's interesting, I've heard of pastors who sit down and they say, 'now what are the felt needs in our community?' And they figure that 'our church'll provide whatever people want.' And they think, 'well, people in the community, they all want coffee, so let's have a coffee shop in the lobby. And people love donuts, let's have some donuts.

And people love invigorating music so let's have some invigorating music. And people love to be told that they're really good and they're going to be a winner and they're going to be successful and - just positive thinking, so tell 'em positive things.' And it's like Christian churches are trying to Market - they're saying, 'what will get people here?' And it's like they sacrifice the Gospel that says, 'you're a sinner and you're called to holiness' to get people in the building, and they get all kinds of people in the building but are they being taught to be holy? What good is it if you use all these gimmicks and Marketing tricks to get people in the building and say 'oh, we've got people in our church.' Well, are they turning into saints? I mean, isn't that the objective? Does the Lord just want quantity or does he want quality? Quality. He wants us to be like his son. And that's why this message is so important. So what is the best method of evangelism? Holiness is the best method of evangelism.

I want to read that last verse to you. Psalm 19, "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;" 1 Peter 2:9, "but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation," - what kind of nation? Holy. The church he's speaking to - "his own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;" through holy living we are bearing witness. There's a testimony that stirs people. You know, one reason I'm a Christian is I met some Godly Christians and I thought, 'wow, I didn't know there were people like that.

They are so unique. They're so selfless. They're so holy.' I may not have used that word but that's kind of what I was thinking. I was impressed by their goodness and it's a tremendously powerful evangelistic tool - is when God's people are holy. It'll, you know, it'll often arouse the wrath of the enemy, but even - you know, the best way God's people witness is not when he saves us from trial, if you live Godly - how many that live Godly will be persecuted? All.

All who live Godly will suffer persecution. So, if you live Godly, you might experience some persecution, but you know what happens in the midst of persecution? When Christians were being burned at the stake and they did it with grace and they sang God's praises, the pagans watched and it changed them. And many pagans started looking for Christians, because they saw how they conducted themselves through trials in a holy way. So yeah, holy living, you might think, 'Pastor Doug, you're scaring me.' Holy living might inspire the wrath of the devil. The devil is threatened by holy living and he - the devil wants you to sin, so if you're living holy it's going to make him mad, right? Yeah.

When the devils came out of the woodwork they said, 'oh, there's the holy one of Israel.' It bothered them that Jesus was living a holy life. But it's evangelistic. Psalms 51 - notice this - verse - someone's going to read for me 2 Peter 2:21. You'll have that, vicky? Alright. Psalm 51, verse 12, "restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your generous spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you." So what's the result of when we have the Spirit restored and we're living in holiness? Sinners are converted to you. Alright, please read for us, 2 Peter 2:21. "For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them." Yeah, there again you've got the connection between the commandments being holy and - but when someone turns away, it - it's just such a bad witness. Galatians 5:16, the Bible says, "walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." So again, talking about the agent of our holiness is doing what? Walking in the Spirit. It's through the Holy Spirit that we can live that new life.

Now, in this last section here pursuing holiness - pursuing holiness - Hebrews 12:14 - I'm going to read this and then I want you to repeat it after me, because if you forget everything else in this lesson, I don't want you to forget this verse. I don't do that often so don't make me look bad for those watching on tv. I'll read it first and then I want you to read it with me. "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:" now, how many are going to see the Lord without holiness? No one. No one.

Let's read that verse again - Hebrews 12:14 - ready? "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:" so when Pastor Doug is up here teaching about holiness - and, don't blame me, it's in the lesson - and it sounds like we're drawing a pretty austere line about what it means to be a Christian, why am I doing it? You know, we could preach smooth things to you, friends, but I don't want your blood on my hands. The Bible says, 'without holiness, no one will see God.' Jesus said, 'blessed are the pure in heart, they will" - what? See Jesus. See God. How many of you want to see God? Amen. In peace.

I don't mean see him and flee from him when he comes, I'm talking about to welcome his appearance. It says without holiness we're not going to see him. And so, God wants us to live different kinds of lives. Christians are not just forgiven, we are transformed. The old things are passed away, all things are made new.

We are new creatures. Christians are supposed to live different kinds of lives. There's to be a holiness in our lives. Now, with that in mind, how do we pursue holiness? 2 Timothy 2:21, "therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the master, prepared for every good work." - God could fill you with the Holy Spirit when we surrender ourselves for a good work. Then he says, "flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness," - there you've got that word 'pursue' again.

See, holiness doesn't just fall on you like some kind of pink cotton candy - you pray for the Holy Spirit and suddenly you're holy. Yeah, you get justification that way, but sanctification should be pursued. You need to aggressively, through your prayers, through the study of God's Word, through self-denial, you pursue holiness. Every day, all day long; for the Christian, your life is a marathon, it's not a sprint. It is a marathon every day of pursuing holiness.

And so, it comes through just all the little decisions we make. And it's not just what you do, it's even what you think. My biggest battle is what I think. Blessed are the pure in heart. It's not talking about the pump, it's talking about the brain, right? So, to be pure in heart means you've got to say, 'Lord, I need the Holy Spirit to guide me in my thinking.

' Any of you remember zig zigler? He used to - he's a Christian and a motivational speaker, but he used to talk about stinkin' thinkin'. A lot of people, they can look really nice on the outside, but in their hearts, it's like Jesus said, 'they're painted sepulchres' - they're full of dead men's bones in their minds. Their hearts are just full of greed and selfishness. And I think most of us, if we're honest, we'd admit that we'd hate to have - they've got - you know, they've got tv monitors on everything now. They've got, you know, I stopped where we moved to pump my gas and while I'm pumping gas there's a little tv that starts running commercials.

You can't get away from it. They've just got little monitors everywhere. And I thought, 'what if you had a monitor on your forehead that showed what you're thinking? You're talking to people and you're saying one thing and they - they can see what you really think. Or they can see that you're not paying any attention to them at all. Your mind is a thousand miles away and you're going, 'yes.

..' So God is calling us to purity of heart. It is so hard to change your thinking. Have you noticed that? Do you spend much time thinking about what you think about? But one thing you can do is you'll typically think about what you take in. What do you watch? Your mind stores the things that you watch. And, you know, if there was one place - one real sensitive area, and I'm speaking to myself along with you, for the church today it would be - we are just surrounded with information, unlike any other age where there is just so much you can take in visually and the eyes are one of the most important avenues of information, and there's so much bad to look at out there today.

We need to be careful what we look at. Luke 1:74, when zachariah spoke to the angel and he heard about John the baptist, he later prayed and said, 'to grant us that, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.' God wants us to serve him in holiness. But to do that, we've got to be careful what we take in. In Psalms 101, verse 3 David said, "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;" and then job 31:1, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?" Being holy means you need to choose what you look at and you need to choose what not to look at. To be a good gardner doesn't mean you just love vegetables, you have to hate weeds.

(Laughter) the reason that job was a holy man, it said that he loved God and he hated evil. And so, a longing for holiness means that God'll put within your desire a love for good and a loathing for bad. And you've got to know that when you are hearing something or you are seeing something and it's not upright, you need to plug your ears. The Bible describes a righteous person as something that stops their ears at the hearing of bloodshed. We need to know how to turn away and not behold what is evil, because that will end up affecting what you think about.

It's what you've taken in. And so, you know, I can't over-emphasize this. And some of us, as I'm speaking - I'm convicted even as I speak that it's just - it's an ongoing battle to say, 'I'm not going to read that. I'm not going to look at that. I'm not going to listen to that.

I want to be holy.' And you put it in your mind to say, 'well, I'll just forget about it. It's there. They say that - whoever 'they' is; I quote them a lot of times. I read somewhere that a person, when they're put into a state of hypnosis, they can often recall memories of what they had for breakfast 50 years ago. And it's just there's a lot of things stored in your brain and you just think they're gone and they're there, you just don't know how to access the file.

And all those things that we're taking in affect us. Now, you and I are surrounded with so many information - so much information - you can't - you know, talk about the tv screens on the gas pumps, they've also got billboards now that are displays that are changing - just driving down the road you see things - let's face it, living in this world there's images all around you. You cannot control everything out there. So we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to purify our minds. But there are things we can control and we need to pray that God is going to help us be more careful what we look at because we are transformed by what we look at.

I think I had a couple more verses on that here - yeah, Philippians 4:8, "finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy" - by the way, Paul is describing holy things - "meditate on these things." Think about good things - holy things. Romans 12:9 - I told you it's not just enough to love vegetables, you've got to hate weeds; Paul says in Romans 12:9, "abhor" - hate - "what is evil. Cling to what is good." Romans 13:14, "but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." You cannot gorge the carnal nature with what you're taking into your mind and then expect to be holy. The way that God will fill us with the Holy Spirit is we need to humble ourselves, empty ourselves, fill ourselves with that which is good - through reading and beholding those things that are going to uplift and elevate and it'll begin to transform you - it'll change your thinking. And it's through your thinking you get your behavior and your patterns and your habits.

Romans 1:32 - Paul is describing the lost generation back then in rome, "who, knowing the judgment of God, that they that commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." The reason I threw this verse in there is because when a person is watching television or video or something like that, they say, 'well, I know that there's a murder or there's some adultery and some stuff, but I would never do those things.' But Paul is saying, 'but they take pleasure in those that do them.' - 'I wouldn't do them, but I do take pleasure watching other people. There's a lot of people that are watching and listening right now, you'd never dream of cheating on your spouse, but you really enjoy watching other people do it on daytime television. Is that right? Or nighttime television - either one. 'I'd never murder anybody, but it's fun watching those cowboys pick each other off in a gun fight.' And, now I'm speaking to the men and you have to say, 'am I taking pleasure in what is not holy?' Well, I better summarize by just saying, well, friends, it's an ongoing battle, isn't it? But God's called us to holiness. I want to be holy, don't you? Amen.

I want to remind our friends that are watching, we do have a free offer and the free offer today is part 1 of a dvd. It's - ask for offer #822 - it's on spiritual warfare part 1 - and if you'd like that, just call 866-788-3966 - or that's -study-more - we'll be happy to send that to you. God bless you and thank you for studying with us. Lord willing, we'll do it again next week. Friends, would you win souls if you could? Well, you can.

Please plan now to join me in doing some evangelism this winter. It's easier than you think. Prophecy encounter will be a major new 10-part evangelistic program that'll be broadcast by satellite and streaming on the internet to homes and churches near you - hopefully your home or church. From February 17 through 25, I'll be preaching an all-new old-fashioned evangelistic program from sanford, florida and we'll be using the latest technology and fresh illustrations, so all you have to do is open your churches, your homes - invite friends and family - be friendly, pray, and let the power of the word do the work. The programs will be available on 3abn, aftv, Facebook, roku, and more.

You'll be surprised; there are people in your community that are really worried about what's happening in the world and they're looking for answers. Jesus said, 'the harvest is truly great, but the laborers are few. So pray therefore the Lord of the harvest will send laborers out into his harvest.' You can be one of them. So I'd like to encourage you to join us and be praying for the upcoming prophecy encounter meetings. For more information check out www.

prophecyencounter.com and who knows, you might be revived in the process. Friends, we're out here in the pacific ocean not too far from the island of fiji, and we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep. The Bible says God made the heaven and the earth and the sea. And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along - snorkle on the surface, but if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you've got to go deeper.

(Lively music) because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to be able to breathe below the surface. And, because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment. (Sound of breathing aparatus) in the same way, the Bible says a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're going to live a Christian life in this world below. Wow, what a wonderful world.

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