Pursue Holiness, To Be Found Spotless / Blameless, and the Finishing Well, Conclusion.
PURSUE three more virtues/characteristics…
HOLINESS / TO BE FOUND SPOTLESS AND BLAMELESS / FINISHING WELL
Motives to keep in mind:
Why choose holiness?
To possess a “Holier than thou” mindset? A Pharisee/Hypocrite approach.
Done for the Lord and His glory?
Facts about holy living:
Definition: To be holy means to be set apart for special use or purpose/different from the world…Holiness…hagiosmas: (BAGD p. 10) “personal dedication to the interests of the deity, holiness, consecration, sanctification; the use in a moral sense for a process or, more often, its result (the state of being made holy).”
Holy Living is commanded and attainable.
- We’re made in His image.
- Be holy for I AM holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Holy Living Takes Effort and is a Testimony to the World.
- It’s not something innate or given.
- Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) Make every effort [(PURSUE)] to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Resembles the Nazarite Vow in Numbers 6:1-21.
- The Nazirite/Nazarite vow is taken by individuals who have voluntarily dedicated themselves to God. The vow is a decision, action, and desire on the part of people whose desire is to yield themselves to God completely. By definition, the Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.” The Nazirite vow, which appears in Numbers 6:1-21, has five features. It is voluntary, can be done by either men or women, has a specific time frame, has specific requirements and restrictions, and at its conclusion a sacrifice is offered. First, the individual enters into this vow voluntarily. The Bible says, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite’” (Numbers 6:2). This shows that it is individuals who take the initiative to consecrate themselves to the Lord. There is no divine command involved. While generally done by the individual by his own choice, two individuals in the Old Testament, and one in the New Testament, were presented to God by their parents. Samuel and Samson in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 2:8-28; Judges 13:1-5), and John the Baptist in the New Testament received the Nazirite vow from birth (Luke 1:13-17). https://www.gotquestions.org/Nazirite-vow.html
Illustration: Sometimes we pull out the paper plates for a meal, and other times it’s the fine china that gets used. God doesn’t want to leave us on the shelf…He wants to use us.
Beautiful collision: When God-centered motives and holy living collide.
Hymn: Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.
Pursue to be found Spotless / Blameless.
- Spotless…aspilos (BAGD p. 114) – pertaining to being of untainted character, pure, without fault of inward condition as of character.
- Blameless…amomatos: (BAGD p. 56) – blameless, unblemished of Christians.
- John 19:4 (NKJV) Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
- 1 Peter 1:19 (NASB) but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
- 2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (NIV).
- Philippians 2:14-15 (NASB) 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Illustration: We have a daughter who can’t be trusted with buying white clothing…she’s always spilling something on her clothes. Recently I caved and got her a white sweatshirt…a few hours down the road we hear “Oh no”…sure enough, her sandwich kicked out all the honey mustard onto her brand-new sweatshirt.
Beautiful Collision: When our proven character and the world’s judgments collide.
Pursue Finishing Well
I started off this series with a quote…I’ll include the ending of that quote for you today…
“When the world trade center was bombed in 2001 President Bush used a phrase that is commonly used by politicians, ‘stay the course.’ He said we would ‘stay the course’ in our fight against terror. To stay the course is ‘to stand firm in pursuing a goal or course of action, to persevere in the face of whatever challenges or obstacles one may encounter.’ I was curious as to the origin of this term so I looked it up on the internet. The first use of the phrase in print, in 1885, comes from another sort of ‘course,’ the racetrack. ‘To stay the course’ in this sense referred to the ability of a horse to endure the race and reach the finish line, preferably in a winning position. Politicians have adopted this phrase and often use it to encourage their constituents.” From Sermon Central
This week on ESPN’s website, there was, “An Instagram post by Venus Williams reflecting on the 28th anniversary of her professional tennis debut [which] raised speculation that her legendary career could be nearing an end. ‘On this day 28 years ago I made my debut to professional tennis,’ [Venus] Williams wrote in the caption alongside two photos of her as a 14-year-old at the 1994 Bank of the West Classic, the site of her first WTA match. ‘I never imagined 28 years later what [Serena Williams] and I would experience in this sport. I can recount the wins and the losses, but in the end it was always about the pursuit of my best self. Every day, win lose or draw. I can look back with no regrets. It's all been worth it.’"
Beautiful Collision: When our walk / the race we’ve run, and God’s Finish Line collide.
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Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter