AS PILGRIMS WE ARE CALLED TO LIVE HOLY LIVES BEFORE THE CITIZENS OF THE PLACE IN WHICH WE ARE SOJOURNING
Series: First Peter, Sermon #14
Scripture: I Pet. 1:1-16
TEXT: I Pet. 1:13-16; Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
INTRO: How are we to conduct ourselves in a country of which we are not citizens? If you were to travel anywhere in the world but Canada and Mexico, you need a passport. That says immediately that you are a citizen of the US and a foreigner and pilgrim in the land into which you are going. You will do well to remember that while you are in the country for if you become too much like a citizen you may get into serious trouble.
As children of God we are citizens of heaven and strangers and pilgrims in this world. How are we to conduct ourselves on this earth.
SOME THINGS WE SHOULD REMEMBER AS PILGRIMS IN A SINFUL WORLD
We must remember that while we are in this world we are not of this world. John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
We must remember that the world will not be kindly affectioned toward us when we live as we should, as pilgrims in that world who are truly citizens of heaven. John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
We must remember that we are citizens of a kingdom that is not of this world. John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
We must also remember that this world does not have anything to offer that is worthy of our acting like citizens here. 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
We are admonished in this passage to not love the things of this world. V-15
We are warned that love of this world and its things is an indication that the love of the Father is not in us. V-15
We are reminded that this worlds things fall into three undesirable categories, i. e., the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. V-16
We are also reminded that the things of this world are not of God and not something to be pursued and loved by Christians. V-16
We are also reminded that the things of this world with their lusts pass away and are not worthy of our love, for we are to live and abide forever in the land of which we are citizens. V-17
We should also remember that the things of this world are all tainted with corruption. 2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
While we pursue a holy life, we need also to remember to avoid the legalism that is sometimes substituted as a counterfeit of true holiness. Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
AS PILGRIMS IN THIS WORLD AND CITIZENS OF HEAVEN WE ALREADY HAVE A POSITIONAL AND IMPUTED HOLINESS
Christ has been made our sanctification and holiness. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
In regeneration and conversion we have been washed clean and stand before God in perfection. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
In election was included the purpose of bringing us into the presence of God in perfect holiness. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
We are accepted in the beloved Son of God who did no sin. Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
God has imputed to all true believers a perfect righteousness without works. Romans 4:3-8 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
MANY ARE THE CALLS IN SCRIPTURE FOR A PRACTICAL HOLINESS IN THOSE CHILDREN OF GOD WHO ARE SCATTERED ABROAD IN THIS WORLD
We are admonished to be holy as God, who called us, is holy. 1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We are admonished to pursue holiness. Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
We are entreated to refuse to let sin reign in our mortal bodies. Romans 6:11-12 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:11-12 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
We are commanded to not yield the members of our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness. Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
We are exhorted to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and to perfect holiness. 2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
We are told that it is our reasonable service to present our bodies living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable to God. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
We are further enjoined to not be conformed to this world. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Jesus called on his people to have a practical righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees. Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Paul informs us that it is Gods will that we be holy. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.
The purpose of Gods chastening of his children is to effect practical holiness in our lives. Hebrews 12:6-11 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
We must pursue holiness for without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Our call to salvation was a holy calling and it was a call to holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
CONC: Practical holiness is not an option for the true believer. The one who has called us into this pilgrim life of a child of God has commanded that we be holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (KJV Let me conclude with timely words written by Thomas Brooks,
Consider the necessity of holiness. It is impossible that ever you should be happy, except you are holy. No holiness here, no happiness hereafter. The Scripture speaks of three bodily inhabitants of heaven
Enoch, before the law, Elijah, under the law, and Jesus Christ, under the gospel: all three eminent in holiness, to teach us, that even in an ordinary course there is no going to heaven without holiness. There are many thousand thousands now in heaven, but not one unholy one among them all; there is not one sinner among all those saints; not one goat among all those sheep; not one weed among all those flowers; not one thorn or prickle among all those roses; not one pebble among all those glistering diamonds. There is not one Cain among all those Abels; nor one Ishmael among all those Isaacs; nor one Esau among all those Jacobs in heaven. There is not one Ham among all the patriarchs; not one Saul among all the prophets; nor one Judas among all the apostles; nor one Demas among all the preachers; nor one Simon Magus among all the professors.
Heaven is only for the holy man, and the holy man is only for heaven; heaven is a garment of glory, that is only suited to him that is holy. God, who is truth itself, and cannot lie, hath said it, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Mark that word 'no man'. Without holiness the rich man shall not see the Lord; without holiness the poor man shall not see the Lord; without holiness the nobleman shall not see the Lord; without holiness the mean man shall not see the Lord; withoutholiness the prince shall not see the Lord; without holiness the peasant shall not see the Lord; without holiness the ruler shall not see the Lord; without holiness the ruled shall not see the Lord; without holiness the learned man shall not see the Lord; without holiness the ignorant man shall not see the Lord; without holiness the husband shall not see the Lord; without holiness the wife shall not see the Lord; without holiness the father shall not see the Lord; without holiness the child shall not see the Lord; without holiness the master shall not see the Lord; without holiness the servant shall not see the Lord. 'For faithful and strong is the Lord of hosts that hath spoken it' (Josh. 23:14).
True holiness in our lives will have an influence upon those citizens of this world among whom we sojourn. Wives may even bring their husbands to Christ if they lead a truly holy life. 1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. God will be glorified. Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Our worship will be very acceptable to God. Psalm 96:9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
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