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Message given on February 10, 2008

Holy Living 
 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Now we’re saved by the mercy and grace of God. By His grace we are saved. We know that. But we see here from the words of Paul that when He said in Ephesians we are saved by grace and not by works he also wrote that works should follow those that believe. “For the grace of God that brings salvation teaches us that we are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. And when we do that, we are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.

We got to recognize that we need the constant fellowship with God to get victory over sin. Not just a onetime experience years ago, 10 or 20 years ago, we need to speak with and have fellowship with God every day renewing ourselves in the spirit and the word daily.

Romans 8:1.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

You notice that it doesn’t say that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus and stop there. It says….who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. Some versions of the bible do not have the second half of that verse but I'm sure to really be "in Christ" would mean that we walk in Christ and not in the flesh. 

The spirit gives us life. The flesh gives us no hope. We cannot overcome the flesh without the spirit that God gives to us for that purpose when we come to Him for salvation. This is that living water Jesus spoke about to the woman at the well in John chapter 4. This comes in and causes us to overcome sin and it washes us and makes us clean the moment we start to believe in Jesus as our savior and accept His forgiveness and His word in our lives. He gives us a new “want to” in our lives. When we really learn to love Jesus, we do not want to sin against Him. Jesus died for our sin. He paid a big heavy price for us to be saved from sin. He didn't pay that price and suffer on that cross for us to continue in sin and stay under the bondage of sin with no way to escape. He meant for us to be cleansed from sin. He meant for us to have a new life, turn from sin and turn to God. Old things pass away and all things become new. 

It says that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. This of course, includes women and children. Grace has appeared to us and that grace teaches us to deny ungodly lusts and then change….live soberly, life righteously and godly.

You might think, well, we can’t live godly. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit is for. To teach us, to guide us and to comfort us so that Christ lives within our innermost being and we are never without His presence in our lives as long as we continue to abide in Him and do not willingly depart from Him. He will give us understanding of the scriptures, even the King James version. This is the complete gospel. We are not saved by grace so that we can go back into sin. That wouldn’t make sense. Jesus suffers, dies and hangs on that cross to pay the price for our sins. We say I can just believe in Him and then live anyway we want to and let sin come back into us. To really believe in something is to partake of and live for that something. This doesn't mean that we never mess up and even sin but it means we don't accept that sin and continue in it but immediately cry out to the Lord and repent.  1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Sin that gets dangerous is when we ignore the correction of the Holy Spirit and continue in the sin never seeing any need to change.  When we love the Lord we will not want to sin against Him continually.

What did He die for? To free us from sin, because sin cannot enter heaven. One day the earth is going to be burned up and all the bad with it. All the sin and all the evil is going to be burned up. If sin is still within us and we are lost without Christ, we will burn up with it. I’m not talking about every fault, weakness and mistake we make in the flesh. Abraham and Sarah messed up plenty of times but they were still right with God. I’m talking about sin that is clearly sin against God’s word where the word is clear this sin leads to destruction and we continue in it without repenting or turning back away from it.

Jesus came to take that away so that we can live in a place without sin, without sickness without sorrow. Disagreeing with what modesty is or disagreeing on manmade traditions are not sin unless we allow ourselves to become full of hate and bitterness because of it.  The hate and the bitterness can lead to real sin a whole lot faster than not always doing what men think is right by tradition. Willful disobedient to God is sin not disobedient to someone's opinion.  Sin is in the heart, not in how we look or how we worship on the outside.  Sin is transgression of the law or having the attitude that we don't care what God thinks we are going to live how we want.  Of course anyone who really thinks in those terms is not abiding in Christ and probably have not been genuinely saved to begin with.

We are to be changed. Old things are supposed to pass away and all things become new but this is done by the spirit. As soon as we come to Christ we are cleansed and forgiven but some things take time to learn.  The attitude in our hearts though is now, "What can I do to serve God so I can grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord?" A man doesn't marry a new bride and then ignore her and live how he wants to.  We start living for God and not for ourselves after we come to Christ. 

I’m not talking about dress codes. I’m not talking about long hair or short hair. I’m talking about the spirit of God coming within us and we start living for God because we love Him.  Every time we study the word, we are cleansed a little more. The word is a cleansing agent.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Here is what Christ did for the church:

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

This is another work of the Holy Spirit. Bringing this word to our remembrance to make us remember what Jesus died for. When we read the word, study the word as a church, and at home alone, its reminding us that we were cleansed from sin. If we stop reading the word and praying and seeking His fellowship, we may forget that we have been cleansed from our sins causing us to go right back into it.

1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.

This is an ongoing process. As we have fellowship. Every time we gather together, every time we study the word of God, the blood of Jesus is still cleansing us. Every time we hear this word, the word cleanses and that living water is always flowing in and out cleansing us but if we walk away, we get away from the word, we get away from prayer, the old world, the devil brings that old stuff we were saved from, right back in. Its all the spirit, we need the Holy Spirit. To be renewed constantly in the Holy Spirit freely given to all who believe. 

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made blood by the blood of Christ.

We can see from 1 John 1: 7 that I read a while ago that the blood of Jesus cleanses from sin as we walk in the light having fellowship with one another. It all works together. We need each other church. We need the Christian fellowship.

We cannot expect the blood of Jesus to cover our sins if we remain in open sin and do not repent. Repentance is very important. John the Baptist taught repentance. Jesus taught repentance. Peter taught repentance. Paul taught repentance. Every one of them. John, the apostle John. Even in the Old Testament repentance is all through it.

Repentance, what does it mean? Not just to be sorry for sin but to turn from it. To change one's mind, to go toward Jesus to go the other way. This is the living water that Jesus talked about to the woman that she could have and never thirst again because it would flow in her and deliver her from sin. We can have it too. It’s ours for the taking. Not just a one time event years ago. We are actually baptized by the Holy Spirit. 

That is not a onetime event either. We can be filled with the spirit over and over again. Every time the disciples came together to pray, they were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. They were renewed refreshed and prepared to face the world around them as they spread the gospel to others and also when they gather with believers to teach, exhort and edify one another.

Jesus warns the church the very first church in the book of Revelation. He said to them that “You do good, you have sound doctrine, you make sure you don’t have false teachers in your midst, you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes but…you have one thing lacking…You have left your first love. You don’t love Jesus like you did at the beginning. You notice when somebody is first saved, how they love Jesus, how they talk about Jesus. How Jesus is their life. This church were still doing all the things they should, they were still teaching the word but that love was missing.

If you do not love God with all your heart and all your soul, you cannot love your neighbor as yourself. If you do it will be an idolatrous kind of love or something not right. You have to love God first. You have to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Then and only then can you love your neighbor as yourself properly, the right way. They is why believer's meetings and being refreshed in the spirit and the word are important.  The title of this message is "Holy Living".  We can't be holy by our own strength or giving up what we think is wrong on our own power.  This has to come as we are strengthen in the word and in the spirit as we continue to do in our walk with Christ. 

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

These verses show us that people had to die because they believed in Jesus Christ. But look they had to come the same way as those who do not go through tribulation. They had to be washed in the blood of Jesus for their sins. They were persecuted. These are the tribulation saints. They are going to stand before God. They stood and chose Jesus Christ even though it meant that they would be killed. In the end, God wiped away all their tears and led them to the fountains of living water. No one can ever harm them again.

Jesus came over 2000 years ago. He came in the flesh, He became a man. He had to do that because someone had to come and become a man but yet not sin so that when He died, He died not deserving to die. The law of God says the soul that sins, It shall die. Death comes because of sin. So Jesus had to come and live as a man but be perfect. He could not sin in one point. God came in the flesh. God loved us so much that He came in the flesh. When Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit. That again is God coming in the flesh. The Holy Spirit comes into us and that is God coming in the flesh just like Jesus came in person, the Holy Spirit can come to each and every individual. That is such a beautiful wonderful gift of God. We should never take it lightly. We should seek to be filled with the spirit because a big price was paid that each of us could have part of God. Just imagine. We’ve got God in us. That living water. Hallelujah….and its only the beginning.

We’ve got to pray for our country or it may not be a country much longer. I don’t know whose going to be our next president. It doesn’t make any difference. We are in trouble. We need to pray, we need to hear from God, we need to pray and seek God. Maybe we can turn this thing around. You know what…its not going to be the president. I don’t care if it’s a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal or an independent. They’re not going to turn this country around. The church can. God’s people are the only ones that can do it if we pray and call upon His Holy name.

When we start to compromise sin it affects all those that live around us. I’ve seen Christian families live in a neighborhood and when they move out, the neighborhood goes to pot. Our presence, if were full of the Holy Ghost and full of God and stay that way, we don’t let the old devil rob us of it, we will influence our neighborhoods and be a light to them.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

We need to contend for this. We need to fight for it.

Keeping the original gospel pure from the pollution of men is an ongoing fight. Its been an ongoing fight since the death of the apostles because people add to it or take away from it. They add to it by saying your saved by being baptized as a baby or by doing this ritual or sacrament and you’re not repenting of sin and you’re life’s not changing Some think you’re saved by doing this act or that act, building hospitals or doing good deeds. Those things are good but you’re not saved by feeding the poor as good as that is.

Your saved by the blood of Jesus when you turn from sin and turn to Him (Jesus). You can also take away from the gospel. The book of Jude really warns us against that. We can take away from the gospel by quoting that we are saved by grace and not works and then live any way we want to and 20 years from now we are back into sin and the same mess. That’s taking away from it.

Jesus warned in Matthew 7:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

I used to love this song as a kid.

Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

That rock being Jesus Christ the solid foundation. That rock being the word of God which does not change, hallelujah.

Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is what’s happened today. We’re living in the church of the Laodiceans because men have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness. They’ve cheapened it. “You can do anything you want and still be saved as long as you mentally believe that a man died for sins 2000 years ago.” No changed life.

They're preaching the prosperity doctrine that God wants you to be rich. They will even go so far to say, “Don’t support a poor church because God is not blessing it.” Its money, money, money. I was grieved to turn on the television one time and heard them in the telethon wanting to raise money to spread the gospel but you know…..I didn’t hear any gospel. What gospel are they spreading? That is why Jude says to contend for the original gospel that will save the soul. All this new feel good motivational speaking will not save one soul, it will not bring conviction of sin and it will not change one life.

Some crept into the church and turned the grace of God into something else. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be something good but we need the old fashioned gospel that tells us to repent, turn away from your sins. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but believe on Him to the point that you’re going to believe what He said. You’re going to believe His word, you’re going to let Him change your life. You’re going to say, I’m sick of sin, I’m tired of sin. I want all you have for me Lord. I want everything you’ve got. I need it and I want to give this to someone else. We don’t want to keep it to ourselves.

My dad used to call this sinning Christians or easy believism. So we can add to the word, cover it up and teach everything else so people will not even hear the gospel or we can take away from the gospel and make it some cheap thing.

Jesus died. He bled and He died and suffered to give us something good. To give us His best and its only the beginning.

When we start compromising the gospel, first of all, we will start denying God's right to correct how we live. We start questioning the word of God. Maybe that don’t mean that. Taking this word out. That’s not for us today. Then they will begin deny Jesus Christ and say there are other ways of salvation through other religions.

We can see this pattern in the country we live in. We started out as a country that feared God. Most people that started this country were bible believing people that feared God. But later they got away. They got away from this.

Then they start teaching….well we’ve got to get along with everybody so maybe there is other ways to be saved other than Jesus Christ. Maybe other religions? I’ve never seen any other religion that beats this one. Other religions kill each other if they don’t believe. Then they begin to deny God’s right to tell them what to do. Then in comes abortion and all other things that we know is wrong. Then they go so far that evolution comes in and they begin to deny God Himself.

It always starts when we start to deny God’s right to cause us to walk in holiness.

In Jude 1:20, it shows us how we can avoid returning to sin, once we are saved by the grace of God. This is how we keep from turning that grace into lasciviousness.

Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jude in verses 20 tells us how to avoid returning to sin. Build ourselves up in the faith praying in the Holy Ghost. Pray in tongues if you have received tongues. Pray in your own native language if you like but pray fervently and never stop praying in the spirit. He says in verse 21 to keep yourselves in the love of God. Don’t let Satan rob you of that love and bring in a root of bitterness.

We’re living in a country where people fight for their rights. Fight for your right. You don’t have to hate. You don’t have to get angry enough to let that root of bitterness come into your heart. You have to fight for this because the devil will make you mad when you’re driving in traffic and somebody does something stupid. The devil will try to make you mad at your neighbor, a family member…anything to get a root of bitterness in your own family and when you go to church, you’re mad. The spirit of God can’t move because you are sitting there mad. But, you know what…fight for your right. I have a right to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus don’t make commandments and then not give us the ability to keep them. I have a right to love people. Its my right in Jesus. He said to love one another as I have loved you.

Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you love one another. When people come in here and see us loving one another they are going to know that we are different than people they work with, go to school with …we’ve got to be different. Its not a begrudging thing we have to earn, it’s something we can have from God. God the Holy Spirit. We’ve got to hunger and thirst after Him and He gives us all we need.

It says in …
2Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be
their God, and they shall be my people.
Isn’t that wonderful? God wants to be our God and He wants us to be His people.


2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2Co 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.


The teaching of holiness is not taught anymore but you know what? That doesn’t make it null and void. The last time I looked, holiness it is still in the bible. And again, I’m not talking about ear rings. I’m not talking about dress codes. I’m talking about that which comes from the Holy Spirit and causes us to love our neighbor, love our church, love that lost sinner next door, that drug addict, that alcoholic that needs Jesus so bad because they’re bound and cannot get free by themselves. God uses us, we’re His vessels. He can send an angel down here but He chose the church. He said, this is your job. We have to love them first. You can’t witness to somebody on your own…God has to put that love in your heart.

Rom 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.
Rom 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.

The Holy Spirit will rip the world right out of your heart. He will rip the world right out and replace it with something better. God has something better than the stuff we think we want.

Hebrew 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;


That root of bitterness again. The devil wants to spoil us. He wants to ruin that holiness…That relationship we have with God. It is so precious and so holy.

God has something good for us.

1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

God is preparing great things to all those that love Him in eternity but, we don’t have to wait. We can have all God wants us to have today. We can have the fullness of His spirit. We don’t have to hate our neighbors. We don’t have to walk in darkness. We don’t have to be overcome by a besetting sin…we can overcome. God’s provided everything by His spirit. We have to ask, we have to seek for all He has for us.
 


DJ


 

 

 
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