We Are Called to be Holy, Sermon 03/24/2019

Ps. 51:1-19; Heb. 12:1-13

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Lent. Lent is a pilgrimage with Jesus to suffering and death. If we expect to rise with Christ in newness of life on Easter, we must first die with Him. Lent is a time of learning to deny selfish desires. Before we can rejoice, we must mourn. Before we can live, we must die in Christ. We are required to have fasting, self-denial, extra worship more meditation and, more prayer to the Lord in the season of Lent.

During the season of Lent, we need to examine our spiritual lives, to learn whether we live a Christ-centered life or not.

Jesus’ suffering and death reminds us of God’s holiness.

As God’s children, we are called to be holy and to live for God’s glory.

According to today’s scripture, we need discipline in order to live a godly life. The Scripture says, “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:10-110.

There are two positive results from the adversity in our lives. The first result of adversity in our lives is for God to correct us. Adversity and affliction can be a form of discipline God uses in our lives when we need correction. The Bible says, “Let God train you, for He is doing what any loving father does for his children. If God doesn’t punish you when need it, as other fathers punish their sons, then it means that you aren’t really God’s son at all. That you don’t really belong in His family.”

Who loves his child more? The father who allows the child to do what will harm him? Or the one who corrects trains and even punishes the child to help him learn what is right? It’s never pleasant to be corrected and disciplined by God but His discipline is a sign of His love for us.

In Psalm 119:67, David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” David testifies that God afflicts us because of His righteousness to get our attention, and to bring us back to obedience.

Not all adversity is God’s discipline for sin, but discipline may be one reason for our suffering. If we are guilty of sin, we need to make confession and learn from our error, so that we may “share in God’s holiness.” So when God corrects us, we must remember the following things….

*We must not make light of the Lord’s discipline. On the contrary, we must take it seriously and learn from it.

*We must not lose our heart, but accept His discipline with the right attitude.

*Every Christian can expect discipline.

*God disciplines us because He loves us. And God wants us to share in His holiness.

Another result of adversity in our lives is increased depth in our relationship with God. The trials we experience can deepen and develop our faith. But if we see them incorrectly, our experiences of adversity may discourage and depress us and become stumbling blocks to an understanding of God’s will.

In the Old Testament, there is a story about Job. He provides an example of a godly person who suffered greatly. He lost his family, his possessions-even his health. Recognizing the place of adversity in the believer’s life, Job declared, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” Through days and weeks of testing, trial and tribulation, Job began to see himself as God saw him. He learned that when nothing else was left, he had God and that was enough.

Through suffering, we learn that God is enough for our lives and our future. We must love God regardless of whether He allows blessing or suffering to come to us. Testing is difficult, but the result is a deeper relationship with God. When we endure the testing of our faith we will experience God’s great rewards in the end. Although God is present everywhere, at
times he may seem far away. This may cause us to feel alone and to doubt God’s care for us. We should serve God for who he is, not what we feel. God is sufficient, we must hold on to him. We are to serve God for who he is, not what we feel.

I Peter 1:7 says, “These trials are only to test your faith to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return.”

Trials teach us patience and help us grow to be the kind of people God wants us to be. In the midst of our own sufferings and difficulties, we can be comforted with the realization that God never leaves us to ourselves. As a concerned and loving Father, He oversees the challenges His children face. If we, as imitators of the Master, our Savior, Let us learn to welcome the trials that come our way, to rejoice in suffering, to give thanks for God’s holy work in our lives then we will see the positive results of that adversity. We will grow in discipline and in obedience. We will be a demonstration of the love and grace of God to those around us.

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