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Made Holy [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2021 6:00 am

Made Holy [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Alan Wright, pastor, Bible teacher, and author of his latest book, The Power to Bless. If you only see the shadow, then you don't know what the reality looks like in its fullness by any means.

If you were to see a shadow of some people on the ground, well you would know that there are people, in other words the shadow proves that there's a person that's there, but seeing the shadow is of no comparison to seeing the person. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Belonging to God, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.

877-544-4860. More on that later in the program, but now let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Okay, are you ready for some good news? In Christ, anyone in Christ, you can say this with full confidence, we have been made holy. Amen.

Okay. After about 10 weeks of this, I believe that as soon as I say that, you're going to erupt in applause. We're in Hebrews chapter 10, and I'm beginning at verse 1. Hebrews, towards the back of your New Testament, a book that for many years as a younger Christian, I thought it was too esoteric, too confusing, and then later discovered it's the key to everything, especially of understanding the connection of the old and the new, the old covenant and the new covenant, and the sufficiency of what Christ has done for us. It's a marvelous and very important chapter of Scripture, Hebrews chapter 10, I begin reading at verse 1.

Hebrews 10, verse 1. For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come, instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, verse 2, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshippers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins. But in these sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. So let me just pause here and say, he's referencing the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, offering sacrifice in the Holy of Holies, in the temple, on behalf of all the people.

But it would happen every year. In fact, there were hundreds and thousands of sacrifices that were made every year. And he's saying, if it had been sufficient, if it had really cleansed anybody, if anybody's sin had really been taken away from them, then they wouldn't have to keep doing it. But the very fact that they had to keep doing it proves that they were still in their sin. So the sacrificial system of the Old Testament was a gift from God, but it was not to the ultimate plan for removing sin from people.

Something better was coming. Verse 4, For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin. Jump down to verse 8. When he said, You have neither desire nor taken pleasure in sacrifice and offering a burnt offering of sin offerings, these are offered according to the law, then he added, Behold, I have come to do your will.

He does away with the first in order to establish the second. Jesus came and did the will of God perfectly, sinlessly, fulfilled all righteousness, fulfilled all the law that we could not keep. And as such, the new covenant is inaugurated. Verse 10, and here's our primary verse today, And by that will we have been sanctified. I like the NIV actually better here, for it says it plainly, We have been made holy. We have been made holy.

Will you dare to say that with me? We have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. What made us holy? Was it something we did?

No. We were made holy. It's what theologians call definitive sanctification. We have already been called holy, consecrated as holy, not through something that we've done, but through something that Jesus has done. In verse 11, Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. There it is again. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemy should be made a footstool for his feet.

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Wow! Well, some of you may know one of my favorite stories, the old preacher in a country church, and one night he wanted to do a little illustration about holy living, and so he brought out three clear jars, and he brought a jar of worms, and he had some chocolate syrup and some cigarettes and some whiskey. And he took the first jar, dumped a bunch of chocolate syrup in it, and he pulled a worm out of the jar. He said, Is this worm alive or dead? And it was wiggling, and they said, It's alive! And he dropped it down and drowned it in the chocolate syrup, pulled it back out, and he said, Is it alive or dead? And they said, It's dead.

And so then he took a cigarette and lit it and put it down in the jar, closed it up until it was all full up with smoke. And he took a little worm, and he said, Is this worm alive or dead? They said, It's alive!

It's alive! He dropped it down into the thing, closed it up in there, and the thing got killed by all the smoke. He pulled it out, and he said, Is it alive or dead? They said, It's dead. And he got the third jar, and he put a bunch of whiskey in it, dropped a poor living worm down into it. The thing got drunk and died and pulled out the poor lifeless worm. He says, Is it alive or dead?

They said, It's dead. And he said, Now, Beloved, what do you learn from this illustration? And everybody was quiet for a long time until finally a little old lady in the back said, Well, I guess if you eat a lot of chocolate, smoke, and drink whiskey, you won't get worms. Holiness has been caricatured by people who act like it's about you and your moral purity, and therefore it's about you rising up to meet a level of ethical standards. That's what most people think of holiness, which is why most people, Christian or non-Christian, are repelled by the idea of holiness. I started this series last week, and I said I can prove it to you by just simply saying, I want to announce to you that for the next 10 weeks, we're going to be talking exclusively about personal holiness.

And nobody clapped, and they still didn't clap. And it proves to you it's not necessarily a subject that people are like, Oh, great, we get to talk about holiness. And what I want to do is convince you that the New Testament view of holiness is extraordinary news because it is not about you trying harder for moral purity, as important as that may be.

It is not about you living up to a certain ethical standard better than others, although God cares about everything you do in your life. It is about something that God has done for us in Jesus Christ, and holiness means to be holy means to be set apart. And to be set apart means to belong to God. So to say I am holy is to say I belong to God.

And we don't have a more definitive text about this theological matter that theologians call definitive sanctification than Hebrews 10, verse 10. We have been made holy through the offering of Christ. And what I'm trying to suggest to you today and in coming weeks is that you will get far further in your advancement of victory over sin and increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

In other words, you're going to grow more spiritually, you're going to have more spiritual power, and you're going to come into the presence of God more ably if instead of waking up in the morning and being so conscious of what a sinner you are, you start becoming really conscious of how holy you are because we live out of our identity. Now in order to explain all of this, the writer of Hebrews starts in verse 1 by talking about how the law was a shadow of the good things to come. He's not saying the law was bad, the law is a gift. All the instructions of God are part of God's revelation of Himself and is also part of God's gift to the people of God so they know how to live their lives.

But he's saying that it was really, even the law itself, is just a shadow. In fact, the New Testament says of the old that it consists of types and shadows of what was going to come. In fact, in Hebrews chapter 8 we read, Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all since they are priests who offer gifts according to law. They, speaking of the earthly priests, serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. That was Hebrews 8 through to 5.

And in Colossians, Paul says this, especially in this section in 13 to 17 of Colossians 2, he comes to this point and says, Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. You remember as a kid, maybe you'd do this like you have a sleepover and you'd put your hands up in the light and sign a little puppet behind you. It's just showing that there's a way in which the shadow can signify something, but if you only see the shadow, then you don't know what the reality looks like in its fullness by any means. If you were to see a shadow of some people on the ground, well, you would know that there are people, in other words, the shadow proves that there's a person that's there, but seeing the shadow is of no comparison to seeing the person. I mean, you see a shadow and you get some kind of silhouette of a person, you go, oh, a person must exist. But if all you'd ever seen was a shadow and you'd never seen a real person, what are you missing out?

I mean, there's a big difference in seeing somebody's face and their smile and the dimple in their cheek and the color of their hair and the twinkle in their eye. It is much different to see a shadow of a person and substance as it is to only see the shadows of the old covenant without seeing the reality in Jesus Christ. And so the old is full of shadows, many, many, many shadows of what is coming anew. So, for example, the promised land. Now, it's very important that piece of land that's there in the Middle East, and that's a very important matter. But it never, never was God's redemptive story supposed to be just tied up to a physical piece of land because the New Testament writers look back and speak of the promised land as the place of rest or the place that is the kingdom of God. And so really what the promised land is is a shadow of the kingdom of God.

That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up, I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well, just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church, the apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12-message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians, and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Take something like the Passover lamb, which a real event in history in which the people of God slaughtered an innocent, unblemished lamb and put its blood over the doorposts of their Hebrew huts and they were spared on the night of the Passover and by this they were saved and set free. Well, that's a real moment in history, a very important thing that the people of God have always commemorated, but when John the Baptizer came, he pointed at Jesus and said, Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He was saying, this is the substance. This is the real lamb.

You see, over and over and over. Now, for the sake of understanding Hebrews chapter 10, it's really not complicated. Even if you're new to your Bible, it's still not complicated.

This is what essentially is happening. He is referencing two of the important shadows in the Old Testament and showing how Jesus has fulfilled it in substance in the new. And the two important shadows he's talking about here are the temple and the priesthood. The temple was the meeting place between God and humanity. It started with a mobile tent of meeting and then they had a tabernacle and it was set up by very specific instructions with an outer area and then a holy place and then a holy of holies that was behind a veil.

And it had very specific furniture in it and it was all outlined. And the temple that was built by Solomon was so glorious and considered so holy that it was by the orthodox believers considered to be absolutely the holiest spot on earth. One rabbi wrote it this way, for 830 years from 833 to 423 before the common era and again from 349 B.C.E. to 69 he's talking about the first temple and then when it was destroyed by Babylon then the second temple that was refurbished later by Herod into a glorious thing. Stood in Ephesus, this rabbi writes, upon a Jerusalem hilltop which served as the point of contact between heaven and earth. So central was this edifice to our lives as Jews that nearly two-thirds of the commandments of the Torah are contingent upon its existence. The rabbi continues and said something absolutely took my breath away. He said the destruction of the temple is regarded as the greatest tragedy of our history. Can you imagine an orthodox Jewish rabbi saying that with all of the persecution that they've faced including the Holocaust. But he said the temple destruction is the greatest tragedy that's ever happened to our people. Because if you believe that's the place that is the holy meeting place between God and humanity is the greatest tragedy for it not to be there. And he says this that rebuilding it will mark the ultimate redemption the restoration of harmony within God's creation and between God and His creation. We'll talk about this sometime later in this series so I'm going to say it really quickly right here that can you imagine therefore how vile and blasphemous it sounded to Jewish ears on the day that Jesus stood in front of that temple and said destroy this temple and I'll raise it up in three days. A Jewish leader talking about the destruction of the temple. But then the text tells us he wasn't just speaking prophetically about the destruction of the temple which indeed he was because it would be destroyed in 70 AD. But he was speaking of his own body because he said he now is the meeting place of God and humanity for Jesus is God and Jesus is human and in Him humanity and divinity have met once and for all. So if you're in Christ you're in the temple. In fact you're part of the temple.

So it was a shadow. It never was the permanent full answer to how you're to meet with God. When the psalmist says when can I go meet with God?

It's as long as when can I go to the temple? And the question has been answered in Christ. You meet with God through Christ. And then the second shadow that Hebrews 10 is referencing is the priesthood. For it is only the priest that could minister in that temple and only the high priest that could minister in the holiest place, the Holy of Holies. The priests were set apart in this way. Here's how they were consecrated or designated as more holy than other people. Born from the right family, the family of Aaron, anointed properly with oil, they were washed ceremonially and then they were clothed in a proper attire. And once you had been set apart as a priest then you were privileged to go into the holy place of the temple and minister in the things of God. Other people couldn't.

Couldn't even come in. But what God had said to Moses in the first place in Exodus 19 in the old covenant was established was if you'll obey me, then you are gonna be a kingdom of priests to me. And so when Peter writes in 1 Peter 2 verse 9 and he says you now in Christ have experienced the reality of the fulfillment of these promises that were made by Moses, he says you are a royal priesthood. So the priesthood was a shadow, the high priest, a shadow of Jesus who's the high priest who has gone in figuratively on our behalf into the Holy of Holies of the heavens, figuratively we're speaking now, and offered his own blood because he is the Passover lamb. He is the blood that, he is the lamb whose blood takes away our sin and he once and for all has offered himself there. And everybody who trusts in Jesus, get this, is now part of the priesthood which means that you can minister the things of God which means that you can come in intimately into the presence of God. See, holiness was always about you being consecrated in order to experience and be more palpably present in the glories of God. And now for every believer in Jesus Christ you can experience without fear the glory of God.

So you've been washed and you've been anointed and you've been clothed and you've been made the priest. And this is for the Christian the only answer to the great problem that has faced humanity from the beginning of sin in this world. God's always been just, God's always been merciful. There never was a time where he wasn't merciful. He wasn't just in the Old Testament and merciful in the New. He's always just, always merciful. And so how can God be both just and merciful when sinful people deserve to be punished?

That's why all these shadows were pointing to the redemptive plan of God in Jesus Christ. That there would come a day in which you would not simply have your sins covered for temporarily but you would be given a new heart. That you would not just have them atoned for in the sense of covered but that you would be cleansed and actually regarded by God as holy. And this is a great troubling difficult thing for most Christians to ever really believe because we know that we still sin and we have been taught over and over and over that to be more holy we need to become more and more conscious of our sins. That is not the teaching of the New Testament. There are a couple of scant verses that will speak to this like in 1 John if we confess our sins He's faithful and just to forgive us. But the preponderance of New Testament teaching is trying to move Christians to a point where you could get a hold of your new identity so that you would quit disqualifying yourself from the massive destiny that God has placed on your life.

Allen Wright. And whether you believe it or feel it or not you have been made holy. Allen is back in a moment with additional insight on this for your life and a final word.

With today's teaching we have been made holy in the series Belonging to God. Imagine for 99 days in a row someone tells you, I love you, I'll never forsake you. Wouldn't you feel cherished? But what would happen if on the hundredth day that same person said, I'm not sure you're good enough for me. If you don't measure up I don't think I'll love you anymore.

Wouldn't that one day contaminate the meaning of the other 99 days? Wouldn't one percent of conditional love poison the other 99 percent? Well just one percent of law is enough to spoil grace. The tiniest bit of law can introduce an unlimited capacity for fear. What if I don't measure up?

When might I be rejected? When the Judaizers infiltrated the Galatian church the apostle Paul was outraged and wrote a letter that describes the essence of the gospel of grace and why it must not be mixed with any form of law. Alan Wright's 12 message audio series trumpets the power of the gospel in order to set you free and empower you with pure grace. It's called Galatians and that's the gospel.

Discover the purity and power of the grace of God. When you make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today we'll send you Pastor Alan's messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website pastoralan.org. Well Alan I can hear somebody right now listening and saying hey pastor I don't feel very holy. That's right. Well like so many things in the Christian life Daniel if we were to go according to whether we feel like it or not we would have to deny about half the Bible wouldn't we?

That's true. There are days we don't feel even forgiven or redeemed much less to feel like we're a co-heir with Christ or more than a conqueror. But I think that what we're realizing is that we need to take our identity from the word of God and I think what we're really hoping to get across today and in coming weeks is the fact that you've been made holy means that something has happened on your behalf. Jesus has died in your place and therefore when you accept him you become his righteousness and so holiness is a status that you have of being set apart. And the more you know that the more everything in your life is going to adjust towards it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 17:47:52 / 2023-11-26 17:57:55 / 10

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