June 6, 2023 9:00 am
Most Christians think that trusting God means we just have to put on a happy face no matter what, even when we’re hurting inside. But that’s not at all what the Bible teaches us.
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Today on Summit Life with J.D.
Greer. God's holiness which means separation was most greatly demonstrated not in his separation from us but his entering into our pain and absorbing it and conquering it. So Peter says in response to God's holiness you should be holy in all of your conduct. The life you live should be reflective of the God that you love. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor and author J.D. Greer.
I'm your host Molly Vidovitch. So when a soldier is in an active war zone they're not going to be staring off into the clouds and daydreaming. They need to be on high alert. Every thought focused on the battle at hand. No distractions.
No personal agenda. But did you know that as Christians we are constantly engaged in spiritual warfare? How much more important is it that we pay attention to the spiritual conflict around us? Follow our spiritual orders.
We need to train our minds for the battlefield but how do we do that? Well today pastor J.D. shows us straight from scripture as he continues our teaching series in the book of 1st Peter called I am an alien. He called this message Battlefront.
So are you ready? Here's pastor J.D. When you realize that you're not from a country you can take one of several postures. Right? One posture is that of an immigrant. An immigrant is somebody who's not from a country but they have you know tried to become a citizen of that country.
Right? It's not their original country but this is where their new citizenship is and and that's where they're going to make their home. A lot of Christians are doing that with the world. They understand kind of theologically that they're born from above and they're a citizen of heaven but for all practical purposes this is where they've made their home. That's why they're always you know thinking about how life is going down here. It's why they're leveraging their resources and their talents and their money to make a comfortable life down here. It's why they're always worried about what everybody's saying about them down here. They're worried about how things are going to turn out for them down here. What they're going to miss out on down here.
And so they have bucket lists and they're worried about things that they're not going to get to do. That is a wrong conception. He's saying no no you're not a citizen here.
You're not an immigrant. Right? That's one kind of wrong category.
Here's another one. That of tourists. People think well okay a lot of Christians are like I get the idea that I'm not you know from here and so but what's a tourist do when he's in a new country? You just kind of pass through it.
Right? You ever gone with a tourist group to a foreign country? You kind of stay in your group. You speak your language. You stay in your hotels.
You eat at your restaurants. You complain that there's not a Starbucks and all kinds of stuff because you don't really engage with that culture that much. You kind of observe it at a distance and that's the attitude that a lot of Christians have toward the world. They're tourists.
Right? So they never really get engaged in the world. They kind of stay sequestered in a Christian ghetto. You're like you know what yeah I'm just passing through. Me and Kirk Cameron are going to get raptured off this trailer park of a planet anyway so I never really engage.
Now that's a lot of believers but that's wrong too. There's a third category the one that Peter's talking about and that is the category of exile. You're not really trying to become an immigrant. You also realize that you're not a tourist. So you realize that you are appointed here with a mission.
You're stationed here and that means that that begins to form how you engage with the world around you. This concept actually has a very rich history in the Bible. You see Israel for a time was exiles and God gave them very specific instructions about how they were to live in the area that they were exiles.
Let me give you this. This is Jeremiah chapter 29. Look at this. Thus is the Lord of hosts the God of Israel to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Here's how you're supposed to live.
Look. Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Verse 7 seek the welfare of the city where I've sent you to exile and pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will find your welfare. You say you're going to be stationed in this place and you got a mission for this place. You pray for their blessing.
You get involved in their problems and their lives because you are appointed there. See that's not immigrant. It's not tourist.
It's something different. In chapter 2 Peter's going to use the concept of ambassador. Ambassador is somebody who sent from one country with a mission for another country.
So he or she makes his home in that country but he's really there on the business of a different country but they're very engaged in the affairs of this country that they are now stationed in. See that is crucial in order to get anything else that Peter is saying. You're an ambassador.
You're an exile because he says you're an exile. There are a few things that you should expect. You should expect first of all that you're in a very hostile environment. You're in a place that does not understand you. You're in a place that is in many ways going the opposite direction of the way that you're going. So he says verse 13 this is where we're going to pick up chapter 1 verse 13 because that's where we left off last time. Therefore he says therefore what?
Therefore because you're in exile an alien. Therefore preparing your minds for action. Right and be look at the next phrase be sober minded. Sober minded means you're not naively unaware of the environment you're in. You are in a hostile environment. You are engaged in a cosmic battle.
You ought to be aware of that. First Peter chapter 5 a few chapters later he's going to use that same word sober minded. He's going to say be sober minded because you had an adversary who walks around like a roaring lion satan seeking to devour you. Now if you knew that there was a lion at loose and you were walking around and you knew that it had access to you that changes the perspective that you have as you walk around. If you heard that there was a lion walking around in our parking lot as you walk to your car that just changes the mentality. If you know that at any point that something's about to jump out and attack you you walk soberly. You walk aware. What Peter is telling them listen first off and this is something I think some of you desperately need to hear. You need to wake up because you are in a battle and some of you have absolutely no idea of that and the enemy is absolutely destroying you. You are not sober minded you are just not you're living in this fairy tale world one of my favorite authors Blaise Pascal said the greatest thing that we need to happen is we need just to be awakened to reality. He said for most people life is like they're they're riding in a in a horse and buggy and they're barreling toward a cliff a cliff that is you know like a hundred feet you know you'd fall 100 feet if you go over and he said said that cliff represents your death we all know we're headed there all of us don't we. He said so what do we do we just kind of distract ourselves from the fact that it's going to happen and we you know you get engaged with the world engaged with the scenery and in conversation just ignorant willfully ignorant of the fact that that cliff is on its way. I don't mean to be overly morbid with you but you understand that you were going to die your children one day were going to die and eternity is real heaven is real hell is real and there is a real enemy who is after you to sabotage your faith and destroy your soul and some of you need to wake up you just need to wake up because this is not a game that we're in and you gird up the loins of your mind and be sober minded and he says verse 14 look at this set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ as obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance here we go verse 15 but as he who called you is holy as he who called you is holy you also should be holy in your conduct since it is written in leviticus you shall be holy because i am holy all right let's stop there that's a pretty big commandment isn't it be holy like god is holy so let's talk about that first of all here's what i'm going to do for the rest of our time basically i want to talk to you about what holiness is and then i want to talk to you about what peter says our response to that should be and then finally i'm going to talk to you about how it is that you can obey that command to be holy okay so first of all here's what holiness is the key word to remember when you think about holiness is the word separation the word in hebrew that we translate as holy is the word kadosh i don't know much hebrew but i love pronouncing the words that i do know kado shouldn't that sound like a fun word to say you think you want to say it don't you i'll let you kadosh say it if the person in front of you is not wiping stuff off the back of their head you didn't say it right kadosh say it kadosh it means literally separated or cut away from in greek the word is hagios hagios which means again separated or to be removed from when god told the israelites that he was holy what he meant was that he was different from them he was separated from them he was unique he was one of a kind example exodus 15 verse 11 there is none holy like the lord nobody he's completely separate he's completely other by the way if your name is michael michael that your name comes from that verse right there that verse in hebrew is mikael none holy like the lord mikael there's nobody like god you are completely different separated not you michael but you god you if you study the old testament you're going to see that when israel got in trouble it's when they forgot the otherness of god it's because they started to think about god casually like god was just a slightly higher version of themselves a little more powerful a little smarter but the message of the bible is he is not just a little smarter than you he's not just a little different he is completely different he is the uncreated everything else had a beginning everything we look at had a beginning everything goes back to a cause god is the one great uncaused cause he never had a beginning he never had it in he is the alpha he is the omega and that ought to inform how you approach him on various issues i give you a good example joeb joe here's joe joe's got a joe's got an argument against god 38 chapters of the book of joe he just rails against god god i don't understand what you're doing god this doesn't make any sense to me god i want some answers god shows up in chapter 38 and gives joe a four chapter answer which i can basically summarize like this um excuse me joe who who are you and what universe have you created i tell you what joe when you create your own universe then you come back and we'll talk but until you created your own universe you and i are not peers and i don't mind answering your questions joe but you need to understand that i'm in an altogether different category than you and the fact that you demand that i explain myself to you when you create your universe you come back and we'll talk in fact the fact that you think you could understand me if i explain myself to you is flattering yourself in a way that is absolutely ridiculous i said 55 verse 8 and 9 because my ways are not your ways my thoughts are not your thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth that's how much higher my thoughts are than your thoughts and i would just tell a few of you because some of you i know have these questions that you have against god and god's not against questions and you are free to ask them but i will tell you this you ought to approach god with an understanding that he is holy that he is different and there are some things about god that your little piddly little brain even the smartest of you in here your piddly little brain might not be able to grasp yet and i'm just saying i'm saying i'm not saying there's no answers for i'm just saying you it changes how you approach god there is a time when the mouse stops and the knee bows i'm not talking about being gullible i'm not talking about naively just swallowing everything you're told what i am telling you is you're approaching god as the one great uncreated one the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end and that means a certain amount of reverence as you approach him and when you say this is god it changes your disposition toward him you're listening to summit life with jd greer for more information and free resources please visit jdgrier.com and while you're there i want to remind you about a valuable resource that's available to you it's the ask me anything podcast with pastor jd greer each week pastor jd answers your toughest questions on topics ranging from theology and biblical interpretation to practical questions on the christian life with new episodes dropping every monday this podcast is a great way to deepen your understanding of the christian faith and get quick answers to real questions you can access the ask me anything podcast by visiting jdgrier.com slash podcast or subscribe on your favorite podcast app and don't forget our entire teaching library is also available free of charge on our website so visit today it's all thanks to the generosity of our summit life family so thank you now let's get back to today's teaching with pastor jd greer here on summit life holiness also means separated from all that is impure jewish people had all these regulations to keep them from entering the presence of god with any defilement because god was absolute purity he was separated from impurity totally perfect now holiness is not an attractive concept to most americans when i say holiness most of you think of some kind of boring sterile you know some bright white colorless light but holiness is the perfection of all that is good in fact think of it as wholeness which is where we get the english word from wholeness god is the whole perfectness of goodness he is wholeness injustice he is wholly perfect love now when you think about it that way we are all attracted to that aren't we god is so holy he is so full of beauty so full of perfection injustice and kindness that he is separated from all impurity and in fact back at 113 says he's so pure that he can't even look at back at 113 you are of such holy eyes that you cannot even look at evil now that doesn't mean that we who are evil are invisible to god what it means is he can't gaze on it you're kind of the same way if you think about it think about something that is morally repulsive to you i mean something that just is disgusting for example imagine that you were forced to watch an act of child molestation however you couldn't even look at it it's repulsive or look here's a different one um not as repulsive but abhorrent nonetheless i'm like some of you when you watch that movie the help remember that and you're like ah i just can't watch that kind of arrogance and racism it's repulsive god who is perfect beauty perfect justice cannot keep his eyes upon the impurity and justice of sin that's why god told them you put a boundary around there because if they break through this boundary they look at my face they will die they will die because i just am such beauty that i cannot look at injustice god is holy separate from impurity which brings me to probably the most magnificent thing about god's holiness and that is that god's holiness was most manifested in jesus get this when jesus came to earth who was god's holy son his holiness walking around in the midst of sinful diseased people his holiness did not destroy us his holiness healed us this is one of the great enigmas of the bible right it's just confusion because here is jesus perfectly holy and you see scenes like this one look at this matthew chapter 8 jesus came down for the mountain a leper now in those days leprosy is bad today but in those days it was an incurable disease and if you touched a leper then you would get their leprosy a leper came down to him and knelt before him saying lord if you will you can make me clean now you know that when somebody who is clean touches somebody who is unclean somebody who is healthy touches somebody who is sick it's not that that you know it's usually the clean that becomes unclean or the well that becomes sick right my wife right now has a cold so when i get in bed at night with her there's no chance that my awesome wellness is just going to bleed off onto her and make her or you know her she's unclean i mean i don't think she's here today so i can get away with this um or maybe she is here there she's right over there um so my my her uncleanness her disease it actually has a chance of getting on me because when the cleaning is with the unclean or when the well is with the sick then it's it goes that way but here's jesus who is the perfectly clean the perfectly well stretched out his hand and touches him saying i will i can be clean and immediately his leprosy was cleansed how did that happen with one who is holy here's what's awesome listen to this jesus was not only holy in his purity he was holy in his love and in his power so his holy get this his holy love absorbed our unholiness and suffered our death and his holy power conquered it by rising from the dead jesus was holy perfect in his purity but he was also holy perfect in his love and his power so his purity cannot look at sin without dying without the person dying so jesus absorbed in his holy love our impurity into himself died in our place and conquered it by rising from the dead that's because he's holy not just in purity but also in love and power that's a pretty awesome thought the greatest display of god's holiness was not in his separating himself from us but in his entering into our sin and corruption and taking it upon himself and putting it away forever god's holiness which means separation was great most greatly demonstrated not in his separation from us but his entering into our pain and absorbing it and conquering it so peter says in response to god's holiness you should be holy as he who called you verse 15 is holy you also should be holy in all of your conduct the life the life you live should be reflective of the god that you love so let's talk about a few ways that that should be true all right first of all it ought to be true in our devotion to god i often hear people talk about god as if what god wanted from us is god wanted merely to be top of our list of priorities god gets his own list give you an example my wife if i approached her and i said baby i just want you to know this i love you so much of all the girls that i know you're number one now what does that mean does that mean that i'm sort of in love with kind of attracted to sort of committed to a whole bunch of girls but none as much as her no she gets her own list she's not number one she's the only one on that list she is the sole member of that list god does not merely want to be number one on your list of priority you're like god's at the top of my list what list he gets his own list nothing else in your life created the universe nothing died for your sins jesus is not your co-pilot he created the plane itself that you're in he created the air that it's flying in and the the law of gravity that it has to defy to stay in the air he created all that he's not your bff he's not your homeboy he's holy which means that our devotion to him is of an entirely different kind in everything everything else marriage parenting our even most intimate commitments ought to pale in comparison to our devotion to him because he's holy in our adoration of him that's another thing how we adore god should be on an entirely different plane because he's holy i hear people sometimes compare or worship to like you know how we act at a football game or a basketball game and i certainly appreciate that sentiment but i'm telling you that our worship of god ought to be on an entirely different level than everything else entirely in fact if you let me be your pastor here for a minute i get really disturbed sometimes watching some of you worship and then that's going to make you all self-conscious and you'll be like oh is he looking at me now in worship don't think like that it just disturbs me because i'm like is there any way they could actually understand the god they think they're worshiping or do they understand the commands that god has given them about worship a couple years ago i did actually a study i taught you about the different postures that god tells us and worship i ought to do that again i think but it's just you know all these commands in scripture psalm 47 1 clap your hands all you people shout into god with the voice of triumph psalm 35 27 may those who delight in salvation shout for joy into god first timothy 2 8 i command all men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer these are command let me let's go back to english class for a minute all right clap your hands all you people shout into god with the voice of triumph what kind of sentence is that starts with mmm rhymes imperative imperative it's a command it's a committee like oh well it's just not that's just not my personality did you see anything there about personality did it say clap your hands all you type a aggressive extroverted people no yo listen i have studied all these commands of scripture in worship i've read the bible all these through three different languages okay not one time does it ever say stand before god with a subdued posture a board look on your face and a cup of coffee in your hand not one times it ever says it says clap your hands shout unto god with the voice of triumph i command you to lift holy hands yeah well it's just not about personality it's not about your personality it's about the commands of god the holiness of god deserves our worship and with everything that we have today's message was titled battlefront and this is summit life with jd greer in case you joined us a little late you can hear today's teaching again free of charge at jdgrier.com so jd one of our main goals at summit life is for every believer to know that they are called to be on mission and live every day with that in mind and that might not look the same for everyone but what is the very first step that we can take in that direction yeah that's a great question molly the first thing is just to recognize that that is part of why god saves you right it's like we sometimes say becoming a christian is a little bit like being pulled into a spiritual tornado god only draws you in in order to to send you back out he's got a purpose for saving you and that purpose is not just to put you you know on the sanctified shelf it's to commission you and send you into service so we want to help you do that here we want to help you discover the unique ways that god has made you the gifts that he's given to you and how he wants to use those in his kingdom as a great tool that we're providing along with this series that will help you discover that it's called sent living a life that invites others to jesus that's a look not only at the scriptures but also at you at your own makeup your history the opportunities in front of you and it just helps you consider the ways that god is sending you into his service providing a resource like this is just a way of us saying thank you to you for your ongoing support and so reach out to us at jdgrier.com and we'll show you how to get get a hold of this resource and start that start that relationship with you we'll send you a copy of heather and ashley hollowman's book called sent living a life that invites others to jesus with your financial gift of 35 or more to this ministry we've seen god do some really incredible things through our summit life broadcasts and the gospel focused resources we provide but nothing we do would be possible without the generous support of listeners just like you you can give us a call right now to help fuel the work that god is doing through this ministry around the world just call us at 866-335-5220 or you can always give online at jdgrier.com i'm molly vidovich we're so glad to have you with us today be sure to listen tomorrow as we conclude this teaching called battlefront that's wednesday on summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 10:59:08 / 2023-06-06 11:09:14 / 10