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Battlefront, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2023 9:00 am

Battlefront, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 7, 2023 9:00 am

The word “holiness” gets thrown around a lot in church, and most of us have a vague idea of what it means, but do we really understand the implications of calling God holy?

Summit Life
J.D. Greear

Today on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. He commands you, lift your hands in worship, adorn me, praise me, shout to God with joy, not because you feel it but because I'm worthy of it and I'm going to use that act of obedience to produce those very emotions in your hearts. Our adoration of him ought to be reflective of his awesome worthiness, his holiness. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, J.D. Greer.

As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. Have you ever noticed how little kids will pick up a new word and just start using it without really understanding the meaning and its nuances? We've all chuckled at the social media videos, right?

Well, as it turns out, a lot of us still do that, even once we're grown up. I mean, take the word holiness, for example. It gets thrown around all the time in church and most of us have a vague idea of what it means, but do we really understand the implications of calling God holy?

And do we understand how we're supposed to live as we imitate God? Pastor J.D. clears up any confusion today as he continues our series called, I Am an Alien.

Let's join him in the book of 1 Peter, chapter 1. You're an ambassador. You're in exile. Because, he says, you're in 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 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, therefore, he says, therefore what? Therefore, because you're in exile, an alien. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, right? And B, look at the next phrase, be sober-minded.

Sober-minded means you're not naively unaware of the environment you're in. You're in a hostile environment. 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. 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, 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. That's a pretty big commandment, isn't it? So let's talk about that. 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. 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. 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, 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. 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 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 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 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? Nothing else in your life created the universe. Nothing died for your sins. Jesus is not your co-pilot, which means that our devotion to him is of an entirely different kind and 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 our 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. All these commands in Scripture, Psalm 47 one, clap your hands all you people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 35 27, may those who delight in salvation shout for joy unto God. First Timothy 2 8, I command all men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer.

It's a command. Yo, listen, I have studied all these commands of Scripture in worship. Not one time does it ever say, stand before God with a subdued posture, a bored look on your face, and a cup of coffee in your hand. Not one time did it ever say, 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. You say, well, it's not my personality. The other thing I say to you on that is baloney, because I have seen you at football and basketball games, and you do have the capacity to get excited. Some of you are like, oh, but I just don't, if I don't feel it, I don't want to be a hypocrite and do it.

Right? Because then I'm like, you know, it's not really coming out of my heart. I can appreciate about that much of that excuse. But let me address with it, okay? First of all, it's not about what you feel like, it's what he's worthy of. Your worship is not based on your feelings, your worship is based on his worthiness, and when you don't feel it, he's still worthy of it. So that means that you act your way, you believe your way into your feelings and not feel your way into your obedience.

All right? Obey and then feel. Let me tell you a little secret too about what the scriptures say about this. The scriptures tell you, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of us, including me for a while, don't really get this, is that there are certain things that we do even when we don't feel like them, and God uses our obedience to actually help us learn to feel like that. For example, sometimes when you get down on your knees when you pray, that causes a feeling of reverence to come over you.

That's just the way God created you. He created your heart sometimes to follow the posture of your body. So he commands you, lift your hands in worship, adorn me, praise me, shout to God with joy, not because you feel it, but because I'm worthy of it, and I'm going to use that act of obedience to produce those very emotions in your hearts. So see, our adoration of him ought to be reflective of his awesome worthiness, his holiness, and people ought to walk in here and say not that they're just really excited about something, they ought to say this is a whole different kind of adoration and devotion because he's holy.

Now, the million dollar question. You say, okay, how, how do you, I mean, how do you do that? How do you actually develop the ability to be holy like God is holy? That's what the next several verses are about. So let me just read them to you and I'm going to show you how Peter shows you to be holy. Verse 17, if you call on him as father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your father is not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or without spot. Make sure you pay real close attention to that verse because I'm gonna ask you a question in a minute. All right, all right, verse 20. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in these last times for the sake of you. All right, the question is how do you be holy like God is holy?

Here's a question. In those verses that I just read to you, who is holy? Who was without blemish or without spot? Jesus was. Not you, Jesus was. And Peter explains that the lamb who was holy, his blood was spilled to ransom us. If my unholiness, when it looks upon God, would be struck dead, my unholiness was absorbed into Jesus. Jesus looked upon the face of God and died in my place. That's why we always say here the gospel is Jesus in my place. His holiness took my unholiness, he died in my place and gave me his sense of holiness.

Right? Now Peter says that gift of blood is precious to us. Why does he use the word precious? Peter says that Christ's blood is precious because Christ's blood does for us something that nothing else can do.

And what Peter goes to is, I think it's verse 18, is he says none of this was handed down from your fathers, we weren't redeemed from anything that gets handed down from previous generations. You ever notice that all the greatest accomplishments that we have, we try to pass down to our children, right? For example, money. Money, some people work hard, you want to leave so much money to the next generation that they won't have any worries. But money doesn't produce morality. A lot of times with the increase of money and power come the increase of greed and exploitation and misery. Money is awesome, okay?

It is. But money is no savior. Science. Every generation passes down unbelievable accomplishments to the next generation. What was science fiction in one generation is day-to-day reality in the next. But technology doesn't take away our problems, does it? Our grandparents left us the motorized car and the atom bomb.

Both. Our generation is going to leave the next generation the iPhone and internet porn. Technology doesn't produce morality. Science doesn't produce morality. Science doesn't deal with soul issues. Suicide rates are higher.

The happiness index is lower in countries that are more scientifically sophisticated than in less educated ones. Religious traditions that are handed down from your parents can't save. The good traditions. I know you honor your parents and that's awesome. But you know religious traditions handed down usually make you proud.

You ever notice this? They make you self-righteous. Government traditions on the right or left that we passed down have not been able to save. Communism promised itself as the great savior. How many millions did Stalin and Mao Zedong slaughter on their way to their perfect government? Capitalism. We all realize now that capitalism can be abused and exploited, can't we?

Right? And by the way, I'm not trying to say that all government systems are equal because I have a hard time seeing how a housing bubble burst on Wall Street equals 20 million Chinese slaughtered under Mao Zedong. I'm not trying to say those things are equal. I'm just trying to say that no government tradition is able to produce real salvation. They're just not able to do it. Now in fact I love what Winston Churchill said about capitalism.

He said capitalism is the worst economic system except for every other economic system that has ever been dreamed up. Now whether or not you agree with that, the point is no government tradition on the right or left has been able to give salvation. They're great accomplishments but none of them can save because our problem was and is a problem vis-a-vis God. And only God can provide the solution to that problem. Only one thing could save and that was the perfect death of the eternal son of God.

His blood had to be poured out on the ground. That makes that blood precious because it did something that absolutely nothing else has ever been able to do and that is close the gap between us and God. Let God reunite with us and fill us again with the peace and the shalom that comes from the presence of God. Precious. Peter tells you to live with an awareness of that preciousness. To live with an understanding of the value of what Christ has done for you. Watch. And that will give you the motive for this. Thanks for joining us for Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. We'll get back to today's teaching in a moment but first I've got a question for you. Have you ever wondered how to start gospel conversations with people around you?

Friends, co-workers, neighbors or even family members? Sometimes it even feels like with the best of intentions life just gets in the way and before you know it that spiritual conversation that you meant to have never happens. I know because I've been there and if you have too we have such a great resource for you this month. It's a book called Scent Living a Life That Invites Others to Jesus. It was written by a husband and wife duo who simply share how they've stopped waiting for the perfect moment and started sharing the gospel with the people around them whenever and wherever they can. We're excited to send a copy to anyone who supports this ministry with a gift of $35 or more.

Simply give us a call at 866-335-5220 or visit our website at to give right now. Now let's get back to today's teaching here on Summit Life. Motive is an English word that we get from motor, the drive. Where do you get the drive to be holy? Peter says it comes from understanding the preciousness of how what Christ used to make you holy.

When you understand the preciousness of Christ's blood which is your holiness that gives you the drive to actually be holy in response to it. Let me give you a great story in this in the Bible that's a little hardly known story at all. One of my favorites though buried in the book of Second Samuel, Second Samuel 23 that so many people miss but it's one of the coolest stories ever.

Basically it goes like this. The Philistine army, those are the bad guys, have taken over Bethlehem which is David, King David's hometown. So David is on the run. Okay so one day after all this you know battle and weariness and stuff David is several miles from Bethlehem and just as he sits down one night he just kind of spouts off of the mouth and says man what I wouldn't give for a drink of water from the well outside of the gate of Bethlehem that I used to drink from when I was a little boy. Now he's not given a command, he's just doing something that you do when you're you know away from home like man I would love to you know go to this coffee shop.

He's just talking. Well a few of his what they call mighty men which are basically like his green berets are you know sitting over there and they're like we can make that happen. So they sneak off without telling David, travel through the night several miles to go to Bethlehem. Now keep in mind the entire Philistine army is there. So they have to in like they have to fight their way into Bethlehem. The well is not like back in a corner somewhere it's at the gate which means it's out there in plain view they have to fight their way in they have to get this water out of the well put it in their knapsack then fight their way out this is a total Jack Bauer maneuver right then after that they they travel the several miles home through the middle of the night and get there in time for David to wake up the next morning.

David gets up and they're standing there with their kids cup of water and they're like look what we got for you. So he hands it to David and King David second same with 2316 takes it and pours it out on the ground which would have ticked me off a little bit I'm just like I'm not gonna lie to you. When David does that he says far be it for me that I could drink something purchased by your blood.

Meaning I would never take comfort in something that puts your life in danger. Now here's why I love that story. First of all you see what holy devotion is. Holy devotion is David's men being willing to risk their lives for simply a sigh a murmuring that comes from David's heart. David's wish becomes their command because even just they love him so much that just the sigh from his heart produces obedience. The second thing that I love about that story is it shows you where holy devotion comes from. Why did David's men feel like that about him?

Because they knew that he felt that way about them. You see that story should make you think about Jesus because Jesus didn't just risk his life to get us what we needed Jesus actually died to get us what we needed. And Jesus didn't pour out a cup of water on the ground Jesus poured his own blood out on the ground. If that kind of emotion from David to them produced that kind of loyalty from them to him how much more should Jesus's offering of his precious blood which was the only thing that could save us when he poured it out on the ground how much more should that not produce in us holy devotion back to him. The preciousness of the blood of Christ becomes the power of holy devotion. Does that make sense? That's why when I hear somebody make this statement right here and I hear it a lot how much do we have to give it's like ten percent is that it I'm like that person I can be assured of one thing totally does not get it because how much do I have to give is not the question of holy devotion it's not the question of love how much do I get to give that's the question of love so you're listening for even the side that comes from Jesus heart oh you care about lost people and nations all around the world God here's my life what can I do about that God you care about the orphan and the widow how can I serve them because if that's a side that's coming from your heart I want to do it God you care about the poor here's my money because I delight in seeing you delighted because I understand how precious the blood was that you gave to me that produces wholly devotion back to him does that make sense peter gives us you another way real quick I'm gonna show you this because peter's a lot deeper than you think he is he's not just a fisherman um verse 17 all right watch this if you call on him his father who judges him partially according to each one's deeds when I first read that verse studying this passage I didn't understand what it meant I've never understood what it meant so I was just going to skip it and hope you didn't notice but I felt bad about that so I went back I was like I gotta figure this verse out so I just stared at it for a while and I think I got it all right I'll let you decide but basically it's this all right take the last part of this verse God who judges impartially according to each one's deeds now question God who judges impartially according to each one's needs it's not good news or bad news for you good news or bad news bad news because if God judges impartially according to each one's deeds which one one of you wants to stand up in front of God's bar of justice and be judged impartially for the deeds that you committed none of because you're all sinners and you all deserve hell okay bad news but you get to call that God what father daddy that verse is the gospel because the gospel is that Jesus was judged impartially for your deeds Jesus received the full penalty that you deserved for your evil deeds so now because he has absorbed all the penalty I can call God who judges impartially daddy because I no longer need to fear judgment he's my daddy now so Peter goes on to say look at this look at the next verse or the next part of the verse conduct yourselves therefore with fear throughout your time of exile this is not fear of judgment because Jesus was judged in our place and we've got nothing left to fear in judgment this is fear more like a reverential fear a sense of awe it's the kind of fear Peter says that you have for your father imagine real simple story imagine you got like a 13 year old boy who's with a bunch of friends and his friends start doing something they know is wrong and they're trying to get this kid to go along with it like hi you should do it you know everybody's doing it and the 13 year old is like I'm not gonna do it and so they start to taunt this kid and say what are you afraid that if you do this your daddy's gonna hurt you little boy says back no I'm afraid if I do this I'll hurt him that's the kind of fear that Peter's talking about a sense of how precious you were to God and then this desire I don't want to hurt this guy because of what he gave to purchase me that kind of fear you're supposed to learn this in relation to your parents and I know that's a sore spot for some of you because you don't have good parents but that's where you're supposed to learn it you're supposed to learn to you the first way you obey your parents is because you're afraid of what they can do to you but then as you grow older and as you mature if they love you you want to obey them to honor them because of how much they've given to to you right by the way it's just giving aside to parents here that's why that's why it's so important for you to parents to learn to discipline your children the way that God disciplines I don't let my kids back talk or disrespect me not because I have an ego problem but because I don't want them to learn to have that attitude toward God and for a little while I stand in the place of God for them it's also why I want them to see that I don't manipulate their behavior for my own comfort I pour out my life for them because what should happen over their lives is they begin to fear me not because they're scared of what I'll do to them but they see that there is a daddy who has lived and poured himself out for them and that fear turns into a reverential sense of awe that they didn't transfer to God that's why it is so crucial for you parents to learn because you stay you're the training wheels for them to learn to obey God for a time that's why Peter all through there is talking about obedient children like with a father that's where you learn that right it's in response to the God of the gospel that's how you become holy last verse last look at verse 21 through Jesus he says through this precious lamb we're now believers in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God I was really arrested by those two words in God this week the whole point of all of this Peter says get this is that your faith and your hope and your love and your passion would be in God God is the center of all forget all the Christianity forget all the relationship this is about your trust in faith in hope in love in God a God to whom you were precious to him and has become precious to you and it's a first-hand relationship do you have that intimate first-hand relationship with the Lord have you put your faith your hope and trust in God you're listening to pastor author and theologian jd greer on summit life we're in a series called i'm an alien and you can catch up on previous messages when you visit these daily messages come to you completely free of charge on the radio and web but they aren't free to produce and distribute and that's where you come in your gifts help make summit life possible so that people across the country and around the world can dive deeper into the message of the gospel each day when you give a financial gift of 35 dollars or more to support this ministry we just want to say thank you by sending you a copy of a new book written by husband and wife duo heather and ashley holloman titled sent living a life that invites others to jesus and just like the title says this book is all about living sent living your life on mission to share the gospel with others around you and want to know my favorite part about this book it's so practical you'll learn about the best questions to ask to get a gospel conversation started seven ways to pray for the lost and even how to identify what kind of gospel witness that god has wired you to be to get your copy give us a call right now at eight six six three three five fifty two twenty that's eight six six three three five fifty two twenty or give online at your support is essential to our mission and we're so grateful for every contribution i'm molly vinovich thanks for joining us today and tomorrow we're continuing our teaching series with a new message called grow up don't miss it thursday right here on summit life with jd greer ministry today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-07 11:32:27 / 2023-06-07 11:43:14 / 11

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