Let’s Talk About the Church
After all, it is a church made up of us, and a church made up as “them”, a church that contains the whole measure of the redeemed of Christ Jesus.
We recognize that the church is not a building, not a denomination, not a single culture, nor language nor race nor creed.
The church is the people of God, brought from death to life by the death and life of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.
God’s Church is One Church
. . .
and God alone knows who are in it.
Have you seen the church?
For us, to “See” the church, we have to open up our minds and hearts and understanding and practices to remember God has been doing a work in His people, the People of God, since mankind was created.
There can only be One Church, because. . .
Jesus’ Sacrifice for Sin was for All People of All Time
Who by faith seek the heart of God the Father— which even includes God’s faithful people who lived before the days when Jesus walked this earth.
When Jesus died on the Cross, It was For All People, of All Time, for Jesus is the Hand of God who worked Salvation for everyone who turns to him.
Before the time of Jesus, the People of God, by faith, looked forward to that point in history when the the perfect sacrifice for sin would be made, just as we look backward, in faith, 2000 years to the same point in history when The Son of God made the perfect sacrifice for sin.
and the amazing work of God was made evident in the obedience of the Son to the Father, Jesus, the Word of God, the Torah in the Flesh.
Oh, yeah, that first adjective used in the American Standard Version is a word I had to look up to know it’s meaning.
And I really like the word, so I left this translation shine out for us.
The word is Effulgence, which, according toe the Miriam-Webster website, means “brilliance.”
Here’s their comment about the word and its definition:
Need a shiny word to bust out at your next disco party, planetarium visit, or fireworks gathering?
How about effulgence?
It’s not a shiny "new" word, having made its English language debut in the 17th century, but it does come from the Latin verb fulgēre, meaning "to shine."
Effulgence isn’t used for bog-standard brightness, however; it’s reserved for shininess that dazzles, inspires, leaves you gobsmacked—in other words, "radiant splendor."
God knows who is saved.
Acts 2:47 “... Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
Only saved people are in God’s Church.
All the saved people are in God’s Church
That “all” we talked about comes from Ephesians 4:4-6.
There we read that there is but. . .
One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of us all.
And, last week, we shared that. . .
God’s Church is Bible Centered
So we say we have “No Creed But the Bible” which means we must study and search the scriptures to know the heart of God for us.
And today our focus is that
God’s Church is Called to Holiness
Then, next week,
God’s Church Lives in God’s Kingdom Now.
So let’s get to the important stuff here for today:
God’s Church is Called to Holiness
Which means we need a firm definition.
What is holiness?
It is defined by a Bible dictionary as “Moral, social, ritual, and ceremonial purity or innocence.
Also: Consecration; Holy; Saint; Sanctification; Transformation”
Which means if we were to really study this today, we have a lot of work to do.
I want to break it down for you into manageable information, so we can hit the most important stuff.
There are two important parts to the word Holiness for the Christian.
First, it is about how we live, and second it is about who we are in terms of whose we are.
Holiness is About Whose We Are
Our Holiness is An Offering of ourselves to God
Holiness is about being set apart
— about being the Child of God, about being a vessel in God’s hands for God’s use.
The good news is that Jesus already prayed for us, so that we can know that the Father is at work in us for holiness:
This can only come through the Spirit of God in us, to work the will of God our of us.
I have decided that October will be a month of focusing on the most important Ghost we can pay attention to, the Holy Ghost as he is called in the King James, or as we like to say these days, the Holy Spirit.
I will dive into what Holy Spirit living is about, How the Holy Spirit informs us, How the Holy Spirit leads us, how the Holy Spirit empowers us, and whatever the Lord leads me to focus on as we go into that.
That will be the personal focus on
Living a God-Centered Life
but today I am sharing about what it means to be a Church, a People of God, living up the the call to holiness.
Holiness is About How We Live
Way back in Leviticus, God sets the standard for his people:
That same command is in the New Testament, as Peter writes,
God Warns Us About Unfaithfulness
Those words are enough to scare you into salvation and the hope of holiness.
But that is an impossible way to live.
Holiness is Living Out What Lives In Us
Holiness On the Outside Is From Holiness On the Inside
Holiness is the hallmark of walking with Christ; we can say, certainly,
Holiness is Our Witness to the World
We need to like Jesus died for us as we owe a debt of love and obedience.
We need to live like God makes a difference to us.
We need to live like we have the Spirit of Christ at work in us, so that the love of Christ, the love of God, the love of His commands, the love of his law, the love of His love pours out upon people around us.