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May 21, 2018, 9:24 PM

God demands the Impossible!


1st Peter 1:13-16

13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

This is a really, really big deal; and, it is vitally important that we understand it.

God COMMANDS us to be holy!

Of course, it is impossible for us – on our own – to be holy. We are fallen and broken creatures. We sin. We even continue to sin after we are saved.

We love sin and we are addicted to it.

“Holy” is an adjective used of God. It literally means, “other.”

All of the fallen, broken, and sinful things we are – God is “other” than that.

HE is Holy. In fact, HE is “Holy, Holy, Holy!”

Let’s be clear – there is no escaping this – when God demands that we be holy, HE is demanding that of us which is impossible for us.

AND THIS IS NOTHING NEW. HE does this all the time.

Mark 1:14-15

14 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

In order for a sinner to be saved, we MUST repent and believe the gospel.

Here is the problem with that…

We can’t. Before we are saved, we are spiritually dead.

Graveyard dead.

Stone-cold dead.

Ephesians 2:1-3

1 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

Because we are spiritually dead, we cannot understand the gospel or any other spiritual truth.

1st Corinthians 2:14

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

So, how then can anyone be saved?

Glad you asked! The very same way we become holy.

God does it.

By Grace, God makes us alive, so we can understand the gospel and be believe in Jesus…

Ephesians 2:4-7

4 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

By grace, God grants to us the gift of repentance…

2nd Timothy 2:24-26

24 “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil
, after being captured by him to do his will.”

By grace, God grants us the gift of saving faith…

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

By grace, God makes us holy in Christ Jesus…

At the very same time and in the very same way that God imputed our guilt to Jesus, HE imputed HIS righteousness to us!

2nd Corinthians 5:21

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Ephesians 5:25-27

25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

In the process of sanctification, God enables us to become more and more holy as we struggle to overcome sin and obey HIM more and more.

HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR!

Let us pray with Augustine of Hippo, (the great theologian of the early Church) “Lord command what you will and grant what you command!”

Amen!

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