What comes to mind when you think of a holy person? This week Kent helps us see that holiness isn’t supposed to be a drag, it’s really supposed to be a relief! Join us to learn how to put on the new life God has for you. Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give). Got kids? Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly) https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!
Sermon Notes Slide Key:
- Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
- Red = Scripture slides (reflect formatting of scripture on slides, i.e. – underlines, bold, etc.)
- All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted
- Bold = Slide text
- “b” or “B” on a line by itself = Slide break/New slide
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- [some text] = programming notes to be paid attention to
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: When I was growing up, the word holy meant two things to me. The first, was you never wanted to wear holy underwear – my dad said if you got in a wreck you didn’t want them to see your un mentionable’s had holes in them. The second, when I thought about a holy person, the picture in my mind was an old lady with a boney finger telling me “no”.
Today, we are going to talk about holiness and what it means, but I need you to take a moment and evaluate what you think of when I say holiness, because I have a feeling it might not be what the scripture thinks of when it’s said…
SCRIPTURE:Ephesians 4:2424 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Remember Paul’s 3 steps to a new you
- Take off your old self
- Be made new in the attitude of your minds
- Put on the new self – created to be like God
We’ve been focusing on the first two – we’ve talked about how to take off your old self, to truly die to self
We’ve talked about putting on the new attitude – to change your thinking and not be led by feelings.
Today, we are focusing on Putting on the new self and what that looks like…
Paul gives us a glimpse into what the new self looks like when He says “Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”
What do you think it mean to be righteous and holy
What’s the picture you think of when you think of holy?
monks and priests, old boney fingered lady? people who are separated from normal life and live these lives that are removed from the life we live…-they don’t dance, chew, or go with girls who do? Holiness has always seemed stuffy, unattainable, and frankly undesirable to me b Holiness seemed like a drag b but is that the way it’s supposed to be? Look, for most of us, holiness seems like a drag. It doesn’t seem like real life…-it feels like a bunch of rules and regulations
so, I wanted to answer this question by looking at Jesus-because if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus
I sat down and asked myself, How did Jesus live out Holiness and righteousness
Three stories stuck out to me about Jesus’ holiness – I want you to notice how different they are from what most of us think of as holiness
WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY: [have a rock on stage – to play with while telling story]Jesus is teaching in the temple – a crowd of religious zealots come dragging a woman with them. She looks ragged, clothes half thrown on. They toss her like a rag doll in front of Jesus. “This woman was caught in the act of adultery.”
I know, where’s the man? I don’t know, but I know these men are more than willing to use her as an example and trap for Jesus. People will finally see He’s no different than them.
Jesus stoops down and writes in the dirt. No one knows what He is writing, but I love that Jesus doesn’t respond right away.
You know they are all expecting an immediate response. I picture the woman even looking around like, well, that’s unexpected.
The religious people push Jesus some more and Jesus stands and finally speaks
“Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone ”The old men are the first to leave… slowly the crowd disappears
Jesus asks the woman where everyone went, did no one condemn her?
the woman tells him “no one” and so Jesus does not condemn her either and tells her to go and leave her life of sin…
Jesus had every right to cast the stone, but He held back and offered grace.
How many of us are moved by the pressure and force of the world around us? Not Jesus.
Jesus wasn’t driven by fear, but by honoring the Father
THE LEPER: Or what about Matthew 8, Jesus is coming off a mountain – he’s been teaching people and He’s confronted with a man who has leprosy. The Man says, “lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean”
This is a HUGE breach of conduct. This would be like someone with Covid walking in here and coughing all over everything.
Lepers and people with skin diseases were supposed to tell people they are unclean. Keep their distance.
This guy has been living on the periphery of society. If he has family, he’s only been able to watch them from afar. He’s isolated, living away from touch, living away from people. Some of you understand it, right?
He asks Jesus this question, but I love what Jesus does. This man kneeling in front of Him. And Jesus reaches out and touches him. This man hasn’t been touched in years. Jesus isn’t afraid. Jesus doesn’t run the other direction. Jesus reaches into this man’s life and touches him. and says. “I’m willing”
The man is healed immediately.
Jesus cared about not just healing this mans disease, but healing this mans heart.
THE WOMAN’S DAUGHTER: This woman comes to Jesus, her daughter, her little girl is possessed by a demon. I don’t know if I can even grasp what that would be like. To watch your daughter suffer and have absolutely no way to bring her peace and healing. This woman reaches out to Jesus. But He’s quiet. No answer. I think He’s waiting to see what His disciples do with her. This woman isn’t a Jewish woman, she’s a gentile. and so the disciples do what any other Jewish person would do in this time. They tell Him to dismiss her. I mean, she’s right there listening to all this.
Jesus says, “I was sent to the lost children of Israel.”
She kneels in front of him. “Lord, help me!” Jesus tells her, that it’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. I can picture the disciples going, “boom, you know that’s right” But this woman won’t give up. This is her daughter, and Jesus could change everything. She says, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall to the ground” I wish we could see the glimmer in Jesus’ eyes as he says, “woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted” and the woman’s daughter is healed…
Jesus broke social barriers to bring healing.
For Jesus, holiness was about living out the love God in every interaction, nothing more, nothing less
This is Advancing the Kingdom at it’s best
Most people think Holiness is about what you don’t do-don’t act like this, don’t say this, don’t drink that
But true holiness is found when your whole life is caught up in trying to please God by living for Him and loving people
When I first came to Christ, I’ll never forget I was sitting next to this teenage girl who had gotten pregnant. Normally, before, I would have judged her. I would of thought, “she got what she deserved” But all of the sudden, something different went through my mind. I starting thinking about I wondered how she was going to raise this baby, how she would afford diapers…
I think it was the first time I realized just how much God had changed me – because I was more worried about her than I was about what she had done…
I learned that
Holiness isn’t a drag, holiness is a relief. It’s a relief because it frees me to love people like God loves them…