Our God Is Holy

1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; [14] As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: [15] But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; [16] Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God says of Himself “I am HOLY”.

I started to call this sermon “A Four Letter Word Beginning With ‘H’” because we very rarely hear the word holiness any more. Preachers don’t preach it, many in the pulpit won’t bear it, and the world doesn’t care about it.

America has gone from a moral nation to an immoral nation to finally an amoral nation. We have eaten the Scientific Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We no longer believe that morality is defined by God but by us who, if truth were spoken, have become our own gods.

Yet God is HOLY. We may have changed but the God Who created all things has not. The Holiness of God is not confined to just a few pages of Scripture, but is found throughout all of the blessed Bible. The Apostle Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit quotes Leviticus 11:44 in our text tonight, saying:

Leviticus 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: …

1 One Of God’s Names Reflects His Holiness. Christians in today’s world very rarely read the Old Testament, but it would behoove us to do so. The Bible tells us that “all Scripture is God breathed, and is profitable … that the man of God may be complete, furnished to do good works” (2 Timothy 3:16). Peter both read and quoted from the Book of Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament. The Book of Leviticus tells us much about the nature of God. It is in Leviticus 20:7-8 that we find one of the many Scriptural names of God:

Leviticus 20:7-8 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

God says “I Am YAHWEH Qâdash (kaw-dash’)”, the “Eternal God Who Sanctifies or Makes Holy” (יְהֹוָה קָדַשׁ). God SANCTIFIES those whom He SAVES. He never SAVES then leaves a person to drift in the waters of damnation. God SAVES then SANCTIFIES. You need to understand this in order to share His Gospel with others.

I have heard people twist the Gospel of Salvation – particularly in modern day amoral America. They say “Salvation is a free gift of God. Since salvation is a free gift, and I need do nothing to stay saved, then once God saves me I can live as I wish. I can’t be lost no matter what I do!”

This is the strange logic of many of the Contemporary Christians in America today. They are like people drowning in the sea who, seeing the salvation of a fishing vessel cry out “Help, Save Me”. The Captain of that vessel named Jesus pulls along side and, bending down, dips His arm in the sea of damnation then draws that drowning soul into His beautiful Ark. The nail scars of His hands leave bloody prints in the saved. Once inside the one “saved” says “Thanks for the ride, Jesus. Now I’m going to go back to the sea of sin and damnation for a little swim – but you hang around just in case I need you. You will not find this type of doctrine anywhere in Scripture, though many preach and teach that this is the true outgrowth of Grace.

That is hogwash!

Our God is the “YAHWEH Qâdash (kaw-dash’)”, the “Eternal God Who Sanctifies or Makes Holy” (יְהֹוָה קָדַשׁ).” When God gives life, He establishes order. When God saves a life, God takes control of that life.

Leviticus 20:7-8 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

Those who are SAVED pursue SANCTIFICATION because God changes their want to’s. God said to Israel “Sanctify yourselves and be holy” (separated unto God). God’s Children are under God’s command to avoid things that are offensive to God. Then He says “I am the Lord Who Sanctifies you”. God sets us apart AND we are to set ourselves apart. Those Whom YAHWEH Qâdash (kaw-dash’) creates are to follow Him, to be set apart unto Him.

Illustrate When God made Adam and Eve what did He do afterward? We read …

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and SANCTIFIED (קָדַשׁ qâdash kaw-dash’) it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

God is the Sanctifier!

Illustrate When God saved Israel from Egypt, destroying the enemy army in the Red Sea, the Lord commanded those He saved:

Exodus 13:2 SANCTIFY (קָדַשׁ qâdash kaw-dash’) unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: IT IS MINE.

God is the Sanctifier! Those Whom He Saves Are HIS!

Illustrate When Hannah was blessed of God with the child Samuel she prayed:

1 Samuel 2:2 (ESV) There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

Hannah proved the she understood the nature of Salvation and Sanctification when she gave her child to the Temple. God is the Sanctifier! Those Whom He Saves Are HIS! And He sets HIS apart from the others.

a God By His Very Nature Is Holy, And His Holiness Sets Him Apart From All Other False Gods In The World Today. The world likes to think of God as LOVE. In fact, this is the favorite verse of the lost:

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Like that old Beatle song, All You Need Is Love. The world loves to trumpet this.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game

Nothing you can make that can’t be made

No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time

All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all you need

What a confused mind boggling bit of nonsense. Paul McCartney said “The chorus, ‘All you need is love’, is simple, but the verse is quite complex; in fact I never really understood it, the message is rather complex.”

All you need is NOT love. All you need is God, and God is primarily HOLY. Nathan Stone wrote in his book Names of God:

IT IS THE BALANCE . . . OF ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF DEITY. POWER WITHOUT HOLINESS would degenerate into CRUELTY; OMNISCIENCE WITHOUT HOLINESS would become CRAFT; JUSTICE WITHOUT HOLINESS would degenerate into REVENGE; and GOODNESS WITHOUT HOLINESS would be passionate and intemperate FONDNESS DOING MISCHIEF rather than accomplishing good.” It is His holiness which gives to God grandeur and majesty, and more than anything else constitutes His fullness and perfection.”

Our God is Holy – Holy is His Name. (Isaiah 6:3) The Angels of Heaven cry out “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory”. God is HOLY. In fact the Apostle John wrote:

1 John 4:12-13 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. [13] Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because HE HATH GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT.

b How Do We Know That We Are Saved? The Marker Of God’s Holiness Is In Our Lives. We Are Set Apart For HIM.

John tells us that there are two markers of salvation. First, If we LOVE ONE ANOTHER God dwells in us. We are saved if we love. Secondly, “If He has given us of His Spirit”. You are indwelt by the HOLY Spirit. Think about that. If you are saved you are indwelt by the HOLY Spirit. You are the Temple of God. And HOLINESS is where God will draw you to.

Illustrate Pastor J. D. Jones illustrated the holiness of God this way. He said:

“the most striking feature in Swiss scenery, the glory and boast of Switzerland, is the vision of its mighty mountain peaks clothed ever in their mantles of snowy white. Take the mountains away, and you have destroyed the beauty of Switzerland. And in much the same way you destroy the ‘beauty of the Lord’ if you forget His holiness. … We need to lift our eyes to these shining and snow clad peaks of the divine holiness if we are ever to be moved to say, ‘How beautiful God is.’ “

2 YAHWEH Qâdash Saves His Children From Sin Then DEMANDS That His Children BE HIS CHILDREN. Peter wrote:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Let’s look first at the command “Wherefore GIRD UP”. This is the Aorist Middle Participle of αναζωννυμι, anazonnumi, (pronounced an-ad-zone’-noo-mee) which literally means “to gird, lift, or bind up”. In the ancient world people wore long, flowing robes to protect their bodies from the heat of the day. But when they prepared to fight these long robes and overgarments would become tripping hazards. So warriors would gird up or lift up these robes and tuck them into their outer belts. Then they could fight without tripping.

We Are To GIRD UP The LOINS Of Our MINDS

Gird up the loins” emphasizes that we are in a fighting war, “of your mind” emphasizes where the battle is won or lost.

Wars are won or lost in the mind before they ever become a reality on the battlefield.

If a people begin to believe that they are inconsequential, unable to stand in the presence of a numerically superior enemy, then that people will be defeated before they ever enter battle. God had commanded Israel to enter in and possess the Promised Land, but her people refused to do so. Why? Because ten of the twelve spies who returned said:

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and WE WERE IN OUR OWN SIGHT AS GRASSHOPPERS, and so we were in their sight.

When confronted with a more powerful enemy, Israel focused on the enemy rather than on God their Savior. Because they were small in number, and small in stature, they believed themselves to be powerless against these Philistines. The battle was lost long before it was ever fought.

Lost in the mind is lost in the battlefield!

a God Sanctifies Us With His TRUTH. In Ephesians 6:14 we are told that the Belt that is wrapped around us – the Belt that we who are Christ’s wear – is truth:

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

What TRUTH wraps the Christ Follower? Our Lord Jesus said to the Father:

John 17:17 SANCTIFY them through thy TRUTH: THY WORD IS TRUTH.

Our God is YAHWEH Qâdash – the God Who sanctifies or makes holy. The Belt that holds the robes of the believer’s mind is the Word of God. We are to gird up the loins of our minds.

The Devil is at war with us, and he will do everything he can to get us off course of God. He will tell us that “You’re saved … so go ahead and compromise with sin and the world. You’ll be more popular that way. You may even bring more people into the Church!”.

Gird up emphasizes that we are in a battle – and we ARE in a battle. Sadly, many of the soldiers of God are A.W.O.L. – Absent Without Leave. Many of God’s Children have so wandered into worldliness that only the Lord knows who are the Wheat and who are the Tares. We are to gird up the loins of our mind because we belong to God, not to Satan. We belong to Heaven, not to this world. The Apostle says:

WHEREFORE Gird Up

The word WHEREFORE means “look at WHERE we are at and see what came BEFORE”. What did Peter say in the preceding context.

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, TO THE STRANGERS scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

  • We who belong to God are strangers to this world. We should not blend in – we should stand out.

1 Peter 1:2 ELECT according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

  • We who belong to God are chosen of God. We are the Children of the God Who Sanctifies, and we are Sanctified by the Holy Spirit UNTO OBEDIENCE. We are recipients of God’s Mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord:

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, [5] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  • We who belong to God in Christ are recipients of abundant mercy. We have a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We have an inheritance INCORRUPTIBLE, UNDEFILED, that WILL NOT FADE AWAY RESERVED IN HEAVEN for us. Oh how I wish I could preach! We belong to God, and are kept by the power of God THROUGH faith UNTO salvation. We belong to God and cannot belong to this world, to that devil, or to those walking dead who have none of God’s salvation.

b God Sanctifies Us With His TRIALS. Trials test the value of our faith. Peter wrote:

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Our Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, and defeated every temptation with “It Is Written”. Jesus relied on the Word of God in the midst of the trial – and we must do the same. Trials test us. There are many who say “I am a Christian” but whether they are or not is proven after the storm of tribulation has passed.

The Three Hebrew Children girded up the loins of their minds when tempted by the King. When the King demanded they worship a false god Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said:

Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT) … O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.

I want to remind you that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not see the Son of God OUTSIDE of the furnace. It was only when they were IN the furnace that the Son of God was seen standing with them.

It was only when Stephen was being unjustly stoned to death that he looked upward and cried out:

Acts 7:56 (ESV) …. Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.

The trials of God and the temptations that come fire our faith, purging all of us out and fusing more of God’s Image in. While you’re being petty and are refusing to do God’s Will because you are NOT center stage you will never experience the majesty of God’s power and holiness. It is only when you become less, and you become least, that God will become majestically holy to you – and you will become holy unto God.

We are to gird UP the loins of our minds. Our focus must be on Him Who saved us. God has …

2 Peter 1:4 … given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We are not to be part of this MESS of sin, but we are to carry the MESSAGE or redemption, as Children of the Living God. We are to be holy as God our Father is holy. We are to be Holy as Christ our Savior is holy. We are to be Holy as the Spirit of God indwells us is holy.

c God Sanctifies Us TOGETHER. Peter writes the Church saying:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your MIND …

He doesn’t say “Gird up the loins of your MINDS” (plural) but “Gird up the loins of your MIND” (singular). We must, as individual Christians and as a Church of one mind. A battalion goes into battle with one Commander. If you are double minded then you are unstable and unusable in this battlefield which we now live. God needs warriors who are …

Romans 15:5-7 …. likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: [6] That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. [7] Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Our Holy God has set us apart to be together in Him. We are His people, saved by Grace and destined to victory. Satan may win a battle here and there, but our God reigns and we will win the war! Peter said:

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober ….

Note the words “be sober”. Sometimes people come to me with “suggestions” and my first thought is are you drunk? I may not SAY it, but I often THINK it. When people get drunk they get out of line. They do foolish things. In fact, I don’t know of too many people who like to be around drunks. They can be loud and obnoxious!

We who are Christ’s are to “be sober” – to be watchful and intelligent. Process what is going on around you through the lens of God’s Holiness. We are to be …

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: [15] But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; [16] Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

The proof that you are God’s is that you walk in obedience to God. The proof that you are God’s is that you – like God – are Holy. Not holier than thou as the Pharisees were, but holy. Set apart unto God. A Child of the King.

Are you growing to be more like your Jesus every day? The only way to growth is to abide in Him.

Abide in Position – You are a Child of the King.

Abide in Prayer – You are a Priest of God

Abide in Purpose – Labor together with God

Abide in Purity – You belong to God

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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