Holiness vs. Perfection

As I have been preaching, teaching, and writing about holiness throughout 2021, I have defined or described holiness as God’s total perfection and purity in all of his attributes and actions. God is holy because God is totally perfect in his power, his authority, his love, his justice, his grace, and in any other characteristic … [Read more…]

Put on Holiness

When I was a kid, we always looked forward to the night our family went back-to-school shopping. It was usually a Friday night, after Dad got home from work. We would pile into the club cab of the pickup truck and go to the mall, which was about 30 miles away. Sometimes we’d all stay … [Read more…]

“Everyday Holiness”

I’ve said several times through the current Sunday morning sermon series that it has been difficult to prepare and preach these messages through Leviticus. It’s difficult to preach from the Old Testament to people who live in a New Testament context. It’s also difficult because the content of Leviticus is so foreign, written for and … [Read more…]

“Take Time to Be Holy”

In the final sermon of the “Stand-Out Church” series, I preached through Ephesians 1:3-14. In verses 3, 4, Paul tells us that God is blessed or ought to be praised for choosing the faithful in Christ “to be holy and blameless in his sight” (NIV 1984). In other words, God is blessed when we are … [Read more…]

Not Optional

First, these thoughts are not original with me; I’ve been prompted to respond to something I read recently. So giving credit where credit is due, I’ve been reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (NavPress, 1978); it’s a “modern classic” of Christian writing about discipleship, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants … [Read more…]

About the Worship Service…

As I have been preaching through this series of messages about worship, I have emphasized that worship is not simply what we say and do on Sunday mornings in the church building. My concern is that we must not reduce our appropriate response to who God is and what he has done to mere rituals … [Read more…]

Made Holy

Holiness is hard. When we talk about holiness, we know that God is the standard; God defines holiness. As we consider the ways in which God is holy – in purity, in truth, in power, in righteousness, in justice, in mercy, and more – we become acutely aware that we are not like God in … [Read more…]

God’s Grace Reveals His Holiness

While preparing and preaching a sermon from Ezekiel, I recently found myself fixated on this verse: “You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD” (Ezekiel 20:44, NIV … [Read more…]

God’s Sweet, Sustaining Word

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the greeting card industry reminds us of the value of having the right words when you’re trying to communicate an important message, especially to the ones you love. Not to be left out, the confectionery industry reminds us that one of the quickest ways to a sweetheart’s heart is through the … [Read more…]