Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Bethany Bullet - Week of May 7, 2017

If any Christian ever felt they were so far from holiness it certainly could have been the author of the text before us.  “Because God who called you is holy, you be holy in all you do.  For Scripture says, “Be holy, because I am holy.”  I Peter 1:15-16

Peter, after he was commended for receiving and sharing a revelation from heaven, “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God;” was condemned as an incarnation of evil, “get behind me Satan.”  It is one thing to lack piety; it is another to embody the adversary.  

It is equally true that it is one thing to be reprimanded for telling the Lord what to do; it is another to be reminded that you told others you didn’t know Him at all. 

It’s that man, Peter, whom the Lord restored and called to feed His sheep that seeks to feed us today, the menu, a helping of holiness…”He who called you is holy, so be holy.  Be holy for He is holy.” 

Long before the Reformation Peter knew what it was to be a saint and a sinner at the same time. 

Have you ever engage in a round of Simon says that ain’t all fun and games?  By telling God what to do, assume you know what His next step needs to be, demand He not only listen to but comply with your directions?  Did you just get “caught”? 

Simon says, be holy as the Lord your God is holy.  Have you ever engage in Simon says that ain’t all fun and games?  By acting as if you aren’t with Jesus; maybe when in a crowd to save your pride, to keep you from sticking out, to avoid the questions and so you denied or detoured the opportunity to admit you’re with Him.  On occasion, when no one else is around, we’ve all acted as if Jesus wasn’t either and thus our behavior has said, “We are not with Him.”  No denying we are sinner!  Yet, there’s no denying, you are saint!

Your status as sinner is via original disposition; that is you are by nature sinful because of your connection to Adam …& Eve.  This has been validated by your own personal action in thought, word and deed.

Your sainthood (holiness) is via external declaration; that is you are a saint because of your connection to Christ.   This has been verified by God’s own personal action at the font (where His Spirit fell, your sin was forgiven and His Word proclaimed and you were declared to be His beloved child) and at the table (where His promise is kept, His grace is given, and you are fed with the very body and blood of your Savior to be united with Him and declared again to be a saint in Christ.)

Intrinsic is our fallen-ness.  That is, we have proven ourselves to be sinners on account of our behavior.

Forensic is our holiness.  That is, God has proclaimed you to be a saint on account of Christ work & His person.   His perfect and holy life lived for us, His innocent suffering and death on account of us, through faith in these God’s verdict is clear: saint, holy, righteous because of Jesus.

To saints and sinners like us, like himself, Peter says, “because God who called you is holy, you be holy in all you do.  For Scripture says, “be holy, because I am holy.”

We are HOLY on account of Jesus, that is, to His Own Ledger Yoked are we.  His righteousness, purity, perfection…holiness, all credited to us through faith in Him.  Thus we who are holy in Christ are called to be holy.

So we shall to His Own Leading Yield.  His voice is the one to which we will listen.  His strength we will seek to resist temptation.  His Spirit we will be guided by to avoid selfish ambition (see I Peter 1) and we shall for His Own Likeness Yearn.  To love sincerely, to live in harmony as those who reside on earth temporarily, to grow in likeness to Him and be a vessel through which He works in the world (see I Peter 1).

 -Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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