The way we see things is critical in following Christ.
John 1:45-51 (NIV) 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." 48 "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49 Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50 Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51 He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Lenses that form views:
1. Education- How and what we learn.
2. Experience- How life/ people have treated us.
3. Emotions - How we feel.
We see what we value
illl…..Count the red eyed Emojis.
Values form our Views.
The problem: Lenses are subjective
They are not always an accurate view of reality.
The lenses we look through as followers of Christ.
1. Reality/ The Truth
Truth is not a virtue.
The Truth is. Love does.
“Love may open the door but it’s truth sets us free.”
Truth carries authority.
How are you exposing yourself to truth?
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) 1 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
We value what he values.
Colossians 2:6-9 (NLT) 6 Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. 8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
3. The Word of God
We trust the word of God because it’s timeless, flawless and faultless. Not because we like it but because it is reliable.
“God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.”- Somebody
If its God’s word then it carries authority.
-The way we govern our life.
-The way we shape our views
Filtering our filter:
1. Careful HOW you listen.
Luke 8:18 (NIV) Consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."
2. Get in the word.
The word cleanses our lense.
Ephesians 5:25-26 (NLT) Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.
3. Commit yourself to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.
Our Values develop our Virtues.
Luke 8:40-48 (TPT) When Jesus returned to Galilee, the crowds were overjoyed, for they had been waiting for him to arrive. Just then, a man named Jairus, the leader of the local Jewish congregation, fell before Jesus’ feet. He desperately begged him to come and heal his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, because she was at the point of death. Jesus started to go with him to his home to see her, but a large crowd surrounded him.In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years from salow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had on healers, she was still suffering. Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel of his prayer shawl. Instantly her bleeding stopped and she was healed. Jesus suddenly stopped and said to his disciples, “Someone touched me. Who is it?” While they all denied it, Peter pointed out, “Master, everyone is touching you, trying to get close to you. The crowds are so thick we can’t walk through all these people without being jostled.” Jesus replied, “Yes, but I felt power surge through me. Someone touched me to be healed, and they received their healing.” When the woman realized she couldn’t hide any longer, she came and fell trembling at Jesus’ feet. Before the entire crowd she declared, “I was desperate to touch you, Jesus, for I knew if I could just touch even the fringe of your robe I would be healed.” Jesus responded, “Beloved daughter, your faith in me has released your healing. You may go with my peace.”
She had issues upon issues….
1- Physical Issues
2- Financial issues
3-Mental & emotional
She had issue upon issue but encountered grace upon grace.
How do I encounter the virtue of Jesus?
1-Take the risk
“She wasn’t focused on where she was at, she was focussed on who she was going to!”
James 4:8 (NIV) Come near to God and he will come near to you.
“We don’t touch Jesus with our hands…We touch Jesus with our faith"
“Faith alone attracts and receives the energetic influence of God at all times.”-Adam Clarke's Commentary
3- Come clean
“You may have been asking God to reveal Himself to you, however, He may be asking you to reveal yourself to Him.”
This is what we get…
“Beloved daughter, (IDENTITY) your faith in me has released your healing. (WHOLENESS) You may go with my peace. (His PEACE)
2 Corinthians 5:15-17 (NLT) He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
“Spiritual issues cannot be solved with natural solutions.”
The solution is revival.
Isaiah 35:1-10 (NLT) 1 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. 2 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God. 3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4 Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. 8 And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
THE HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS
Matthew 7:14 (NIV) Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) Without holiness no one will see the Lord.
1 Peter 2:4-12 (NIV) 4 As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, 8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
The Highway of Holiness
1. A Determined Purpose
“Is your life set aside for Gods purposes, Or Have you set him aside for yours?”
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”-Westminster Shorter Catechism
2. A Drastic Difference
1 Peter 1:14-16 (NIV) 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.”
“Aliens and strangers”
“OUT OF Darkness Into light.”
Matthew 15:7-8 (NIV) 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Titus 1:6(NIV) They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
3. A Dependance on Grace
How dependent upon grace determines what we say yes to what we say no to.
Titus 2:11-12 (NIV) 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
4. A Declaration of Jesus
Matthew 16:13-19 (NIV) 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Revelation 4:6-11 (NLT) In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. 7 The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” 9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, 11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
The central characteristic of God- Holiness.
What is holy/ holiness?
Holy: “Opposite of that which is which is common or profane.”
HOLY: OTHER THAN, OR UNCOMMON, DIFFERENT.
HE IS WHOLY HOLY
Moses sang it this way….
Exodus 15:11 (NIV) "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you-- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
“When we try to make him like us him we distort our view of his holiness.”
Jesus is Holy
John 6:69 (NLT) “We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
What does Jesus say about virtues?
Mark 12:28-34 (NLT) 28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” 34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
According to Jesus, we are morally bankrupt before God if we ignore the first command.
“You can keep the second command without keeping the first but you cannot keep the first without keeping the second.”
Wholistic Holiness: Heart, soul, mind, & strength.
The biblical standard of Virtue is holiness.
1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV) Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.”
Jesus opposed self-righteousness in any form:
Self righteousness is any righteousness that can be claimed without Gods grace.
Luke 5:32 (NLT) I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.
1. Yield to God’s righteousness
David understood holiness this way…
Psalm 24:3-4 (NIV) Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
“Jesus came and got his hands dirty to get our hearts clean.”
2. Commit to Sanctification
“Holiness is not a eviction, it’s an invitation.”
Hebrews 10:14 (NIV) By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Who are being sanctified)
Sanctification- Progressively growing in a life that is set apart for God.
“Holiness is not something that people do, but something that God does in them.”