“15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pt. 1:15-16)
Holy, holy, holy is the refrain of the seraphim in Isaiah 6:3 with regard to the God of Heaven. Holiness describes being set apart from the common or profane (cf. Ezek. 22:26). God is above all and is to be given the utmost reverence for holy is His very name (Ps. 111:9). The second person of the Godhead, the only begotten Son of God, is holy (Lk. 1:35, 2:23; Acts 3:14, 4:27). The third person of the Godhead is called the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18; Acts 5:3-4).
God requires that each of us be holy because He is holy. Each member of the church is part of the holy priesthood. This shows the responsibility we have to offer acceptable sacrifices to God (1 Pt. 2:5). Tragedy comes to those who do not (cf. Lev. 10). We are a holy nation that has been called out of the world of wickedness (1 Pt. 2:9). Tragedy comes to those who go back to the pigpen of sin (cf. 2 Pt. 2:20-22). We are those that dedicate our hearts to God making sure He controls all in our lives (1 Pt. 3:15). Tragedy comes when God is rejected from His rightful position (cf. Rm. 1:20-32).
The material world that captures so much attention and time is temporary (2 Cor. 4:18). It will be burned up when Christ returns (2 Pt. 3:10). What is our reaction? We practice holy living, we keep our eyes on the goal, and we keep on growing (2 Pt. 3:11-18). God is holy and so must we be!
“You are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes.” (Ps. 119:68)
The Psalmist stated the fact that God is good or benevolent. Indeed, good is who God is (Ps. 25:8). During the creation, God saw that His creation was good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). After God created man, He saw everything that He made was very good (Gen. 1:31). When Moses wished to see God’s glory, God told him that He would make all His goodness pass before him (Ex. 33:18-19) and He did (Ex. 34:5-8). Every good and perfect gift comes from the All-Benevolent One (Jm. 1:17).
God’s goodness blesses us materially (Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17). God’s goodness is seen in His good and perfect law which is for our benefit (Rm. 7:12; Jm. 1:25; Dt. 6:24; 1 Jn. 5:3). The gospel is itself good news centered on Christ and His kingdom (Rm. 10:15; 1 Cor. 15:1-8; Acts 8:5, 12). The fact that God gave us His Son is not only a reflection of His love but also His goodness (Jn. 3:13-17). God placed all spiritual blessings in His Son who is good (Eph. 1:3; Mt. 19:16-17).
God’s goodness demands that we be good in a number of ways (Eph. 2:10; Gal. 6:10; Rm. 12:17-21; 3 Jn. 11). God’s goodness also demands that He hates and punishes wickedness (Ex. 34:7). We must also hate evil and love good (Am. 5:15). Do not forget that we are in spiritual warfare against the forces of evil (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:10-18). God is perfect in His goodness and if we listen to and love Him, all things will work together for good ultimately (Rm. 8:28).
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes. 5:18)
We all must be a people of thanksgiving:
My family is certainly grateful to be laboring here in Big Spring with the 14th and Main church of Christ. Y’all are indeed a blessing and we thank God for each of you!
“Do you know how the clouds are balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” (Job 37:16)
Elihu asked a rhetorical question to Job which informs us of the perfection [fullness; completeness] of God’s knowledge. The fancy term is “omniscience” meaning all-knowledge. God knows all the parameters that the Universe is governed by for He created it (cf. Job 38). He knows about all of the animals and other creatures (cf. Job 39:1-30; Job 40:15-41:34). He knows all of our thoughts [the contents of the heart] (cf. Job 42:1-3; Ezek. 11:5; 1 Kings 8:39). He knows about all our doings (cf. Ps. 139:1-6). He knows things which have not come to pass (cf. Isa. 46:10). He knows secret things (cf. Deut. 29:29; Ecc. 12:14; Heb. 4:13).
This perfect knowledge coupled with His other attributes [holiness; righteousness; truthfulness] makes God the perfect Judge (cf. Gen. 18:25). He has all the evidence! We cannot hide anything from God. Ananias and Sapphira tried that and they paid the ultimate price (cf. Acts 5:1-11). Remember, God revealed His will for us so that we can follow it and be with Him forever in Heaven (Deut. 29:29; Eph. 5:17; Rom. 12:1-2). Let us be transparent, honest, and righteous before the All-Knowing One!
“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1 Pet. 4:16)
Suffering comes to all. Sometimes it is due to our choices and sometimes it is due to others’ choices (cf. 1 Pet. 2:19-20, 4:15). The best example we have of suffering is Jesus Christ who we are to follow (1 Pet. 2:21-25). We should not be alarmed when suffering comes our way for the cause of Christ (1 Pet. 4:12). In fact, such should cause rejoicing (1 Pet. 4:13-14)!
For the Christian, suffering is temporary. Suffering is designed to perfect us, to make us stable, to strengthen us, and to ground us (1 Pet. 5:10). Our suffering should be according to the will of God whom we entrust our souls with as a faithful Creator (1 Pet. 4:19). If we suffer now, we will have no suffering later (cf. Rev. 21:4).
Make plans to be here on Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5 for our 1st Annual 14th and Main and Highway 80 lectureship. The theme is “Victory Over Suffering” with ten powerful sermons delivered by ten gospel preachers from the book of 1 Peter. The singing and fellowship will be excellent and all glory will be given to God. You do not want to miss this! See you there.