Be Holy…because I am

Holy

Sunday 08/16/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

MESSAGE: Be Holy…because I am

Share this:

Twitter

Follow-up on our times of Thoughts & Questions:

Last week we began looking at passages which help illustrate what we have been learning. We began looking at 1 Peter 5:6-11, with intentions of moving to chapter 3 this week, but upon reflection I felt led to just start at the beginning of the letter.

This letter was of course penned by Peter to Jewish believers who had fled Jerusalem due to pursecution against Christians. It highlights many aspects of the Christian life which call us to live lives unto God even at times when doing such places us in positions of suffering.

This week ultimately is serving as an intro into next weeks message, but has a focus on Christ being formed in us and as such, a need to aspire to His holiness in all our conduct.

1 Peter 1-2, 

1 Peter 1:1-25, “(1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the temporary residents of the Dispersion in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen (2) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for the sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (5) who are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials (7) so that the genuineness of your faith–more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (8) You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, (9) because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (10) Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. (11) They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. (12) It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you concerning things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things. (13) Therefore, get your minds ready for action, being self-disciplined, and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (14) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance (15) but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; (16) for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. (17) And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in reverence during this time of temporary residence. (18) For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, (19) but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. (20) He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the times for you (21) who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (22) By obedience to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, (23) since you have been born again–not of perishable seed but of imperishable–through the living and enduring word of God. (24) For All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower drops off, (25) but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached as the gospel to you.”

1 Peter 2:1-25, “(1) So rid yourselves of all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. (2) Like newborn infants, desire the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it in your salvation, (3) since you have tasted that the Lord is good. (4) Coming to Him, a living stone–rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God– (5) you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (6) For it stands in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and valuable cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame! (7) So the honor is for you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected–this One has become the cornerstone, and (8) A stone that causes men to stumble, and a rock that trips them up. They stumble by disobeying the message; they were destined for this. (9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (10) Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (11) Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. (12) Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation. (13) Submit to every human institution because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority, (14) or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. (15) For it is God’s will that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of foolish people. (16) As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil. (17) Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. (18) Household slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. (19) For it brings favor if, because of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. (20) For what credit is there if you endure when you sin and are beaten? But when you do good and suffer, if you endure, it brings favor with God. (21) For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. (22) He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; (23) when reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. (24) He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounding you have been healed. (25) For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!