The Logic Of Holiness
Holiness in action is as a result of our salvation. Being born again is a new life aquired without money, society or human effort.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Oh I trust everything’s all right at your house. This is your friend Bob Cook, and we’re back together again for a few precious moments around the Word of God.
We’re in 1 Peter 1:23, “Been born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” Now the logic, the logic of holiness is something that we talked about the last time. It goes on through verse 14, verse 14 through verse 22. And he said, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former desires in your ignorance, but as He which hath called you His holy so be ye holy in all manner of, of lifestyle. Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy for I am holy.’”
So he talks about holiness. First of all you fashion your own life by the desires to which you yield. You fashion your own life and your own destiny by the desires to which you yield. You give in to selfish, sensual, sinful desires and you’ll be fashioning your life in that manner. You give in to the desires that the Holy Spirit of God puts in your heart, “For it God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” We read in Philippians 2:13, “You give in to desires that God puts in your heart and you’ll be fashioning your life according to His holiness.” You follow that?
So the logic of holiness is the Scripture, as it is written. And the fatherhood of God, verse 17, “Call on the Father.” The judgment of God, verse 17, the second half, “Without respect to persons, judges according to every man’s word.” Verse 18, “The logic of holiness continues in the cost of salvation. You are not redeemed with the corruptible things – silver and gold, and so on – but with the precious blood of Christ.” So the cost of salvation at Calvary, the logic of holiness continues in verse 20, in realization of the plans of God which started before the foundation of the world, verse 20.
And then the logic of holiness is it is a reasonable result of having been saved, “Seeing you be purified your souls in obeying the truth of the Spirit, see that you love one another with a pure heart, fervently.” Holiness in action is Calvary love in its expression. Calvary love in its expression is holiness in action – okay? Now, what is the condition in which this kind of holiness flourishes? Being born again.
I want to stop here long enough just to discuss with you the fact that that phrase ‘born again’ has, has, has suffered violence at the hands of the media and popular writers so that it is in danger of becoming meaningless so far as general usage is concerned. In any magazine or newspaper you can find expressions like ‘a born again realtor’, or ‘a born again business deal’, ‘a born again athlete’. And what they mean is somebody got a new lease on life, somebody faced a new challenge successfully, somebody has a new business, or whatever. Born again.
It’s a pity really that the world has latched on to that expression and, and has, has, has prostituted it to its own ends. Be it that as it may, it’s still a good expression. And God is in favor of it because He uses it in the Scripture. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto ye, ‘Ye must be born again.’” And so we have that concept of a new life, God given, and, and bestowed by His grace; a new eternal kind of life given by God’s grace to the person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Born again.
And that is a, not simply a, a life that has no end. Eternal life, that’s true. But it’s also a kind of life. It is eternal in its very nature, see? Being born again. “See that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently, being born actually from above.” Anagennáō That’s the participle form of, of the verb. Born from above, God’s heavenly life given to you and to me. No he has a few qualifying phrases here. “Not of corruptible seed.” And you go back to, back to verse 18. “You were redeemed not with corruptible things as silver and gold, your vain lifestyle, and your tradition.” See, born again not of corruptible seed. Silver and gold couldn’t do a thing. Money cannot give a person a new inner life.
This story goes back to my, my student days, salad days. There was a convention in Chicago, of all the barbers – a national conclave of the barbers in Chicago. And so they decided that they were going to pick out the seediest and most desolate person they could find, and they were going to give him a new life. So they went down on Madison Avenue, commonly known as Skid Row, where you can find people who’ve, who’ve reached the bottom of the social structure. And they’d be sitting on the curb or they’d be digging for smoked, half-smoked cigarettes, or cigars, or they’d be panhandling, or whatever they might be doing.
And so they found a person who was by all odds the seediest and most desolate-looking person there. Scarcely enough clothes to cover his shivering body; dirty, and unkempt, and hopeless. And they said, “We are going to give you a new life.” Well he said-, he thought that was fine. They took him then and, and gave him a bath, a whole new set of clothes, a haircut, a shave, a manicure – just fixed him up perfectly. And then when they had done all that, they put a $20 bill in his hand and they said,
“Here’s a slip of paper. You go to the address on this slip of paper tomorrow morning, and we’ve arranged that you’ll have a job there for the rest of your life. We’ve given you a new life.”
Oh he was overjoyed. He thanked them very much and went on his way. Well he never showed up for the job they tell me. And so some weeks later, one of the local members of that national association was walking on Madison Street again, and he, he looked at a man who looked vaguely familiar. He stopped and turned around, looked at him again, bent over as the man was, was busy digging for half-smoked cigarettes by the curb – the derelicts call it farming, you know. He was farming for cigarettes. And he bent over and said to him, “Aren’t you ‘so and so’?” The man, “Why yes.” “Well,” he said, “whatever happened to you? We dressed you up, and cleaned you up, and gave you a $20 bill, and a job as long as you life – we gave you a new life. What happened?”
“Oh,” he said, “I was so glad and so grateful that the barbers gave me a new life, I went on to celebrate. And I got drunk and spent that $20. And then I needed some more money to buy more drinks to celebrate that I had a new life. And so I pawned all the clothes and, and, and celebrated some more. But,” he said, “I just, I, never got around to taking the job because I was hung over the next day. But,” he added, “I’m sure glad the barbers gave me a new life.” (Laughs)
Oh dear! You can’t change human nature, can’t you? Those of you who’ve been married a while, did you ever try to change your husband or your wife? You can’t, you can’t do it. People are how they are. And you accept ‘em at their, at their face value. ‘Course some people you have to accept them at their two-faced value, don’t you? (Laughs) Well anyhow, people don’t change unless indeed the Holy Spirit of God changes me from within. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, a new creature. All things are past away, behold all things are become new. It is God that worketh in you, both to will” – that takes care of the ‘want to’ – “and to do” – that takes care of the performance – “of His good pleasure.”
“Born again, not of corruptible seed.” See, there isn’t anything that human nature can do or offer that will make the change. And as I said, you go back to, to verse 18, ‘silver and gold’ – that’s money; ‘your vain lifestyle’ – that’s, that’s societal influences; ‘your tradition’ he said – that’s the tradition you’ve inherited from parents and, and others. None of this is going to make a difference in your destiny because you are the way you are from the inside out. And you have to be changed as well, from the inside out.
So he said, Incorruptible seed by the Word of God, born again by the Word of God. Why? How does that work? Well, when the Word of God takes hold in your mind, and conscience, and will, your conduct and your attitudes are different. A change in conduct, attitude and, and, and thoughts and desires comes about when the Word of God takes hold of your life. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we show by our lives that we’ve been born again. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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