Naked -- Again (3:12-17)
Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Naked -- Again (3:12-17)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nothing is hidden from God's eyes and yet He sees every believer as Holy because of Jesus. Looking for Mercy, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, Patience, Forgiveness, and LOVE? Look to Jesus. Message from Denny Foreman. 

May Be seated. Welcome everybody, both of you here in house and those of you that are watching online. It's good to be here with you this morning. And Holiness is exactly where our message begins this morning, our passage from Coloshans, the book that we have been studying for long time, of coloshes three and twelve, and it opens like this. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves. What Me Holy? What do I know about holiness? Well, I do recall reading revelation for eight at some point that says holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was in the past, present and future. He's worthy to receive honor, glory and power. What do I know about a God so holy that Moses drops his shoes and falls prostrate before the fiery spirit of God and then, later on in his life, hides behind a cleft in the rock just to watch God's shadow pass him by? I know that King David sings the fundamental truth of God's holiness in Psalm Ninety nine, when he raised, when he writes exalt the Lord our God, God and worship at his Holy Hill, for the Lord our God is holy. What do I know about holiness? God's holiness. King Usiah learned just how holy God was when he disregarded rules about temple worship and entered the holiest of holy rooms of the temple and was immediately struck with leprosy. And JUSIAH was a godly king. What do I know...

...about a Holy God? The Prophet Isaiah describes as the Lord, lifted high and exalted, seated on a throne with his robe filling the temple, surrounded by Saraphin, calling holy, Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole Earth is full of his glory. What I know about a Holy God? Think about Old Testament worship in the tabernacle, where entrance to the inner sanctum was limited to a tiny few, where the penalties for violating access to the Tabernacle and its contents were so severe as to result in disease or death, where rituals inside the Tabernacle we're so specific ific that improper administration resulted in death. Now, if you weren't aware of this, perhaps it's because, like many others and yes, me, you skip reading the book of Lilith Becaus, along with several other old testament books. And, granted, it's not the easiest read. Well, if that's the case, just flip over to the new testament times and discover the regulations surrounding the great temple built by Herod in Jerusalem. While there were several public spaces in that temple, there were two main rooms in the Jerusalem it's temple, only accessible to a tiny few. The first room, are the holy place, contain only three items, a Menorah symbolizing the light of God's word, the table of showbread, where twelve fresh loaves of bread were placed each week, reminding Israel of God's...

...continuous provision, and then there was the ever burning incense altar, symbolizing prayer. But it was in the second room, the holy of holies, where the high priest sprinkled the sacrificial blood once the year, on the Day of Atonement, as he prayed for God, God, to forgive the sins of the people. This room was separated from the first by a huge curtain. I like that rumble. Is that my voice say? It's very, very dramatic. Thank you, it's yeah. So this room was separated by this gigantic curtain, and the ancient historian Josephus tells us that this curtain was sixty feet high and thirty feet wide, four inches thick and so heavy it took three hundred priests to manage it. It was there to keep us away from the presence of a holy God. It was there to protect imperfect, impure man from getting too close to a holy God. And it was this curtain that, on a dark Friday afternoon, according to Matthew Two thousand seven hundred and fifty one, it was this heavy curtain that separated fallen, unholy man from Holy God that was ripped in half from top to bottom. As Jesus dying voice cried out, it is finished. No longer was an earthly priest...

...needed to beg for our forgiveness. No longer was anyone excluded from the presence of God. No longer did sin equal death, because while the wages of sin is death, according to Roman twenty three, God's gift to us is life through Jesus our Lord. Can I get an amen? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yeah, we've been studying Paul's letter to the Colossians for a bunch of weeks now and it's possible that we may have forgotten that Paul was writing to a church in coloss Ay because false teachings had started to penetrate the believers. While these teachings have Lotti dawn names like gnosticism and asceticism, let me simplify some of the things that were being taught. One was that the church needed to observe all the trappings of Old Testament worship. There was also this idea that you had to have kind of special secret knowledge, that that not everybody could attain. Another thing that they were being taught was that the church needed to also worship angels and other spirits, which led to the denial that Jesus Christ was God. And friends, these teachings are still around today and have been throughout church history. If you think not. At...

...a recent meeting I was told by two pastors from a mainline congregation that there are many ways to come to God. There are many ways to come to the light. No, folks, when that temple curtain was torn by the force of God's grace, it was an open invitation to enter the presence of His Holiness. After many centuries, God had given humankind a great gift Jesus, the sacrificial lamb of God, and now anyone could enter God's presence by way of Jesus blood shed to pay the wages of sin, the wages of our sin, a my sin, and the moment we accept Jesus as our savior, just like Pastor Kevin illustrated last week, there's his dirty remnant of last week's servant, pastor Kevin's SID nature. They're in full display for us to see. Okay, not really, but it is the dirty shirt illustrating a sin nature that had been put to death. When we recognized our sinful cells and we desperately needing needed cleansing, we turned to Jesus. Our old dirty clothes were removed and Kevin reminded us from Kloshan's one twenty three since you have been raised to life, to new life with Christ. Set your sights on the realities of Heaven, where Christ siths on the place of honor at the father's right hand. Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of the earth, for you died to this life and your real life is...

...hidden with Christ in God. So, gang this morning, my message is really a continuation of Kevin's. Are If you will part two. His sermon was all about removing old, sinful owse our sinful nature and desires. Years ago, on October, the last Sunday night in October, one thousand nine hundred and seventy four, on room hundred and one, right in front of the Overlook Golf Course, I put my head on my steering wheel and said, Jesus, I need you, I'm a sinner. I repented of my sins and ask Jesus to cleanse me and wash me in his blood, just like Kevin did. So I'm calling my sermon, my message, my little talk, whatever we want to call this. I was a little nervous call you a sermon anyhow. I'm calling this naked again, because that's where we're starting with that title. Aren't you glad? I just removed my shirt. But here I am, figuratively naked before God. He reminds us in Hebrews Thirteen. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we're accountable. So let's pick up where Kevin left off last week with Ushan's three and eleven, and consider the opening words of verse twelve, because this morning I have some incredible news for you. Since God chose you to be the holy people...

...he loves, which brings US right back to where I opened this morning. Since God chose you, since God chose us to be the holy people he loves. As believers, we hadn't chosen set apart for special views, and I just realize that this is kind of shameless product placement for Dallas Jenkins, and that was the game plan here. Anyhow, I want to just take a moment for you to grasp that new news. You were chosen and from God's perspective, from God's perspective, you are holy. Let me repeat that. From God's perspective, Your Holy. Earlier I pointed to that shirt and called it Kevin Sin and now my sin nature. That was from a human perspective. I can guarantee you that, since I become a Christian, all too often I still think of myself as my old self, and I know for a fact that many of my friends, both Christian and on, continue to look at me from that perspective. They're quick to remind me just how rotten I am, and I don't really need their judgment because I bring it all myself, all the time judging me. Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of my relationship with God, I know that I'm saved, no question. I know that I'm loved, I know that I am known by him. But when I consider all my failures, all...

...those many, many, many failures, when I consider my arrogance, the lack of purity, the lies I've told, in the masks I warn or where, when I consider the dirt, I can tell you that I rarely okay, let's be honest, I never think of myself as being holy. If you are a believer this morning, if you have invited Jesus Christ into your heart and accepted him as your savior, holiness, my friend, is in your DNA. You and me, we were created in the image of God and he's called us to be holy priests, according to first Peter, to nine. You see, from the very dawn of civilization, our original parents, Adam and eve, were pure a sense, they were holy. They had to be to stand in the presence of their creator. Yet not only did Adam and Eve stand in the presence of Creator, God, they walked with him, they conversed with him, they were friends, they were family, naked and unashamed holy, and that's exactly what the enemy robbed them of. This is exactly what our original parents traded for a bite of sin, for a bit of self indulgence. And beginning in genesis fourteen, we...

...see the chasm between Holy God and fallen man. The Earth is cursed, as is the animal kingdom. The relationship between men and women is destroyed, and wow are we seeing the results of that today. Toil, work, war, disease, meaninglessness, death, the great gulf between a holy God and a fallen man. One of the satis verses in all the scripture to me is Adam speaking in three nine, where this man, who was specifically created in God's image to be pure and holy, like his father, who lived in communion with his father, God, hides and says, yeah, I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, and they're Adam stands cowering, shivering in his nakedness and trying to cover himself with foliage. Folks, I want to be naked again. I want to be free, standing in the presence of the Holy Father, embraced in his love and hearing him say they to see Denny, good to see your son. Come talk to me, come embrace what I intended for you all along. Let me cover you with my holiness. Life as God intended from Holy...

God's perspective, we believers are a holy people, a holy priesthood. However, we're also told to be holy many, many times throughout scripture, far too many times for me to have a list on the on the screen here. Leviticus, leviticause eleven, forty four and forty five, for instance, our first Peter one hundred and fourteen through sixteen, where the apostle encourages believers by reminding them that God is holy and they should be holy because God is holy. I might get into a little bit of hot water here, but here we go. Remember that I said Paul was teaching the Colossians because false teachings were abounding in that that particular congregation. One of those teachings was that of a satisism, or denying ourselves specifically, of pleasures, giving up things, sort of punishing ourselves of any kind of pleasure. We become more special, more holy than anyone else. So let's talk about the not too distant past. I grew up in Lancaster County the Bible Belt. I also lived in South Carolina, which is considers itself the Bible Belt. I know, by the way, so it does Indiana when I lived there. I so I'm covered three different Bible belts. I just want you to know that. But growing up, each summer and fall here in Lancaster County there were lots...

...of evangelistic meetings, tent revivals complete with sawdust trails leading to an altar, with evangelists named sunny or junior or something equally chummy. People held paper fans that were painted with pictures of the good shepherd and each night throngs of people would walk to the front of the altar while singing the eleventh verse of just as I am, which, by the way, is a hymn I still love. Now I know that all that sounds kind of very snarky and sarcastic, but what I left out was that the underscoring message was this. As you're coming to Jesus, and again this false teaching. As you're coming to Jesus, just be prepared to give up a lot of things, because if you want to be holy, you got to stop things like smoking, drinking, gambling, dressing certain ways, burn your rock and roll albums. I still wish I had my old metallica albums, but that's another story. Toss out red shoes or dresses. Stop Playing Pool, stop playing cards. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Growing up in certain parts of America, the idea of playing billiards was SI and fe lsinvil and sent you on a fast track to hell. So you can imagine my shock when I went to the student union at a Bible Believing College in the Midwest and discovered a cool table. I thought I'd stumbled into Gomorrah. There were lots of legalistic ideas that were attached to becoming a Christian. For a while I attended a church with my...

...grandparents, and I'm not joking. I heard this exact expression. Grace, grace. I'm sick of hearing of about grace. You have to be holy, you got to turn everything over to the Lord, give things up, dress a certain way, and the list started going. Do this, do this, do this, do this, is is and then God will accept you. The irony of all that is found in evissions that reminds us that it is by grace we are saved. Churches today. You know, I'm not sure whether we discussed being holy all that much, and perhaps it's as an overreaction to our past and are not too distant ancestors. The holiness message I heard as a young teen wasn't about a herd attitude. It was all about giving up tangible stuff. It wasn't about God change, it was about me proving myself. This morning I want us to consider this. Paul gives us some explicit direction in leading a holy life, and you don't have to give up your pool table on this one. I just want you to know that right off the bat, it begins with a statement, a command. You must close yourself. So, if you have your bibles with you, turn to Colossians three, twelve through seventeen, and let's read it together. I guess we're going to be through fifteen. Since God shows you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, make allowance for each other's faults and forgive...

...anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourself with love which binds us all together in perfect harmony and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts, for, as members of one body, you are called to live in peace and be thankful. It starts out with that statement. Clothe yourself and these garments put on. There's intention involved. Put on tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility. Yeah, I got a lot of that. Gentleness, patience, I'm doomed. They're all personal character traits. I wonder, do my coworkers as use those words to describe me? What about my sisters and my brother? What about you guys? Well, not my nieces and nephews, my friends. Did these characteristics? Kindness, tenderant did these describe my life? To these mold my being? If it's the old adage goes clothes make the man, do these garments posted by Paul described me? How about you? I can tell you that these characteristics are drastically missing in today's UNCIVIL society.

Paul can continues, cover yourself with these garments when interacting with others, make allowances for each other's false and forgives anyone who offends you. Why? Someone who voted differently than I did, but but pup, pup, pup, and while you're at it, remember how important forgiveness is. Remember the Lord forgave you me, so we must forgive others. Are You Kitty? All this begs the question. And if God sees us, and from his perspective we are holy, what is the view the world sees, as they look at us? And Paul continues, when you're putting on these garments, above all clothed yourselves with love, which not only brings harmony, it binds us, it unites us all together perfectly again, as our neighbors see us, are our lives characterized by love? Anybody ever hear this phrase? Love the sinner but hate the sin? Sounds Mighty Nice. I'm afraid that all too often the quotation is merely a bumper sticker. If I've ever told you this story before, I will got to watch the time here. There was for the last couple of years I've been invited to several churches to share my own personal journey, and you're pretty much everybody heres is aware of that journey.

Journey, but I'm just going to say it again. I came out with gay lifestyle, gay lifestyle, and so I would be at these churches sharing my particular journey. And after the service it was interesting because people would come up and, you know, talk and chat, and usually it was the wives. The husband's would kind of stand off somewhere so that they could avoid not shaking my hand. And whenever I would hear people say you hate the sin, love the sinner, I'm thinking, yeah, that doesn't always work out so well, does it? Anyhow, that's just a little side thing. It was on my notes, but there you go. Take it or leave it. Anyhow, from God's perspective, he views us as holy if we put on these garments. Can you imagine what the world will see when they look at us? I'll tell you what they'll see believers. They will see believers who are not just talking the talk, they are modeling God's garments of Love, mercy, thanksgiving, kindness, gentleness, patients. And that's the point. That is the point being called to. Holiness is being called for a special purpose. In fact, that's the definition of holdiness. We're supposed to bear witness to God saving grace in our lives. As I was preparing for this morning, I read this. I'm not sure who said this, but here you go. There's a question. Grace preachers here a lot, and it's this. If we are already holy, then why does God...

...call us to be holy? Well, the answer is this. He's calling us to be who we truly are. He's saying, you're my sanctified children. act like it, the WHO I made you to be. Holiness is not something we are called upon to do in order that we may become something. It's something we are to do because of what we already are. Let me repeat that. It's something we are called to do because of what we already are. The article goes on to say this our Christians truly a holy people. Are we trying to become a holy people? As an oak sapling grows, it doesn't get oakier. Oak Is Oak. It's simply matures into what it is, a full grown tree. You don't become an oak tree by acting like a oak tree. Nor do you become holy by acting holy. Jesus makes you holy. Your part is to mature into what he's already made you, and it's because Jesus makes us holy that I'm ending this morning's message with another song. The Characteristics Paul encourages us. No, he stakes that we must put on are, frankly, not in my wheelhouse. As Michael W Smith writes, fear and failure, pride and hatred. Jesus sees what I try to hide behind my goody mask, my Christian I'm fine mask,...

...but at the end of the day, even though I may try with all my might to live up to these garments of I can't do it on my own. I have to surrender everything I have to him. Jesus, take our all and nothing less. We lay our lives at your feet. Would you please stand and sing along with Michael W Smith?.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (120)