Sermon Recap: HOLY GOD based on Leviticus 10:1-3; 19:1-2; Hebrews 12:14; Revelation 21:27
Today, the church does not understand the holiness of God. Even worse, society today has lost all concept of the holiness of God. As the Psalmist wrote, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Ps 36:1). Many Christians today want God’s comfort and blessing without God’s holiness. The loss of the understanding of holiness is one major reason the church as a whole has lost its effectiveness.
What does the holiness of God mean? How should we respond to holiness?
- God is set apart (Lev 19:1-2). Just as a high-ranking official would be set apart from common humanity (no ordinary citizen can stroll into the White House and take a selfie with President Biden), the same is true with God. God is set apart! But the reason why God is set apart isn’t because he is superior, but rather because of our sin. Light and darkness cannot mix, just like one should not put bleach in with dark clothes in the laundry! When humanity comes into contact with God in the fullness of his holiness, our sinfulness is exposed, and we instantly recognize our unworthiness to be in his presence (i.e., Isaiah in Isa 6 and John in Rev 1). Because of God’s holy character and our sinfulness, we should treat God with respect, fear, and reverence. We should not be afraid of God but rather honor God for who he is.
Not everyone or everything is holy, as some claim today. We cannot “embrace the holy inside each and every one of us,” for we are a fallen humanity. “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Rom 3:10). Without God, we have no means to be holy. God calls and expects his people to be holy as he is holy (Lev 19:2). But personal holiness is only possible if we allow the LORD to transform us! We need to become set apart from sin.
- God is unstained by the world or sin (Heb 12:14). God hates all sin, calling it an abomination. We cannot enter the presence of God without addressing our sin, for without holiness, no one can see the Lord. God does not sin, nor is he capable of sin, nor dwell in its presence. God does not change his standards, no matter how much humanity tries to change them. What was sin in the days of the Bible are still sin today; God does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).
It is precisely because of our sinful condition and God’s holiness that we need a Savior to wash away our sins. But if we want to be in the presence of God, we must go and sin no more–we cannot be stained by sin or the world. We need to come out from the world and become separate (2 Cor 6:18). We cannot love the world, for if we do, God’s love is not in us (1 John 2:15). We cannot straddle the fence, trying to live two lives; if we do, we are lukewarm, spit out of God’s mouth (Rev 3:15-18). Don’t let the world pressure you into its mold (Rom 12:2). To become holy requires a lifestyle of repentance and death to self.
- God is pure and unblemished (Rev 21:27). God is completely right and whole; there is no imperfection, fault, or flaw with God. In its day, this would have been a radical statement, since many of the “gods” of other cultures were severely flawed and imperfect. But God’s character is holy, true, and right, filled with integrity from the inside out. God cannot approve or endorse anything that goes against his character–no matter what humanity might say today! It is heresy if any “new light” or interpretation goes against God’s established holiness or the Word. Revelation is clear: nothing impure will enter heaven; if something is full of sin, it will be left out. The way to heaven is narrow, through Jesus’ death on the cross alone. But for us to access God, we need to accept we are sinners, believe in the Lord Jesus, and confess our sins through a life of repentance. We cannot continue in our impurity; we must change our ways.
- God is sacred and held in high esteem (Lev 10:1-3). God is not mocked; he deals with those who profane his holiness. Nadab and Abihu took God casually and ignored his holiness. They offered an incense offering flippantly, and God addressed the attitude to teach a lesson on holiness. God is to be revered and not taken advantage of. We must confess our attitudes that we can live how we want to and minimize God’s call to holiness. God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish. But do not think that just because we go to church or do good deeds, we can do whatever we want and remain in God’s blessing. God is holy and calls his people to holiness. Let us keep his name in high esteem.
Questions for Reflection
1) What sin keeps you entangled?
2) What do we engage in regularly that we might need to remove from our lives?
3) How seriously do you view God?
4) Is Jesus your Lord and Savior?
5) Do you take God’s grace lightly, or with great honor?
Daily Bible Readings for February 6 – 12
February 6: Deuteronomy 32:36-43 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 7: Joshua 1:1-9 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 8: Joshua 5:13-15 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 9: Joshua 7:6-15 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 10: Joshua 24:2-24 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 11: Judges 2:1-3 What does this passage teach us about God?
February 12: Judges 6:7-23 What does this passage teach us about God?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, February 11–Benevolence offering (see below)
Thursday, February 15–Leadership Team Meeting
We live in a day and time when our beliefs are challenged. Can we articulate what we believe? For the entirety of 2024, we will be going through a series called the “Foundations of Our Faith.” Each Sunday, we will explore a different key belief or concept that is foundational to Christianity. Each concept will come straight from the Bible. Our first topic will be exploring who God is according to the Bible.
I encourage you through this year to allow these messages to strengthen your faith! The apostle Peter wrote, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet 3:15). And Paul wrote, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2). Our world needs hope. May we, as we deepen our faith together, not only grow in the depth of our knowledge of Jesus but also share that hope in a world that needs it!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office with your birthday or leave a note in the offering plate. We don’t want to miss anyone.
Beaver Creek has updated its social media page. Please follow and share so many people can see what is happening at Beaver Creek! You can find the pages as follows:
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over, Phyllis Simmons (worship leading), or Joscelin Cooper (children’s story) if you want to serve.
CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY
Children’s Church WILL meet this Sunday, February 11.
We have been made aware of a family in need in our community whose children attend John Wayland (even though we have much in common with Ottobine, the church is technically zoned John Wayland). Due to no fault of their own, this family currently is homeless and is trying to secure a new place to live. However, right now, they are in temporary housing. John Wayland is running point on the need, so it is verified, but this family could use some temporary assistance during this unexpected transition.
Therefore, the Outreach Team is asking for a special offering this Sunday to assist this family in need. If you would like to give online, just send an email prior and we will let you know how to designate it.
Thank you to all who have volunteered to take the assessment. You will receive your assessment in your email by Friday, February 9. Please complete and return via email or the office no later than Tuesday, February 13.
BAPTISM & MEMBERSHIP INQUIRY
Are you interested in following the Lord’s example in baptism? Would you like to become a member of the church? If so, please respond to Pastor Ryan or reach out to the church office. We would like to have a baptism/new member ceremony on Pentecost Sunday, and Pastor Ryan would like to have a baptism/new member class in advance of that day. As of this email, there are four possible baptismal candidates and six membership transfers! If you would like to participate, please reach out!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School and church hours. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to participate in worship, please inform one of the members of the Christian Education team (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. We should have more information in the coming weeks about a trip. If you are interested in participating, please contact the church office and let them know!
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe to the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Louise Shirkey & Carolyn Wine
Keep Evy Kaye’s friend Mary Beth in your prayers as she is wrestling with cancer.
Eddie Baker (health)
Mary Batterman (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Joe Berry (health)–surgery was a success. Pray for continued recovery.
Terri Burkholder (health)
Katie Cooper (concussion)
Norma Cunningham (recovery)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bonnie Sue Eckard (COVID)
Bob & Jeanette Hess (COVID)
Bob Hess (health)
Christy Lazer (health)
Ruth Luce (health)
Mark Martin (health)–at UVA with complications from the most recent cancer treatment. Concerned about liver damage.
Meeta McNett (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church