We’re in a 10-part Wednesday night series right now all based on the amazing word Kaleo. In Greek it means to call to someone with your voice, to call them to action or an office or to a purpose. In ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i – the Hawaiian language – it is a male name that is translated as “the voice” or “the sound” in English. Isn’t it interesting that both languages spell the word the same, pronouns the word in similar ways and they both have to do with a voice or a call to action.
Tonight pastor Greg wraps up the series with the final chapter, part ten with the second half of the Fifth Kaleo of Akua. We are Called to Holiness.
TWO PRIME IDEAS OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HOLY
1) To be Holy is to be sacred. Sacred means separate. Set apart and unique from everything else. Only God, the Creator, who existed before everything else, is truly Holy.
2) To be holy is to be absolutely PURE! The sacred nature of holiness we talked about before, otherness, applies most specifically here in purity. Holiness is being set apart from anything IMpure in order to be completely given over to what God says is pure.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5
“As there is no darkness in His understanding, so there is no spot in His will; as His mind is possessed with all truth, so there is no deviation in His will from it. He loves all truth and goodness; He hates all falsity and evil.” – Stephen Charnock
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” – Romans 1:18
Of course, talking about the wrath of God makes many modern Christians nervous. We prefer to focus on the love of God and many of us make the fatal mistake of assuming God’s love for us makes Him unwilling to punish sin, worse yet, that God is okay with our sin or even loves our sin. Don’t be deceived. God does not love or accept sin. He is utterly holy, without any sin, and He calls us to be holy as well.
“God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.” – J. Packer
The Bible consistently presents a God who has established moral right and wrong. He has established what is sin and what is purity. He calls us to reject what He has called sin and to embrace what He has called purity. The Bible is clear that this God of ours HATES sin. He doesn’t hate sinners. But He most definitely hates sin. He hates what sin does to the people He loves. The day of God’s wrath against sin is coming. All sin will one day be destroyed. If we are people who choose to embrace sin, despite repeated warnings and incredible patience by God, we will experience the wrath of God as well. Willingly intertwined with our sin, when that sin is fully judged by the holiness of God, we will be judged by God’s consuming fire as well. Scripture is clear. Neither sin, nor people who willingly embrace sin, are allowed in God’s eternal kingdom.
“Your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide [His] face from you so that He does not listen.” – Isaiah 59:2
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” – Psalm 24:3-5
So what hope do we have?
I know that I will never, on my own holiness ascend the mountain of the Lord, to the holy heights where God dwells. I still daily stumble and fall in my attempts to be holy, to live a holy life that always honors God.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” – I Peter 1:14-16
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? – Romans 7:15-24
Immediately He gives the answer:
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:25
So here is the GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL! Here is what Christianity offers us. Thankfully, what God’s holiness DEMANDED, His grace also PROVIDED, through Jesus!
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. – Romans 3:22-25a
Since Jesus has fulfilled the requirement of God’s holiness in us, are we then free to go commit all the sins we want to our heart’s content, without any fear of reprisal from God? Have we found a spiritual loophole that allows us to live as though we have no relationship with Jesus, no responsibility to be holy as He is holy? Some new Christians that the Apostle Paul encountered were trying to make this very point. They were essentially saying that sinning was okay with God. Sin all we want and God will forgive all of it. He just wants us to be happy. The more we sin the more we experience God’s grace. So keep on sinning so God can show even more grace. Paul was disgusted by this idea.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” – Romans 6:1-2
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:7-8
Is there anything that the word of God calls a sin that you are still practicing in your life right now? It may be something you really enjoy. You may love it. It may feel fantastic to keep doing it. You don’t want to give it up. You don’t want to stop. That’s the destructive nature of sin. Like any addiction, it deceives us. It convinces us that it is worth whatever it costs us, even if it costs us eternal life. God is giving you a kaleo today, a calling to obey Him and leave that life of sin. Repent of that behavior that He calls a sin.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21