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The Holiness of Christ
By Pastor John

John 8:33-36
33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

What compelled Jesus Christ to go to the cross?

First we looked at the Compassion of Christ, He loved us so much He had to act to save us from present and eternal suffering.

Next we examined the Sovereignty of Christ, He had to fulfill the eternal plan of salvation that was conceived before the creation of the world.  In His sovereignty, His perfect will had to be fulfilled.

Today we will look at the Holiness of Christ.

God's perfect holiness compared to our sinfulness.  We cannot fully grasp it. 

We rarely grasp how sinful we are (we are too generous to ourselves). 
And we don't comprehend how totally holy God is.

Isaiah 6:1-5
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

Our Sinfulness Made Us Slaves.
We were slaves to Satan. If we are not doing the will of God, we are doing the will of Satan. It is a terrible thing to be a slave, especially to a cruel master.

The Story of John Newton        
John Newton was himself a slave for a time under horrible conditions. Listen to Newton about his master and his mistress, a black woman. 
    "I was still sick when he left on a trip to Rio Numa, leaving me in this woman's hands.  At first, she took care of me, but when I failed to recover soon, she grew weary and neglected me completely.  I could not even get a glass of cold water from anyone when I was burning with fever. My bed was a mat spread on a chest, A log of wood was my pillow.
    When my fever left me and my appetite returned, no one gave me anything to eat. She lived high, but she hardly gave me enough to sustain my life. Now and then when she was feeling superior, she would send me food from her own plate after her dinner. So greatly had I been humiliated that I received this with thanks and eagerness - as a beggar does a penny.
    Once she even called me into her house to receive this from her own hand, but I was so weak and feeble that I dropped the plate. And she was cruel enough to laugh at my chagrin. Though the table was covered with dishes, she refused to give me any more food.
    Occasionally, strangers and even some of the slaves would slip crumbs to me from their own meager handouts. They would been punished if anyone had seen them.
    To make matters worse, this woman would sometimes pay me a visit - not to pity or comfort me, but to insult me. She would call me worthless and lazy and compel me to get up and walk - which I could hardly do.  She would then get her slaves to mimic my motion, clap their hands, laugh, and throw limes at me.  If they chose to throw stones, she didn't stop them. All her slaves were required to take part in humiliating me; but once she was out of sight, even the lowliest of them pitied me."

1 Corinthians 1:30
30 Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-- that is, our .redemption.

A slave can be purchased and set free.  Christ is our redeemer.  He purchased us and set us free.

As Slaves, We Were Not Part of God's Family
John 8:34-35
34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

Christ set us free from the slavery of sin, so we could be adopted as sons & daughters.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30 Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-- that is, our holiness.

John 8:36
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Sin Can Still Enslave Us to Do It's Bidding

Even as believers, we can all too easily become ensnared in sin when we are not properly fellowshipping with Jesus Christ.

John Newton on his experience
    "You would think that after such a wonderful, unhoped-for deliverance as I had - after my eyes were opened a little to see things right - I would have immediately become a fanatic for the Lord and would, like Paul, have consulted no more with flesh and blood. But that was not the case with me. I had learned to pray. I valued the Word of God.
    I was no longer a drunk, given over to every evil, but my soul still loved the dirt. Soon after I left Liverpool when I shipped out, I began to grow lazy in my devotions. My conscience got after me, but I refused to listen. My spiritual armor gone, I fell away fast. By the time I got to Guinea, I was living a life that would make anyone think I had forgotten all about the Lord's mercies.  I was never profane; I did not take His name in vain. But my spiritual enemy prepared a table of temptations for me to feast on, and I became an easy victim. For about a month he rocked me to sleep, as I did things I would not have thought myself capable of anymore.
    Sin first deceives, and then it hardens. I was not tightly chained, but I had no power to free myself - and little desire to.  Sometimes I would think about the fix I had gotten into; if I tried to change my ways, I would just sink deeper."

Jesus Christ has to be our righteousness.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-- that is, our righteousness.

As John Newton found out, when we try to change ourselves - we fail.
    "Weak and almost delirious, I got out of bed and crept to a secluded part of the island. There I had a freedom in prayer I had never had before. I made no more resolutions to be a better man. I simply cast myself on the Lord to do with me whatever He wanted. I did not have a shred of power to do anything right. All I could do was throw myself at His feet, receiving the good of Christ's death for me in a way I had never done before.
    I prayed for His forgiveness and found the burden lifted from my conscience. Not only did my peace come back, but my health, too.
    I mark that day as the turning point in my spiritual experience. I came into the good of being delivered from the power and dominion of sin - even though I still, to this day "groan, being burdened" with the effects and ever-present conflicts of my sin nature.
    I began to wait on the Lord in prayer as I had never done before. I am humbly trusting His mercy and His promises to be with me as my Guide and Guard till the end of my life."

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