Archive for the ‘Holiness’ Category

October 26th, 2015

Where Does Sin Come From?

“And he called the people to him and said to them, ‘Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.’” Matthew 15:10-11 (ESV)

The religious elite of Jesus’ time were under the false understanding that sinfulness or unrighteousness is a state that comes from the inside of man being influenced by his outside. When they ate or partook of unholy things, those unholy things made them unholy. Jesus, however, had a different message for the Pharisees and scribes, proclaiming to them that sinfulness was a result of inward rebellion that no amount of action could either lessen or even increase? Depravity was (and is) depravity and while certainly the requirements of the law withheld God’s judgement against that depravity, those actions in no way made the individual more holy.

This teaching is the dilemma for all mankind. We are sinful and there is no amount of religious activity that can fix that sinfulness. We can act holy and we can fake devotion, but that doesn’t mean that the core of who we are has been transformed. We are simply white-washed tombs, as Jesus would say. But this also is the hope of the gospel, in that Jesus existed in a way that we could not. He was not depraved; rather, He was inherently holy. Through His sacrifice, He now offers His perfect holiness to us, replacing our sinfulness and transforming our hearts. We no longer have to pretend to be holy or fight to earn it; it has been earned for us and given to us freely as a response to our repentance. We are sinful, but Jesus is holy. Through Him we who were sinful can be declared holy and restored to a right relationship with God. Rejoice in that profound truth today.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Matthew, Sin.
Interact No Comments
July 17th, 2015

A Holy Encounter and A Humble Response

“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5 (ESV)

God is holy, and when you and I encounter the holiness of God in all of its splendor, we are reminded of how truly unholy we are. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon His throne, high and lifted up, and was forever changed. He knew his helplessness and yet because of God’s infinite mercy, Isaiah was proclaimed clean. As a result of this gracious act, when the Lord asks for someone to go to His people and call them to repentance, Isaiah responds with one of the most famous lines in scripture, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV).

Isaiah’s humble response should be our response, having witnessed the glory of God displayed on the cross of Christ and the grace of God in our salvation. If we who were hopeless and lost, certain of a future of wrath, have been declared clean in spite of our unholiness by Christ’s holiness, how could we not go and proclaim in humility our devotion to this God who has loved us so? The reality is that judgment is coming upon all of creation for its sinful rejection of its Creator, who is to be praised forever, and we are to be the messenger of God to these people, declaring His infinite goodness and desire for all to return back to Him in repentance.

The call is there for us who have been reconciled to call others to reconciliation. The question is, “Will you go?”

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Mobilization & Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Isaiah, Repentance.
Interact No Comments
February 25th, 2015

Separate Yourself

“‘Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.’” Leviticus 15:31 (ESV)

Sin is an intruder. Sin disrupts fellowship with God, sin erodes peace with God, and sin inhibits the will of God. God is holy, righteous, and pure. We are selfish, sinful, and separated from God until we have a life changing experiencing by placing our trust in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Once we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are to embrace a lifestyle of moral purity and be set apart unto the Lord’s work. In Christ, our life is reoriented to the will of God and to the ways of God.

  • “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3-4 (ESV)
  • “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14 (ESV)

God instructed Moses and Aaron to prevent defiling the tabernacle in their midst. God gave them specific instructions related to how to deal with uncleanness within the camp. God values purity and order. He required that His people abide by the rules and regulations He established in order to enjoy His abiding presence. God gave detailed instructions on how to deal with leprosy, mildew, and intimate marital relations. Cleanliness, purification, and holiness are features that God demands.

Is there anything in your life that disrupts your fellowship with God? Confess known sin and embrace a lifestyle of moral purity that reflects the purity of Christ. Separate yourself from sin. Live a life that brings honor to God.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Leviticus, Purity.
Interact No Comments
February 24th, 2015

Distinguish the Sacred

“And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, ’Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.’” Leviticus 10:8-11 (ESV)

You are made to worship. God has placed within you the desire to worship. If you are not careful and attentive, you can drift into worshiping creation rather than worshiping the Creator. You determine the focus of your worship. It is vital that you not only worship God, but that you worship God His way.

  • “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1-2 (ESV)

Aaron’s sons made a decision to forfeit worshiping God His way. Instead, they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord and God removed them from their priestly service by instant death. As you read this encounter, it appears to be abrupt and extreme. God is demonstrating the value He places on His holiness and the way we worship.

God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us distinguish between that which is holy and common, between the clean and unclean. Guard against becoming too casual in your worship of the One true living God. Revere God and esteem God as you worship Him privately and corporately. Affirm the holiness of God. He alone is worthy!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Holiness, Leviticus.
Interact No Comments
February 23rd, 2015

Be Holy

“‘For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.’” Leviticus 11:45 (ESV)

Is it possible to stay clean while living in a dirty world? Every possibility for contaminating our lives is available to us. Sin is rampant. We face trials from without and temptation from within. The cultural current is moving in the opposite direction of the Christ honoring flow. We must make a conscious and continuous decision to walk in purity.

  • “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Cor 7:1 (ESV)
  • “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 (ESV)

Purify yourself and perfect holiness. Purify your heart and set an example for the believers in purity. In Christ, you are positionally pure. In Christ, you are a new creation. Live out practically what you are presently and positionally in Christ. The only way to reign in this life is to allow Christ to reign in your life.

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is only possible in the strength Christ provides. Jesus has already set the example. Jesus has demonstrated the life of purity in a sin-polluted culture. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death so that you can walk in victory.

Embrace moral purity by yielding to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. God called you to live a holy life. Now give Jesus His rightful place in your life and allow Him to live His life through you.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Holiness, Leviticus.
Interact No Comments
March 31st, 2014

Embracing Moral Purity

“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (ESV)

Is it possible to stay clean while living in a dirty world? Every possibility for contaminating our lives is available to us. Sin is rampant. We face trials from without and temptation from within. The cultural current is moving in the opposite direction of the Christ honoring flow. We must make a conscious and continuous decision to walk in purity.

  • “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” 2 Cor. 7:1 (ESV)
  • “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim. 4:12 (ESV)

Purify yourself and perfect holiness. Purify your heart and set an example for the believers in purity. In Christ, you are positionally pure. In Christ, you are a new creation. Live out practically what you are presently and positionally in Christ. The only way to reign in this life is to allow Christ to reign in your life.

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is only possible in the strength Christ provides. Jesus has already set the example. Jesus has demonstrated the life of purity in a sin-polluted culture. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death so that you can walk in victory.

Embrace moral purity by yielding to the Lordship of Christ. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. God called you to live a holy life. Now give Jesus His rightful place in your life and allow Him to live His life through you.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Holiness, Purity.
Interact No Comments
February 20th, 2014

Temptation and Opportunity

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. ” James 1:13-14 (ESV)

God is holy and God is love.

The nature of God will not allow temptation to be an instrument of heaven. God cannot be tempted by evil because God is holy. As John MacArthur affirms, “God is aware of evil but untouched by it, like a sunbeam shining on a dump is untouched by the trash.”

God is not the originator of temptation. God does not tempt anyone because God is love. In His love, God does not initiate temptation, but God will allow temptation to come into a person’s life. The temptation provides the opportunity to choose the righteous path and to bring honor to God through the proper response.

When we choose to give in to temptation, we believe that it is the best option at that moment. Satan’s goal is to get us to doubt God’s Word and to doubt God’s best.

  • “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?’” Gen. 3:1 (ESV)

God cannot be tempted by evil. God does not tempt anyone. How will you choose to respond to the temptation that God allows into your path? Will you take God at His Word and trust Him?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Holiness, Temptation.
Interact No Comments
November 27th, 2013

Perfecting Holiness

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)

Imagine a bride, adorned with her beautiful white wedding dress, choosing to march down a muddy road before uniting with her groom. Purity and filth are not compatible. As the bride of Christ, we were made ready for our union with Christ through His atoning work on the cross. Positionally, we are clean and made fit for heaven. However, practically, we are still working out what God has worked in.

The muddy road of life requires that we purify ourselves from the contamination of our fallen world. We must guard our hearts and protect ourselves from the flaming arrows of the evil one. Staying clean while living in a dirty world mandates making wise decisions about what we say, think, and do. Our conversation and conduct must be consistent with the character of Christ being formed in us.

A clean life begins with receiving the nature of the Lamb of God at salvation. Upon conversion, we take on the nature of Christ and His desire for purity. That clean life is preserved as we purify ourselves from the filth of this world and embrace a healthy reverence for God. Fearing God means that we hold His opinion of us above all other opinions and expectations. Fearing God means to orient our lives to please Him above all others.

Are you living a life of moral purity? How’s your thought-life? Evaluate your conversation and your conduct. Are you living a life pleasing and honoring to God? Is there anything in your life that contaminates the life of Christ in you? Are you perfecting holiness through revering God? Confess known sin and embrace the life God has for you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Confession, Holiness, Purity.
Interact No Comments
August 31st, 2013

Obey What You Know

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 (NIV)

What would God have you do today? Did you know that God has a “to-do” list for you for today? God wants you to be saved! God wants you to grow spiritually! God wants you to share His love and to shine His light! God created you to be relational, not robotic. As you walk with God, He invites you to be in such relational intimacy with Him that you respond to His voice with instant obedience.

You know the good that you ought to do. It’s not that you need more information or more imperatives. Start doing what God has already told you to do. Instant obedience demonstrates your allegiance and loyalty to God’s will. There are times when you may desire God to simply write His will on the wall so that you can read it and obey. It just so happens that the wall is the pages upon which God’s Word is written for you to read personally and obey instantly.

You may be waiting for God’s direction concerning a specific decision that you need to make. Walk in the light God gives you. If you are not at peace about a certain direction, don’t make a move. Wait until God gives you the release to move into that particular direction. Remember, that God has been at work long before your specific situation showed up on your radar. Nothing catches God by surprise. God has a purpose for anything and everything that surprises us. Wait on God’s timing and practice instant obedience. God’s way is always the best way!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, August 31st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discipline, Holiness, Obedience.
Interact No Comments
August 30th, 2013

Beneficial Intervention

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23 (NIV)

Have you ever been desperate for God’s intervention? You do all you know to do and unleash all the creativity and energy you have to accomplish God’s will and then recognize your insufficiency. Desperation elevates your awareness of the need for divine intervention.

Our greatest need was met when God took the initiative to rescue us from our sin. Before we could run to God, God ran to us. Before we could choose God, God chose us. Before we could pursue God, God pursued us. How refreshing to know that our lives and our future and our current reality is really all about God.

We do not exist for ourselves. We exist to bring glory to God by fulfilling His mission upon the earth. Now that we have been set free from sin, we no longer live in bondage and defeat. We have been set free so that we can orient our lives as slaves to God. We choose to surrender our agenda to God’s agenda and our ambition to God’s ambition. In Christ, we shift our focus from that of seeking to please ourselves to that of seeking to please the One who created us for His pleasure.

God’s divine intervention has tremendous benefits. Our sin has been removed. His holiness permeates our lives. Our eternal security has been granted. The gift of eternal life has been given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 30th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Holiness, Sin, Slaves.
Interact No Comments