This week we have been exploring the characteristics of a holy life as outlined by Dr. Nina Gunter. We have reproduced the introduction and the first part of the body of her sermon “Called unto Holiness.” Now we finish this message by detailing the final five traits of a holiness people.
- Holistic faith (life) based upon the provenance and preeminence of God.
He is the source of all we are, and He is Lord of all we do.The disciplines are integrated.
Everything is permeated with God’s presence . . . all we are7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and all we do.
Our lives are not compartmentalized. It is God in us—in all: at home, work/office, school, church, traveling—a living out of the reality of God’s constant presence.
John Wesley’s question at the beginning of his class meetings was, “How goes it with your soul?” Holistic faith influences every walk of life.
- Purposeful hearts based on the love of God.
The love of God—the unconditional, holy love of God—is the bottom line. It is the heart of God’s message.
This is about the theology of love . . . God’s love is not based on performance. God’s love is not based on good works, but on the love, grace, and mercy of God Himself.
We are who we are—children of God—because we are filled with God’s love. This love empowers us to be people of integrity and authenticity. God is serious about our loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the essence of holiness.
Be my witnesses. Being comes before doing.
Be the people of God.
- Servant leadership based upon the servant mind of Christ.
“Jesus humbled Himself.” He girded Himself with the towel of Service. He was interested in the towel—not toys, titles, and trinkets.
We serve God in ministry to people.
We empty our rights in submission to God’s right.
Illustration: A pastor in the Democratic Republic of Congo walked for days to get to Assembly to be ordained. He was asked the traditional questions by the General Superintendent: Do you preach holiness? Do your people understand holiness? How do you know? His answer: “When problems arise we come together. We identify the problem, then together in love seek the solution.”
Holy people empty themselves of themselves to serve God’s purposes.
- Meaningful work based upon the call of God.
The meaningof our work is not seen through the results—even though that is important. No – the meaning of our workis based on the call of God.
We believe in a God-called ministry.
Did you hear “The Voice”?
It is the heart of God. Behind the voice is a person. That’s God.
Where is the value in what we do? Not the money…not the benefits. But there is a Caller who gives our work meaning and purpose.
That caller does not leave us or forsake us. When the clouds are low, the nights long, and the duties many—The Caller is there giving meaning to all we do. Psalm 46:10
There is no God-forsaken place.
- Restored self based on the image of God.
A sense of being broken drives people to seek wholeness to be restored.
Salvation is the restoration of God’s image in us.
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
But God can put people back together again.
We Nazarenes believe no one is so lost but what he/she can be found—no one so bad but what he/she can be redeemed—no one so far gone but what he/she can’t come back.
If you are convinced you have a treasure, it’s easy to recommend it to others.
In every person, there is the covered-up image of God.
Holiness will never be a dated theology because human nature has not changed. Holiness is about God’s nature transforming our nature to be like his nature.
Therefore, we can preach a message of hope and holiness. The holiness message is a message of hope.
We can be delivered from the power of sin! We can be purified, wholly sanctified, empowered with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, restored in the image of God.
There are crisismoments in this. And there is processin this.
God can deliver us from whatever is in our lives that is contrary to the nature of God that puts us in bondage.
John Wesley: “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist in Europe of America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”
Nazarenes, what is our basic doctrine, spirit, and discipline? It is the same as John Wesley defined for the Methodists—that Nazarenes experienceand growin holiness of heart and life.
The greatest compliment paid to you as districts, churches, offices, or schools: A holy God walks among holy people in this place.
Is the holiness movement alive in your district? At the Global Ministries Center? Your church? Your school? Your home?
It’s in your hands.