In her first sermon of the year, Eirwen spoke on 1Peter 1:1-6. She brought to us, three things that God asks us to say “Yes” to. Firstly, to the call, secondly, to holiness, and thirdly, to obedience. She states that these three things are involved in the process of salvation. They are not separate from each other, and if we are to come closer to God, then we must say yes to all three. The only thing that we are called to say no to, is the enemy.
The “Yes” of the call of God for us is not a specific thing, but a general call for humanity. He is not calling us directly, but it is for those who hear Him to say yes, as illustrated in Isaiah, where he says “Here I am, send me”. Isaiah heard the call of God and was obedient to Him. The truth is that God is in control of this. You cannot come unless the Holy Spirit calls you, and if you’re being stirred, then the call of God is upon you to come in to the gospel. In this, you will become changed so that you can more resemble Jesus. We are called; born again. We now have God Himself within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Grace calls and chooses us, and as such, we must, in turn, be prepared and willing to do what God asks of us.
The “Yes” of holiness is often misunderstood. Holiness is an old fashioned word, often thought of with negative connotations. The phrase ‘Holier than thou’ often comes to mind, but this is not what God means when He talks about us being holy. He means that we should get to a point where we come to resemble Christ more. It is about the common being made holy.
Rick Warren states that “God doesn’t want you to become a God. He wants you to become Godly, taking on His attributes, values and attitudes” This is where the Holy Spirit begins working in us and where we begin to more resemble Christ. In this place, we find that we are more concerned about pleasing Him than pleasing ourselves of other people. We must follow the Spirit, and we can see that Grace changes us.
Here Eirwen referred us to several verses which illustrate this, talking specifically about Philippians 1:6, and Philippians 2:13. God is able, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, in one act, to make us perfect; to make us holy. This is shown in Hebrews 10:14. God gives us the desire to do His will. He is in us, leading us and it is down to us to follow Him. We should be aware enough to not do what we know we shouldn’t do. We are to be led by the spirit, and not what we want to do.
The “Yes” of obedience, is the outcome of love. It follows the idea that if you love Jesus, you will do what He says (Hebrews 5:9).
Eirwen went on to say that theory is ok, but it becomes even more relevant when we can link it to a person. Turning to Esther 2:7, she says that it is a phenomenal story. It is interesting that God is not actually mentioned at all, but He is implicit in it. In the story, Esther must undergo twelve months of preparation before she is allowed to meet the King.
Eirwen encouraged us to think of holiness as these twelve months of preparations. We must all go through some beautifying in the process of being made holy. Here we are to follow what God wants. We can think of Hegai as the Holy Spirit, and we are the brides of Christ. We should be excited about our holiness and not think of it like a drudge; we are to consider it as something that we want, and not be negative about it.
In closing, Eirwen says that in Him, we are perfect, but we are not quite perfect enough, and so we must go through our own beautification process and be obedient to God, dying to self, which takes courage. We have been chosen. We have free access to God, but if we want to keep this, then we must listen to Him. Esther had authority with the King, because she was holy and obedient. This is what we are called to do. Then, the line that was broken may be renewed, “In His name”. Jesus was obedient, and we must be too. We must forget the ranger and become who we were always meant to be.
So, in closing, when you feel the three calls of God on your life, will you say “Yes” to Him?
Scriptures List: 1Peter 1:1-6, Romans 8:28, John 6:44, John 15:16, 1Peter 2:9, Ephesians 1:3-4, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:13, Romans 8:5-10, Hebrews 10:4, Romans 8:14-18, Esther 2:7, Esther 2:12