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#LEAD2015DUMC Plenary #4

The Demand for Right: The Christian Leader’s Holiness

Pastor Peter Tan-Chi
LEAD2015 Plenary Session 4, 05/06/2015

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Roman 12:1, 2)

The motivation behind holiness is God’s mercy, of what he has done for us. It is about a relationship with God. We as products of God’s love must always be motivated by God’s grace, love and mercy. God wants our body. We are to give it to him as a holy and living sacrifice.

V2 is an imperative, a command in the passive voice. Without doing anything, we are being conformed. The Bible tells us to stop that. The world is moving in a direction contrary to the Bible.

We are to love people but we do not copy the values of the world. How do we live in holiness in an unholy world? We are asked to “be transformed” because we cannot do it ourselves. Our task it to renew our mind. We do that by reading the Word of God. Read the entire Bible in a year. Just spend 20 minutes a day.

Why does God ask us to live differently? It is to test and approve the will of God which is good, acceptable and perfect. Some of us think the Bible is restrictive. We need to change our attitude. God wants us to live a good live in accordance of the Bible.

A square water melon is grown inside a square box. Our role as Christians is to transform the world. Sadly, sometimes we are being influenced by the world. The best salt and light are Christlike.

1         How do we develop a holy living?

Conviction = Biblical truth that we are willing to die for.

Convenience = Some things we can tolerate or even compromised when we face pressure.

An example of a biblical conviction is not to have pre-marital sex. In the America, the ratio of people having pre-marital sex is almost the same inside the church or outside the church.

There are problem when we have too much conviction. The form of music. The day to worship. These are preferences, not things to die for. The more mature we are in the Lord, the stronger conviction we have, the more tolerant we are of others. Our convictions becomes less, only the essential ones.

2         Intimacy with God Develops Convictions

As

The king wanted to conform the young people to the Babylonian values before they serve him. He put them through a brainwashing process. The first step is to change their names.

  • From Daniel (“God is my judge”) to Beleshazzar (“Bel’s Servant”)
    From Hananiah (“beloved of the Lord”) to Sadrach = (“Illuminated by Rach (moon god)”)
  • From Michael (“Who is as God”) to Mechach (“Who is as Shach?”)
  • From Azariah (“The Lord is my help”) to Abed-nego (“Servant of Nego.”)

The Jewish names of the young people reminded them of God. The king wanted to remove that.

In Daniel 1:8, we read that Daniel “made up his mind.” He humbly declined the good food. If we have convictions, good for us but do not impose it on others. Convictions come from God and it is based on the Word of God. They grew healthily.

When we have convictions and we live by it, we will be blessed accordingly. (cf Luke 16:10, Matthew 25:21)

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10)

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21)

Daniel was faithful in something that may not matter to others. Any times we are tempted to serve God in a high position. We should be faithful in small things. That is holiness, which is living for God.

Convictions will be tested and challenged. People are jealous of Daniel and his friends. When they refused to bow to an idol, they were reported to the king. King Nebuchanezzar wanted to give them a chance. Amazingly, the 3 friends stood firm on their conviction. We can only have conviction when we know God. Many Christians do not worship the God of the Bible, they created their own god to serve them. These young men trusted God and they submit to the sovereignty of God. They were willing to risk their lives.

Sometimes God will intervene and stop us from going into the fire. Sometimes he will allow us to get into the fire. Convictions can be costly. But when we follow our convictions, God is with us. Conviction can be costly but it is more costly to compromise because we will not know what we miss. We will not know what God can do through our lives and in our lives.in him but they could not find any

The young people witnessed to the king.

Daniel’s enemies wanted to find fault in him but they could not find anything. Do not just try to impress in the church. Be exemplary at home and the workplace. Daniel’s enemies tried to trap him with a decree. He was not harmed when he was being thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel knew his God.

The best thing to do in discipleship is to connect people to God.

3         What are our convictions?

Pastor Peter’s daughter, Carolyn made a conviction on a Not Now Not Ever (N3E) list of items.

Have we develop certain convictions? On

  • Moral purity (singles, married)
  • Marriage
  • Money
  • Work, Ethics, study habits
  • Spiritual disciplines

If we don’t have any convictions, ask God.

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