Selective sanctification – Luke 11:33-36

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

There are really two lessons here:

1. Don’t hide the light you have.
2. Make your whole self full of light.

Most often, when I’ve heard this passage taught, the focus is on the first lesson.  I also cannot read it without hearing a cheerful melody resonating in my head.  

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

So let’s focus on the second one:  Make your whole self full of light.

In other words, we need to beware of what we might call Selective Sanctification.

Let’s read Luke 11:35-36 again.

35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.

Sometimes we can want to be holy, but only in the ways that we like best.  Then at the same time, we leave a little room for a few other things – maybe things that are not really holy at all.  We can have our favorite (little?) sins.  We can have the ones we don’t yet realize we have and maybe don’t really want to even know about.

Leviticus 11:44-45 says,

44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy … 45 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.”

A few chapters later, in Leviticus 20:26, we read,

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

Then in the New Testament, Peter reminds us, in 1 Peter 1:14-16,

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

We need to be holy all the way through.  And if you think you are there yet, think again. Beware of selective sanctification; just be holy.

Mark 14 Verse by Verse

Photo for Mark edited

Christ is getting closer to the cross. This chapter will highlight a woman’s sacrifice, Peter’s failure and Christ’s obedience.

Mark 14.pdf

Mark 14.mp3

Matthew 26 Verse by Verse

Matt photoThis chapter looks at Christ’s last Passover with his disciples and the beginning of the Lord’s Supper given to the church.  We see Jesus in Gethsemane, Judas’s betrayal and Peter’s denial.  This is God’s love.

Matthew 26.pdf

Matthew 26.mp3

Peter’s faith in Matthew 26

Peter sure had a lot of faith in himself in this chapter, all of it unwarranted.  For example, what’s this?

33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

It’s probably always a bad idea to contradict Jesus.  He knows Peter better than Peter knows himself.

Peter is then among those who fall asleep in Gethsemane, after Jesus asked him to watch.  Jesus gets it right again.  He understands what is really going on.

41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Then we have the infamous cutting off the ear of the High priest’s servant.  John is the one who names names in John 18:10.  The servant was Malchus, the ear-cutter was Peter.  Maybe he was trying to make up for falling asleep earlier by showing he was really going to take care of things now.  “I got this Lord.  Your back is safe with me.”

Then comes the actual denial at the end of the chapter.  Matthew explains that Peter denied Christ to not one but two (2) servant girls and then to some bystanders who pointed out that his accent gave him away.  He sounded like he was from Galilee, not Jerusalem.

Let’s all be glad that our faith is in Jesus and not in Peter and not in ourselves.  Left to ourselves, we and Peter have a lot in common.  Our behavior is erratic.  Our self-confidence is normally misplaced. 

When nobody is looking, we can deliver a pretty good boast. “I’ll never fall away.  I’m ready to die at your side.” When push comes to shove, servant girls and random bystanders are more than enough to intimidate us into denial.  “Who me?  You think I know that guy?  Sorry. Never met him.”

Wait, do I hear a rooster?

Matthew 14 Verse by Verse

Matt photoOur passage today will bring up several different types of desires and several types of satisfaction.  Some are good, some bad and some neutral.

Matthew 14.pdf

Matthew 14.mp3

 

A Shared Spirit: Uniting of Jew and Gentile – Acts 2, 10 – 13

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 10 of 14

The Holy Spirit comes upon the first followers of Jesus. He begins to unite in Christ people who had no reason to be united about anything before.

A Shared Spirit Acts 2, 10 – 13.pdf

A Shared Assignment Matt Luke Acts.mp3

 

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildrose115/27623264486