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HOLINESS AND RELATIVISM (Kent Smith 4/30/23)

RELATIVISM AND HOLINESS

Holiness: Week 2 of 7

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WHAT IS HOLINESS?

  • Holiness (noun) is the character of God, as separate (from all else and all others.

  • To be Holy (adjective) is to be set apart by God, and unto God, and for His glory.

  • “We are to be holy as He is holy.” (Leviticus 19:20; 1 Peter 1:15)

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Leviticus 19:2 Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior

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WHAT IS RELATIVISM?

Relativism is an understanding of human knowledge regarding truth.

Today’s expression of relativism: “Live Your Truth!”

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Relativism suggests:

That truth and knowledge are the product of culture and context.

That truth is malleable, or adaptable to change.

That truth is not singular or absolute.

Ethical truths are the expression of individuals or persons that choose to hold them.

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THE DANGER OF RELATIVISM

Relativism diminishes holiness:

  • It rejects God’s supreme authority

  • It considers other beliefs about reality to be as valid as God’s revealed truth. (even when contrary to God’s Word.)

  • It suggests that there are multiple acceptable authorities for defining truth.

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Government

Science

Popular Opinion

The Individual

The Good of Society (as defined by whomever wants to define it)

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THE CHRISTIAN DILEMMA

A Christian response to Relativism?

  • Stand firm: Truth is not based on culture, or context, or government, or popular opinion, or TikTok, or peers, or Twitter, or Fox News, or Instagram, or CNN, or your feelings.

God is the author of Truth.

Jesus is the embodiment of truth.

The Spirit is the herald of truth.

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Psalm 119:151 You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth

Psalm 111:7 The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure.

  • David’s testimony about God after God makes His covenant with David 2 Sam 7:28 Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.

John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 14:16-17 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because he abides with you and will be in you.

John 15:25 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

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PURSUE HOLINESS

God’s standards are right and true.

  • God’s standards have not (and will not) change.

  • God’s standards are not negotiable.

  • God’s standards are to be obeyed for our own good.

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Forsake known sin.

Reject worldly lies. (even if they “feel right.”)

Read, study, memorize, and mediate the Word – but even more Obey the Word

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ALL “TRUTHS” ARE NOT EQUAL

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.

“How long will you hesitate between two opinions?”

Joshua 24:15

Joshua calls the people to consecrate themselves.

“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”

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1 Kings 18: Elijah confronts Ahab and suggests a contest to see who is really god.

The contest on Mt. Carmel

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.


At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.”


Joshua 24:14-15 “Now, therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose to yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


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