Text: Ezekiel 44:23-24 (Concerning The Ordinances for the Priests of Israel) "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane(with contempt or disregard for God or Holy things), and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (vs24) And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths."
Jude 3 "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints".
The Pulpit Commentary, Vol.12, Page 401,a comment on Ezekiel 44:23 "THERE IS A SPIRITUAL AND REAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE PROFANE--- It cannot be doubted that the ceremonial differences were intended to be the emblems of deeper and more real distinctions of a moral nature. In the Christian dispensation men were early taught upon the highest authority to call nothing common or unclean. But whilst Christ abolished distinctions, which were a means to an end, which served a temporary purpose of preparation, he emphasized those distinctions which, in the sight of a holy God, are real and important. Especially was this the case with the eternal difference between moral good and evil, between what is in accordance with, and what is repugnant to, the nature, the character, and the will of God. This distinction is one which the Church of Christ is bound to maintain, both by teaching and by conduct, before a sinful and disobedient world."
If you care enough to make a difference, let us first remember the difference that the holiness of God demands with respect of who we are and whose we are.
1. If we care enough to make a difference , we must maintain that difference by continuing in some very basic things such as:
a. The Word--- St. John 8:31-32."Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (vs32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
b. Prayer--- 2 Chronicles 7:14 " If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
c. Love--- 1 Peter 1:22-23 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned(sincere) love of the brethren, see that ye love one another fervently: (vs23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
d. The Praise of God--- Psa. 34:1-3 "I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (vs2) My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (vs3) O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."
2. If you care enough to make a difference, let us first remember the difference that the holiness of God demands with respect of who we are and whose we are.---1 Peter 2:9-10 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:(vs10)Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." 1 Corinthian 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (vs20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
3. If you care enough to make a difference remember the foundation of this difference of holiness we are to continue in.--- Eph.2: 19-22. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;(vs20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (vs21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (vs22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
4.If you care enough to make the difference that God's holiness demands, let us continually and earnestly contending for the faith by:
a. Our Commitment to Holiness--- 2 Cor. 7:1. "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
b. Our Continual Pursuit of Godliness--- Titus 2:11-14. " For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (vs12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (vs13) Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"(vs14)Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
c .Our Personal Sacrifice--- Rom. 12:1-2. "I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (vs2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
d. By Our Continuing Expression of Love--- St. John 13:34-35. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.(vs35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
e. By Keeping the Manifestation of Our Faith Active--- James 2:17-18. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.(vs18)Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."
f. By Keeping Our Priorities in Order--- Col. 3:1-3. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (vs2) Set you affection on things which are above, not on things on the earth. (vs3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
g. By Maintaining the Standards of our Discipleship--- St. Matt. 16:24-26. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (vs25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (vs26) For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?