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Last Sunday, June 25, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen preached a third sermon in his series on Holiness.  This is fitting in with one of our church's seven habits:  Uplift God's Character.

First, we reviewed the first two sermons in the series, our motivation for holiness and Why we want to be holy.

Then we looked at Romans 6 to see How to be Holy.  How do we do our part?

1)  Identify with Christ!  (Romans 6:1-4)

Find our identity in Jesus.  We're dead to sin. 

When we're baptized, that's when we let our freak flag fly!

We're identified with His death and resurrection.  We can be good people without identifying with Christ, but it's the beginning of holiness, a whole new way of thinking.

Identifying with Christ is the beginning of the process of holiness for us.  We are essentially Christ's.

2)  Live with the end in mind!  Romans 6:5-7

We are looking forward to the Resurrection.  This is the context of our lives.  So believing this truth gives meaning to our lives and aids our holiness.

In northern Virginia, we like our lives, we just want them a little better.  That's not a deal Jesus makes.

3)  Create distance between ourselves and known sin patterns!  Romans 6:8-11

Think of yourselves as dead to sin.  That old way of looking at things is dead.  Refuse to follow the rhythms of sin.

Alcoholics know not to hang out in bars.  You can't go near your sin pattern.

Often, we continue to sin because we want to.  Think what to do to separate yourself from that pattern.

Practice rhythms of righteousness.

It's not easy, but it's not complicated.  "Offer yourselves to God."

We don't control this process, but we can cultivate it.

4)  Know the Scriptures, especially the teaching of Jesus and His followers!  Romans 6:15-18

You're not ever completely in control.  You're either a slave to sin or to obedience.  Obedience leads to freedom from sin's slavery.

Romans 6:18-23 - "The benefit you reap leads to holiness."

Why are we not growing in holiness?  Step in!

The battle is worth waging!

Father's Day

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Last Sunday, June 18, 2017, was Father's Day, and Pastor Ed Allen preached a sermon for fathers from Colossians 3:21

Our hearts long for a father.

Colossians 3:21 says, "Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged."

Six Ways to Cause Bitterness in Your Children:

1)  Overprotection.

You're controlled by worry.

2)  Favoritism

3)  Pushing achievement beyond reasonable bounds

Think how it would be if God expected us to act beyond our capacity.

4)  Absence of encouragement

We all need significance and security.  Tell your kids, "You've got this!" and "You are lovable!"

5)  Using love as a tool of approval or disapproval

6)  Physical or verbal abuse

Result:  They will become discouraged.

The opposite is hope and confidence.

As Americans, we have a love affair with confidence, but we're in love with a fantasy, a vapor.  When life assaults us, our confidence doesn't sustain us.

Paul wants fathers who build God-confidence, which can't be overcome.  This is what our heavenly Father does for us.  He gives us confidence in His love for us.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 - we "rely not on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead."

The best way to encourage this kind of hope and confidence is to be this kind of person.

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