Pursuing Holiness

Personal holiness. Now there are two words that we don't hear all that much about in the Church of today. And that is unfortunate .... VERY unfortunate. Perhaps it is why the Church today in America is miles and miles wide and inches (at best) deep! 

You see, personal holiness should be an urgent priority of Christians. The Apostle Paul urged the Corinthian believers to bring holiness in their lives to completion (2 Corinthians 7:1) and the writer of the book of Hebrews encouraged his readers to strive for holiness for without it they would not see God (Hebrews 12:14). 

Given the importance of personal holiness, here is an excerpt for Kevin DeYoung's excellent new book, The Hole in our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. But a word of caution ... what he says here might be convicting to your soul!

"Christians often equate holiness with activism and spiritual disciplines. And while it’s true that activism is often the outgrowth of holiness and spiritual disciplines are necessary for the cultivation of holiness, the pattern of piety in the Scripture is more explicitly about our character. We put off sin and put on righteousness. We put to death the deeds of the flesh and put on Christ. To use the older language, we pursue the mortification of the old man and the vivification of the new. 

You can think of holiness, to employ a metaphor, as the sanctification of your body. The mind is filled with the knowledge of God and fixed on what is good. The eyes turn away from sensuality and shudder at the sight of evil. The mouth tells the truth and refuses to gossip, slander, or speak what is coarse or obscene. The spirit is earnest, steadfast, and gentle. The heart is full of joy instead of hopelessness, patience instead of irritability, kindness instead of anger, humility instead of pride, and thankfulness instead of envy. The sexual organs are pure, being reserved for the privacy of marriage between one man and one woman. The feet move toward the lowly and away from senseless conflict, divisions, and wild parties. The hands are quick to help those in need and ready to fold in prayer. This is the anatomy of holiness."

Oh that we would pursue personal holiness in this unholy world with a passion!

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