Summary: A study on what professing believers ought to pursue and resulting failures if not pursued.

I. Two Things Professing Believers are to Pursue (diokete = press after, chase after, pursue)

A. Pursue Peace

1. The Importance of Peace

a. Peace is essential to spiritual progress, to usefulness, and to enjoyment of the presence of Christ.

b. Peace is the rhythm of our wills with Jesus’ love-will. Disobedience breaks the music.

c. Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"

d. J. Oswald Sanders – Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.

e. Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

2. The Scope of the Pursuit of Peace – toward all men

a. Romans 14:19 "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

b. Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

c. Peacemaking is an action that springs out of an attitude.

3. The Limit of the Pursuit of Peace

a. It is not peace at any cost.

b. James 3:17 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

c. Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men."

B. Pursue Holiness

1. The Definition of Holiness

a. Holiness is that attribute which is the very crown of all the culture of humanity.

b. It enters only where repentance opens the way and spiritual renewal puts the heart into wholesome relations with the Divine will.

c. "Holiness is not austerity or gloom; it is the offspring of conscious, present Peace."

d. Leviticus 11:45 "For I am the LORD that brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."

e. Vance Havner – A little girl said she liked Santa Claus better than Jesus because "you have to be good for Santa only at Christmas but for Jesus you have to be good all the time.” Much of the Christmas observance at church is not far removed from that attitude.

2. The Method of Pursuit of Holiness

a. Not by self-reformation or self improvement

1. Matthew 16:24-25 "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. [25] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

b. By keeping our spirit open to Divine impression and action

1. Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

2. Ephesians 3:17 "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,"

3. Ephesians 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,"

c. By Communion with Christ

1. John 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."

d. By conscious imitation of Christ

1. I Peter 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

e. By diligent use of the Word of God

1. Psalms 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

2. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

II. Four Results of Failure to do so

A. Danger of Profession without Possession

1. “Fail of the grace of God” = fall short of the grace of God

2. It is possible for a person to become religious, profess Christ, be baptized, join a church, and do good works but fail to grab hold of the grace of God that changes both heart and life.

3. Matthew 7:22-23 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

B. Danger of Becoming Bitter

1. Ephesians 4:31 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"

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