Summary: Tomorrow is the 4th of July; the day we celebrate our nation’s freedom. The Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pusuit of happiness. But what about the pursuit of holiness?
THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS
INTRODUCTION: Tomorrow is the 4th of July; the day we celebrate our nation’s freedom. In the Declaration of Independence we find the famous words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Well, these may be our inalienable rights but there’s something else our Creator wants us to pursue and that’s holiness. As Christians, we now have the freedom to pursue and attain holiness. God told his people to be holy because he is holy. But how do we accomplish that? Let’s see what we can find out regarding the pursuit of holiness.
1) Holiness is God’s purpose for us.
Jerry Bridges in his book “The pursuit of Holiness” says “to be holy is to be morally blameless.” Different biblical people were described as being blameless. Noah was described this way as was Job. In fact, this is God’s will for all who are his followers.
Eph. 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
This is God’s purpose for us as Christians. It makes sense since Rom. 8:29 says his purpose for us is to be like Christ. And, since we know Jesus is holy, I guess that means our goal in life is to be holy. When we come to Christ we begin the process of sanctification-the process of becoming holy. To sanctify means to make holy, to consecrate, to purify. We are set apart for the purpose of patterning our lives after God.
1st Pet. 1:13-16, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
I need to commit myself to God-body, mind and soul. The first two verses of Romans 12 urges us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God and to not be conformed any longer to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is the commitment we need to make if we are going to be successful in our pursuit of holiness.
“Prepare your minds for action”. Before we can be holy in all we do we need to be holy in all we think. It starts in the heart and mind and is then transferred into our actions.
“Be holy because I am holy”. Our goal; our focal point is God. He is who we are to emulate; he is who we are to follow. Here we see the reason we should strive for holiness-because God is holy. If God is the top priority in our lives; if God is the one we’ve decided to worship and esteem then it be only natural for us to do what pleases him and also to try to emulate him. If anyone claims to be a big fan of a music or movie star or athlete they no doubt do things to imitate them; whether it’s wear the same clothes, like the same things, behave the same way, etc. It rings true with Christ. We set out to be just like him because of how much we love and adore him.
Why should I pursue holiness? Why should I have this as my goal above all others? Because God has called me to it.
2) God is the basis for it.
We need to understand that there is no holiness apart from God, for God is the only one who is holy. Rev. 15:4 says, ‘for you alone are holy’. Any holiness we have comes from God. We can’t take the credit.
1st Cor. 1:26-31, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”