Monday, March 11, 2013

The Who of Holiness

I recently read Kevin DeYoung's book The Hole in our Holiness. There were so many good points made in the book, but one sentence in particular stood out to me.

We must always remember that in seeking after holiness we are not so much seeking after a thing as we are seeking a person.”

Pursuing Christ

Holiness is a good thing, but it is not an end in itself.

Christ is the perfectly holy one and it is only in him that we can grow in holiness. In John 15:5 Jesus says,“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

If we seek to abide in Christ, we will become more like him in holiness. But the opposite is also true. If we seek holiness apart from Christ, we will grow in our self-righteousness. We will be less like Christ and more like a creature of our own making.

Deepening Communion

Before Clint and I were married, a friend advised him to make a PhD study of his wife. In other words, he should know me so well that he could write a research thesis on me. I have obviously reaped the benefits of this advice. There are immeasurable advantages to seeking to know and love your spouse for who they really are. Not the least of which is the ability (and the desire) to please your spouse.

In seeking to grow in holiness, a huge motivator for us should be wanting to please God because we love him. 

In order to grow in holiness we need to seek to know God better. Pursuing deeper fellowship with God does not make us more or less saved. Nor does it make us more or less loved by God. But it will deepen our love for him and increase our desire to please him.

Pursuing holiness is hard work. It is desirable and satisfying only because we are moving away from the sin that once held us captive and we are moving closer to the One that we love the most.

The Means

God has also given us means to know Him better such as reading the Scriptures, hearing preaching, prayer, and fellowship with believers. These means of grace are ordinary, but effective.

The Benefits

The benefits of growing in intimacy with our beautiful Saviour are immense. Not only does our relationship with Him increase in sweetness and meaning, but our desires also change to become more like Him. Sin begins to look meaningless and dissatisfying. And walking in a way that pleases God becomes more and more delightful.

A life of communion with Jesus Christ is a transformed life. He is the vine in which we flourish. So maybe in the pursuit of holiness the question is not so much what or how, but Who.

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