Why should we pursue holiness?
If Jesus is to be our example, and He is, we ought to pursue holiness for the Joy that is set before us just as He did. Many believers lose sight of this. We often pursue holiness out of duty. We can see obeying God’s Word as a big checklist our lives are governed by. God never intended holiness to be this. God calls us to be holy as He is holy to lead us to deep, satisfying joy. Jesus saw it this way. We should not pursue holiness in our lives out of duty, but rather delight. Our hearts should soar at the thought of bringing God glory and making Him look good. Our soul should swell with happiness at the thought of pleasing God with our lives!
How do we pursue holiness?
Put sin to death – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
Live a holy life – Just Do It!!!
• Holiness begins in our minds and works out in our actions.
• Right motivation – heart of faith.
• Right manner – according to the Word.
• Right end – to glorify God.
• Guard your eyes, ears and mouth.
TV, movies, books, magazines, music, conversations.
• Remove yourself from temptations.
• Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
• Overindulging, laziness, sexual immorality.
• Deny the cravings of the body.
We died to sin vs. Putting sin to death
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6) So you also must consider [or reckon] yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign. (Romans 6:11–12) This is imperative. Get about the business of killing sin, reckoning yourself to be dead to sin, and bringing yourself under the reign of Christ, not the reign of your mortal body. So, the indicative statement “you have died” (see also Romans 7:4) and the imperative statement “consider yourself dead and live in the power of it” (2 Corinthians 13:4)
Spirit whom He has given us
• We are responsible for the choices we make!
• We need to make conscious efforts to not sin.
• We actively participate in the process of sanctification.
Conviction of our sin
What is a conviction? “And when He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” The Spirit’s role is to bring conviction to people regarding their sin to bring them to faith in Jesus and faithful service to Him. (John 16:8) The standard for our convictions must be the word of God. Holiness raises the standard of personal purity as we honor the lordship of Christ. God’s character, Christ’s example, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance provide our understanding of personal holiness. It’s being set apart from the world in a way that distinctly reflects who God is and what He’s about.
Our Spiritual Workout
• Discipline begins with the Word. (2 Timothy 3:16)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
• Don’t just come to church to hear the Word.
• Don’t just read through your Bible.
• Study the Word in depth.
• Memorize verses, sections, chapters…
• Meditate on the Word day and night.
• “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Eph 6:18)
Make A Commitment To Not Sin
• Put the sin you are convicted of to death.
• This will not happen overnight!!!
• Humility, Humility, Humility!
– “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10)
• Be consistent – Don’t ever give up!
If we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body, is commitment. We must honestly face the question, “Am I willing to give up whatever the Holy Spirit convicts me of in order to live a life of holiness?”(Luke 14:13, Luke 9:23).
It is at this point of commitment that many of us fail. We prefer to “dally” with sin, play with it a little, without getting too deeply involved. However, we must recognize that we have developed habit patterns of sin. These habits must be broken, but they never will be until we make a basic commitment to a life of holiness without exceptions. The apostle John clearly stated what the goal of everyone Christian should be – not to sin (I John 2:1). If we examine our hearts, we may find out that our real aim is to not sin very much.
Can you imagine a soldier going into battle with the goal of not getting shot very much? Ridiculous, eh? His goal is not to get hit at all! If we have not made a commitment to holiness without exception, we are just like a soldier who is hoping not to get hit very much. We can be sure that we will be hit – by temptation – over and over again. There is no point in praying for “victory” over temptation if we are not willing to make a commitment to say no to it (Titus 2:11- 14). That is where personal discipline comes in.