Pursuing Holiness

"Pursue...holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." (Heb. 12:14). These are sobering words for even the most committed followers of Christ, how much more for those of us who struggle and limp our way through this life? Holiness, also called sanctification, refers to the developing purity and growth in grace that characterizes all who believe. Every believer will grow in holiness because every believer is in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Holiness is, however, a synergistic work. It cannot be pursued or attained apart from the enabling grace of the Holy Spirit. Holiness likewise must be labored after by the believer. On the Spirit's part, holiness is the outgrowth of the fruits of the Spirit. On the believer's part, the work of becoming holy is made up of a combination of spiritual disciplines and other activities that together move the believer in a direction of more and more likeness to Christ. These activities performed by the Christian, are themselves only possible because of the enabling grace of the Spirit of Christ and yet they are actions requiring the sweat and exertion of believers. This means that the Christian may not wait around for the Spirit to make him or her holy. It also means that holiness cannot be achieved by one's own works alone.

The Christian must chase after sanctification by being regularly in the presence of Christ. Where is Christ found? He is found where He has promised to be found, in and among his gathered people, the church and in private disciplines like prayer and Bible study. Regular attendance at the public reading and preaching of the Word and to the sacrament of Holy Communion is likewise indispensable.

Holiness therefore is a goal to be striven after. That goal will be attained through regular, disciplined actions and daily choices. The resources offered below are presented to stimulate and encourage all believers in the pursuit of holiness.

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CrossTalk
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by Jerry Bridges
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by Gary L Thomas
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by Ann Voskamp
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