Reclaiming Holiness: Part 3

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People

Well we are at the end of our journey as we have been discussing maturity in Christ or holiness.  Last we looked at three areas that describe holiness and attempted to contrast it to legalism.  To recap we said that 1) holiness requires the right motivation, 2) holiness requires a whole person response, and 3) holiness requires faith more than feeling.  As I stated at the beginning of that post these are not exhaustive but do help move toward a better understanding holiness and its importance in the believers walk with Christ. 

As a final encouragement and way to provide some closure to this discussion I thought the apostle John could help us.  Listen to what this passage from John’s first letter says in 1 John 2:24-29 and 3:24.

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you.  But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he (Jesus) appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.  If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.  And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”

Notice how many times John uses the word abide(s) in this passage.  I highlighted eight times where he uses the term.  This is significant and I believe John is given us the key to living a holy life before God.  The word abide means: 1. To remain, continue, stay; 2. To have one’s abode, dwell, reside; 3. continue in a particular condition, attitude, or relationship.  The way to living a holy life according to John is to abide, remain, or stay close to God.  It seems simplistic but it is profound.  Abiding or making one’s dwelling in God allows us to live the holy life God requires.  We cannot be like Christ if we do not spend time with him.  This is not just relegated to prayer and reading the Scriptures, though these are essential ways in which we abide and should not be neglected.  But it includes incorporated God into every area and facet of one’s life and fighting to want to please God and obey in Word in all things, thought, word and deed. 

Again abiding is the answer.  It doesn’t make holiness easy but it does make it feasible and provides great motivation for our determination.  One of the things that John says which really excites and motivates me is in verses 28-29 that by abiding in God we can have confidence that we have lived a righteous life before him upon Jesus Christ’s return for his Church.  And that we can know for sure that if we practice righteousness we truly are in Christ.  We know that we cannot be perfect, but holiness is not perfection.  Rather it is consistency and perseverance.  John tells us that by abiding and living a righteous life we can have confidence when Jesus appears.  That we can see Jesus and have an assurance and security about the life we have lived before him without shame and guilt.  This is in no way implying we can save ourselves because that is a gift received by grace.  However, God in Christ has made it possible for us to have a humble confidence about our relationship with him that if we keep his commandments by believing in the Son of God and love one another and persist in this we can stand before Christ with a sense of stability and poise.  That everyone who practices righteousness is born of God.  This also is the good news of the gospel.

So I will send us off with this final word of encouragement from our other brother in the faith and apostle Peter who writes:

“Therefore, preparing your minds to for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ (1 Peter 1:13-16).”

To order a copy of your own of Paul Tripp’s book click on the link below.

535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles