The Pursuit of Holiness
I just finished reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges for a Sunday School lesson and thought I'd share some of what it says:
Thomas Jefferson declared in the Declaration of Independence that one of the inherent and unalienable rights of man is “the pursuit of happiness.” For Christians, though, it’s the pursuit of holiness. In the Bible God states, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
When a farmer plows his field, sows the seed and fertilizes it, he knows that at the end whether he gets a good crop or not, is dependent on forces outside of his control. Rain, sun, animals, etc. For a successful harvest, he’s dependent on these things from God.
Yet he knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant and fertilize he can’t expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he’s in partnership with God and will only reap the benefits if he’s fulfilled his own responsibilities. It’s a joint venture. The farmer can not do what God must do and God will not do what the farmer should do!
The pursuit of holiness is also a joint venture with God. No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but he also won’t attain it without any effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness, but He’s given us the responsibility to do the walking.
Sometimes we don’t accept that. We pray for victory over sin when we should be acting in obedience.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Pursue peace and sanctification! Sanctification is the process of becoming holy and pursue suggests 2 thoughts: first that diligence and effort are required, and 2nd that it’s a life long task. We will never completely attain it in our life time. But it’s so important that the word holy in various forms occurs more than 600 times in the Bible. And the entire book of Leviticus is devoted to the subject.