Monday, November 29, 2010

Kevin DeYoung: Why We Must Pursue Holiness

Hello all!

It's great to be back to blogging after a very blessed break for Thanksgiving. As fate and the usual hustle and bustle of a major holiday would have it, we weren't able to do much advance preparation for Rebelutionary Musings; so you must forgive us if we are a tad slow getting back into the full swing of things. :-)

As I contemplated the things for which I am grateful over Thanksgiving Week, pretty much all the usual things came to mind, but this year more than ever The Gospel was at the forefront of my mind. Two particular elements of The Gospel and the character of God were in the forefront of my mind: Power and Holiness. Specifically, the power and holiness of the Lamb that was slain to save me from my sin (definitely a chart topping thing I am grateful for). I was deeply struck by the realization that the power of the Lamb to overcome death and sin was a result of its holiness. Christ was the spotless lamb - without blemish - the sacrifice necessary to reconcile us to God "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Clearly, because we were conceived in sin we have no power of our own to overcome our sin or to renew our minds according to the holiness of our Lord, but the power to do so is available through Christ. That available power combined with the clear command to pursue holiness doesn't leave us with a whole lot of excuse not to.

However, if those two reasons to pursue holiness are insufficient motivation for us, Kevin DeYoung has written an excellent and challenging blog post titled "Why We Must Pursue Holiness" based primarily on II Peter. I definitely recommend you read it in its entirety.

For this post, I would just like to share his list of reasons absent his additional commentary.

I see in 2 Peter alone twenty motivations for holiness.

1. We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (1:4).
2. We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (1:4).
3. We grow in grace so we will not be ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:8).
4. We pursue Christlike character so we will not be blind, having forgotten that we were cleansed from our former sins (1:9).
5. We work hard at holiness in order to make our calling and election sure, so that we will not fall (1:10).
6. We practice these godly qualities so there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom (1:11).
7. We pursue godliness because Jesus is coming back again in great power, and we know this to be true because of the glory revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration and because of the prophecy of Scripture (1:16-21).
8. We walk in obedience to Christ because those who wander into sensuality are condemned and will be destroyed (2:3).
9. We are serious about holiness because we believe God knows how to judge the wicked and save the righteous (2:4-10).
10. We turn from ungodliness because those who revel in sin are ugly blots and blemishes, irrational animals, unsteady souls, and accursed children (2:10-16).
11. We pursue holiness because sin never delivers on its promises (2:17).
12. We pursue holiness because those who live in their sin again are like those returning to slavery, returning to the mire, and returning to vomit (2:19-21).
13. We must remember to be holy so we will not be drawn away by those scoffers who will come in the last days following their own sinful desires (3:3).
14. We make every effort to be godly because the world will not always continue as it does now; the heavens and the earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (3:4-7).
15. We must take Christlikeness seriously right now because we do not know when the Lord will return (3:10).
16. We pursue holiness because all our works will be exposed on the last day (3:10).
17. We pursue holiness because whatever we live for in this life will be burned up and dissolved (3:11).
18. We strive to walk in obedience and repentance because in so doing we may hasten the coming of the day of God (3:12).
19. We live in righteousness now because we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness will dwell forever (3:13).
20. We pursue godliness so that Christ might be glorified both now and to the day of eternity (3:20).

I hope this list and post was of some value to you.

God bless!

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