Whole-ness to Holiness


Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Without holiness NO ONE will see the Lord…  this is a frightening thought for a Christian.  If a true believer is truly in Christ they will desire to see Christ and obey Christ.

I want to see Christ.  I trust you want to see Christ.  And the pursuit of holiness in Christian life should never be a doubt.  The concept of antinomian living (without law) should never be a consideration.  After all, Paul wrote Romans 6.  He made it clear.

If a professing Christian pursues sinful desires and has no conviction there is a problem.

The question really becomes how does a Christian strive for and pursue holiness?   It can easily become imbalanced.  In an effort to swing the pendulum away from antinomianism guess where it ends up landing?

It becomes legalism.

It’s important to understand, as Sinclair Ferguson wrote in his book The Whole Christ, that antinomianism and legalism are not opposites but they are twins.  Neither position is right. Mankind has a natural proclivity to run toward either position and this is a grievous mistake.

Lawlessness might feel good for the one that says since I have grace I can do what I want and not worry about it, but the legalist feels accomplishment in his rule following.

If the goal is to stay as far away from the line as possible it ends up pushing you in the other direction.  Notice the speed limit sign.  The speed limit is 70.  But hello McFly, there is also a lower limit of 40.  If you stay as far away from the sin of breaking the law by going 71 that sends you toward 39 and you are still in sin.

Now what?  Do you reach a happy medium and drive 55?  Sammy Hagar couldn’t do it, why do you think you can?  Is that the right answer?  No, and a thousand times no…

The ditches on both sides are steep and difficult.  An antinomian life is no better than a legal life.  They are both slaveries.

Are you exhausted?  I am.  But there is great hope.

His name is Jesus.

He accomplished on the cross the legal demands of the law.  He crushed sin and death and He has given us sweet freedom in Him.  In fact, and this is a BIG deal.  He is the source of our holiness.  Will we strive, but not in your own efforts because you can’t, you won’t, and it will be defeating and debilitating.  It will crush your hope and destroy your spirit of joy.

If you lack joy and hope in the Christian life perhaps you are burdened with the thought of your own sin and your lack of ability to move forward in holiness.  If that is where you live, then stop trying to be holy, and approach the throne of grace, where Christ promises to be your great high priest.  He will intercede for you.  He will be your hope.

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.  1 Thessalonians 3:11-13





2 thoughts on “Whole-ness to Holiness

  1. I have really found that I draw closer to Christ, not in my so called successes, but in my failures. When I fall flat on my face in failure, then cry out to God for help, compassion and grace. That’s when I am closest to God. Not when I beat my chest and proudly proclaim that I, yes I resisted that temptation. When I am weak (in my own strength), then I am strong. The other way can be said as well. When I am strong (in my own strength), then I am weak.

    It’s more important that a Christian understands that he cannot do anything without God carrying him, let alone resist sin. Holiness? Without Christ? Nothing more than filthy rags. Bless you brother.

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