Humbly repenting of sin and believing on Christ is a hard thing to do. Not because we have to do anything, but simple for that reason – we can’t do anything – we just trust Christ.
After this difficult struggle of total faith in Christ alone for salvation, the struggle for holiness is probably the next hardest thing we do.
Faith in Christ and the new birth does not end our struggle with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. It actually heightens the struggle because now we have a real target on our back. Now we are trying to go against the grain.
Thankfully, God does not leave us without help. He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us and strengthen us. He gives us truth that transforms. He gives us the church to encourage us.
This struggle and the powerful truths of God’s Word about holiness and how to pursuit are dealt with in Jerry Bridge’s book “The Pursuit of Holiness.”
I just finished reading the book a few weeks ago, and I must say it was very helpful. We are currently studying through the book and some of the truths it brings out in our small group Bible study.
Here are a few quotes that shows some of the helpful material in the book:
The word pursue suggests two thoughts: first, that diligence and effort are required; and second, that it is a lifelong task (page 9).
God wants us to walk in obedience—not victory. Obedience is oriented toward God; victory is oriented toward self (page 17).
…victory is a byproduct of obedience. As we concentrate on living an obedient, holy life, we will certainly experience the joy of victory over sin (page 17).
If we are to win this battle for holiness, we must recognize that the basic problem lies within us. It is our own evil desires that lead us into temptation (page 63).
It is possible, though, to be consistent in our intake of the Word of God without an attitude of dependence on the Holy Spirit (page 75).
The place to start controlling the cravings of our physical appetites is to reduce our exposure to temptation. Our sinful cravings are strengthened by temptation (page 111).
I’d encourage every Christian to pick up a copy and read it. More importantly study the passages of Scripture to which it directs you.
God has a plan for your life. He makes you positionally holy in Christ. He wants you practically to experience holiness each day. And one day He will present us spotless and without blame before the Father in love.