The Christian pursuit of godliness

The Hole in Our Holiness

Kevin DeYoung talks with Justin Taylor about the Christian pursuit of godliness:

Quote: There is a lack of emphasis in the evangelical world… a lack of emphasis on sanctification, personal holiness, so I think of Hebrews 12:14 to ‘seek the holiness without which we will not see the Lord’. I don’t see that kind of urgency, I am speaking to my own heart, my own congregation and self .. that without holiness we will not see the Lord. Most people would say, „That’s absolutely right, but that’s the imputed righteousness of Christ, which we certainly believe in with all our hearts, but, that’s no way what Hebrews 12 is talking about, because the context is discipline, the verbs are active- to strive and to seek, and I just don’t hear us with that sense of urgency about holiness. There’s this category of people who will not see the Lord without holiness and I want to be in the category to ‘see the Lord’…

Justin Taylor’s final question: Somebody’s watching this. They believe they should be holy and they wanna be holy, they wanna pursue righteousness, they want to not be in bondage to sin. They love Jesus, they keep falling in the same pattern. What would you say about how to pursue holiness and how to pursue the Lord?

Kevin gives some quick bullet points (@end of video):

  • Understanding motivation and how the Bible motivates us and sometimes we can just truncate it to just 1 or 2- maybe it’s gratitude, maybe it’s just justification. But, really, there are dozens and dozens of ways in which the Bible motivates us. It motivates us because of the fear of God, because of our acceptance before God, because of Jesus’ example, because of the love of the brothers, because of our witness to the church, because it pleases God. I think we’ve really lost the sense that we can grieve the Spirit, even as believers, we can live in a way that displeases God and we’ve lost sight of the opposite, that when you seek God, when you seek holiness, when you are growing in practical righteousness God is pleased. God smiles upon that.
  • To more fully incorporate the doctrine of the union with Christ. And, thankfully, there’s a lot of good things written now about union with Christ. But, I think the central tenet about sanctification in the New Testament is to be who you are. Be who you are, in Christ, living out that new identity. So, I think there’s a lot of really important theology, and then flowing out into practical action from that doctrine.
  • Finally, I would say, very practically, that we look at what we call ‘the ordinary means of grace’. God does extraordinary things through that ordinary means.

There’s this relationship between abiding and obeying. They’re almost synonymous in the Gospels. If someone wants to obey, you abide. If someone wants to abide, you obey. So, sometimes you start living like it and the rest of the affections come behind you.

The Hole in Our Holiness from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

3 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. mtsweat
    aug. 22, 2012 @ 04:40:29

    Interesting stuff good friend. This really reminds me of Bonhoeffer’s „Discipleship” where he concludes that faith and obedience are synonymous. Remove obedience and there really is no faith. The imputed holiness we have only through Christ is to be worked out so that it is demonstrated in our everyday walk with Him. A Great read! Thanks and blessings.

    • rodi
      aug. 22, 2012 @ 10:10:26

      So true, we need to be exhorted to live out our faith that way. I really liked Kevin’s end point:
      There’s this relationship between abiding and obeying. They’re almost synonymous in the Gospels. If someone wants to obey, you abide. If someone wants to abide, you obey. So, sometimes you start living like it and the rest of the affections come behind you.”
      Thanks for your input!

  2. Trackback: When Should Christians Disobey « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
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