Resting in God's Grace While Pursuing Holiness - How?


(SeanO) #1

@Dave_Kenny offered this summary in response to @angelina_Edmonston of sanctification - becoming more like God as a believer.

“So… the phenomenon of believers continuing to sin even after they have declared their allegiance to the Kingdom of God points to the process of transformation that the NT writers expect us all to go through.”

I think a useful discussion to have is - how can we rest in God’s grace while at the same time not becoming complacent?

How can we rest in the fact that God loves us and has forgiven us while still putting to death the sin that remains in our lives?

We see people who don’t take sin seriously and we know that is not right. But then we see other people who are constantly worried that they have fallen away from God - Jesus said we can find rest in Him - right?

How do we rest in God’s grace while pursuing holiness? And how can we pursue holiness without judging others who may be at a different place in their walk with Christ or struggling with a different sin?

If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to put them down. I think it is very helpful to hear how different people approach this issue.

(SeanO) #2

I’m going to throw some thoughts out there:

If we love God because He first loved us (Grace - I John 4:19), we will obey Him out of love because to love God is to obey Him (Holiness - I John 5:3).

A person living in God’s grace will thirst for God’s holiness.

We see this in King David’s life in Psalms 42:1-2:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

The desire for holiness does not stem from self-righteousness or a desire to appear holy to others, but it stems out of gratitude for God’s amazing grace.

Another example is the woman in Simon’s house:

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

Her obedience (devotion to Jesus) was an act of love for the grace Christ had poured out into her heart.

(Melvin Greene) #3

That is so true, @Sean_Oesch. When I came to the realization that Christ Jesus died a horrible death on a Roman cross because He took the penalty that should have been mine, I can’t help but love Him and there by want to honor Him by trying to be like Him. That’s what nonbelievers don’t understand. Jesus is not some abstract concept, and he is not some shadowy historic figure who lived and died some two thousand years ago. He IS my Lord and my Savior. When I sin against Him, I immediately feel regret and shame. It would be like betraying my wife of 27 years. The thought of hurting her just sickens me. The story of Mary and the alabaster jar always stirs my emotions. What a great example of what we all should be like.

(SeanO) #4

@Melvin_Greene Amen!