I found several interesting quotes on the topic of holiness and striving to be a “better” person. What is holiness? Good question that has a lot of answers, it’ll be interesting to hear what the guys have to say this morning.
â€œOne day as I was reading the second chapter of I John, I realized that my personal lifeâ€™s objective regarding holiness was less than that of Johnâ€™s. He was saying, in effect, â€˜Make it your aim not to sin.â€™ As I thought about this, I realized that deep within my heart my real aim was not to sin â€˜very muchâ€™â€”Can you imagine a soldier going into battle with the aim of â€˜not getting hit very much?â€™
That quote is by Jerry Bridges in his book the Pursuit of Holiness. I think he makes a pretty good point.
If you hired a gardener to take care of your lawn and then went past his house and saw that his own yard was sloppy and unkempt, would you trust him with the care of your lawn? Or, if you went to the dentist to get your teeth checked and sat down in the chair only to look up to see that the dentist had a mouthful of rotten teeth, would you trust him to work on your teeth?
How can a Christian expect any positive response to his ministry if his life is not holy?
I couldn’t find the author for that one but it too hits home. But least anyone think I’ve gone off the deep end and have become a subscriber to the “perfectionist” theory, I like this one too:
Nobodyâ€™s perfect. That truth, which ought to make us tremble before a God who is holy, holy, holy, is usually invoked instead to excuse sinful behavior, to make us feel better. How often do we hear people brush aside their own wrongdoing with the casual words, â€œWell, after all, nobodyâ€™s perfectâ€? People claim theyâ€™re not perfect to boost their self-esteem, but it is another evidence of a vanishing conscience. There is accuracy in the claim, but it should be a timid confession, not a flippant means of justifying sin.
Scripture recognizes that we are not perfect. Even the apostle Paul wrote, â€œNot that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesusâ€ (Phil. 3:12â€“14, emphasis added).
That one is from an awesome book by John MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience. So, while no one can be perfect and only God is Holy, we are directed to strive to become more like God, more like Christ. Like I said, it should be interesting listening to the guys this morning.