“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.” – Hebrews 12:12-17
It is so easy to focus on the wrong thing. The Christian life is so much bigger than just our heavenly gain. Today, in the here and now, we have a responsibility as believers. The writer of Hebrews has been laying the foundation of the argument, using the imagery of the race we are running, and the discipline we endure, for the sake of our growth and maturity towards holiness. Holiness, while yes it is the working of the Holy Spirit in us and through us, we have the opportunity and responsibility to aid in the effort. The writer of Hebrews calls us to pursue peace and holiness. Two characteristics of the Father himself, that are so intertwined, they cannot be separated. Above all else, the aim of the Christian life is this very pursuit of holiness. In order to do so, we must be Christians who are obedient to the promises and truths of God, and obedient in our rejection of our sinful flesh.
Questions for Study and Discussion
What do the following verses teach about holy living? (Ephesians 4:1, 30; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Titus 2:11-12)
Look up these verses. From each one write a brief statement on why holiness is not optional for a Christian.
2 Timothy 2:21
1 John 1:6
Consider Hebrews 12:14. What further efforts do you need to make toward holiness in your life?
What other applications from this weeks sermon do you take away?
Pursuit of Holiness – Jerry Bridges
The Hole in Our Holiness – Kevin DeYoung
Appetites – Andy Stanley – Sermon from Passion 2011 on Jacob and Esau