For those of you who read my blog regularly, I have been writing this week (Monday and Tuesday) about holiness as discovered in 1 Peter 1. Maybe this call to holiness causes you to be overwhelmed. Peter also gave some practical guidance as to how to win the battle for holiness.
- Keep Preaching the Gospel to Yourself.
In verses 18-21, Peter returned to the essence of the Gospel. We must keep holding up the Gospel. We preach the Gospel to others, but we must preach the Gospel to ourselves. We must preach the Gospel, sing the Gospel, and pray the Gospel. We must saturate ourselves daily with the Gospel. We must constantly be reminded that we are sinners in need of God’s grace.
- Keep Feasting on God’s Word.
The word will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from the Word. Beyond God’s grace, the greatest practical tool that we have to wage war against sin is the Word of God.
John Owen, a Puritan preacher of the 1600s, wrote a book, Mortification of Sin in Believers. In that book Owen said, “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.”
- Keep Tasting the Goodness of God.
Look at 2:3 now. “If you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Christ is better than sin. In Christ, we are not sacrificing pleasure, we are gaining pleasure. We are finding our satisfaction in Jesus.
Recorded in the Psalms is the voice of God, “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10) Earlier the Psalmist said, “Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else.” (Psalm 84:10) And Jesus said, “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)
Do we believe that?
- Keep Growing with the People of God.
We are becoming a spiritual house, a holy priesthood! Being connected to the church is a strategy for winning the war with sin. I know many people who have attempted to live holy lives outside the context of a local church, but I know none who have been successful.
whelmed? Don’t be. Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a book on holiness by Jerry Bridges. “Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” (Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness)