Holiness, Godliness, Usefulness
08/10/2013, by John Kincaid
Lesson 1: Putting Off the Old Self
“put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires” Eph.4:22
A farmer prepares and plant his fields. He has no control over the rain or sunshine. He depends on God to make the harvest possible. But he knows that there will be no harvest unless he works the field. God does not plow or spread fertilizer; that’s the farmer’s job.
“The pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian.” (Jerry Bridges) God made it possible for believers to walk in holiness, but He gave us the responsibility to walk.
We like to talk about Christ paying for our sin. We hesitate to face our duty to walk in holiness. God will not walk our life for us. We pray when we should obey; we talk when we should walk.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Heb.12:14
The verb strive that begins Heb.12:14 means to pursue, chase after, follow, press on quickly toward a goal, to seek eagerly, to work earnestly to gain something. This pursuit requires lifelong diligence and effort; we never reach perfect holiness in this life. When we conform to God’s will in one aspect of holiness, God exposes another area of need.
What is the distinction between God’s provision and our duty regarding holiness? Which part should I do? Which part should I wait for God to do? We need to know. The Bible has the answers.
About This Series
The goal of this series is to become more useful in serving the Lord Jesus Christ, as an instrument in the Redeemer's hand. The theme verses for the series are Ephesians 4:22-24, Philemon 11, 2 Timothy 2:21
- to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
- and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
- Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.
- Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.