Pursuing Holiness in 2020

Hebrews 12:14-17

“Because God’s new world is free from every stain or hint of sin, it’s hard to imagine how we could enjoy heaven without holiness. As J.C. Ryle reminds us, heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy God. The angels are holy creatures. The inhabitants are holy saints. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. And nothing unholy can enter into this heaven (Rev. 21:27; Heb. 12:14). Even if you could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly future? If ungodliness is your delight here on earth, what will please you in heaven, where all is clean and pure? You would not be happy there if you are not holy here. Or as Spurgeon put it, ‘Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise.'”— Kevin DeYoung

If we are God’s children, then we should live like God’s children.

I.  God’s children should pursue peace with one another.

“Imagine what it would be like to be part of a church in which every member thinks of himself or herself as one of God’s own ‘peace corps.’ Each member would face conflict by thinking and acting as a peacemaker. Each would work for a just and righteous peace rather than competing against one another to win a fight or to beat down the opposing party.—Alexander Strauch

II.  God’s children should strive for holiness.

“We must seek that practical holiness of life . . . which flows from a genuine dedication to his service and obedience to his will. Believers must reflect in their life together attitudes and behavior that are consistent with their new relationship with God in Christ.”—Peter O’Brien

“As John Murray states, ‘Nothing is more relevant to progressive sanctification than the reckoning of ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 6:11).’ Apart from our union with Christ, every effort to imitate Christ, no matter how noble and inspired at the outset, inevitably leads to legalism and spiritual defeat. But once you understand the doctrine of union with Christ, you see that God doesn’t ask us to attain to what we’re not. He only calls us to accomplish what already is. The pursuit of holiness is not a quixotic effort to do just what Jesus did. It’s the fight to live out the life that has already been made alive in Christ.”—Kevin DeYoung

III.  God’s children should look out for one another.

“It underscores the ultimate seriousness of Esau’s rash and thoughtless rejection of God’s gracious gifts. God let him bear the consequences of his action (he was rejected), just as he allowed the wilderness generation’s refusal to enter his rest in Canaan to stand, as a result of which they perished in the wilderness.”—Peter O’Brien