Three Reasons Why Believers are Prone to Pursue Godliness Through Self-righteous Strength

October 21, 2016

Good Afternoon Church,

I pray that your heart has been encouraged today as you contemplate the sacrificial love of God given through the Cross of Christ.[1]  It is undeniable that we live in uncertain times, but what a blessing it is to know that for the believer in Jesus Christ, God will never leave him nor forsake Him.[2] While followers of Christ can at times be fickle and unfaithful,[3] what security we find from knowing that Christ will always be faithful to His promises and His people,[4] including His promise to sanctify and glorify His children.[5] Therefore, we live this life totally resting in the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ,[6] and we do so with great confidence and conviction because the Bible declares that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus![7]

self righteous

As I sit here working on my lesson for the Holiness Conference, I am struck yet again how easily we fall into, and how prone we are to pursuing holiness through a legalistic lens. It is undeniable that we are commanded to pursue holiness,[8] but sadly we often do it from a self-righteous perspective. Here are three reasons why believers are prone to pursue godliness through self-righteous strength. First, because, by in large, we are plagued with an immature view of holiness that flows from an immature view of God,[9] which includes His greatness, goodness, graciousness, and His judgments.[10] Second, because we are inconsistent and undisciplined in our pursuit of God-given holiness.[11] Thus, we are naturally programmed to pursue the easy road, and the path of least resistance is often striving in personal strength! Yet, this is not the nature of true Christianity as it pursues holiness.[12] Thirdly, because we are plagued by a sinful propensity for self-righteousness since the fall, and it infects all that we do.[13] It will often manifest itself in our pursuit for personal praise and individual achievement, all while seeming to strive for holiness.[14]

That is why Christ is the only answer for both salvation and sanctification.[15] That is why He is all[16] and must be our all in our delightful and joyful pursuit of holiness.[17] I will be speaking a lot more about this tomorrow at the conference and hope to see you there. I also look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday as we celebrate all that we have seen and learned about the magnanimous Lordship of Jesus Christ in our study of Colossians. This will be a wonderful celebration together as we praise God for the blessing of His Son and the impact He has had, is having, and will have on our church and our lives as we submit to His Sovereign Lordship, both personally and corporately. I wonder is Christ really enough? I mean, is He enough for my physical needs as well as my spiritual needs? Do I have to add to all that He has done so that I can make it through this difficult world? These are a few of the questions that we will answer as we exalt the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ this Sunday.

For His Glory Alone,

Pastor Matt

[1] Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8

[2] Heb 13:5

[3] Mt 26:69-75

[4] 2 Tim 2:11-13

[5] Rom 8:28-29

[6] Col 2:6-7

[7] Rom 8:1

[8] Heb 12:14

[9] I Pet 1:15-16

[10] Gen 3:6-24; 4:1-16; Ex 19-20; 32:1-35; 34:5-9

[11] Phil 2:12-13

[12] Gal 2:20; Phil 3:12-14; Col 1:22; 28-29

[13] Gal 5:17; Rom 7:18

[14] 1 Tim 6:2-10

[15] 1 Cor 1:30-32

[16] Col 3:11

[17] Phil 3:12-14; 4:13

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