1 Timothy 4:6-16
Our holiness is not something that will flourish on its own if we ignore it. Righteousness, our justified and reconciled state before God, is a guarantee of our salvation. It is our salvation. Nonetheless, our holiness must still be pursued on a daily basis. Do not mistake one for the other. Holiness will not lead to righteousness and righteousness does not impose on us some type of instant holiness or godliness so that we no longer have to resist temptation. While the righteousness of Jesus spurs us to pursue holiness, it will not make us immune to temptation or sin. Our salvation is what empowers us to obtain godliness, but Paul says we must devote ourselves to it’s pursuit like one training to win a fight. Our righteousness is a gift from God. Our holiness is a pursuit of discipline.
Training is never an easy task. It requires sacrifice, perseverance and discipline. We will not grow in godliness if we do not purposely and consistently train ourselves in the word of God. If our daily hope for peace, joy or self-worth is not centered on the person of Jesus through scripture and prayer, our striving and our toil is pointless. Our hope must be in Jesus alone. It is he that we must run to every day, every morning and every hour. Jesus alone has saved us from the wrath of God – the consequence of our sinfulness. Jesus alone will give us hope for today and the holiness we pursue.
It is in this hope in Jesus that we must continue to encourage those around us. This is a part of our pursuit of holiness – to encourage friends and family in their pursuit of holiness. It is only through daily discipline in reading the Bible and in prayer that we can be an example to those around us. If we are not continually ingesting the truth of God into our lives we will not be able to share it with those around us. Without a disciplined pursuit of God, our personal holiness will become an afterthought to our daily responsibilities. Without a disciplined pursuit of God, our testimony to others will be shelved for our earthly pursuits. This is our enemy’s greatest hope for believers: a life that does not pursue godliness or encourage it in those around them.
Lord, help us to destroy any idols in our lives that may prevent us from devoting ourselves to your word and to prayer. Help us to pursue holiness in our own lives today and to encourage others to do the same.