Archive for October 1st, 2006

Excerpt from The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

The Practice of GodlinessOn Wednesday evenings I am privileged to participate in a ladies’ Bible study at the Lynden United Reformed Church. Our studies are based on lessons presented by author Jerry Bridges in his book, The Practice of Godliness. Currently, the aspect of godliness which we are studying is holiness. Here is an excerpt from the chapter on holiness that I found especially succinct and edifying:

Even for the most godly Christian, there will be failure in the pursuit of holiness. The apostle John says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). We still have a sinful nature within us, and we still live in a wicked world ruled by a wicked devil. Temptation is on every hand, and our old nature responds to it.

  • >>But what is the desire of our hearts?
  • >>What is the object of our most earnest prayers?
  • >>What is the major bent of our lives? If we want to train ourselves to be godly, it must be holiness in every area of our lives.

But let’s get specific. When Paul exhorted the Ephesian Christians to a life of holiness, to stop living as the Gentiles did, he dealt with three general areas of morality:

  • >>Honesty (a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way);
  • >>Peaceableness (freedom from bitterness, anger, or strife of any kind); and
  • >>Purity (not even a hint of sexual immorality in word, look, thought, or act).

The message I get from the above passage is, “Holiness is not optional; it’s mandatory.” The Bible confirms this truth in such verses as 1Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” As Christians, our desire is to become more and more like our God. We want to become more godly, more holy, more conformed to His image.

Those who profess to be Christians while simultaneously arguing with God’s standards of right and wrong should wonder who they really love. Do they love the holy God of the Bible or a *god* of their own imaginations who doesn’t mind if they live an ungodly life, as long as they give lip-service to Christianity?