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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Strive for Holiness

We have not been redeemed in order to languish in sin.

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

  - 2 Corinthians 7.1

You must strive after holiness if you wish your soul to be as bright as the swan. No one else can do this for you.

  - Comghall, Rule (Irish, 8th century, from an earlier ms.)

Paul marks out the parameters of this "striving" after holiness. First, we must know the promises of God. In the context, the promise is that we will know God as Father and be adopted by Him as sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6.16-18). Nothing here about health and wealth, or even going to heaven when you die. Greater than all these "hopes" and "promises" is the promise of being able to know God, to participate in Him, to enter into His glory and be weighed down with joy in His presence.

If we don't value that promise, we're not likely to strive for holiness.

Second, we must not neglect the fear of God. Obviously, if you really know God, you fear Him. He is, after all, immense, all-powerful, and filled with hatred for sin. Which puts you and me in His cross hairs - but for His grace. Still, as a loving Father He will discipline us to turn us away from the path of sin, and it's not pleasant when He does (Heb. 12.3-11). We must fear the Lord well if we would love Him well.

Cleanse yourself from all impurity - this is where the striving takes place every day. Not only in our words and deeds, but in our thoughts, desires, and other affections. There must be nothing impure in us if we would become holy. So we must listen for the convicting work of the Spirit of God as He searches us, moment by moment, to expose and expunge whatever in us stands in the way of becoming holy (Ps. 139.23, 24; Jn. 16.8-11).

Then "bring" holiness to completion. Put on the new person in Christ Jesus (Eph. 4.17-24). Meditate in His Law and Word. Cry out for the filling of His Spirit. Grow in His grace. Take up His mandates and commission. Walk His paths. Speak and live His truth.

We will not bring holiness to completion in this life, but we must pursue it nonetheless. For we have not been redeemed in order to languish in sin, but to flourish in holiness. And that will only be the case as we engage this effort day by day. No one else can do it for us. We must bring holiness to completion, focusing on God's promise, fearing His presence, forsaking all impurity, and following Jesus in the path of righteousness.

This is the way of peace and joy, brethren.

T. M. Moore, Principal

Have you ordered your copies of If Men Will Pray? Paul holds out amazing promises and prospects, if only we can get men to come together for prayer. You could be the one to make that happen in your church. Order one copy to read this little book, and then order multiple copies for all the Christian men you know.

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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