“How Do We Grow in Holiness?” October 7

 

How do people end up pulled down into so much darkness? How does a habitual liar become one? And by contrast how do we grow in holiness?How do people end up pulled down into so much darkness? How does a habitual liar become one or any other life dominating sin become a way of life? And by contrast how do we grow in holiness?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 65 & 66
Psalm 116.1-4
Proverbs 26.28
Philippians 2.1-30

 

How Do We Grow in Holiness?

 

Proverbs 26.28:

Walking in Sin or Growing in Holiness

 

“A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

Lies hurt people! But an outright lie is not the only way to “lie.”

When we deceive or when we twist the truth to suit our purposes, justify our behavior, make ourselves look good or to gain sympathy, it’s lying just as surely as if we make up a tale out of whole cloth.

An even bigger problem with lying is that, like all sin, it leads to more lying and more sin of every kind. Paul said that lawlessness leads to further lawlessness (Rom. 6.19).

Look at Proverbs 26.28 again “a lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it.” Lying is a form of hatred. 1 John 2.11 says:

“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Just as all sin leads us into darkness, that darkness affects our ability to think and reason and make clear decisions, “the darkness has blinded [our] eyes.”

Pre-marital and extra-marital sex, for example, often affects people’s ability to recognize a bad, even dangerous, relationship.

Drunkards and addicts are often blinded to their problems. Many will say, “I can quit any time I want,” while they destroy their careers, their families, and their reputations.

Angry people often feel completely justified in their anger and abuse. Everyone else is to blame.

And just as sin leads to more sin and blindness, when we turn to God and walk in obedience, it leads to growth in holiness. Romans 6.18-19:

18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Spiritual grown which is a growth in holiness, doesn’t just happen. We must choose to walk in obedience. When we are saved by faith in the gospel, God gives us new desires and we’re set free from the power of sin. But if we push those desires aside, we can become dull of hearing and our spiritual growth will be stunted. Hebrews 5 says:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Growth in holiness happens “by reason of use.” The more we choose to obey, the more like Christ we become. The more we choose to submit to God’s providential work in our lives without grumbling, complaining or responding sinfully, the more we grow in holiness.

You might also like: “Does Salvation + Time = Spiritual Maturity?”

 

How do people end up pulled down into so much darkness? How does a habitual liar become one? And by contrast how do we grow in holiness?


Today’s Other Readings:

 

Isaiah 65 & 66:

He Found Me!

 

Verse 1, “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ to a nation that was not called by My name.”

We often say, “I found God,” but the truth is, it’s always Him who “finds” us!  Continue reading