Holiness is a team game

Currently reading a chapter called ‘Dependent Discipline’ in Jerry Bridges’ Discipline of Grace and it has struck me that pursuing holiness is not something we can do on our own, neither is it something passive which God can do without our own discipline and effort;

Two extracts from the book that are particularly striking to me;

‘there is not a single instance in New Testament teaching on holiness where we are taught to depend on the Holy Spirit without a corresponding exercise of discipline on our part.’

‘The truth is, we must plant and we must water if we are to make progress in holiness, but only the Holy Spirit can change us more and more into the likeness of Jesus. Our problem is that we tend to depend upon our planting and our watering rather than on the Lord.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7)


3 responses to this post.

  1. I wonder if we are to exercise holiness as a community of believers (to ‘plant’ and ‘water’ one another)? The Bible encourages community life, is this how we continue in holiness?

    Also, what is holiness today?


  2. Thanks for your comment Ben,

    To be holy literally means to be set apart by God. Ultimately if we are Christians we are already holy, we’ve been set apart by God through the blood of Jesus, but the Bible also talks about being made holy, and becoming more like Christ through the Spirit’s work of sanctification until we see Him on the last day.

    Holiness is an attribute of God, and therefore Jesus. So I would say holiness is being like Jesus. As I say it is the Spirit’s work that enables us to change to become more holy, but we will never attain complete holiness until heaven.

    I definitely think that the church, as a community of believers are involved in holiness as a corporate body and individually. We’re to encourage each other in the way we live. Hebrews 10:24-25 sums this up well ‘let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.’ And when sin is strife within the church, we’re to call the sinner to account through church discipline (1 Cor 5 for example).


  3. spot on mate. good call!


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