“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
This is a command from God. His children ought to be Holy because we ought to reflect who He is. In our fast-paced world, we may be tempted to think that this holiness must be instantaneous. In a sense, we are holy (justified), but in another sense, we’re growing in holiness (being sanctified). The Christian life is a process of growing in holiness.
In the book Growing in Holiness, R.C. Sproul beautifully expounds on the doctrine of sanctification. He gives great insight into the barriers we face in pursuing holiness, the confidence we can have in pursuing holiness, and how we can demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit.This book was extremely encouraging to me. I have read many books on sanctification and some of them have been extremely dense. Growing in Holiness, however, is simple. It’s simple, yet profound. It’s accessible, but convicting. It’s challenging, yet encouraging.
The entire book was great to read, but the most encouraging chapter was on “The priority of love.” This chapter was the most encouraging, but it was also the most convicting and challenging. R.C. Sproul asked basic questions and pointed out simple truths, yet the Spirit used this chapter to grow me in my love for the Lord and for others.
He begins the chapter by asking the question, “Have you ever had somebody say something unkind to you, or had somebody say something untrue about you publicly?” He goes on to ask, “How do we respond when we are treated that way?” I don’t know about you, but too often I don’t respond the way I should. Sproul makes the claim that Jesus prayed for those that were attacking Him. He was innocent, and was falsely accused. He transitions quickly to remind us that “Not every charge leveled against us is a false one (117).” That hurts. If we’re not careful, we can quickly believe that we are always above reproach. That’s not the case. We’re not Jesus. We’re not perfect. We’re sinners. Sometimes accusations leveled against us are, wait for it, true. Yet, sometimes we are attacked falsely. How should we respond in those moments? This particular chapter was extremely helpful for me in this area.
R.C. Sproul used the example of Christ to encourage me how to love like Christ. He reminded me that everyone is a sinner. No one is excluded from that reality. We all have sinned, and we all continue to sin. Yet, Christ is patient with us. In return, we must be patient with others. I think that’s what I loved most about this book. R.C. Sproul didn’t simply give a list of commands to be followed, adding more burden upon my shoulders. He did point out the biblical commands to be obeyed, but he did so by linking them to the person and work of Christ. Because of whom Christ is and what He has done for me, I can be encouraged to pursue holiness. In fact, this book increased my delight in obedience.
If you’re wanting to grow in your Christian life, I would encourage you to buy this book. Are you struggling with overcoming your flesh? Assurance of salvation? Exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit? Are you feeling burdened to walk in holiness and don’t know where to turn? If so, this book is for you. It’s easy to read, yet extremely profound. If you’re a pastor, I would encourage you to buy multiple copies to distribute to your people. They will be blessed by this work.
You can buy a copy of this book by clicking here.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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