Motivations to Holiness

“What is our motivation in pursuing holiness? Perhaps, to be more accurate, we should ask: what are our motivations (plural) in pursuing holiness? There is more than one motivation for holiness in the New Testament. In Romans 8, for example, the following two motivations are readily discernible: I want to live and not die. “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). The principle here is, “We reap what we sow.” If we yield to sinful desires, we will reap death. Too often, we fail to see the long-term consequences sequences of our actions. We live for “now” without sufficient attention to the ultimate consequences of what we do. Sometimes all we can see is the fleeting enjoyment of the present; we hide from ourselves the truth that sin’s payback (“wages,” Rom. 6:23) is death. My sin affects others in the church. Several considerations underline this point: “brothers” (v. 12); the plural “you” (v. 13), showing that we belong to the family of God; and the affirmation that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (v. 14). Sinclair Ferguson writes, “Our fellowship with other Christians is one of the chief instruments God has given us to overcome sin.”” -Derek Thomas

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