Today’s Scripture: Leviticus 20:7
“Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.”
Another reason that we do not experience more holiness in daily living is that we have misunderstood “living by faith” (Galatians 2:20) to mean no effort at holiness is required on our part. In fact, sometimes we’ve even suggested that any effort on our part is “of the flesh.”
The words of J. C. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool from 1880 to 1900, are instructive to us on this point: “Is it wise to proclaim in so bald, naked, and unqualified a way as many do, that the holiness of converted people is by faith only, and not at all by personal exertion? Is it according to the proportion of God’s Word? I doubt it. That faith in Christ is the root of all holiness . . . no well-instructed Christian will ever think of denying. But surely the Scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal exertion and work as well as faith.”
We must face the fact that we have a personal responsibility for our walk of holiness. One Sunday our pastor in his sermon said words to this effect: “you can put away that habit that has mastered you if you truly desire to do so.” Because he was referring to a particular habit which was no problem to me, I quickly agreed with him in my mind. But then the Holy Spirit said to me, “and you can put away the sinful habits that plague you if you will accept your personal responsibility for them.” Acknowledging that I did have this responsibility turned out to be a milestone for me in my own pursuit of holiness.
Will you begin to take personal responsibility for your sin, realizing that as you do, you must depend on the grace of God? (Excerpt taken from The Pursuit of Holiness)