4 Reasons Why You Should Strive To Walk In Holiness
"The test by which all conduct must finally be judged is motive."
"As water cannot rise higher than its source, so the moral quality in an act can never be higher than the motive that inspires it." - both quotes from A.W. Tozer
Someone once said - "A concern for the glory of God is the ultimate motive for Christian living."
Archibald Alexander is quoted as saying - "Men are more accountable for their motives than for anything else; and primarily, morality consists in the motives, that is in the affections."
Jean Daille' said this about motive - "It is not enough that our actions be good and praiseworthy, if our intentions are not pure and upright. It is to profane the good to do it with a bad end in view."
And finally, John R.W. Stott said - "It is universally recognized that what we do matters less than why we do it."
What about these statements? Have you given much thought to the motive behind your actions?
Why do you do the things that you do?
What causes you to endeavor to live uprightly before God and men?
What impels or influences you to strive "to have always a conscience that is void of offence toward God, and toward men"(Acts 24:16)?
What is your basic incentive or drive for holiness in your walk with the Lord?
Is your main motivation self-related or God-related?
Do you do things to impress others or to please God?
Matthew Henry, the renowned Bible Commentator, once gave this worthy advice to all Christians - "We should not make ourselves, but Christ, the end of our living and actions: and it was one end of Christ's death to cure us of this self-love; and to excite us always to act under the commanding influence of His love. A Christian's life should be consecrated to Christ; and then do we live as we ought to live when we live to Christ, Who died for us."
Are you living to Christ today?
Are you striving to "promote His glory" and "advance His cause"?
Throughout the Bible, we see four basic motives to holiness in a believer's life.
Let's examine them and allow the Holy Spirit to show us if our main motivation in our Christian walk is God-related or self-related.
1. The Glory Of God
John 15:8 - "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples."
Philippians 1:11 - "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
Why should we strive to be holy? Because our Father receives much glory, in seeing His children "being fruitful in every good work"(Colossians 1:10). Due to our union with the Lord Jesus, the life of God emanates from our being unto others, producing other children "after His kind."
Our fruitfulness is displayed as we are faithful, zealous, humble, devoted, and doing much good - while using all of our talents, time, and strength so that His work abounds. And indeed it does - by the agency of the Holy Spirt, working through yielded vessels.
Our soul and life is filled and occupied with honesty, truth, kindness, meekness, and goodness - all "fruits of righteousness." The work of the Holy Spirit on our hearts becomes evident to all as our lives grow in love and overflow with wisdom, purity, and righteousness.
2. The Love Of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 - "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again."
The greatest, most impelling, and exciting motive behind the Apostle Paul's extraordinary zeal, passion, excessive labors, and self-denial in the work of the Lord was "the love of Christ" - the love which He demonstrated on the Cross for all of mankind.
Paul had a unique and phenomenal revelation of this Wondrous Love. It motivated him to "spend and be spent"(2 Corinthians 12:15) for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. He didn't live for himself - to gain wealth, obtain a reputation, or enjoy the pleasures of this life. To this Loving Redeemer Who "died for all," he consecrated his time and talents for His honor and praise.
What about you, O Christian? For this One Who "died for all" - including you - are you willing to consecrate yourself as Paul did? Through the "dying love" of the Savior, you have been brought from death unto life. To live unto yourself? To live for gain and reputation? Not at all!
To Him Who loved us - to such a degree - as to become our Gracious Substitute - dying in our place - we owe Him our lives without reservation. He is the "end of our living and actions."
3. The Mercies Of God
Romans 12:1 - "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Why should we -
...unreservedly devote ourselves to God?
...bring our lives as a free and voluntary "sacrifice" each day to the altar of the Lord?
...dedicate all of our living, vital energies - intellectual, moral, and physical powers - for His service?
The Apostle Paul gave the reason - God's Immeasurable Mercies - that were extended to us on Calvary's Cross when He offered His Son so that we could be freed from the penalty of sin - death.
Because of His Incomprehensible Mercies, it is only "reasonable" that we - without delay and personal claim - render Him His due by giving Him our lives as "property" to be used as He directs.
4. The End Of All Things
2 Peter 3:11 - "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."
God will soon destroy the world and judge the ungodly for their wicked deeds. Knowing this fact should motivate us to seek after another world - our eternal one - Heaven.
Rather than live to accumulate things on this earth, the Apostle Peter exhorted us to focus on "laying up treasures" of holiness and godliness for the life to come. He exhorted us to center our values, goals, and purposes around God - the Eternal One.
From these cited Scriptures, we see that Holiness consists of bearing "the fruits of righteousness," unreservedly surrendering our all-in-all to God, being a "living sacrifice" to be used as He directs, and living godly and separated from the corruptions of this world in preparation for the new heavens and the new earth.
Why should we strive to live this way?
So that God would be glorified - because we are indebted to Christ for His Incredible Love demonstrated for us all on Calvary's Cross - because He was compassionate toward us as sinners in raising us from death unto new life in Him - and lastly, to prepare to live forever with Him in a Holy Place called Heaven.
These should be our basic motives for holiness.