Holiness for God and People

From Paul Tripp Ministries

It is essential to understand that we have been saved not just for heaven but also for holiness.

“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).

In our pleasure-obsessed, self-centered world, where comfort is king and temporary personal happiness is the definition of the good life, this quest of quests—holiness—gets lost in the endless din of our cravings for the next delight.

The highest human joys are found when we take seriously God’s call to a life committed to holiness and when the commitment is applied to the situations and relationships of our daily lives.

The best biblical definition of a good marriage is when a husband and a wife are committed to responding to one another, in words and actions, in a way that is holy in the sight of God.

Good grades, athletic skills, and acceptance into a prestigious university are not high enough goals for your parenting (nor is raising mannerly children who don’t embarrass you in public!) Instead, your goal must be that you would be a tool in God’s hands in producing children who surrender their lives to the Holy One and live according to The Holy Bible.

Your sexual life, finances, career, and hobbies—or anything that gives you pleasure and shapes your daily life—must all be directed by one thing: that our holy God would be pleased.

People hurt people
reject people
fight with people
give up on people
are jealous of people
all the time.
People fail to help people
when they could and should.
People disappoint people
abandoning their promises.
People plot against people
failing to love.
People turn their backs on people
when faithfulness is required.
People use people
for their own selfish purpose.
People treat people
as objects for their own pleasure.

It is the sad
of fallen humanity.
It began in that dark moment
in the Garden,
when people first worshipped
the idol of idols:
the idol of self.
Sadly, human worship
turned in on itself.
It continues today.

O Lord
The Holy One
are not like us.
You are committed to the
glorious glory of
your glory
but you do not use people
and throw them away.
You do not look down on
our many imperfections
with disgust
but with redeeming love.
When you discipline us
it is not a fit of anger
but an agenda of rescue
meant to produce in us
a harvest of good fruit.
When your hand is heavy on us
it is not to harm us
but to craft in us the
beauty of holiness
that only your hands could create.
You do not plot against us.
Your sovereign plans are
for us
for our eternal redemptive good.
You do not fight with us
you fight for us
even in those many moments
when we don’t have the sense within
to fight for ourselves.
You never give up on us
your mercies are new every morning
your long-suffering care
has no point of exhaustion
no expiration date.
You never turn your back on
your great and precious promises.
You never fail to do all that you have
said you would do.
Your words are steel
You never fail to help
your needy children.
You welcome us to come
with our cares to you.
You never ask us to bear our burdens alone.
You are tender
In my darkest
most sinful moment
you will not reject me.
I am eternally connected to you
not because of the extent
of my righteousness
but because of the
incalculable power of your
redeeming grace.

So, today again
I will give myself to
celebrate that you are not like us.
You are infinitely different than us.
Yet, you come to us
with power that is beyond
our ability to understand
and you do this amazing thing:
with the hands of an artist
working with unformed clay
you work tirelessly
with divine skill
to mold us into
your holy image.
In your hands we become
vessels of honor
patiently formed to reflect your
and holiness.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

Read 1 Peter 1:13-25, “Called to Be Holy,” and use this passage to prompt discussion, reflection, and application.

1. Why is it so important to be prepared and sober-minded? How has sin and temptation distracted you, taken you hostage, or even enslaved you in the past? What can you do to guard yourself with holiness to prevent this from happening again?

2. What were some of your passions of your former ignorance? How has the Lord freed you from some of them? Celebrate this rescue! How do you still struggle with them in different ways today?

3. If your hope is not fully set on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, where might you be tempted to look for hope today? What are some futile ways or perishable things that could distract you?

4. How can you take steps to purify your soul through obedience? Be specific.

5. How will pursuing holiness produce a sincere love for those in your life? First, consider how a pure heart might radically impact your closest relationships, such as your spouse or children. Then, expand that application beyond to your neighbors, coworkers, or the larger family of God. How can you implement this holiness in your relationships today?

Holiness for God and People

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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