Kevin DeYoung has done us all a favor and written a great book on properly understanding the pursuit of holiness. There are many in our churches, and many nonbelievers who have this perception, that think the Christian life is all about trying to do the right things so God will accept you. Yet the Gospel makes clear, God has already accepted you in Christ, and it is out of this acceptance from which we seek to obey. This is the key to a gospel-compelled life of holiness. Yet sometimes we are tempted towards a laziness or passivity in our obedience. We are tempted to think that our personal holiness doesn’t matter that much since Christ has already finished the work necessary for our salvation. Kevin DeYoung clarifies this struggle and offers a compelling vision for our pursuit of personal holiness:
“You can’t make sense of the Bible without understanding that God is holy and that this holy God is intent on making a holy people to live with him forever in a holy heaven. The whole system of Israel’s worship revolves around holiness. That’s why you have holy people (the priests), with holy clothes, in a holy land (Canaan), at a holy place (tabernacle/ temple), using holy utensils and holy objects, celebrating holy days, living by a holy law, so that they might be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…
True spirituality means being transformed by the Spirit through communion with the Father and the Son. If you are interested in spirituality, your priority should be to grow in the holiness that comes from the Spirit. Righteousness is the goal of Christian discipleship. ‘In the Christian world today such a statement may sound radical,’ R. C. Sproul observes. ‘Many people have spoken to me about being ethical, moral, spiritual, or even pious. But nobody seems to want to talk about being righteous.’ To be saved by the Spirit’s converting grace, sealed by the Spirit’s absolute guarantee, and sanctified by the Spirit’s indwelling power—that’s what it means to be spiritual.”
It’s one I’d highly recommend if you want to be encouraged in your walk with Christ and your pursuit to be transformed into his likeness.