There are only two directions believers can go: Toward or away from spiritual maturity. There are no “stagnant” or stationary believers. God not only declares all Christians righteous (Rom 5:1), but determines to make them so (Philip 1:6). And his modus operandi for accomplishing this includes habits of holiness.
A maturing believer will increasingly look up toward Christ and lean forward toward righteousness to find God’s power gradually yet certainly transforming her earthly life. This is the process called sanctification. So, exactly what does sanctification look like?
Habits for holiness include…
- Maintaining a biblical attitude toward the presence of sin in your life by recognizing that moral failure can be a sign of new life in Christ.
- Learning about and exercising the spiritual disciplines (see “The Spiritual Disciplines“).
Recognize that whereas Spirit-enabled fruit pertains to character (Gal 5:22-23), Spirit-enabled gifts pertain to service (Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:8-11; Eph 4:11; 1 Pt 4:11). Set up accountability mechanisms to ensure a measure of progress in both.
- Taking seriously the purpose of communion (1 Cor 11:28-32).
- Yielding to the clear teaching of God’s Word (1 Pt 2:2-3). Don’t rationalize or theorize about sin. Obey God because it’s good for you and listen to your spiritual leaders and imitate their faith (Heb 13:17).
- Allowing for God’s discipline to shape your character (Heb 12:5-13).
- Enduring hardships as part of God’s means to make you like Christ (Rom 8:18; Jm 1:2-4).
- Because righteous living cannot occur in a vacuum, nurture holy living in Christian community by discovering and deploying your spiritual gift(s), which necessarily include others (see, 1 Cor 12:8-28; Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:11; 1 Pt 4:11).
- Pursue contentment in relationships, possessions, and circumstances (1 Tim 6:6).
Can you think of other habits that lead to holiness? What habits listed above have you practiced and found rewarding?
[Note: The above is taken from my essay Our Strength, His Power: Who We Are and Why It Matters].