I am in the middle of reading Jerry Bridges’ classic book, “The Pursuit of Holiness”, and was challenged in chapter 10 when he quotes Jay Adams and then expounds saying,
“the way to obtain godliness is through Christian discipline. But the concept of discipline is suspect in our society today. It appears counter to our emphasis on freedom in Christ and often smacks of legalism and harshness.”
In earlier chapters he already explains the truth of our position in Christ which makes us positionally holy, and the context in chapter 10 is the daily goal for believers to pursue holiness.
I agree that legalism is harsh and suppresses the biblical freedom we have in Christ, but Bridges’ point is true. Genuine godliness or holiness (passionately pursuing God and repenting of sin) is only accomplished through vigorous and consistent discipline.
As believers we can’t escape Paul’s admonition to Timothy to “train yourself for godliness”. (I Timothy 4:7 ). A consistent godly life is only possible as I discipline myself in every area.
I must stop blaming my circumstances, background, family, employer, parents or anything else. Yes, these things can be a hindrance but the only reason I am not living godly today is because I am choosing other things before God!
Pursuing godliness is not legalism … it is choosing to say no to whatever hinders your pursuit of God! And you never regret pursuing God!
Contributed by Darren Forehand