Growing in Holiness By R.C. Sproul


Overcoming the World

When our souls prize the glory of God, we have the motivation we need to press on toward the goal of living holy lives. Let’s consider what it means to translate your dreams of spiritual growth into concrete patterns of behavior that God has designed to promote your spiritual progress. 

What practical, specific steps must we take in order to grow spiritually? First, we must embrace the truth that without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). When we do that, we are freed and empowered to acknowledge that there is nothing more urgent, nothing more needful, and yet nothing more exciting than to embark on this pilgrimage of faith. Pray with confidence that the Spirit of truth will teach us what it means to imitate Christ.

Next, realize that when you became a Christian, you passed that inerasable line of demarcation from the kingdom of darkness to God’s kingdom of light. There is no magic formula to growth in the Christian faith, and your new birth was precisely that: a birth. We are called not to childishness but to maturity—to grow up into the fullness of Christ.

You are called to be nonconformists. In other words, in every culture Christian behavior is called to transcend the established patterns and customs of that particular society. We march to the beat of a different drummer. The calling of our lives is higher than that which is accepted in our society. As Paul wrote, it is “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

The idea of contending for truth has been one of the noblest virtues of all Christian history. Yet in this day, it is different. Therefore, I encourage you to think today about what worldly patterns entangle you. What do you do that might be pleasing to the culture in which you live but that you know is out of step with the law of God? Ask yourself, “How do I live in a pagan world? How do I sing the Lord’s song in a strange and foreign world?”

To sing the Lord’s song, you have to know the words. In short, you have to know what the Lord requires of you by meditating on His Word: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

In what ways do you feel like a nonconformist because of your commitment to Jesus?