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Joy of Holiness

Men’s Small Group // May 9, 2022

This is a lesson I prepared for a men’s small group and is based on the book “Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges (Chapter 17)

Bridges – “God intends the Christian life to be a life of joy – not drudgery. The idea that holiness is associated with a dour disposition is a caricature of the worst sort. In fact, just the opposite is true. Only those who walk in holiness experience true joy.”

John 15:10-11 ESV
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. [11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Jesus links obedience and joy in a cause and effect relationship; meaning that joy is a result of obedience.

In what ways does holiness produce joy?

  1. There is joy in fellowship with God.
    1. Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
      • David is here acknowledging this fullness of joy that’s found in the presence of God.
    2. Bridges – “The daily experience of Christ’s love is linked to our obedience to him. It is not that His love is conditioned on our obedience. That would be legalism. But our experience of His love is dependent upon our obedience.”
    3. Psalm 51:11-12 “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. [12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
      • This is David’s prayer of penitence after his sins of adultery and murder had broken fellowship with God.
  2. There is joy in the anticipated reward.
    1. Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, [2] looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
      • There will be hardship and struggle in this life. Our motivation to endure is this same anticipated joy of Jesus.
      • What does this world have to offer in light of the kingdom of God!

Bridges – “Joy not only results from a holy life, but there is also a sense in which joy helps produce a holy life.”

We have all that we need for our pursuit of holiness.

Bridges ends the book with these words – “Surely He has not commanded us to be holy without providing the means to be holy. The privilege of being holy is yours, and the decision and responsibility to be holy is yours. If you make that decision, you will experience the fullness of joy which Christ has promised to those who walk in obedience to him.”

Reflection Questions

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