1 Peter 1:13-16 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (vs14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (vs15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (vs16) Because it is written,( Lev.11:44) Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
The Pulpit commentary pg.315 comment on Eccl.12:13-14 "After all the questionings and discussions, the doubts and perplexities, the counsels and precepts, of this treatise, the author winds up restating the first, the most important elementary, and the most important, principles of true religion. There are, he felt in this world many things which we cannot fathom, many things which we cannot reconcile with our convictions and hopes; but there are some things concerning which we have no doubts, and these are the things which most nearly concern us personally and practically"
1.THE GREAT SPRING AND CENTRE OF RELIGION "This is the fear of God, reverence for the Divine character and attributes, the habit of mind which views everything in relation to him who is eternally holy, wise, just, and good. We cannot begin with man; we must find an all-sufficient foundation for the religious life in God himself, his Nature and his Law."
2.THE GREAT EXPRESSION OF RELIGION "This is obedience to the Divine commandments. Our convictions and emotions find their scope when directed towards a holy and merciful God; our will must bend to the moral authority of the eternal Lord. Feelings and professions are in vain unless they are supported by corresponding actions. Where God is honored, and his will is cheerfully performed, there the whole duty of the Christian man is fulfilled. It is the work of the mediation of the Divine Saviour, of the operations of the Divine Spirit, to bring about such a religious and moral life."
3. THE GREAT TEST OF RELIGION "For this we are bidden to look forward to the future. Many things, which are significant as to the religious state of a man, are now hidden. they must be brought to light; secret deeds, alike of holiness and of iniquity, must be made manifest before the throne of judgment. With this solemn warning the Preacher closes his book. and there is no person, in whatsoever state of life, to whom this warning does not apply . Well will it be for us if this earthly life be passed under the perpetual influence of this expectation; if the prospect of the future judgment inspire us to watchfulness, to diligence, and to prayer."
THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES PERSEVERANCE.
Pursue-- To strive for; earnestly and diligently seek.
Duty-- The compelling or binding force of what is right. Duty applies to what a person ought to do at all times because it is right according to the principles of right and wrong or by law.
Obligation-- Applies to what a person is obliged to do at some particular time because he personally owes it as a debt of some kind.
1. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES THAT WE HAVE A SPIRITUAL MIND OUT OF WHICH COMES PURE THOUGHTS.---Romans 8:5-8 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (vs6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (vs7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (vs8) so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Psalm119:59 “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” Phi.2:8 “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
2. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES THAT WE LIVE SOBERLY IN THIS PRESENT WORLD.--- Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of god that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (vs12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (vs13) Looking for that blessed hope,, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
3. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES PERSEVERANCE.--- Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily be set us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (vs2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
4. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES THE EMBRACING OF THE MOTIVATING SPIRITUAL HOPE WE HAVE IN CHRIST.--- 1 John 3:1-2 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hat bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (vs2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (vs3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
5. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES ONGOING SPIRITUAL RENEWAL.--- Eph. 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (vs23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (vs24) An d that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
6. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES UNWORLDLINESS THROUGH SEPARATION.--- Romans 12:1-2 “I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (vs2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 2 Cor.6:17-18 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (vs18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
7. THE PURSUIT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES US TO FULFILL OUR DUTY AND OUR CALLING --- 1 Peter 2:19-23 “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (vs20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (vs21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (vs22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (vs23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”