Pursued by Christ
There’s an old saying: “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” In pursuing holiness, we must be careful to put things in their proper spiritual order.
Our pursuit of holiness is a result of having been pursued by Christ. It’s a critical idea for us to catch in order to grow as a Christian. The work of Christ in us creates our desire and abilities to pursue holiness. Not the other way around:
You are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. – Ephesians 2:8-10
We’re saved by God’s grace that was poured out on us through the work of Christ. When Jesus saved and purified us, He included plans for us to do good works that reflect His kingdom.
In fact, God planned these good works before our salvation. However, we can’t pursue them until we’ve been captured by Jesus. As we seek maturity in Christ, we must do so in response to Jesus’ grace, not in an effort to earn His approval.
A life of pursuing holiness begins with responding to what we’ve inherited from Christ. First we pursue Him, then we’ll pursue a life that reflects His holiness by extension.
Excerpt from my Bible study “Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James” (LifeWay)