-- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Young men, make war on your sin. You can analyze your feelings and circumstances for a long, long time, but repentance is always a cut to the chase. With the power of God's love and the message of the cross, stiffen your back, hold your head up high, and take a machete to the sin that entangles.
An excerpt from my forthcoming book Gospel Wakefulness:
We don’t graduate from the gospel. We hold true to it. And it alone propels us out and empowers us to press on. Grace-driven effort is effort that flows from the joys and wonders of worship that flows from beholding the amazing gospel of God’s grace.You're a man. You mean business. Mighty men of God, let's do work.
Were this true in you, the sin in you would become your enemy. Do you profess Christ? Have you received Christ? Then, as Ed Welch writes, “Don’t just avoid sin; hate it.” Be as intentional with your sin as Christ was. Carrying the banner of the gospel, which declares Christ’s conquering of sin and death, make bloodthirsty war with the sin in you. Watch for it, search it out, assassinate it with the word of God. Arm yourself with Spiritual armor, put on Christ, and spare no sin you find. Kill it, even as you trust the Spirit is killing it on your behalf. Because he is. And if he is, you should be too.
You won’t drift into holiness. The Spirit will take you there. But God uses means to achieve his ends, and his earthly means of Spiritually sanctifying you is your pursuit of the righteousness of Christ. That we are “being transformed” is a promise; that we should “be transformed” is a command. This Spiritual tension causes Walter Marshall to affirm in The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, his classic work affirming that grace is not only the grounds of our justification but our sanctification as well, that the reader must “endeavour diligently to make right use of all means appointed in the word of God, for the obtaining and practising holiness.”