The topic of personal holiness is one of the most weighty and important studies that a person can venture into. This is not a book of leisure. It will most definitely require dedication and perseverance. But in order to revel in the joy of hidden treasures, one must be willing to work hard in digging deep.
You may wonder why it is that I have chosen a book on personal holiness as our first online book study. I can assure you that it was not picked at random. Holiness is a topic that is very often mentioned in passing within Christian circles, but very rarely given much thought. Many will give a hearty ‘Amen’ when the statement is made that Christians are to be holy, but very few have a proper understanding of what that pursuit truly looks like.
The pursuit of holiness is one that will culminate in the fulfillment of our greatest joy, because the truest form of human satisfaction is found only in our union with Christ. This is the road to Christlikeness. But as Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 14:28, “”But don’t begin until you count the cost.” Because when a person begins to pursue true holiness, it will cost them.
If a block of stone had feelings, it would endure great pains as the sculpture began to chip away the unnecessary pieces of stone that were ingrained in its being. But this chipping away is needed if the stone is ever to be transformed into the beautiful imagine that the artist has in mind.
So it is with the study of holiness. This study will undoubtably chip away at the dark soul of man. Things in your life that you may have never even considered to be sinful will be revealed through the author’s exposition of the truth in God’s Word. Idols that you may have considered to be innocent hobbies will be revealed.
Recently I gave in to the demands of my wife and I went to the eye doctor. I was sure I had perfect sight and did not need glasses. However, when I took the standard eye test, I was informed that I was near sighted. The doctor pulled out a pair of glasses which I very reluctantly tried on, still believing that my sight was just fine.
However, when I put on the glasses, I was amazed at how much clearer everything was. And it because painfully apparent how bad my eye sight had gotten. I just didn’t notice it because I was so used to my bad eyesight. I considered it to be normal. In the same way, we become blind to our sins and our idols. And it is only in looking to the holiness of God that our pride can be dashed. When personal holiness is our goal, no stone can be left unturned.
If you have yet to purchase this book which will guide us in our study of holiness, you can purchase your hard copy at amazon.com. Also there is an internet link to a free PDF of the book at this link Holiness PDF.
Our study plan is for us to attempt to begin discussing two chapters per month. This equates roughly to reading five or ten pages per day. Throughout the week, I will post thoughts and or discussion point from the book.
Let me say that when it comes to any study dealing with the ways of our Lord, there is no book that can or should trump the authority of the Holy Scriptures. The great thing about this book by JC Ryle is that his deductions and comments are all rooted and grounded in scripture, so reading with your Bible near by is strongly encouraged. Use this book as a means to drive you into the Bible.
If anyone should have any questions regarding this study, please do not hesitate to ask questions. I will be using this blog as a means to facilitate our study of this book along with any other possible future book studies. With that said, I pray that the Lord would be with us in our reading, and that our eyes would be open to many blind spots in our lives so that we would all tap into our greatest joy in Him. Christ bless.
“…without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14