Hebrews 12:14, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.“
There is often a fear that pursuing holiness will lead Christians to abandon grace and become legalists. As we pursue holiness, Jerry Bridges says that we must keep in mind that “regardless of our performance, we are always dependent on God’s grace, His undeserved favor to those who deserve His wrath.”
However, this is not something that should keep us from pursuing the “holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” In fact, the pursuit of holiness demands that we kill self-righteousness. The goal is not to look holy, but to become like our Lord, who is holy.
In order to arrive here, we need to humble ourselves and trust in Christ’s sufficient grace. In John 15:5, Jesus calls believers to abide in Him. Therefore, as we strive to work out our salvation and bear fruit, we come to the realization that the same grace that brings salvation also trains us to live lives that are pleasing to God.
But take heart, when we fail, we are reminded of our depravity and our need for God’s forgiving and transforming grace. In confession and repentance, we learn more deeply how the gospel of grace transforms us and enables our godly efforts.