Quotes from The Hole in Our Holiness

Here are a few of the quotes I underlined in Kevin DeYoung’s Hole in Our Holiness. The book did an excellent job of addressing a common problem in American Christianity; our failure to obey the commands of God. 

“We aren’t asking the nations to look at Jesus’ commands like an interesting Rembrandt. We are teaching the nations to follow his commands. The Great Commission [Matthew 28:18-20] is about holiness. God wants the world to know Jesus, believe in Jesus, and obey Jesus.  We don’t take the Great Commission seriously if we don’t help each other grow in obedience.” (p. 16)

“There can be no denying or doubting what God has said. It’s plain on almost every page of the Bible: we are commanded to be holy, we are saved to be holy, and, in fact, we must be holy if we are to inherit eternal life.” (p. 30)

“In Christ every believer has a once-for-all positional holiness, and from this new identity every Christian is commanded to grow in the ongoing-for-your-whole-life process of holiness.” (p. 33)

“It sounds really spiritual to say God is interested in a relationship, not in rules. But it’s not biblical. From top to bottom the Bible is full of commands. They aren’t meant to stifle a relationship with God, but to protect it, seal it, and define it…God’s people were not redeemed by observing the law, but they were redeemed so they might obey the law.” (p. 45)

“Emphasizing free grace is not the problem. The problem is in assuming that good works will invariably flow from nothing but a diligent emphasis on the gospel. Many Christians, including preachers, don’t know what to do with commands and are afraid to talk directly about obedience. The world may think we are homophobic, but nomophobia (fear of law) may be our bigger problem.” (p. 55)

“If we are to be passionate in our pursuit of personal holiness, the first thing we must establish is that holiness is possible.  It sounds humble to say, ‘I cannot obey God for one nanosecond in my life,’ but it’s not true.” (p. 65)

After looking at numerous Bible verses which command us to be holy or righteous and imply that we can achieve that Pastor DeYoung asks, “If the possibility of holiness is so plain in the Bible, why do we find it so hard to believe? Probably the biggest reason is because we equate obedience with perfection.” (p. 66)

“It is a dangerous thing to ignore the Bible’s assumption, and expectation, that righteousness is possible…whenever you trust and obey, God is pleased.” (p. 67)

“We must always remember that in seeking after holiness we are not so much seeking after a thing, as we are seeking a person. The blessing of the gospel—election, justification, sanctification, and glorification and all the rest—have been deposited in no other treasury but Christ.” (p. 122)