I am planning to start on Jerry Bridges book, ‘The Pursuit of Holiness’, this week. As I was flipping through, observing the Scriptures at the beginning of each chapter, I came to the chapter ‘Putting Sin to Death’. In it, Jerry says:
Years ago a friend gave me what he called his “Formula: How to Know Right from Wrong”. The formula asks four questions based on three verses in 1 Corinthians:
- “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Question 1: Is it helpful – physically, spiritually, and mentally?
- “Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Question 2: Does it bring me under its power?
- “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall” (1 Corinthians 8:13).
Question 3: Does it hurt others?
- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Question 4: Does it glorify God?
As simple as this formula may appear, it is powerful in developing conviction – if we are willing to use it. These questions can get rather searching. But they must be asked if we are to pursue holiness as a total way of life.
He then goes in to give some examples of situations in which the principles can be applied. Very painful, but I thank and praise God for using Jerry Bridges to expound upon God’s Word as he has in so many books. Personally speaking, I know that if I were to truly live by the above principles, my life would change DRASTICALLY, and man – it’s scary. There goes that ‘self denial’ thing again. Who said this life would be easy? God sure didn’t.
And even in light of this – I’m going through a really dark period in life right now, and so many things are involved. It’s so much easier to be comforted by television or internet or even brothers and sisters in the Faith. Sometimes dying to self is the last thing I want to do to be honest… but… it’s necessary and God calls for it. So, Lord, help me to please, obey, honor, and glorify You through denial and discipline.