Dr. Philip Nation, director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches for the Baptist World Alliance, talks with Dr. Jeremiah Johnston about holiness in believers. It’s a topic that is close to Nation’s heart.
“We’re called as Christians to live a countercultural lifestyle,” he says. “Holiness is inclusive of ethical and moral choices, but it has a broader meaning of setting your life aside for God. Jesus is calling us to love Him with the totality of our lives.”
In his book, “Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out,” and a similar Bible study, Nation directs believers in ways in which they may grow in Christlikeness.
Spiritual disciplines are, themselves, emblematic of the balance of trusting God for one’s salvation and righteousness while still working out salvation with great reverence and respect. Nation references 2 Timothy 2:15 in regard to a Christian’s responsibility: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Habits of holiness include studying the Bible, prayer, worship, service to others, quiet contemplation, rest, leadership, and disciple-making. Nation emphasizes the need for Christian vocational and volunteer leaders to attend to their personal relationships with God. He also advises believers to have both a dedicated prayer time and an ongoing conversation with God.
Christians would do well to ask themselves:
Is my love for Christ deepening, and am I experiencing the love of Christ on a personal level?
Does my spiritual life look different now than it did six months ago?
Are there other people involved in my spiritual formation and maturity?
Are there people who can speak realistically, sympathetically, and strongly in my life?
Is my spiritual life mobilizing me on the mission of God?
Since obedience is central to a healthy relationship with Jesus, Johnston urges a show listener, Joel, to confess his sins and to receive Christ’s forgiveness.
Dr. Philip Nation is director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches for the Baptist World Alliance. He is a speaker, blogger, and author of books including “Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out.”