This week the Book Club comes to the end of our discussion of The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. I hope that you have been as blessed by this book as I have. It’s been both encouraging and challenging to me as I continue press on toward personal holiness.
I found chapter 8, which focused on the Christian’s relationship to sexual immorality, to be very perceptive and eye opening. I think DeYoung is correct in observing the increased sexualization of not only our culture, but the daily lives of many Christians. Though the chapter seemed oddly specific when compared to the rest of the book, I am in agreement with the topic needing to be stressed given our current sexualized climate. DeYoung argues that sexual immorality is a common blind spot in many Christian’s lives today and one that those intent on pursuing holiness need to contemplate more deeply. He helps us to do so by bringing to light now our union to Christ effects our purity in this area:
Therefore, when you engage in sexual immorality…it’s as if the members of Christ are engaged in sexual sin. To put it bluntly, if you shack up with a whore it’s like dragging Christ into bed with her too. When you put your faith in Christ, you become one spirit with him. So when you put your sexual organs where they don’t belong, you are putting the Lord Jesus where he doesn’t belong.
This is particularly convicting in the area of entertainment. Would Christ find the show I am watching entertaining? Would he laugh at that one-liner? Why am I watching this if the one I am joined to (Christ) finds it offensive and perverted? Though I feel as though my husband and I already limit the types of TV shows and movies we watch, I still think there is room for improvement in this area.
Chapter 9, Abide and Obey, was another favorite of mine. In this chapter DeYoung walks through several practical ways that we can encourage the growth of holiness in our lives. Each practice is a different way that we are to commune with the Lord: prayer, reading the Word of God, fellowship with other Christians, and the Lord’s supper. These methods of communing withe the Lord Jesus are imperative to the pursuit of holiness because it is as we draw near to Christ that we will look most like him:
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 blessings of the gospel–election, justification, sanctification, glorification, and all the rest–have been deposited in no other treasury but Christ. We don’t just want holiness. We want the Holy One in whom we have been counted holy and are now being made holy. To run hard after holiness is another way of running hard after God. Just as a once-for-all, objective justification leads to a slow-growth, subjective sanctification, so our unchanging union with Christ leads to an ever-increasing communion with Christ.
This chapter was particularly helpful in connecting the dots between practicing spiritual disciplines and depending on the grace supplied through the gospel of Jesus Christ. These disciplines, like reading the Word and prayer are only effective in our pursuit of holiness if their purpose and goal is to draw us nearer to the Savior.
After encouraging us to lead a life of constant repentance and humility in chapter 10, DeYoung ends his book with these words which do a wonderful job of summarizing all that we have read and learned:
God want you to be holy. Through faith he already counts you holy in Christ. Now he intends to make you holy with Christ. This is no optional plan, no small potatoes. God saved you to sanctify you. God is in the beatification business, washing away spots and smoothing out wrinkles. He will have a blameless bride. He promises to work in you: he also calls you to work out. “The beauty of holiness” is first of all the Lord’s (Ps. 29:2, KJV). But by his grace it can also be yours.
Discussion Questions for Week 4
As you read this week, come back to this post and join in the conversation! Leave your thoughts in the comments!
1. How do you see our Christian culture influenced by the sexual culture we live in? Do you think that you have been influenced in this way? What practical changes are you going to make to protect yourself from sexual sin?
2. How have you experience communion with Christ through the four methods DeYoung mentions in chapter 9? In what ways would you like to improve your communion with him?
3. What has been the most challenging part of this book for you? What has been the most encouraging?
Can’t join in this month? Join us next month as we read Feminine Threads by Diana Lynn Severance.