Writing in “The True Christian Life,” his chapter in John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology, Jerry Bridges echoes Calvin’s insistence that justification invariably leads to sanctification, and regeneration (the new birth) invariably leads to holy living (the new life). In doing so, he argues that the bases and motivations for holy living are God-focused:
“[I]t is clear that [Calvin] regards a zealous pursuit of holiness as the normal Christian life.
Such an ardent pursuit of Christlikeness requires a strong motivation. To find it, Calvin appeals to the blessings of God:
- God has revealed Himself as a Father; therefore, we should behave as His children.
- Christ has purified us through His blood; therefore, we should not become defiled by fresh pollution.
- Christ has united us to His body as His members; therefore, we should not disgrace Him by any blemish.
- Christ ascended to heaven; therefore, we should leave our carnal desires behind and life our hearts upward to Him.
- The Holy Spirit has dedicated us as temples of God; therefore, we should exert ourselves not to profane His sanctuary, but to display His glory.
- Both our soul and body are destined to inherit an incorruptible and never-fading crown; therefore, we should keep them pure and undefiled.” (pp. 222-223, emphasis his)