- Renée Coventry
Holiness & Faith, Pt. 26
For some of you that watched the video I did with my father, Gary Hines, last Thursday, some of this may be a review; however, I feel it is worth repeating. Let's look at Scripture regarding both.
Hebrews 11:1,6 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
I John 5:4-5, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
Hebrews 12:14-15, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears."
Faith and holiness have a symbiotic relationship; where one is, the other is easily found. We act on that in which/whom we place our faith. In Scripture, though, this is not just any faith. According to 1 John 5:5, it is faith specifically in Jesus as the Son of God. This faith is what brings us victory in the world. Hebrews 11:1 explains that "faith is the evidence of things not seen." Faith provides the proof of all that is invisible yet trust in, from gravity to the existence of God and His faithful redemption of humankind through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Holiness has to do with who we are becoming. Faith is the motivation for change; holiness is the result. Faith trusts that God knows what is best for us; holiness is the proof of our acting on that trust by changing our character and nature. Faith confesses, "I am a new creature in Christ," holiness is becoming the new creature in Him (2 Cor. 5:17-19). Holiness is faith manifested in the deepest place of our beings, changing our essence.
It seems as if we have faith for everything from finances and relationships to healing and restoration, and God is faithful to see to it in our lives. However, we all avoid the one thing that God desires to be transformed most: our character. Galatians 5:24-25 states, "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." If we have faith that we have died to the world and come alive in Him, let us direct our lives accordingly as soldiers marching in proper order. If we have faith that Christ's sacrifice has saved us and transformed us, if the Holy Spirit of God has infused us with the breath of God, let us live holy lives as befitting the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is holiness: the death of self to live in the life of Christ.
Peter explained it this way: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pt. 2:9). Faith believes and proclaims our separateness to God; holiness is the proof of faith's application.
Father, I haven't always understood the application of faith to my character. You said to "Be holy," and I wasn't sure how to do that. Now I know better. Please, Holy Spirit, help me to apply my faith in God's character to die to myself, trusting that God's design for me is better than I could ever imagine or implement. Please help me become all that You have destined for me by dying to my flesh so that I can live to Christ Jesus; so that I can be changed at the core of my being and proclaim Your praises. In Jesus' Name, amen.