Pursuit of Holiness
Chapter 15 Holiness and faith
- Holiness equals obedience equals faith (Romans 1:5 and Hebrews 11:8). The greatest act of faith was Christ going to the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He had an eye on the future glory and he is ultimately the source of our faith which we derive like sap through branches from the vine to whom we are joined. No-one can be holy apart from faith which is derived from our union with him. Faith is not a condition of salvation (As Bridges almost suggests) but a gift of salvation. Faith looks to the unseen God and pleasing him, the day of judgment and like Noah it is based on God’s word and may be contrary to sight and reason. Examples of this would be Daniel and his three friends, the promises given to Abraham/Sarah, Zacharias /Elizabeth, Mary/Joseph concerning their firstborn. Their answers were supernatural but all faith is supernatural, having its origin in Christ. Having said that, much of scripture and God’s commands make perfect sense and are reasonable e.g. creation, concerning lifestyle, sex etc.
2. Obedience is the evidence of faith and regeneration (Hebrews 3:17-19 and 4:2, 6). Contrariwise disobedience characterizes the reprobate wicked and believers who are either ignorant or wilfully stubborn, backslidden and unrepentant-God must chastise such. The unbelieving ultimately will be damned (Revelation 21:8).
3. Five things which were believed in Hebrews 11 were:
PRESENT-God rewards seekers v6 The need to move home v8
FUTURE-Heaven and reward vv10,26. Resurrection v19
4. Five ways in which the “heroes of the faith” in Hebrews 11 obeyed God were:
Offering sacrifice (x2), building the ark, moving home, suffering for Christ, fighting battles (x3). The most challenging is their willingness to suffer vv36-38.
|Verses||Faith required||Circumstances making it difficult to believe|
|Matthew 20:26-27||Serving others||Used to being served, natural leader|
|Luke 6:30-31||Forget self, go out to others||Selfish heart|
|Romans 12:19||God will avenge (in his time)||Vengeful anger if you or family are attacked or killed|
|I Timothy 6:17-18||Give generously||If riches are your god or security|
|Hebrews 3:13||Confronting other believers.Confessing publicly what you believe. Faith trusts God to act and vindicate us.||Anticipating or having experienced bad reaction. Fearing peers, colleagues or family.|
6. In lesson one I wrote a definition of God’s holiness but now define holiness in a believer as: A life conformed in motive and action to the admonitions of the word of God.