I have been meditating on the power of faith in our sanctification and salvation.
Through an act of faith, by sheer belief, I pull down from heaven the ability to resist sin. I pull down this new person, not as an act of me cleaning up myself and getting better, but realizing that God made provision for it. This is a significant issue in the body of Christ. So many teachings place the onus of sanctification on each individual. Think about it—entire books have been written in error, and churches have been set up in error, about how to deal with this problem. It is not a try-harder, white-knuckle-resisting type of thing. In fact, it is a matter of receiving this grace of God for deliverance. I find the problem with myself is that I want to participate somehow. I want to show God that there is something good in me. But the more I try—the more I dig deeper—I find that my best efforts come up short. In an act of self-preservation, I continue to look for something good in me. This is the epitome of pride—that someday I will come to a place in my own strength where I’ll be able to resist temptation, and I will be able to be pleasing to God through my own will. Praise God for the day that we realize this will never happen—even our best efforts and strongest resistance will come up short. He has already made provision by creating, through faith, the ability to reckon our mortal bodies as dead to sin and crucified with Christ. It is as much a fact to be received by faith as salvation itself. This consecration, I believe, is what God is calling us to now. There is a new sense of holiness and being set apart. There is a new understanding about the right standing before God that is based solely on His work in us. There are no personal efforts we can rely on or boast in. With God receiving all the glory for my salvation and my sanctification, the consecration is so much deeper. The very fiber of my being is indebted to God. I’m looking to not only employ this new nature to serve Him, but the very foundation of who I am is by itself longing to please Him. The things I do externally to demonstrate this might be perhaps the smallest of those things. Instead, the major work of God is that my very will, my life, is consecrated to Christ, and this is the essence of true sanctification and holiness. God bless you in your personal pursuit of holiness. Dave Yarnes