09 May Faith-Empowered Holiness
Last Sunday, Pastor Josh Jones preached from 2 Corinthians 6:3-13. We considered the truth that a life transformed by the gospel perseveres in selfless love. In conclusion, Josh exhorted us to never give up on those we are ministering to and encouraged us remember that God is always present and will never leave or forsake us as we persevere in this selfless love.
Read: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
This Sunday, Pastor Ken will exhort us from 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 to radically pursue holiness as God’s children, specifically in how we partner with others in life’s pursuits. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers because the relationship will be incompatible, and God’s holiness in our lives will be compromised.
In this passage, Paul roots his call for holiness in the promises of God in the gospel. Apart from God’s promises of reconciliation and restoration in Jesus Christ, we are hopelessly unmotivated and altogether powerless to live holy lives, dead in our trespasses and sins. Praise God that he has made us alive together with Christ and will bring his work of salvation to completion on that final day (Ephesians 2:4-5; Philippians 1:6)! This reality and promise of our salvation in Jesus Christ empowers us to live in holiness as God’s children in this fallen world.
As you prepare your heart for Sunday worship, let these words from Brian Hedges further your understanding of how faith in God’s promises empowers our holiness.
Reflect: “Faith-Empowered Holiness”
One of the most compelling biblical examples of how faith in God’s promises empowers holiness is found in the story of Moses as told in Hebrews 11.
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. —Hebrews 11:24–26
The writer to the Hebrews presents Moses as an example of faith. Faith is characterized by the conviction that God will reward those who seek him. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). It is impossible to please God if you seek him out of any other motive than the desire for reward. We do not seek God as his benefactors, thinking we can reward him. We are always the beneficiaries of his grace.
Notice the decisions and actions Moses’ faith produced. We see him both refusing and choosing. By faith Moses “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Imagine the implications of this! Moses had been raised in the household of Pharaoh. He was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). He was a prince in Egypt, possibly a high-ranking government official. As part of the royal family, he had luxury at his fingertips: the choicest food, the richest accommodations, the most beautiful women. And he turned his back on all of it. He “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (vv. 24–25).
How could he do this? Why did he consider “the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt”? Verse 26 answers: “For he was looking to the reward.” Moses was empowered by the promise of a superior satisfaction. “By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible” (v. 27). He was captivated by a greater beauty, a more enduring treasure, a more satisfying pleasure than Egypt could offer. To quote John Piper once more:
Faith is not content with “fleeting pleasures.” It is ravenous for joy. And the Word of God says, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” (Ps. 16:11). So faith will not be sidetracked into sin. It will not give up so easily in its quest for maximum joy.
That is faith: Believing that God, and all he promises to be for us in the gospel, is more satisfying than sin. Faith is the powerful conviction that joy in Jesus is so superior to the fleeting pleasures of sin that I am compelled to choose the eternal over the temporal and the Savior over sin, even if I suffer.
Excerpt from Christ Formed in You, by Brian Hedges
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “Exalted Over All,” by Vertical Worship
2. “Only a Holy God,” by CityAlight
3. “Yet Not I but through Christ in Me, by CityAlight