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Faith vs Holiness

Daily Thoughts

 

Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God”
1 Peter 1:16 “for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy”

What pleases God more…faith or holiness?

Do you ever find yourself contending between these things, that you can’t seem to live out both at once and so have to major on one? We are often expressing our faith by serving in church and loving others, but often alongside private failures. The alternative is that we manage to live quite a holy life, but are so focused on ourselves that we become disconnected.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy…”

1 Thessalonians chapter 4, entitled ‘Living to please God’ gives a great picture of how we should prioritize faith and holiness in our lives. Notice which comes first out of Paul’s two prayers, Love [expression of faith] first, then holiness. Paul first of all encourages them to live out their faith by loving one another, since faith is shown through deeds (Jam 2:18). Then, he encourages them to live a blameless and holy life before God.

Faith 1st – Holiness 2nd

Our love [expression of our faith] should be the foundation of how we live, onto which we build a lifestyle of holiness before God. We should not try to manufacture the actions of holiness before having built a character of faith, love and service. This is exactly how God called Moses as I explained in Too unholy?; he called him to have faith first and serve him, then God cleaned up his character on the way.

1 Thessalonians 4:7,9 “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life…(v9)Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other”
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