Sanctifying faith is the aspect of faith that enables you to live with confidence in God. But how do you access this faith?
Hearing — In an earlier lesson, you learned that you acquire saving faith by hearing God’s Word. The same is true of sanctifying faith. If you’re facing temptation and peer pressure, get in the Word. If you’re dealing with a difficult family situation, get in the Word. If you’ve made a major mistake and gotten into trouble, get in the Word. Whatever the situation, God’s Word has the answer. And the more you know about the Word, the better prepared you will be to avoid problems in the future, and the quicker you will be able to turn things around when you start to slip.
- Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).
Choices — Every day, every hour, every moment of your life presents you with choices. Once you’ve studied the Word of God, you have to put what you’ve learned into practice. When a choice comes along, base your decision on God’s will as revealed in His Word. Keep focused on Jesus Christ. You aren’t perfect. You will make the wrong choice from time to time. But the more you concentrate on basing your choices on God’s Word, the easier it will be to make right choices.
- Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12).
- Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
You’re in a war. You need to prepare yourself.
- Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:11-12).
The enemy will constantly bombard you with temptation.
How should you react?
Did you say, “with joy”? Because that’s what the Bible says you should do.
- My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).
- In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Why does Peter compare trials to the purifying of gold?
Give an example from your life when trials led to spiritual growth.
To sum up this lesson; faith increases with increased knowledge of God and increased experience. As a Christian, you are called upon to do God’s will. God’s will is revealed in the Bible. You can’t know His will if you don’t know His Word.
But, as a Christian, you are also called upon to serve God. You can’t serve God if you hide under the bed. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “A ship in a harbor is safe. But that’s not what a ship is built for.” A Christian can avoid trouble by hiding from the world, but that’s not what a Christian is built for. Like gold, the more your faith is tested, the stronger it will get. As long as you make the right choices. Which you can only make if you know God’s will. Which you can only know if you’re in God’s Word.
Get the point?