HOLINESS COMES BY FAITH, NOT TRYING HARDER
by Rev. Ernest O'Neill
There's only one kind of person who is freed from sin and you could find out who that is in Romans 6:7.
Romans 6:7: "For he who has died is freed from sin." The person who has died, that is, the person who has died has no longer the pull of the things in the world or the things in the earth, no longer the pull to be liked by everybody because it doesn't matter whether anybody likes him or not. A person who is dead is freed from the power of sin. But there is a way to die without dying. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all;" and that's what so many of us who are children of God know but we don't know the next clause, "therefore all have died." When Christ died, all of us died too. How does that becomes real in your own life?
Well, it's in Romans 6:11, loved ones. Romans 6:11: "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." That's what faith is. Faith is believing that when Jesus died, you died also. When he was crucified to the world and the world was crucified to him, so were you and then it's doing what his Spirit tells you to do and you're freed in a moment from the power of sin. In other words, freedom from the power of sin comes by the same means by which freedom from the guilt of sin came. It comes by faith, not by trying but by faith.
In other words, holiness comes not by self-discipline and by will power, though those all follow holiness, but holiness itself comes by faith. It comes by faith in your death with Christ and your resurrection with him, and then in your being filled with his Holy Spirit, but it comes by faith, loved ones.
You see I think a lot of us here in this room are still trying to bring it about ourselves. Well you can't, it comes by faith, in a moment. Just as Moses heard God saying to him, "There'll be water will come from this rock", so you hear God saying to you, "Your unclean, impure heart was crucified with my Son, I destroyed it and there's a clean heart for you, I have it here on a shelf in heaven, you can have it now", faith is believing that.