Many Christians get hope confused with faith in their thinking, believing them to be somewhat the same thing. Not so. Hope first comes into play when a promise is given (the same promise we later put our faith in). But hope is different from faith; by definition it is a desire with some expectation of fulfillment. Who hopes for something they don’t want? Anticipating something you have absolutely no desire for would be senseless! And so would hoping for something that you had absolutely no expectation of ever happening.
I might desire to have the glory and sense of accomplishment that being an Olympic runner would bring, but I have zero expectation of it ever being fulfilled. Or I might have some expectation that one day I may have to run for my life from an assailant, but I have no desire for it ever to happen. Neither scenario combines both of the underlying qualifications that make hope possible—that is, a desire along with some expectation of fulfillment. No, we must possess a desire for what we hope for. And we must also have some expectation, no matter how small, that it might be possible.
Hope is the great motivator; no accomplishment—or even action—in life is possible without hope first being present. God has set the following progression in stone: first hope is born in our heart through the promise of the Gospel. Then in drawing us to Himself, God gives us the gift of faith by which we act on that hope. Through faith we receive His promise, being born again and becoming a new creation. Justification, righteousness, reconciliation, redemption and sanctification are all ours solely by the grace of God as we act on His promise by receiving Christ.(John 1:12) But ultimately it is a lifestyle of faith, validated by obedience, by which we obtain the fullness of that promise.(Philippians 3:13-14)
Let’s look at another side of holiness. In a very real sense holy is also something we are exhorted to become(the goal and outcome of spiritual growth). Though a foundation of holiness has been laid in us by virtue of the fact that we are God’s possession, Paul makes it clear that something is still missing: “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.”(Galatians 4:19)
Time and again in his writings, Paul admonishes believers to live a holy life, always adamant that the sins of the flesh be forsaken. This can only mean that an effort is required on our part.(Romans 3:14, Ephesians 4:22-24, Galatians 5:16, 1 Timothy 6:11) So there’s no question that living a holy (sanctified) life is expected. And if expected, it must be thoroughly attainable (not the impossibility of being sin-free, but definitely that of being self-controlled).
We must be aware, though, that the term sanctification has taken on its own peculiar meaning by many in the church. It has come to be known as the process by which we become more holy as we are gradually able to rid our life of sin, thereby making ourselves more acceptable to God.
While on the surface this view certainly seems to have merit, it is nevertheless out of balance. Why? Because God has already accepted us! Still, doesn’t Scripture time and again instruct us to attempt to please God by walking out our faith in a manner worthy of Him? Yes it does; it’s the whole point of living a godly life.(Ephesians 4:1) But pleasing God with our life is something far different than trying to become acceptable to Him.
Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself
“Rise up O bride. I am stirring up My power. My face is shining on My people and they will be saved. Walk with expectation. Sing for joy. Live in the full knowledge of My promises for those you love. For I delight in unchanging love. My lovingkindness is everlasting. I redeem lives from the pit. I satisfy your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Rise up O bride. Rejoice and be glad, for the time is near for you to see My lovingkindness poured out on your children’s children. I the Lord have established My throne in the heavens and My sovereignty rules over all.”
Micah 7:18, Psalm 8:2, Psalm 103:5 & 17