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The Practice of Faith

Hebrews 5:14 says, “Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good from evil.”

Once your spiritual eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit to understand the powerful truth of your identity in Christ, you’re going to be surprised to discover that many verses in the Bible (Manufacturer’s Handbook) have taken on new meaning for you. Certain verses, and even entire passages, which you’ve either misinterpreted or passed over without understanding, will be interpreted in an exciting, new way—a grace-filled way, a liberating way. This is going to require some adjustment; it’s going to require building some sanctified behavior patterns.

Notice the two words I’ve emphasized in Hebrews 5:14 above: practiced and trained. Research indicates that it takes about six weeks to develop a habit. You, however, have spent your entire lifetime grooming your flesh—your independent habit patterns for living on earth. Now Father is giving you the opportunity to allow Christ to overcome your old flesh patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting by expressing His life through you. You are going to learn “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin” (Romans 8:2). That’s one reason God hasn’t beamed you up. Christ did the big part of the job by crucifying you as who you were and then rebirthing you as who you are in Him. You have been changed from a sinner-man or sinner-woman to a godly, righteous saint. Wow—talk about a new beginning! Operating in this truth (practicing) will give you a tremendous advantage on overcoming your flesh.

So your problem now is how will you “practice” this new identity? God poses the same question: “This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the  [Holy] Spirit by the works of the Law [self-effort], or by hearing with faith?”

You respond: “I simply received Him by faith, Lord.”

Then He asks, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the [Holy] Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3). In other words, since you got saved by putting your faith in Christ alone, why would you try to “life-out” your new identity by putting your faith in yourself? You were changed from a sinner to a saint at salvation, strictly by faith in Christ’s work for you.

Don’t fall into the trap that the power of sin has laid. Don’t cast your faith in Christ aside and carry on business as usual the way you once did—independently of God as a sinner.

Father, a branch withers and dies unless it abides in the vine; it’s cut off from it’s life. You’re the Vine, I’m the branch. Thank You for being hard at work in me. My goodness, things are really going to be different!

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.