By Robin Gericke, Features Editor

“Holiness is enjoying God, avoiding sin and doing good.”

This is chapel speaker Rev. Dave Ward’s definition of holiness. Holiness is part of the Cornerstone Project, making Holiness Emphasis Week foundational in the spiritual life of Asbury. The purpose of Holiness Emphasis Week is to explore The Importance for Purity, one of the five biblical concepts that guide the mission of Asbury. This concept says that “the Christian’s deepest need is for a purity of heart and a freedom from the power of sin, which we describe as entire sanctification, in order to live pleasing to God.”

This is not Rev. Ward’s first time speaking at Asbury. “This may be the third or fourth time I’ve spoken here,” said Ward. When asked what brings him back, he laughed and said, “Greg Haseloff asks me to come.” More seriously, he answered, “I only go where someone asks me to come. I assume that the Spirit will help others discern who’s the best person to be there. So if God wants me to be here, He’ll prompt someone and they’ll ask me to come and I’ll come.”

Rev. Ward is a fitting speaker to have for Holy Emphasis Week due to his passion about holiness and the freedom it brings us. “The church sometimes has had less faith than the world,” he said. “Alcoholics Anonymous thinks you can be free of intentional sin. But we’ve lost that faith, and I want people to recognize the freedom they can have in Christ. I don’t want them to feel like they’re lost in bondage forever, and sometimes it’s a lack of faith that keeps them there. They think, ‘Well, I’m just going to have to be this way for the rest of my life, and God’s forgiveness has to be enough.’”

“Grace is bigger than forgiveness. Grace is empowerment,” said Ward. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Ward believes that God equips those striving to live a holy life. “God gives us what we need to live a fulfilling life that’s free of the bondages of addictions,” said Ward. “I believe that if holiness isn’t true, the Bible doesn’t matter and there’s no reason to be a Christian. That’s as clear as it can be. If God can’t help us to live a life that is the life He’s asking us to live then He’s not a very powerful God.”

Rev. Ward will be speaking at the worship service in Hughes on Thursday at 7 pm and at chapel on Friday.