Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saints’ Sanctified

John 17:17-19Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

There is great contentment and peace in knowing and trusting the gospel message that we are all sinners that cannot save ourselves and deserve the wrath of God, but our creator Father God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the world by taking the place of all who repent and accept his redemptive sacrifice on the cross in our place, reconciliation with the Father for a restored relationship as a child of God, our spirit may be regenerated and a heart metamorphosis to a new creation guided by the Holy Spirit and our eternal home changes from hell to the kingdom of heaven in God’s plan of Salvation. We don’t deserve salvation, don’t earn it, and can’t buy it; it is the gift of God. Hallelujah!  It is of great comfort also to dig deeper to see and understand the details that are three aspects of our salvation.     

2 Thessalonians 2:13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."

I wrote this week that the first aspect was justification; a one-time act that starts our true Christian life and walk. The second step in our salvation is sanctification and it is a lifelong process, where God gradually changes us to transform into the image of His son. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines “sanctification” as the act of cleansing and making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God, which involves the act of consecrating or of setting us apart for a sacred purpose; God’s will and purposes. Sanctification comes about largely by the Word of God, found in the Holy Scriptures of the Bible. Church, prayer, worship, evangelism, Bible study, and living out your faith are integral elements as we grow in grace, as we know and apply the Word of God daily, linked in Jesus Christ. I read that as we appropriate more of His grace by applying these spiritual disciples, His fruit will become evident in our lives. This does not mean that we become divine in any way, but it does mean that our fallen nature is subdued.     

Galatians 5:16-17a, 22-24So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

On one hand, it is God’s work, as all of salvation is; on the other hand, we run the race, press on towards the mark, struggle against sin, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. So draw near unto Him. Spend quality and quantity time with the Lord. Reach out in faith to Him in blessed assurance. And you and I will increasingly know the blessing of God’s holiness and the glorious meaning of His sanctification.

In Christ, Brian

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