SANCTIFICATION

In John 17:17-19 Jesus prayed that the Father would sanctify the disciples in the truth, God’s word is truth. Just what does it mean to be “sanctified?”

The word sanctified means “to be clean, consecrate, dedicate, to make holy.” So Jesus asked the Father to make His disciples holy. Guess what? He did!

Through Jesus’s being crucified, buried and raised again, and our being joined to Him, we have been Sanctified. God has set us apart from the world and made us holy for His purposes.

In many of the Apostle Paul’s letters he addresses the reader as “Saints.” The word “Saint” means “holy ones.” While many times we may not “feel” like we’re holy, God says, I have reconciled you to me in Jesus’s fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Me holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Colossians 1:21-22).

You simply can’t make yourself holy. God is the one who has done this “It is by His doing that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us “sanctification.” Sanctification isn’t something God gives us rather Christ Himself is our sanctification. If you are “in” Christ, you have come “out” of the world!

Many see sanctification as a process and I understand why. But let me describe it to you using marriage as an analogy. When my wife and I were married, the moment we said, “I do” we were as married as we were ever going to be. As the years roll on we are never more married than we were in the moment we said, “I do.” On the other hand, there has been quite a learning curve about what it means to be married. I think this is the “process” part of sanctification.

The Apostle Paul instructs us to “be not conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). The reason why is we are no longer “of” the world. Since we have been sanctified (set apart) from the world, we need to start seeing and understanding things from God’s viewpoint. Stop thinking and behaving as the world does and begin to see yourself as God sees you and that’s holy and blameless in His Son Jesus Christ.

Louie

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SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE PT. 1&2

RESCUED FROM DARKNESS

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

Did you catch that?

As a believer, we are called to be “kind, able to teach, patient and gentle with those who are still “slaves to sin.”

Amazing!

In other words, those who have been freed from sin are to gently teach others they too can be freed but only God can grant them true repentance or change their minds. You see, we all start out as a slave to sin (the devil) but Jesus came here to set us free! “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). It is so much more than forgiveness!

Doing the devil’s will is sin. When we come to God through Christ, we’re not only receiving forgiveness for things we have done (sins), we’re receiving freedom from slavery to Mr. Sin by being crucified, buried and raised with Christ (Romans 6:6-7). We’re coming to our senses and admitting we have been in collusion with the enemy of God. So we not only need forgiveness we need deliverance and that also has been provided for us through our being joined in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

BEING BORN AGAIN

Being a “Believer”, a “Christian”, means being “Born again” and no one can be born from a religion, tradition, program or denomination. You can only be born again from a Person, and in this case, the Person is God. How can I be born again you may ask. That is a great question.

To be born again means to be born from above, born of God. The way this happens is by receiving His word by faith. You hear the message that Jesus was crucified, buried and raised to live forever and by faith you receive that word into yourself. He died for your sins and offers you everlasting life. Once you receive this, God says, “You have been crucified with Christ and you no longer live but Christ now lives in you.” Just as a woman receives the seed of a man in order to produce life, we receive the Word/Seed of God and we will bear fruit for God.

So, being born again means we receive God’s promise of new life in Christ by faith and He brings it to pass!

“For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Jeremiah says, the heart is wicked but Ezekiel says God will give us a brand new one. So Christians can stop talking as though their heart is wicked because the very nature of being a Christian means we have a brand new heart and God’s very own Spirit within to “cause” us to do what He has for us to do.

In the New Covenant God says, “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts…” (Jeremiah 31:33 & Hebrews 8:10)

Christ in you is the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27).
Christ is your life! (Colossians 3:4).
You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The real you, the you God made you to be “in Christ” wants what your Father, God wants. When a Christian moves over into selfishness and even sin, they are operating as someone they’re not! This is what the Apostle Paul discovered when he said, “If I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). So we see that Paul, the real Paul, who he is in Christ, wants to do what’s right but can find no ability in himself to do it so he finally sees there is someone else that is the real source of his sin problem.

In Ephesians 2:2 we find out fallen man’s real trouble is that he is being operated by “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working “in” the sons of disobedience.” In John’s first letter he names this spirit the “spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). He tells us the people of the world or, those without Christ have a “he” in them and we, Christians, have The “He” in us. So there is always someone else living in us. No matter what, we are never just “I” as if operating independently. We are always in union with another!

Now we come to the reason for the Cross. Jesus was made like us in that He was a flesh being, a vessel/temple, for the Spirit to live in. We know that He did this without fail, or sin, therefore He was the exact image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15&19) and He went to the Cross to die the death of us sinners (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus, as a vessel, took the “spirit of error” into Him, and died. Death separates spirit from body, so when He died and was buried, the disobedient spirit, the spirit of error, came out of Him. We too by faith have been crucified, buried and raised with Him in order for the disobedient; “spirit of error” to come out of us too! You “were” an “idol temple” but now you are the “Temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Through our being co-crucified, buried and raised in Christ, we have been freed once and for all from the “spirit of error” the one operating in the sons of disobedience.

To summarize: through the Cross, God has removed your heart of stone, given you a new heart, given you God’s very own Holy Spirit in place of the spirit of error, forgiven you, made you righteous, transformed you from an idol temple into the temple of the Living God, made you into a brand new creature in Christ and restored to you the “hope of glory!”