Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sanctification - When Is Enough - Enough - Not Until You Are The Spitting Image Of Jesus

May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely… —1 Thessalonians 5:23

{CHAMBERS} “When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? The cost will be a deep restriction of all our earthly concerns, and an extensive cultivation of all our godly concerns. Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone. […] And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself…” (John 17:19). […] Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God. […] Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (see John 17:21-23). The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?

{ELGIN}  Do you ever pray asking God to sanctify you? In other words, do you want to be separated from the things of the world in your mortal, natural life or are you satisfied with “merely” being saved for heaven?  That is the failing of oh so many of us.  We don’t mind being cleaned up a little bit, but we stop short of total surrender to God. When Jesus talked with the rich young ruler, Jesus spoke to his heart … his devotion – the assurance and comfort he had in money – possessions … Jesus said, “sell everything that you have and give it to the poor”.  The young man could not do it … what he wanted from Jesus required complete surrender.  So this begs an interesting question .. “Can you be saved and then continue living the natural life with its passions and conventions?”  Theologians have been arguing over that question for years – centuries - millennia.  My view, for what it is worth, is that there are two parts to sanctification – or being set apart.  The first part is at the point of salvation.  The second part is a process of your life, what you say, do and cherish reflecting who you are in your heart.  As you already know, there are some aspects of your old nature that are gone immediately or very soon after salvation, and yet we still struggle with others.  Not to make an excuse for sins, but it is because of our infancy or little faith that we struggle.  I, personally, don’t think that struggle ends until we are with Jesus, but that does not mean that we should be content with our imperfection.

Paul addressed the question of continued sin (Romans 5:18-6:4, 15-18) “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. […] What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”

Notice Paul did not say if you sin you are not saved.  But, we should never be satisfied with our level of spiritual maturity. If you don’t think about it .. that’s a problem.  The Spirit convicts us of sin .. we must be careful that we don’t seek to make excuses for it and then accommodate it. We have been bought with a price .. the blood of Jesus.  Don’t lose sight of that.

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