Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 20, 2015

Thought For The Week July 19, 2015

Discussing the Fundamental Truths or beliefs of the Assemblies of God, we now come to number nine, Sanctification. This is defined as an act of separating ourselves from evil and identifying with things that are good, upright, and morally pure. When we are saved, Jesus rescues us from the penalty of sin which is separation from God for eternity, the second death (Revelation 20:14).

Being saved from sin’s penalty, we are given a new spirit that is holy. Paul tells us that we were caught up in all kinds of sin before Christ but because of Jesus, you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Sanctified means to be made holy and salvation made us holy on the inside. Justification gave us a pardon for all our sin.

Sanctification is a process that begins when we are made holy in our spirits and continues until we enter heaven. It is a process of living out in our everyday behavior what God has already done in us. It is a process by which God makes us over into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

So how does this happen? I believe the most important part of the process is agreeing with the Lord about who we now are. The Word tells us that the old man who was inclined to sin was crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6) and is dead. Being dead as far as sin is concerned is huge, if we believe it and identify ourselves as someone new instead of the person who is still a slave to our fleshly desires. Listen to Paul’s words, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus…do not let sin reign in your mortal body…present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead…for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14). If we believe that we have been made new, given a new heart, with new desires, then Paul says act like it, consider it so, and refuse to let sin come back and take over. We are not under sin’s rule as Christians.

Paul also says in Galatians 5:16, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Walk here means to be in step with the Spirit, pay attention to the Spirit, allow the Spirit to lead us. If I am doing what the Word says I will not sin! I think so many Christians have difficulty with sanctification because they have this idea that we can’t defeat sin. As long as we’re here we might as well admit we’re going to sin because no one is perfect. Well, I believe that Paul says it is possible to be free from sin, if we will walk in the Spirit. If we will begin to see ourselves as someone who has power to conquer sin because of our new nature as God’s children instead of continually telling ourselves that we’re just sinners saved by grace plugging along waiting for Jesus.

Can you see the difference? If I identify as a sinner, I’m more likely to be defeated by sin. But if I identify myself as a saint (which is the way Paul describes all the Christians to whom he writes), a saint who sometimes messes up and sins, I’m much more likely to live as and behave as a saint, one who is sanctified!

Sanctification is key to our spiritual growth and transformation into the likeness of Christ. Paul tells us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2) That perfect will of God is that we be complete and perfect, made in Christ’s image. Paul understood it is a process because he also said this: we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18).

The key to sanctification is to be in the process. Recognize that we are going from glory (one step forward) to glory (many steps forward). Pursue this by making it a daily habit to present yourself to the Lord as a sacrifice. A sacrifice is something that was killed and then offered to the Lord. Sometimes we’ll have to kill desires that arise to lead back to the old life of sin. Sometimes we’ll have to kill selfish ambitions. If we start every day determined that we are God’s offering and we’re committed to the sanctification process we’ll be able to keep ourselves from behaving like the old man or woman we once were and we’ll be pursuing holiness and sanctification. The question is: are you in the process? It’s worth thinking about and worth doing!

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