Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Salvation and Sanctification

Chuckle: "The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes, armadillos, and sand gnats come close!"
Quote: "I felt my heart strangely warmed. I feel I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the bore of sin and death." --John Wesley

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV).
Salvation encompasses the entire range of God's redeeming activity for mankind, and includes regeneration, sanctification, justification and glorification.
Last time, we looked at the first step in the salvation process -- regeneration. As you recall, regeneration means to experience the new spiritual birth, to be saved, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, regeneration suggests that all things are made new. When we accept Christ as Savior, by God's grace, through faith, we become a new creation of God -- the old life is gone and we are made new from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17).
Some seem to believe that making a public profession of one's faith in Jesus Christ is the end of the salvation experience. However, In the New Testament, salvation is referred to as past, present and future -- "I have been saved; I am being saved; and I will be saved" (2 Corinthians 1:10). It's true that we are instantly saved when we sincerely repent of our sins, ask God's forgiveness, commit our lives to Christ by faith and claim Him as Savior. However, this sincere acceptance of God's free gift of salvation is only the beginning of what God has in store for us as new believers. Today, let's think together about another aspect of our salvation experience - SANCTIFICATION.
To be sanctified is to be set apart for a purpose, holy unto God. Every believer is to be apart from the sinful influences of this world and wholly dedicated to serving God -- to set a new course for one's life befitting the redeemed. It is that relationship with God which we enter by faith in Christ. The sanctified should exhibit behavior totally different from that of the unregenerate people of this world. This is God's will for each of us who claim the name of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Agent of sanctification and it is through Him that every believer is so designated as holy ones or saints.
You may have seen the button with the letters “PBPGINTWMY’” on it. It is designed, of course to evoke the question, “What do all those letters mean?” The answer is, “Please Be Patient, God Is Not Through With Me Yet.” It is true that we Christians are “under construction.” We are in the process of becoming sanctified – holy and set apart for Christ.
Sanctification is a journey and a process, not a status we work for. it begins with the new birth (regeneration), and is the state into which God, in all His grace, calls sinful people as they begin to grow in their journey of discipleship with Christ. For us to please God our behavior should reflect a close and growing relationship with our Lord. Our gratitude for what God has done for us as through His love, grace, and mercy can only be shown by our holy living. To be fully sanctified, as a regenerated believer, is to be conformed to the image of Christ – to become Christ-like.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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