Archives For Sanctification
The Bible wasn’t given simply to satisfy idle curiosity. The Bible wasn’t written so clergy would have something to say on Sundays. The Bible has been preserved to transform the lives of people like you and me. Never forget that!
Without sufficient and regular biblical nutrition, our inner lives begin to suffer the consequences. Our souls long to be fed, nourished, and energized by the Scriptures on a regular basis. When we fail to set aside time to digest healthy spiritual food, it isn’t long before the consequences start to kick in . . . and it’s not a pretty sight. We start to operate out of the flesh rather than under the control of God’s Spirit. We become shallow and selfish, more demanding, and less gentle. We react impatiently, rashly, and angrily. These are tell-tale signs of inner malnutrition.
The Spirit sometimes teaches us personally, but at other times, He uses books or Christian teachers. I don’t know how many times the Lord has awakened me at night and started teaching from passages I had pondered the day before. I prefer to attend day school, but if the teacher wants to enroll me in night school, I am willing to learn. I keep a small lamp on my nightstand, right next to a pen and a pad of paper, and I write down what I heave learned; if I don’t write it down, it will be forgotten by morning!
When your son questions what he should watch, what he should do with the pornography other boys show him, or what he should do when that cute girl gets him alone and starts unbuttoning her blouse, will anyone be speaking against it? It won’t be his friends. Even his church buddies will tell him to go for it. Your voice had better be loud and crystal clear because it will probably be the only one whispering, “Flee immortality, son.” Your example must be the argument opposing temptation.
Your life and home are under a withering barrage of machine-gun sexuality that rakes the landscape mercilessly. Right now you’re in landing craft, inching closer to shore and a showdown. God has given you the weapons and trained you for battle.
Your purity must not depend upon your mates health or desire. God holds you responsible, and if you don’t gain control before your wedding day, you can expect it to crop up after the honeymoon. If you’re single and watching sensual R-rated movies, wedded bliss won’t change this habit. If your eyes lock on passing babes, they’ll still roam after you say “I do.” You’re masturbating now? Putting that ring on your finger won’t keep your hands off yourself.
We all do a lot of things “in the name of love” that don’t produce love’s fruit. It isn’t that the good things we do don’t matter. They matter a lot. They just aren’t the highest priority. We’ve put them in a higher place than they belong. In order to love more–authentically and deeply–we have to rearrange our priorities and do fewer of the activities that enslave us.
When I moved to Texas I had to learn all about the “big three” schools. Places such as “Lubbock” and “College Station” and “Austin” were legendary cities because of the large schools located there. These were the cities of the “big three” colleges in Texas: Texas A&M (College Station), University of Texas (Austin), and Texas Tech (Lubbock). While Texas might have it’s “big three,” Paul writes about the “big three” in the lives of believers in Philippians 3:9-11.
First is justification. This is the teaching that we have righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. He writes, “and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith” (Phil 3:9, NLT). The basis and grounds for Christians be counted as righteousness depends on faith.
Second is sanctification. Once a person has placed his faith in Jesus Christ and committed to follow Him, the next step is sanctification. Sanctification is the daily act of becoming more like Jesus. “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,” (Phil 3:10, NLT). The Christian life is not always warm and happy. Here Paul reminds his readers that if they are to become more like Jesus, then they are going to suffer along the way. This suffering was predicted in the book of Acts, “And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16, NLT). That suffering was lived out as Paul has shared, “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him” (Phil 1:29, NLT) and “through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Cor 4:10, NLT). Sanctification includes joy as well, but suffering seems to be a big theme of sanctification for Paul.
Third is glorification. After a person has experienced justification and participated in sanctification, there will be a glorification for all believers at the end of their lives in heaven. “So that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Phil 3:11, NLT).
While it is easy to get caught up into the worldly view of things (as I learned about the big three in Texas), we should be reminded of the “big three” that Paul describes for believers: (1) justification, (2) sanctification, and (3) glorification.