Tuesday, May 15, 2012

God has called us in Sanctification





Scripture

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
(1 Thessalonians 4:7 NASB)
So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:8 NASB)

 

Observation


The purpose of the Christian life is to become like Christ and this is the result of sanctification. It is not the work of humans, but the work of the Holy Spirit within each and every single one of us. Therefore, we are not called to be impure people, but to be God's holy people. If we refuse to listen to this message, we are not rejecting the one who brings the message, but instead, we are rejecting God who has called us all to be pure and sanctified through the Holy Spirit whom he sent to us.

 

Application


Too many people don't like that word sanctification, and nor do they like the idea of living a life of purity. Why? One reason seems to be because sanctification was, at one point and time, associated with a legalistic set of rules, as if following a proscribed set of actions would make one pure. That is where we have distorted the message, and in the distortion we have made excuses for our own behavior. Somehow we have determined that "it is only human" to be impure. Therefore, when we do things that we should not do -- it is okay because it is human nature to not be perfect. Actually true human nature is made in the image of God and is a "perfect" reflection of him. It is fallen humanity that no longer looks like Christ, but lives in sin. Therefore, to be "only human" means that we would look like Christ. To use this excuse means that we think that God's norm for humanity is fallen, sinful and corrupted humanity. The message of sanctification is not the message of a task-master, but a message of hope for all of God's children that they may all once again be restored to the true humanity which God intended in his creation. Why would God want us to continue to languish in our sinful selves? He doesn't, which is why his desire for each and every one of us is a life of purity, made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

When we push back against the idea of sanctification, we are pushing back against God himself. He did not call us to a life of purity, without giving us the power to live a pure life! That's not the kind of God that we serve. Every day of our life journey is one in which the transforming power of God's Holy Spirit can draw us closer and closer to the original Image of God, Jesus Christ himself, and in drawing closer we become a clearer reflection of who he is. This is real humanity, with the image of Christ stamped on each and every one of us, through the power of the Holy Spirit making us a crystal clear reflection. Don't buy into the "only human" excuses, but seek the face of Christ every single day of your life and allow the sanctifying work of God's Holy Spirit to work in and through you leading you to a life of purity in him.

 

Prayer


Lord, today and every day may I keep my eyes fixed on you and may your sanctifying work continue daily.  Amen.

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