Striving for Sanctification

Sanctification

Hello there! So I thought it might be helpful to define what sanctification actually is. I realized I tried to encourage you guys to pursue it but what exactly is it? Sanctification starts when someone is saved. It is a spirit enabled salvation that happens when someone believes in Christ. This is called Positional Sanctification.

When I say the means of sanctification, I’m talking about progressive sanctification; the means by which we become more holy and like Christ every day. It is a pursuit that we strive for, toil for, and struggle with. Become more like Christ is hard; it’s impossible! So why should we strive for sanctification and becoming more like Christ every day of our lives?

By striving for Sanctification, we mean that theĀ  believer is working toward a goal. To become more like Christ. Philippians 2:12 says “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” This goal is not totally dependent upon the believer. It is working in conjunction with the Spirit.

  1. We do it becomes the Bible Commands it. We are to work out our salvation

It is our new desire. The Bible is clear that before we had an old life. A life that was subject to the power of sin, the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes. Now we have a new life in Christ and our heart has changed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Indeed we are new! New creations living for Him.

2. Our new desires in Christ should propel us to live for him and His glory

3. We want to remain in fellowship with God through our love

Sin separates us from God. The Spirit can be quench, be resisted, and grieved. Obedience stems from a love of God. 1 John 2:3 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.” If we love God we will keep his commandments!

4. We delight in the Word of God

Being in the Word renews our mind and produces obedience because the Word sanctifies. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

5. We want to set an example to an unbelieving World for the Gospel

We want the Gospel message to be heard and demonstrate that it has radically transformed us. 1 Timothy 4:16 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” We need to set an example for believers and the world so the Gospel message is proclaimed by our actions.

6. We are eternally grateful and look forward to the blessed hope of Christ who we will give an account to one day.

Gratitude produces obedience. Titus 2:11 says “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

7. Obedience produces blessing from God, brings assurance of salvation, and propels further obedience

There’s something about setting a pattern of obedience. Obeying makes obeying more easier. It’ almost as if we are practicing obedience and doing it spurs on more obedience.

8. We trust in the Promises of God

Having a clear perspective on why we strive for holiness will ignite more holiness. In order to live for His glory we must be saved. I hope this perspective of living for Him was helpful. Again, I don’t believe the Christian life can be lived alone. I know what it’s like to go to a church and have zero friends. To feel like an outcast. To feel like you areĀ  doing it all alone. Relationships take time. Forming meaningful friendships take a lot of time. We aren’t Christians on Sunday and Worldly the rest of the week. Being Christian is giving 100% every day. What is your identity? A basketball player isn’t a professional basketball player just on game days. He’s working every single day; he was able to get to that level because of the dedication he had. I hope this post was helpful. I remember being so lost when I first became a Christian. Directional living and knowing why you are doing it sets your life on a path toward the goal. It steers the ship in the right direction, getting to the destination that was predetermined beforehand. Let these insights be a blessing!

 

 

 

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What does it mean to be a Christian?

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Hi! This is my first post and I’m excited to post what I’m learning about. Since this site is dedicated to Christianity, I’d like to post a few thoughts on what it means to be a Christian. In the past, I was so confused on what this actually meant. Why? Nowadays it seems like everyone is professing faith in Christ. Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, etc . will all say that they are Christian. However, they all believe radically different things. Do you wonder what it means to be Christian as well? How will we get our answer?

I think the first step in determining what it means to be a Christian is to establish what your authority for truth is. Many people will say you cant prove the Bible with the Bible. I don’t believe that statement is accurate. We all have to decide what our ultimate authority. And if that is the Bible, then it will come back to itself. It is a circular argument because indeed, the Bible does prove itself. It is the ultimate authority for truth.

So if the Bible is the Ultimate authority for truth, what does it mean to be a Christian? I have to be careful here. Many times verses are taken out of context etc. First and foremost, a Christian is someone who’s life has been radically transformed by God’s Grace through Faith. (Ephesians 2:8) This is called justification of positional sanctification. Whoever believes in Christ will have eternal life (John 3:16). It is a faith accompanied by repentance from sin only possible with the Holy Spirit. We are all sinners under God’s wrath. However, once we truly believe by God’s grace, our life will be radically transformed. (2 Corinthians 5:17.) It is this saving power that is the beginning of a miraculous life. A life that is directed toward His holiness, His paths, His righteousness, His purposes, His Heart, and His will. It is a life that is incalculably greater than the previous life. This life changes your friendships, your direction, your heart, your thinking patterns, and ultimately your character. And that makes sense. Because as we grow in Christ, we are emulating the Character of God; his attributes. His attributes such as His love, His forgiveness etc.

So what now? Maybe you are confused. I know I was. What does my life look like after I become a Christian? Am I supposed to be holy and just abide by a bunch of rules? Can I live however I want? The answer is no. Christians have a new heart to follow God’s ways. God’s ways are in the Bible which are His revealed will. It is the heart of the Christian to abide by these commands and strive for holiness every day. Sanctification (Progressive holiness) takes an aggressive effort. There is a war going on; spiritual warfare as outlined by Paul in Romans 7 and Galatians 5. It is the battle of the flesh and the Spirit. Our old ways and our New ways. Sin vs Righteousness. The idea is that as we progress through the Christian life, we will be empowered by the Spirit to conform more and more to Christ. The Word Sanctifies (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm:119) Friendships Sanctifies. Prayer Sanctifies. It is our goal, our motivation to live holy because God is Holy. Sin separates us from God. God sent us His Son and we have a new hope to live for Him and be in fellowship with him (Titus 2:11) Now we are holy which means we are separated unto God for Holiness for his purposes. We are instruments of His righteousness to be used.

The Pattern

So really, what does this look like on a daily basis? Well, believers are not blinded but enlightened to the truth of God. They are not under the Power of Sin. It should be in the believer’s heart to strive for the things of God. What does this include?

  1. Reading the Word-The Word Sanctifies. It is God’s plan for our life and we need to be in it. It is the believer’s desire and a mark of a true Christian (John:8)
  2. Fellowship- Get into a Bible believing church. Truth growth can’t happen without fellowship and discipleship. It may be able to happen to a certain extent, but the true fruit of it can’t be seen without the church. The Christian life isn’t meant to be lived isolated. It is a community of believers striving toward the same goal, loving each other and living life together as a witness to the World for the Gospel. The Gospel that Jesus died for our sins. And by believing and repenting through God’s grace, we can have eternal life. A life that strives for the hope of glorification and being in heaven one day. The day that has unlimited value; the day when we will give an account to Christ at the judgment seat of Christ ( The judgment for believers; the Bema seat)
  3. Prayer- Consistent prayer. Confessing sin to restore fellowship (1 John 1:9) This isn’t restoring fellowship as in being in and out of salvation; it’s cleansing us from sin and restoring the relationship of our great God with us. We need to be in continued relationship with God through prayer, confession, and reading his Word. Christ is in us (Galatians 2:20)
  4. Striving for holiness- In mind, body, Spirit. This is the desire of a true Christian; a result of the new nature

 

Is this a checklist? By no means. It shouldn’t feel like a checklist. These are just good, productive things that will make the life of a Christian easier to live. Easier to live out His commands. They are done out of a willing submission to the Father that comes from a heart only He can provide. And that is what the Christian life is about. A life that strives to go after the heart of God and what he wants for us. A life that trusts in His promises and lives those promises out. A life that is content with what he has provided. A transformed life.

-For His Glory