Summary: Part 2 in a series debunking some popular bumper sticker descriptions of the faith
Last week we talked about the problem of sin in the life of those apart from God (it leads to death/Hell) and in the life of a child of God (it brings a barrier into the relationship God never intended—a lag in the Christian life).
We found that the Bible says sin is a condition (from Adam), conduct (things we have done) and apathy (things we have turned a blind eye/deaf ear to that God has directed us toward.
The Biblical remedy, we discovered is the same for sinner and Christian—God’s grace and repentance. This prevenient grace is the first act of God in bringing about the result He so desires—our righteousness.
There’s a bumper sticker I absolutely hate. It’s the one that says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” I hate it because it seems to excuse the dirty corners and closets of our lives. We aren’t flawless but we are more than consumers of grace. I am not the person today that I was before Jesus came into my life. I am not the same person now that I was last year in Christ. By God’s grace I will not be the same tomorrow!
• A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it’s because they don’t know you."
Today, we will discover the path of perfecting grace God desires for His children.
1. Positional Sanctification (the up and down of the cross)
a. 1CO 1:2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.(the people in Corinth weren’t the greatest but Paul called them ‘sanctified’.)
b. Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
c. When I became a Christian, God set me apart.
d. In spite of the fact that Paul found much in the Corinthian Christians to criticize, he still called them "sanctified"--not because of their conduct, but because of their relationship to Christ (positional sanctification).
e. God doesn’t always look at me and see sanctified conduct, but He does see the relationship of grace I have with Him through Christ Jesus.
f. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2. Progressive Sanctification (the side to side of the cross)
a. Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin (positional sanctification) but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God,(progressive sanctification) as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
b. 2PE 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (i.) through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(ii.) 2PE 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort(iii.) to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure (iv.), they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2PE 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.