Summary: This sermon is about the process of change which God is us through. In theological terms this is referred to as sanctification. In practical terms it is the gradual and continual process of God working in our lives to make us more Christ like. It is th
From The Inside Out, I John 1:9-10
The medical staff at the hospital was puzzled why a patient was not improving. The nurses were giving the proper medication. Yet, there was no improvement. The following day the nurse gave the medication and hid.
Thinking the nurse had left, the patient spit it out. Too many Christians act similar when hearing the word of God. They retain it for a short time, and then spit it out. As the result, there is no improvement in their Christian life.
This morning I want to talk to you about getting better spiritually from the inside out. I want to talk to you about the process of change which God is taking all of us through as we travel through this life.
In theological terms this is referred to as sanctification. In practical terms it is the gradual and continual process of God working in our lives to make us more Christ like. It is the ongoing and regular work of God as He sets us apart for His purpose.
Earlier in the service, during the children’s sermon, you heard me tell the children how we are very much like this pumpkin I have sitting here on the stage.
God chooses us from the dirty, dusty pumpkin patches of the world. He picks up because He sees our potential and our beauty. He takes a towel and uses it to wipe away the dirt and grime that the dusty pumpkin patch has gotten all over us.
He then takes His carving knife and very intentionally takes the top off of us so that He can see what it really inside of us. He sets the top to the side and then takes a big spoon and digs way down into the pumpkin to get the junk out.
As He does this he scrapes the sides the make sure that He has gotten everything out that does not belong. Once the inside of the pumpkin is clean and ready, and then God carves His image on us.
He places a candle inside of us and lights it with His love so that everyone around us can see that we are His. When they see His love shining in us, they are drawn – not to us – but to Him.
But there is more to the story isn’t there? Because unlike innocent children, we know that the story doesn’t simply end with God’s light shining in us. We know that sometimes we do things to snuff out that light or to make it faint.
Sometimes we forget who are – children of God – and we go our own way for a while. We forget the tremendous cost of our freedom in Christ. We forget or we are drawn away by temptation into selfish living.
1John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When you and I came to Christ we brought a lot of junk with us. It really doesn’t matter, though, whether we came to God as adults or children really, because even if we have known God our entire lives, we collect junk all the time.
That’s why the process of change in our lives is constant, because the process of collecting junk is also constant. We can hardly get through even one day without being faced with faced with all kinds of temptation to sin.
We wake up late and we are tempted to get angry at our wife who we are supposed to set the alarm and didn’t or we trip over our kids skateboard and for just a moment we find ourselves to treat them like something other than a gift from God.
The book of I John is a letter written from the Apostle John to his “little children” – those whom he had led to faith in Christ – who are in the world. With the exception of perhaps only the Song of Solomon, no other book in the Bible is written with such intimacy and gentleness.
Interestingly one of the major themes of the letter, though, is the sin of the Christians that the Apostle John wrote the letter to.
In this letter John treats the sin of the Christian as a child’s offense against his father. Sin is seen, not so much in legalistic terms of debt and retribution, but as a family matter between a child and a loving, gentle father.
Sanctification –the constant and ongoing process of the Christian becoming more like Christ – is a gradual journey that we are on our entire lives. It is like taking a walk with our daddy.
He holds our hands and walks at our pace. He encourages us and tells us what a good job we are doing and what good children we are and how much He loves us.