Summary: Sanctification as a daily undertaking.
SANCTIFICATION: A DAILY OCCURRENCE…A LIFELONG PROCESS
The Greek word translated "sanctification" (hagiasmos [aJgiasmov"]) means "holiness."
Before reading today’s scripture I would like to lay a small foundation and give you some background on the writing itself. Paul’s letter in Colossians is written to a group of people who had "already" been saved and accepted Jesus Christ. However, there were some who were trying to teach that there was a "higher" level of spirituality that was obtainable beyond Jesus. Paul wanted to assure them that nothing beyond Jesus Christ was necessary for their spiritual growth and maturity.
As I read the scripture, I had two emotions: Comfort and Concern. I found Comfort, because it is clear that even after we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we will still have struggles, so this scripture gave me some assurance that it was at least normal to have struggles.
However, the second emotion, concern, was the more dominate emotion. I felt concerned that by our lack of understanding what it is to be saved, sanctified, holy, then we leave the door is swung wide open for failure in obtaining our birthright. When we feel as though there is something "lacking" in our Christian experience we begin to ask questions like:
Why do I feel depressed so often?
Why does my life seem to be no better now than before I was saved?
Why does that person seem so Christian…we were saved at the same time?
How can that person claim to be saved and still do or say the things they do?
Or we may find ourselves thinking less about God and more about this world. Or maybe being a little less Christlike than we used to be. Letting our guard down, becoming complacent, less "focused on Heaven" and eternity.
Misunderstanding or ignorance of something as important as our salvation can be just as damaging as outright "false teachings". The words Paul uses to address the people in Colossians are just as applicable today as when he wrote them. The warnings and reminders are just as valid today and need to be periodically refreshed in our minds and more importantly…hearts.
As I read today’s scripture and give you God’s message, each one of us should be listening with an open heart. Set aside your prejudices, your angers, your hurts, your worldly thoughts, and listen to what God, through His Holy Spirit has for you today. There is something for each one of us individually and the desired result will be something collectively for all of us.
Each one of us has an area (maybe more than one) in our life, right now, today, that needs improvement in the area of Holiness. I do not say this to chastise or judge; I say it to encourage us to be realistic with ourselves and God. There are some who have been fooled by Satan into thinking that those areas in our lives that need work are of little consequence; are small sins by comparison to others, are hidden sins that affect no one but the sinner (or so they think), or worse yet, convinced they aren’t sins all.
God wants to lovingly remind each of us today that our souls will be judged based on our own words, our own deeds, our own thoughts, and our own heart. Satan works on the saved to get them to give up their salvation. That’s right…to get you to sell your birthright for "one morsel of meat" or a little pornography, or little idle gossip, or little back biting, or a little drunkenness…and Satan is succeeding on a daily.
Colossians 3: 1-17; 24-25 (The New Living Translation)
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. 6 God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. 7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world.
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.