Summary: deals with holines, sainthood, being set apart for God
David P. Nolte
(I thank Dr. Calvin Whitman for the 4 major points)
Many of our veterans died to make America free– those of us who follow Christ need to live to make America great; to make America a nation whose God is the Lord; to sanctify America as a nation under God. That will happen one person at a time. One by one, person by person, our nation can become holy to the Lord.
Holy, sanctification – sainthood – sacred; all mean essentially the same thing. Today I want to explore sanctification as it applies first to individuals and then to the nation as a whole.
WE CAN SANCTIFY AMERICA BY HEEDING: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NASB)
• SANCTIFICATION: set apart for special use; especially for God’s use.
• HOLY / SACRED: Different, special as in the Temple being a holy building because it was for a different and special purpose than other buildings.
If you belong to Jesus Christ you are a sanctified, holy, sacred saint. Sainthood is not conferred by some ecclesiastical council – it is bestowed by God on the very least of those who follow and obey Jesus Christ. God also declares that nation holy that makes Him Lord!
The text says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:1-18 (NASB)
There are 4 things I w Want to say about sanctification or holiness.
I. SANCTIFICATION IS PERSONAL:
A. Paul said, “Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Each person must do that for themself! That’s personal. Be that change you want to see in America.
1. Nobody else can do that for you, nor you for anyone else.
2. God isn’t going to force you to make that choice nor can Satan stop you!
3. If you quit obeying sin and are sanctified that is your personal freewill decision. He does the work but you make the decision.
B. There are two sides to this coin:
1. One side is that Christian faith is deeply personal – it is between the individual and God.
2. The other side of the coin is that Christianity is intensely corporate and collective – it binds Christian to Christian as the body of Christ.
3. We are at one and the same time individually responsible to live sanctified lives and are corporately responsible for helping and encouraging one another to do so.
C. But, following the Lord to sanctification is a personal thing and the bottom line is that we choose for ourselves.