Summary: This message talks about the doctrine of sanctification from the Penteocstal Holiness view as being a crisis experience as well as a life-long growth. The outline is: 1-The Undeniable Problem, 2-The Undeniable Promise, 3-The Undeniable Provision.

Winning in the Game of Life Series


This morning, I want to begin a new sermon series for the entire month of March entitled, "Winning in the Game of Life"

And the reason I want to do this is because this is the time of the year we have "March Madness" and there's a lot going on with the ACC Tournament and the NCAA road to the final four and championship

And in light of all that's happening in the sports world, I want to talk to you about WINNING IN THE GAME OF LIFE concerning your spiritual walk with God

You see, over and over in the Word of God, the Christian journey is related to *****sports***** and often likened to a game

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (The Message) You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

We're told in…

Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"

And they are cheering us on – why? So that we can win in the GAME OF LIFE

And all through this month, every service, we're going to be talking about this contest that we're in

We're going to be talking about…

--Defining Moments


--Are You Coachable

--several others

But first of all, this morning and tonight, we're going to be talking THE RIGHT STUFF

Because if you're going to have any chance at winning in any game, you've got to have what it takes – you've to have THE RIGHT STUFF!

And so, the first message in this series, I want us to look at THE RIGHT STUFF – SANCTIFICATION

Because if you're going to live a victorious Christian life, then you're going to need this thing called SANCTIFICATION

Now, this message this morning is for…

--those struggling with habits

--those who may have addictions

--those who feel the weight of guilt in your life because of sin and failure

--those who are captive

And I say like Jesus my Lord –

Luke 4:18 (KJV) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach…deliverance to the captives, and…to set at liberty them that are bruised,"

How can we be free this morning? How can we win in the game of life?

We need the RIGHT STUFF!!

Let's read…

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (KJV) "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (2) For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. (3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (4) That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (5) Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: (6) That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. (7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (8) He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit."


Paul, in our text this morning, is addressing the believers at Thessalonica

Several times already in this little epistle, he mentions their faith

In (1:8, 3:2, 3:5, 3:6, 3:7, 3:10) he mentions the words "YOUR FAITH"

However, in chapter 4:3, he mentions YOUR SANCTIFICATION, making it clear that salvation and sanctification, are two definite yet distinct works of grace in the heart of the believer

Now, it did not hit me until my studies this week, that our text is found in the 4th Chapter of 1 Thessalonians which during the last part of this chapter, you find Paul revealing the subject of the rapture

I had never put the two together – because what we really have here is Paul talking about living a life of sanctification and then he talks about the rapture

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