Summary: When we are baptized into Christ God sees us as Holy, then we spend our lives becoming what He has made us.
So Far In the plan of salvation I have spoken about:
1.Grace and Faith
Tonight I will be speaking about sanctification another form of the word holy or consecrated.
Two of the beads deal with Holiness, the white one is how God sees us and the green one is us becoming what God has made us or allowed us to be, if we choose to accept this mission.
The writer of Hebrews gives us instruction in chs 5&6 that we need to :
1.grow up in Christ, get off the milk of babies and start eating solid food
2. Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
Heb 6:2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Then he gives us a very serious warning:
1. Heb 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.
Heb 6:7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God;
Heb 6:8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
So the next step in God’s plan of salvation is sanctification
The Greek word is hagiasmos- any word ending with asmos in Greek describes a process and not a completed state. What will become more apparent for us is that God’s concept of sanctification is not one of perfectionism, but of the continuing work of the new creation which is carried on in the believer through the work of the obedient life and the Holy Spirit.
My Definition of sanctification is: Preparation for perfection. It means the progressive conformation of the believer into the image of Christ.. It is the process in which the believers life is made morally Holy. It is the understanding that once you belong to Christ – you become a slave to obedience.
It is NOT momentary like baptism, but is a life long process that begins when we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is by joining the Holy Spirit with our Spirit that we begin the mastery over sin.
Many in churches today would like to believe that once they were baptized into Christ their sinful nature has been dealt with once and for all- that Jesus blood on the cross took care of it and they are saved regardless of how they presently live their lives. That sin is no longer our problem but Gods.
They want to believe that God’s primary business is forgiveness.
We see this issue raised in Roman’s 6 don’t we?
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
Rom 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Rom 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Well, if God forgives us by His grace why not sin all the more that God’s tremendous Grace might be seen by everyone all the more!
Friends sin was not the original plan of God for our lives and thus neither was forgiveness!!
In baptism one is saying I am going to die to sin and therefore my point of view and logic regarding sin are to become those of Christ Jesus!
After baptism our justification- being made “just as if we had never sinned” must become a reality to the new Christian.
Bruce shields writes “ The baptismal experience of the Christian if taken seriously, should make it impossible for the Christian to entertain the notion of willfully sinning.”
In baptism we have been brought or really bought if you will from death to life.
Once the believer receives the Holy Spirit he is anything but powerless. The believer can say “NO” to sinful temptation and “YES” to the will of God.