Summary: We cooperate with God in the process of our personal sanctification

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Whose Job is it Anyway?

I. Psychologists say one of the primary causes of conflict in households involves

dispute over what’s generally called division of labor.

A. diapers. You’ve been there . . .

1. We’ve been dealing with now for 3.5 years (some of you much longer)

2. Husbands learn within the first week – play ignorant! (Nose is sort of

stuffed up . . .)

B. Many households have never had a calm, rational discussion about who is

best equipped to take out the garbage or take the kids to school.

1. Bed goes unmade, dishes go unwashed, trash doesn’t go out

2. ever watch a banana peal go black over the course of a few days cause

it doesn’t get thrown?

3. I’ve learned how pathetic I am after watching that happen in our living

room the past few days (if I don’t throw it – it won’t get done)

4. Ever watch how people will step over a piece of trash rather than throw

it? (Have you ever stepped over a piece of trash . . .?)

C. In the end, lots of things don’t get done because each person in the

relationship thinks the other one is really responsible.

II. That’s a lot like spiritual growth

A. This morning I want to talk about the doctrine of Sanctification

B. Holiness

C. The messy, undesirable things are removed from our lives

D. Assembly of God fundamental Truth #10 (AG Online)

1. Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of

dedication unto God

2. Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification

with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning

daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty

continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.

III. The Gospel (Good News) isn’t just that I get to go to Heaven

A. The Gospel is also that I can “be transformed by the renewing of my mind.”

B. The Gospel is also that ”We are no longer called servants, but friends” by


C. The Gospel is also that we can be “reconciled to God” (as stated in our


D. an offer of life in God’s Kingdom

1. God’s plan is that his image in us, which was marred by the Fall, should

be restored in all of its beauty and glory.

IV. But for many Christians there is confusion about the division of labor as it relates

to spiritual growth or sanctification. They ask, “Is it God’s job, or is it mine?”

A. Some Christians say it’s God’s job, and they say, “I can’t do anything at all.”

(I have “discussion” with members of my family about this one)

1. Romans 7:18 where Paul says, “I know nothing good dwells within me,

that is in my flesh. I can will right, but I can’t do it.”

2. Citing verses like these, they say human action is futile.

3. object to any call for extra effort or costly following by saying that

human effort is opposed to grace.

B. On the other hand, some Christians take a Marine approach to spiritual life,

evaluating spiritual growth as a product of one’s commitment level.

1. Leviticus 11:44: “I am the Lord your God. Sanctify yourselves,

therefore. Be holy for I am holy.”

2. they believe God’s job is to make sure he’s holy; their job is to make

sure they are holy.

3. Throughout history there have been who have “gone the extra” mile . . .

The monks at a remote monastery deep in the woods followed a rigid vow of silence.

Their vow could only be broken once a year——on Valentine’s Day——by one

monk. That monk could speak only one sentence. One Valentine’s Day, Brother

Thomas had his turn to speak and said, "I love the delightful mashed potatoes we

have every year with the Valentine’s Day Roast!" Then he sat down. Silence ensued

for 365 days. The next Valentine’s Day, Brother Michael got his turn and said, "I

think the mashed potatoes are lumpy, and I truly despise them!" Once again, silence

ensued for 365 days. The following Valentine’s Day, Brother Paul rose and said, "I

am fed up with this constant bickering!

4. The church then becomes a place of contest to see who is the most

holy, who has memorized the most Bible verses, who has witnessed to

the most people, who has the most regular quiet time, who has prayed

the most.

5. Unfortunately, people with this checklist mentality believe as long as

they’re doing these things they must be growing spiritually, even if love

and joy aren’t being produced.

V. Whose job is sanctification and spiritual growth?

A. If it take steps to become holy and Christlike, will the Lord distance himself?

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