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