The Mission – Saints Sanctified (Part 2)
In my last post, I said that we are living in very uncertain times. And then the United States had their election, and things became only more uncertain. Not many people predicted what would happen, and nobody really knows how the outcome is going to affect the world.
Again I ask, what is the church to do?
To quote Kyle Idleman, “A lot of people are looking right, others are looking left, but we as the church should be looking up.”
So what is our mission as the church?
- Souls saved
- Saints sanctified
- The church strengthened.
As shown in part 1, the primary goal of every believer is to show the lost the way to Jesus. But we also have a biblical responsibility to stay close to Jesus and walk with Him. We have to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. (Phillipians 2:12)
This is the process of sanctification. It is the process of becoming holy as He is holy. Jesus said in John 17:17 :
“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word which is truth.” – John 17:17 (NLT)
Other translations write, “Sanctify them by your truth”. This what our walk with Jesus should be every day, and it should be our goal as His children. But how do we go about sanctification? Well the short answer is, we don’t. The Holy Spirit does it for us by His Word.
The bible speaks of two different parts to sanctification. In 1 Corinthians:
“Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy (sanctified); you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:11
Here Paul tells us of the initial act by the Holy Spirit of setting us apart from the world through salvation. We were given the gift of the righteousness of Jesus. When Jesus was on the cross, He took on all of our sin. He was spotless, and yet God the Father treated Him as though He had lived my life, or yours. And when we became saved, God the Father treated us and saw us as though we had lived the life of Jesus. We were sanctified and washed clean of all our sins, set free from the chains of sin that bound us for so long.
But we are human! We still sin and we still stumble (Romans 7:15). But that is the second part to sanctification that the Bible speaks of. It is the maturing process of a believer.
“… Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” – Philippians 2:12b – 13
“And I am certain that God, who begain the work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Philippians 1:6
When we encounter temptation, we can hold fast to these scriptures and hold fast to the fact that God has given us a way out. He has given us the desire and the power to please Him and serve Him faithfully.
Do not despair when you fall to temptation. When we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). This does not give us permission to sin freely, but it does give us the hope and the comfort to know that when we fall, Jesus is there to pick us up, dust us off, and keep walking with us.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” – James 4:7
Our job is spend time in prayer, drawing close to God as our Father, and He will bring about a change in us, maturing us and growing us in our fellowship with Him.
Take hold of the Word of God and remember He is working in you!
Author – Justin Berrisford