Thursday, March 24, 2016

Salvation and Sanctification

Most people have heard of the three tenses of salvation:

Past...We have been saved from the penalty of sin.
Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  (I Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now not condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Present...We are being saved from the power of sin.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin,you became slaves of righteousness.
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free.  (John 8:31-36, Romans 6:5-13)

Future....We will be saved from the presence of sin.
I John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
(I Corinthians 15:52-57, Revelation 21-22)

In a very similar fashion we also see the three aspects of sanctification. To be sanctified is to be set apart from sin, and set apart to God. It is to be set apart from seeking our own pleasure, our own way, and our own purposes, so as to seek God's pleasure and accomplish His will in all that we do.  It is to be spiritually taken out of the world and placed into Christ.  In a practical sense it is to be repurposed and reoriented.  In a spiritual sense it is to be conformed to the image of Christ.

We are sanctified:

Positionally...we have been sanctified
I Corinthians 1:30 but by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification.
I Peter 1:1-2 To those...who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit

Progressively...we are being sanctified and are becoming more sanctified
I Thessalonians 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Philippians 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear trembling; for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
I Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification...
Romans 8:28-29b And we know that God cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son...
II Peter 3:17-18 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...

Perfectly...we will be sanctified
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who called you, and He will bring it to pass.
I John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Salvation and sanctification are inextricably linked, and you cannot have one apart from the other. God's will for us is encompassed in our salvation and accomplished through our sanctification. Romans 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.  Sanctification then is the means by which God separates us from sin unto Himself, first postionally, then progressively, and finally, perfectly.

Where are you in this process, my friend?  Have you been separated and freed from sin so that you do not practice sin as a habit of life and can say no to sin (I John 3:9-10)?   Have you experienced His enabling power so as to do His will (Hebrews 13:20-21)?  Is the growing desire of your heart to please Him all the more (II Corinthians 5:14-15)?  Are you becoming more like Christ in thought and deed (Romans 12:2)?  If so, then praise God for His work in your life.  If not, then confess to God your separation from Him, repent from your own ways and in faith ask Him to save and sanctify you.

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