â€œTherefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.â€ (2 Timothy 2:21)
Sanctified…sanctification â€” the process of being made holy â€” being set apart for God. We are talking about a personal purification. Not one that you do; a process you allow in your life to be wrought by the Holy Spirit.
It does not take any special words from another man to declare you sanctified nor can you complete any works to make it happen. Why? Because it has already been done…
â€œPreviously saying, â€˜Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in themâ€™ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, â€˜Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.â€™ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.â€ (Hebrews 10:8-11)
The Old Testament law required that you bring burnt and sin offerings to the temple priests to atone for your sins and be made holy…sanctified. But Jesusâ€™ death on the cross was the final offering required from God.
So how do we become sanctified through the Holy Spirit? If we donâ€™t have to do anything, then whatâ€™s the point. The propitiation for our sins, the sin offering, has already been given through the death of Jesus Christ. The process of sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit being done in you by you allowing it? Getting confusing? Let Jesus clear it up:
â€œSanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.â€ (John 17:17)
Ah, it all goes back to reading our bibles. Jesus asked the Father to sanctify us by His word because it was truth.
Aletheia truth…absolute truth…truthfulness that corresponds to reality.
Talk about a rare commodity in American culture â€” truthfulness that corresponds to reality! If we will read our bibles and allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us with the Word of God, we will get rid of the stinking thinking. Hereâ€™s an example:
Last night Karen and I were returning from an event and I put on K-Love on the car radio. One of the DJs was giving his short testimony. He said his wife, whom at the time he had not married, kept inviting him to church but he kept refusing. She told him he could have a personal relationship with Christ by inviting Him into his heart. He went home one night miserable from the highs at night (from work presumably) and the lows in the morning (again, presumably from facing life alone). So he becomes upset at his state of mind, cries out to God and invites Jesus into his heart.
Good so far? He says the change was almost immediate; that one by one his heart started to change about things and he started getting rid of bad stuff out of his life. Now understand he had only 30-40 seconds to give his testimony but two very important words were missing from it: repentance and redemption.
Now where in his testimony did he talk about being a sinner in need of redemption and repenting of his sins and asking Jesus to forgive and be Lord of his life. I would want to have a cup of coffee with this man to get some clarification because if he does not realize the requirement to repent and be redeemed by Christ I would not give him half-a-halleluiah chance of being saved.
Why? Because the Bible does not say that if we find ourselves at a point in our lives where weâ€™re confused, upset, or whatever the emotion is, that all you have to do is ask Jesus into your heart and youâ€™re saved. If it is please point it out to me because I missed that passage somehow. Hereâ€™s what I do know is in the Bible; Jesusâ€™ recorded words:
â€œThen He said to them, â€˜Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.â€™â€ (Luke 24:46-47)
Repentance and remission of sins, not regret and recovery of life. Let me ask you this question? If someone you knew whom youâ€™d been witnessing to told you the same testimony of the DJ I shared with you, would you be convinced of their salvation? What if Satan knew your friend was getting close to being saved and he allowed an emotional moment and a â€œchange of heartâ€ and actually allowed the person to â€œclean up their actâ€ but not have a real conversion, do you think Satan would settle for that?
I do! Now I donâ€™t know if the DJ is really saved or not but the point Iâ€™m trying to make is if what he shared as his testimony is the totality of what he believes to be salvation then there would be good reason to doubt his salvation. Of course only God knows for sure but we can read His Word and see the Truth should we so desire.
The Bible brings personal purification by clearing out all the stinking thinking that the prosperity gospel and â€œYour Best Life Nowâ€ preaching from the NTFV (New Touchy-Feely Version) Bible that is so prevalent in the majority of materialistic churches across America. The American Church as an entity today is clueless on the issues of Godâ€™s judgment of sin and the requirement for holiness from His people. It is high time for a cleansing of the temple, a washing of the minds of those who call themselves Christians and it does not come from feelgood preaching; it comes from the Word.
â€œHusbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.â€ (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Gentlemen, would you take a harlot for your wife? Not one who had been a harlot, but a woman who is currently a harlot? Our Lord is the Groom preparing for Himself a Bride that is â€œholy and without blemishâ€ and that preparation comes through â€œthe washing of water by the word.â€
Let us prepare ourselves for our Groom through personal purification by His Word. He left His Word to us to know the truth and to be made holy.
And as you read the Word ask yourself if youâ€™ve ever come to the realization that you are a sinner…
â€œ…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…â€ (Romans 3:23)
That because of your sins you are facing eternal damnation in hell described in the Bible as death…
â€œFor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.â€ (Romans 6:23)
That there is nothing you can do to save yourself or make yourself holy and acceptable unto God…
â€œFor by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.â€ (Ephesians 2:8-9)
That you cannot wait to â€œclean up your actâ€ before you come to Christ nor that you even have to…
â€œBut God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.â€ (Romans 5:8)
That is you come to the understanding that you are a sinner and that Christ died for your sins and that this understanding becomes a true belief and heart commitment; one you are willing to confess publicly, that you will be saved…
â€œ…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.â€ (Romans 10:9-10)
Dear friend understand that there is no other way for you to be saved and that you cannot personally purify yourself to be spiritually prepared to come to a Holy God outside of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ…
â€œNor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.â€ (Acts 4:12)
My dear readers, let me get to the heart of the whole matter.
Are you saved? Do you know that if you died today that you would go to Heaven? Do you know it for sure? Do you know on the authority of Godâ€™s written word the Holy Bible?
I pray you do, but if you do not, I also pray that today will be the day of your salvation. Repent of your sins, confess Christ as the sacrificial lamb for your sins, ask Him to cleanse you of your sins and become the Lord of your life.
If you do that, I would love to hear about it. But more importantly, you must make that profession public and be baptized by immersion. Thatâ€™s what the Bible says, no other way.
Find you a Bible preaching church and let them know you have come to Christ for salvation.
And for those of us who do know the Lord as their personal Savior, pray for anyone who might read this that they might come to Christ today. And please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers