Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Roman Catholicism #7: Sanctification

God does not save us  simply to give us  a free ticket to Heaven.  It’s true, salvation is free.  It’s a gift of God’s grace; Ephesians 2:8-9  Titus 3:5-6  but God’s purpose in saving us  is to make us  like Jesus. This brings glory to God.  This doctrine is called Sanctification and it is   God’s ongoing  purpose and  work to make us Saints.   

Declared Saints

No church can declare or make us saints. We are declared Saints the moment we are born again just as an infant son born to the king and queen is born a prince.  But the little prince needs to be trained to live and act as the prince that he is. So God works in us to make us saintly.  Most of the New Testament Epistles are given to us for that express purpose; to teach us to be saintly.  Ephesians 1:11-14;  2:10; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:15-16;   I Peter 2:9-10. Note that the Epistles are addressed to saints and  even the unsaintly, carnal Corinthians are referred to as saints.  Thank God for His faithfulness to us in this great undertaking.  I Corinthians 1:9 

Made Saints

How does God take a redeemed sinner and make Him a saint?  First, understand that we are qualified to be saints only  through faith in Christ’s blood sacrifice for us. Hebrews 10:10;  13:12  What then are the tools God uses to make us saintly? 

1.  God begins His work of sanctification in us through the use of His Word, the Bible.  The more we read it, study it and submit ourselves to it; the more saintly we become.  II Timothy 3:16-17;  John 15:3    God gives pastors and teachers to help perfect  saints through the preaching of His Word. Ephesians 4:11-15   Because there are many voices that claim to be preaching the Word, it is important that we follow the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11 who searched the Scriptures  to determine whether they were hearing the truth. 

2. God also gives His Holy Spirit to come and live in our hearts.  The Holy Sprit is the third Person of the Trinity.  When Jesus left this earth to return to Heaven, He promised He would send His Holy Spirit to live in us. John 14:16-17.  The Holy Spirit has a part in our sanctification as He convicts us of sin.  He guides us into all truth. John 16:13-14  He indwells the believer. I Corinthians 3:16-17  II Corinthians 6:14-18.  If  the Spirit of God is not living in us, then according to  Romans 8:9 we are not Christians.  

Every Christian is commanded to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18  When we are filled with the Spirit, we do not lose self control. Galatians 5:22-25  Rather the Holy Spirit so controls us that we have self control.  He puts a song in our hearts. Ephesians 5:19   He enables us to be thankful in every situation. Ephesians 5:20   He enables us to submit ourselves to others Ephesians 5:21.  We don’t insist on having our own way; rather we live and work in harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  A Church business meeting where all the saints are controlled by the Spirit is a thing of beauty to behold.   Christ also beautifies marriages when  husbands and wives are living under the control of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:21-33. 

3. God uses the trials and difficulties of life  to sanctify us and make us more saintly. I Peter 5:10  Job is a prime example of one of God’s children who became more saintly through the sufferings God allowed.  It is interesting as we look at the life of Job  to see that God even uses Satan  to help sanctify Job.  Of course, Satan intended to cause Job to dishonor God,  but God turned it around and brought glory to His name through the victory that He gave Job. 

God is at work in every believer’s life to bring us to spiritual maturity as His saints.  Praise God, that whatever He begins, He completes.  Philippians 1:6   Let me caution you.  Don’t ever think that you have arrived and  have attained perfection in this life.  If you do, you are deceiving yourself.  I John 1:8,10   Paul in Philippians 3 gives his testimony.  In verses 10-15 he makes it clear that he has not arrived at perfection, but  he longs to know Christ intimately and live in consistent victory over sin. This is the thinking of a mature saint.  He knows he has not achieved perfection, but he desires it.   If you claim you are saved because you put your trust in Christ, but you have no hatred of sin and no love for Christ and no desire to live a holy life,  you are deceiving yourself.  James 2.   Examine yourself and make sure you are genuinely saved.  II Corinthians 13:5  Only as Christ is doing His sanctifying work in your life can you be sure that He has already Justified you.

April 24, 2006 - Posted by | Roman Catholicism

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