Mathew 5: 48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1 Corinthians 1:1-11 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Many years ago, I was told of distant relatives who had become sold on joining the church of scientology because of the profits their church associations were bringing them in their business. The day before they were to join, they decided to go to the local Christian church and be baptized. They wanted to make sure that they would be covered, if the claims of Christianity were true. So what do you think? Are they covered? Only a fool would rest on such thin ice, but only God can and will judge them. But if those were the only choices that I had, I would rather have the prayer of a fool, than no prayer to Christ at all. It never ceases to amaze me though, the way that people play games with God. Recently, I read about a Christian living in an adulterous relationship. When confronted by his pastor, He replied; “don’t worry about it pastor, I’m a carnal Christian.”
I want to talk today about sanctification. This is a big word that is often misunderstood. In both the Greek and Hebrew, to sanctify means to “set apart” for God’s possession and use. This is the reason Paul calls the Christians at Corinth, saints. Were all of the Corinthians living a sanctified daily walk? Were they all walking a Mother Teresa-like walk? We know that they were not. “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren … that there are contentions among you.” Once a person calls Jesus their Lord, and faithfully prays for his promised eternal salvation … at that moment, we are ALL sanctified and set apart for eternity, and also, from that moment on, we become saints. We are saints not because we are sinless, but rather we are saints because of our calling from God. He is eternally sanctified. He is Holy. “I the Lord, who sanctifies you, am Holy.” Leviticus 21:8. Jesus Christ is Holy, undefiled and separate from sinners. He is waiting for us in Heaven, and spiritually we have a sanctified position with Jesus in Heaven. As we are also justified through Christ at Calvary, and as His righteousness lives through us, and as we have been redeemed, we are also positioned in His sanctification eternally.
There is obviously a big difference between our fully sanctified position in Christ, and our earthly physical condition which is daily being sanctified. We must never confuse the two. Our present condition is a work in progress. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us in our current condition. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor. 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 calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thes. 4:3-4; 5: 23-24 Our earthly sanctification is his will and His work. As we renew our minds, He will transform and conform us to His will ... the character and likeness of Christ. Our condition will change as we are transformed into His righteousness, but none will become fully sanctified in the flesh … not one.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.” Jude 1:1. As you see in this verse, Jude says … peace and love be multiplied. He would never say this to the sanctified Christ who is perfect and Holy … peace and love personified. If believers perfection was complete, he would not say it to them either. But there is work to be done. Our condition is being sanctified as we are transformed. But make no mistake, positionally … we are eternally saints and our eternal sanctification is safe and secure with Christ in Heaven. It is our calling of God and like our salvation in Christ, it is not up for discussion with Him. This is true for every believer, including carnal believers … but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. We are preserved in Jesus Christ. We are set apart for God’s unique use. He has called us to his service. All of our remaining life on earth is considered to be in God’s service, whether we acknowledge it, or not. If a Christian chooses to take this fact lightly, he will suffer the consequences.
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mathew 5:48. So, what are we to do with this command of Christ? Learning to live the love of Christ is obviously a good place to start. Need a to-do list? I suggest reading all of Mathew 5 and 1 Corinthians 13, and as you renew your mind … rest in your sanctified position. The Holy Spirit will transform your thinking and guide you into learning the deeper truths of living out the love of Christ and the righteousness of Christ.
Then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all. Hebrews 10:9-10
God Bless You MY Friends, Bob
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