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Santification

23 Feb

A quick warning before we start: if you’re going to read the beginning of this post, please read the end to! You need to read the end of the post in order to realize I’m not supporting legalism in the beginning… With that said:

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Such were some of you… But you’ve been washed clean by Christ. That may be one of my favorite verses in the Bible, as it perfectly captures what exactly it is that Jesus has done for us: He’s washed us clean in His blood. Sometimes we hear that phrase, as Christians, so much that it’s meaning is deadened to us. He’s actually washed us clean in His blood. Immortal God came down to Earth, becoming a man, and died for us. More than that though, now Christ has sanctified us! And, as this sanctification includes the mind, our wants and desires are changed as well… Something, however, which poses a rather interesting question:

What if I continue to want what I wanted before coming to Christ? Am I not a “true” Christian, and if not, what would make me one?

Well, I’m not about to put myself in the place of God, and tell you how to become a “true” Christian (as compared to a “false” one), but this is what the Bible says on the matter (this is the later half of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples):

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17:13-19)

Jesus says here that his disciples are “hated by the world,” something which, it is inferred, was caused by Jesus giving them His word (“I have given them my word and the world has hated them,” as if the two where synonymous). Thus, because we are also Jesus’ disciples, and have His word – and because of His word, the Bible, understand that we’re not supposed to be homosexuals, thieves, etc. – the world should “hate us” as well. If the “World” (unbelievers in general) doesn’t hate us, than the only other possibility is that the world completely loves us: there is no grey line with Christ, either you serve one master (Jesus), or the other (the World), you can’t serve both. Thus, if the World loves us, we’re not “of Christ.” See where I’m going here?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting legalism! There is forgiveness for sins, and, sadly, every Christian still falls to sin while on Earth. But we should no longer need that sin to find fulfillment. Instead, we now find fulfillment in Christ! What I’m saying is this: if we still feel as if we need to do this or that, or to have this or that, “this or that” is an idol that we’re worshiping instead of Christ! We shouldn’t need or want any sin, ever. This isn’t to say we won’t still fall (unwillingly!) to temptation, but it does mean that we’ll always get back up again. Paul puts it far better than I do:

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:1-7)

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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