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The Glory of Gripping Things

Understanding the way our Father works is a personal passion for me.  I did not ‘major’ in theology, and so many things have to be painstakingly explained to me, like I was a small child. It seems that I will occasionally find something that is insightful.  A critical need we have is understanding the subtleties and significance of being made right with God (justification) and being made whole (sanctification).  This verse really applies here,

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”

Proverbs 25:2

Furthermore it was the Bereans who were the only ones in Scripture to be called “noble minded” for their serious study and thought (Acts 17:11). Study should not make your spirit ‘rigid’, rather the opposite should occur. God wants us to be learning Him and His ways. Understanding is a good thing.

flourish14

Justification & Sanctification– Gripping the Two

  1.  Justification is free (John 4:1)
  2. Sanctification is costly (Lk. 14:25-33)
  3. Justification is instantaneous (Jn. 3:8)
  4. Sanctification is a life-long process (Jn. 8:31)
  5. Justification is by faith (Eph. 2:8)
  6. Sanctification is by faithfulness (1 Cor. 4:2)
  7. Justification is not of works (Eph. 2:9)
  8. Sanctification is of works (Eph. 2:10)
  9. Justification involves Christ’s love for me (Jn. 3:16)
  10. Sanctification involves my love for Christ (1 Jn. 4:19)
  11. Justification concerns Christ’s righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21)
  12. Sanctification concerns my righteousness (Lk. 14:25-33)
  13. Justification involves my position in Christ (Col. 2:11-14)
  14. Sanctification involves my practice (Col. 3:1-11)
  15. Justification considers what God has done (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
  16. Sanctification considers what I am doing (Lk. 14:25-33)
  17. Justification is God’s commitment to me (1 Jn. 5:9-13)
  18. Sanctification is my commitment to God (Jn. 14:15)
  19. Justification requires obedience to one command: to believe the Gospel (Ac. 6:7)
  20. Sanctification requires obedience to all of Christ’s commands (Matt. 28:19-20)
  21. Justification focuses on the cross which Jesus took up once and for all (1 Cor. 1:18)
  22. Sanctification focuses on the cross which I am to take up daily (Lk. 9:53)
  23. Justification is finished at the moment of faith (Jn. 5:24)
  24. Sanctification is not finished until I go to be with the Lord (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

Discerning the two should only be a blessing. This is no way puts God in a box, but it does have an ability to explain much. I might add, examining some of the key verses that develop this statements will also bless you.

Author Unknown
believer, devotional, discipleship, Jesus Christ, life lessons, sanctification, Serving Mentally Ill Christians

Some Effort is Required

Effort is Needed

Search for the Lord and for his strength;
      continually seek him. 

1 Chronicles 16:11

 

Sometimes, I think a day off would be really nice.  Employers typically grant two weeks off every year.  That seems equitable and fair.  At one stint, I worked in the corporate world.  Days off are treated as if they were gold.

This verse is saturated with responsiblity–our responsibility.  To search implies definite effort.  I lose my keys, quite often.  I start a search– an investigation, to find them.  I inevitably turn the house upside-down.  They have to be somewhere! (Typically I find them in my pants in the hamper.)

But to be a searcher after God requires continual effort.  He reveals Himself to me, but I never truly apprehend Him.  He makes Himself known, but He is unknowable.  It’s not quite the treadmill, because we do encounter Him.  It’s just that we can’t pin Him down or put Him in a neat little box.

We are told that we need to hunt for His strength.  Receiving strength is never a passive thing.  This generation that I’m part of is inflicted with this contagion.  We are essentially a very  apathetic people.  It goes against our grain when we step toward the Lord.

This verse ends with “continually seek Him”.  We must put effort into this endeavour.  For many, Christianity is pretty much a release from this.  We come to Jesus, and we want to rest.  But we are confused, our discipleship is going to be an effort.  Does your walk make you work; does it make you sweat?

John Piper, lordship, spiritual lessons, teaching

Practical Steps to Kill Sin

Keeping in line with yesterday’s post, I decided to haul out some practical teaching on “holiness”.  I for one need to understand how a person changes into the image of Jesus Christ.  The following transcript was taken from an audio teaching by John Piper, a man I trust throughly.  I hope this blesses. –B. 

Practical Steps to Kill Sin

By John Piper, originally on November 9, 1987

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Relief: All true believers have sin remaining in them in this life. Romans 7:23 – “I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.”

Therefore we are commanded to constantly kill this sin (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).

How Is This to Be Done?

1) Take heart from the truth that the old sinful you is decisively already dead (Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:3; Galatians 5:24). This means three things:

1.the mortal blow to our “old man” has been struck;

2.he will not succeed in domination now;

3.his final obliteration is certain.

2) Consciously reckon the old man dead; that is, believe the truth of Scripture about the old man’s death, and seek to live in that freedom (Romans 6:11).

3) Cultivate enmity with sin! You don’t kill friends (Romans 8:13). Ponder how it killed your best friend, dishonors your Father, and aims to destroy you for ever.

4) Rebel against sin’s coup. Refuse to be bullied by his deceits and manipulations (Romans 6:12). Fight your sinful impulses with all your might like a boxer fights an opponent and like a marathon runner fights fatigue (1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Timothy 4:8).

5) Declare radical allegiance to the other side—God—and consciously put all your mind and heart and body at his disposal for righteousness and purity (Romans 6:13).

6) Don’t make any plans that open the door for sin’s entry (Romans 13:14). Don’t prove your purity in a pornography shop.

7) Develop mental habits that continually renew the mind in God-centeredness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16). Fix attention daily on “the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5), “things that are above” (Colossians 3:2), “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).

8) Admit failure and confess all known sin every day (1 John 1:9). Ask for forgiveness (Matthew 6:12).

9) Ask for the Spirit’s help and power in all these things (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:17, 22; Ezekiel 36:27; Isaiah 26:12).

10) Be part of a larger and smaller fellowship where you are exhorted often to beware of the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).

11) Beware of “works of law”; but let all your warfare be “the work of faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). That is, let your fight against sin spring from your confidence in the superior pleasures of closeness to Christ.

Pastor John Piper

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