SAVED TO BE SANCTIFIED
What Christ has done on the cross separated them from the world
I serve in a small mining community. I’ve observed how the extracted gold and copper go through a tough process of purification to become priced stones. The way the rocks are excavated, milled to remove the needless attachments and purified illustrate the believer’s spiritual journey. Christ’s followers experience the same kind of progress. Christians are singled out. What Christ has done on the cross separated them from the world.
The Bible describes Christians as those who have been saved by grace and being sanctified for His glory, Ephesians 2:8-10. Christians are by grace saved through faith and are now “His works…” BELIEVERS ARE SAVED FOR SANCTIFICATION. It is the process where the Holy Spirit is transforming the believer to be like Christ. It is a lifelong commitment of holiness that started at salvation and will end at death. Because Christians are set apart for God, they should live not the way the Gentiles do. They must live in the “spirit the way God does” since that is the reason why the gospel has come upon them (1 Peter 4:5-6).
How did the gospel make us live for Him?
THE GOSPEL IS THE SPIRITUAL ROOT THAT ENABLES CHRISTIANS TO LIVE AND BEAR FRUIT FOR GOD. The gospel is the foundation where all Christian virtues were built. It is the first step which enables a dead person to leap for Him. THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS THAT TRANSFORMS THE IDOLATER INTO A TRUE WORSHIPPER.
So, a person who has been gripped with the gospel should now live according to what God calls him to be, a changed person (2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:1). Christians are part of His family (1 Tim. 3:15). God has transported them “out from darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Peter went on saying that “once [they] were not a people, but now [they] are God’s people.”
How then would a saved person show that he is being sanctified by God?
First of all, the saved-sanctified person has been given love and passion for Him. Since the person is a changed man, the Bible is clear that God has put godly desire so that he will yearn to know His Savior. He is able to desire and love God because he has been granted a new heart; a heart that can now respond to Him (Eze. 36:26).
This changed person will “seek the things of God.” He will set his “mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2). These words reflect the godly appetite of a Christian for God. The key to this passion for Him lies in what Christ has done.
Corollary to this truth is the reality that a changed person will have a decreasing taste for sin. Paul reminds Christians to “put to death what is earthly” such as sexual immorality, impurity, evil passion, and covetousness. We must put away anger, malice, slander and obscene talk. He them summed this idea saying that “we must put off the old self and its practices” (Col. 3:5-9). Christians are not sinless but they sin less.
Secondly, the saved-sanctified person has been enabled by God for obedience and service. Paul said that the “love of Christ compels us and that because of Him, we might no longer live for ourselves but for Him…” (2 Cor. 5:14). God has ordained means for us to grow in our Christian life. We call them spiritual disciplines. He revealed His will through His Word. We enjoy our Bible studies, discipleship and fellowship as we come to know Him. He gave us a local assembly, the church for us to mature in our Christian character. We recognize His grace as we serve Him in different ministries. As we visit the sick, feed the poor, follow up brethren, greet the newcomers, evangelize the lost and go for missions, we see less of ourselves and more of Him. We get sanctified.
Lastly, the saved-sanctified person anticipate and long for eternal glory. As the changed person recognizes his utter sinfulness, he cannot stop and think of the glory reserved for him in Christ. A true believer will say “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus and take me to your glory.” He will await with joy and humility the life of eternal worship in heaven. He is sure that the Lord will bring to completion the good work God has begun in him (Phil. 1:6).
Brethren, our life on earth is full of surprises and uncertainties. But one thing is sure for Christians – we will be transformed from glory to glory and like the mined ore that becomes precious gold, we will not settle until “CHRIST IS FORMED IN YOU” (Gal. 4:19).