What a challenging picture of a Christian. Upon salvation you become God’s new creation. Though a new creation, you still live within a body of sin habits that purposely or unknowingly entrap you in a prison where sin saps life from your walk with Christ. Paul described this life in Romans 7:21-23 when he said, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being (your new heart and spirit) I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body (your old self), waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” These Scriptures set up the importance of sanctification (becoming like Christ) in your Christian life. Here are six steps to being victoriously sanctified in Christ:
- Galatians 4:1 illustrates living outside of God’s influence instead of living as a follower of Christ: “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.” Be a victor in Christ by living as a fully devoted follower of Christ who possesses all that Christ offers.
- Acts 14:15 tells you how to respond to the convictions of God’s truths: “We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.” You claim your position in Christ by not minimizing truth by holding onto things of temporal value, but by faith claiming truth and then obediently stepping into it.
- Hebrews 12:10-11 states the importance of recognizing sin through sin’s natural consequences or God’s discipline: “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later-on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Learn to see difficult and trying times as opportunities to grow in righteousness.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 teaches the importance of avoiding sin as well as disciplining yourself to repel sin: “It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.”
- Steps one through four will be greatly facilitated if you continually live in Jesus. One of the best ways to do this is through a time of daily prayer and Scripture reading that allows God’s presence and work to be spoken into your life. Jesus said in John 15:4, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” Your prayers and Scripture reading will be further magnified by intentionally allowing God to bring convictions leading to greater righteousness, so that you can by faith obey Him. In John 15:2, Jesus describes this process, “He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
- The success of your sanctification rests on the work of Jesus in you. Philippians 1:6 reflects the confidence you should have in God as you believe and obey His leadings: “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Keep your eyes on Jesus!
The process of sanctification does not come by a casual intake of the Word of God, going to church, and other spiritual activities. These are important stepping-stones that give you the daily opportunity to learn, hear and engage God in your life by stepping out obediently in faith. Active prayer, listening, faith, and obedience will help you experience and become all that Christ has for you. You can get a free resource on “Impactful Journaling” by going to www.growinginChrist.net. Go to the bottom of the landing page to claim your free resource. The last part of Psalm 142:7 says, “Then the righteous will gather about me because of Your goodness to me.” Live the Christian life to be transformed through sanctification into God’s righteousness. Let those who see you praise God not because you call yourself a Christian, but because they see God’s righteousness being lived through you!
2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Satisfaction” and “Transformation: “Part 1,” “Part 2,” and “Part 3.”