Posted by: Rina | October 13, 2009

Sanctification and Grace

“We are saved by faith and we walk or live by faith.  We have been sanctified by faith and we are being sanctified by faith and by faith alone.  We are neither saved nor sanctified by how we behave but by how we believe.  God’s work of atonement changes sinners to saints.  The radical change, regeneration, is effected at the moment of salvation.  The ongoing change in the believer’s walk continues throughout life.  The progressive work of sanctification, however, is only fully effective when the radical, inner transformation by regeneration is realized and appropriated by faith.” -Neil T. Anderson

Mankind will never again live in the innocence of Adam and Eve.  Now, the struggle is in the choice.  We have a knowledge of good and evil.  We are bent toward selfishness. The situation needs remedy and God has provided the remedy in Grace.

God recognizes the need for His children to walk in holiness (consistent good).  He also recognizes that we need an environment in which we can try and fail, recover and learn, and press forward toward holiness.  Because we have this knowledge of good and evil that God never intended us to have, we must have a safe place in which to practice doing good.  This is the process of sanctification.  The process by which humans are molded and conformed into His image.  Jesus never committed one sin, and if we are to become like Him, we must eliminate sinfulness.  A milieu for this has been established in the Kingdom of God as we continue in grace.  Paul describes it as “working out your salvation”. (Philippians 2:12)  We are not working to get into the Kingdom, we are working because we are in the Kingdom.  We possess a knowledge that wasn’t meant for us and it can be overwhelming.  John writes:  “Little Children, make sure no one deceives you; he one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (John 3:7-8 NASB).

After being born again, we don’t become perfect immediately.  Christians will occasionally sin.  However, someone who desires fellowship with God will confess and repent, and remain in the kingdom of God. Christians are practicing righteousness as a lifestyle.  This is different than the previous lifestyle where sin was the norm.  Thus, Christians remain constantly dependent upon the grace of God and never adopt a sinful lifestyle.  This is contrary to former life which pursued the next self-fulfillment.  It is this environment of grace which allows the opportunity for holiness.  Without grace, none could stay in the kingdom of God.  Grace gets us in, and grace keeps us in.  Grace is a requirement for the human who has the knowledge of good and evil.  The apostle wrote:  “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

It is by grace that God has continued to fellowship with those who have “become like one of Us, to know good and evil.” (Genesis 3:22).  A lifestyle of sin puts one under the control and authority of the devil.  All authority on earth was given to satan with the fall of man. (Luke 4:6), but the accomplished destiny of Jesus frees from the control of satan.  His Destiny was to destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)  He bore sins, sickness, disease, and even death (see Isaiah 53) so that we might have a full and abundant life, now and eternally. (John 10:10) The Destiny of Jesus accomplished all of this, these are the benefits for being a citizen of heaven. (Psalm 103) It was really finished when Jesus said, “It is finished”. (John 19:30).  He has saved our souls from sin, our bodies from sickness and disease, and our spirits from torment.

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