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Archive for June, 2008

WISE – Sanctification

Partake – Words In Scripture Explored –Sanctification

Welcome to WISE! The word for today is sanctification.

Cleaning

Next time you are in a supermarket, count how many products there are on the shelves for cleaning! Oodles and oodles of them! Each one of them promising to make whatever is being cleaned, new again! Sometimes cleaning is hard work – particularly getting little boys or puppy dogs to take a bath! Cleaning and being cleansed, is a major part of living the Christian life! This is known as sanctification!

Sanctification

For as a Christian Disciple, you have been sanctified (Hebrews 10v10); washed clean (1 Corinthians 6v11); and are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ and conformed to His likeness (2 Corinthians 3v18, Romans 8v28-29). You are to be a living sacrifice, transformed by the renewing of your minds (Romans 12v1-2). This holiness is the pursuit of moral excellence and is by necessity a high standard (1 Thessalonians 4v3)

Transformation

This process of sanctification is where God the Holy Spirit transforms you into the likeness of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 7v18), as the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”, is produced in your life as a Christian Disciple (Galatians. 5v22-23).

Your status

Your condition before God as a Christian Disciple is: ·

  • Set apart for God – separated from sin. ·
  • The attainment of moral holiness.

In principal,you are a saint, and God has already declared you sanctified ·

  • You have been made holy (Hebrews 10v10) ·
  • You are washed and sanctified (1 Corinthians 6v11)

Your practice

In practice, and in order to reflect these God given truths, as a growing Christian Disciple in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, you should be ·

  • Perfecting holiness, freed from the contamination of sin (2 Corinthians 7v1) ·
  • Engaging in a continual process of becoming more like Jesus Christ (Romans 8v29; 2 Corinthians 3v18)
  • Transforming your character by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12v1-2)

Life Long

This life-long process of sanctification is maintained by devotion to righteousness (Romans 6v19); with a desire and firm decision to live a life totally submitted to God. This is done by a work of God (1 Thessalonians. 5v23, Philippians 2v13), as you submit to the indwelling Holy Spirit. Sanctification is God’s way of showing He loves you. This sanctification is God showing you His love for you in action. He loves you far too much for you to remain as you are, but initiates and maintains this lifelong transformation into the very image of your Master, Jesus Christ, as you submit to Him. Sanctification can sometimes be a hard process, but the pursuit of righteousness and transformation is worth it, because by allowing yourself to be transformed and sanctified, you are also showing God how much you love Him.

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Bible Book in a Minute – NT25 3 John

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WISE – Temptation

Partake – Words In Scripture Explained – Temptation

Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is temptation.

I don’t know if you have ever seen what appear to be silly safety signs such as this one that I saw on a chainsaw which said “Do not attempt to stop the chain with your hands.” That would not be a temptation to me! But that’s what we are facing when we are tempted to sin and disobey God! When you are tempted to disobey God, either in action or inaction, you are not to touch it – just like you wouldn’t try to stop a chainsaw with your hands!!

Christian Disciples face constant temptation to disobey God and sin. However temptations are common experiences for all Christian Disciples. God allows temptations, but He will never let you be tempted beyond what He knows you can handle – that’s His promise. And even more, He always provides a means of escape from temptation! (1 Corinthians 10v12-13)!

Temptation it must be noted is not sin, or Jesus the sinless one would not be sinless! Rather it is the giving into temptation that is causes us to sin. By dealing with temptation at the very moment it confronts you, you show you are living a life worthy of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that as Christian Disciples we face temptation from three different angles: the world, our old nature and satan.

Here are some short guidelines to help you deal with temptation:

  • Remembering the need to love God with a greater love for whatever tempts us (1 John 2:15).
  • Acknowledging and remembering that sin’s power was nullified by Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:11) and in living under the control of the Spirit’s power (Galatians 5:16).
  • Remembering that you are as a Christian Disciple to be living a moment-by-moment dependence in faith on the Spirit’s power, and make a conscious decision by an act of your will to benefit from the Spirit’s power and assistance.
  • Remember to continue to grow as a Christian Disciple and submit everything to God. If you are growing as Christian Disciples we grow more in love with God, and therefore our desire to sin and disobey Him grows less.

Remember that the Holy Spirit lives inside you, and greater is He that is in you than anything else in the world (1 John 4v4). Now that is a comforting thought, because it means we don’t face these temptations alone! So next time you are faced with temptation, pray and ask for God’s help! If you have specific sins that entangle you habitually, ask that the Holy Spirit will help you avoid the temptation! It may also mean that you are to avoid the situation or circumstance where you are being tempted.

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Bible Book in a Minute – NT24 2 John

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Bible Book in a Minute – NT23 1 John

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WISE – Sin

Partake – Words In Scripture Explained –Sin

Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is sin.

Sinning!

I wonder if you have ever played tennis and went to hit the ball but missed. Or you actually hit the ball and it went outside the court! Or perhaps you are a golfer, and one day you went to putt the ball in the hole, and you missed! The tennis player who hit the ball out of court or the golfer who missed the hole can be both be said to have committed a sin, because they missed! And that is what a sin, in biblical terms, is: it is missing the mark that God has set.

Big and Little Sins

And everybody, particularly in the West, including those who would not call themselves Christians, has some idea of sin. They generally call doing things like telling lies or speeding in the car, “little sins” because everybody does those, they say! And of course, only a tiny minority of people commit the real big sins, such as murdering other people or robbing banks! So to most people’s minds, there are degrees of sins, depending on how many people actually do that kind of sin.

Sin actually is…

So what actually is the biblical definition of sin? Sin is the lack of conformity, , to the Moral Law of God, either in deeds, attitudes, or state. Do you remember Jesus saying the two greatest commands were to love God and love others? Any breakage of those two commandments is sin, whether by a lot or a little. There are two kinds of sin. Firstly there are the sins, which are active disobedience, or the sins of commission. These are where God’s commands are actively broken! Secondly there are the passive kinds, which are sins of omission. These occur when people are not doing, as they ought to do (James 4:17)!

Stop! Confess! Live!

Everybody, including Christian Disciples, sin in one of those two ways! Of course Christian Disciples have accepted Jesus Christ and have had their sins forgiven. But Christian Disciples, still sin! But as a Christian Disciple, you are to take God’s view of sin! You cannot claim to be without sin, because as 1 John 1 says, you would be living in self-delusion and making God out to be a liar! So, when you realise you have sinned, be quick to confess it, so that your relationship with Jesus Christ remains at peak intimacy! For as 1 John 1v9 says, “Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus wants us to have complete fellowship with him, and by confessing sin; your fellowship with Him is made richer, more intimate and stronger.

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Holiness

Partake – Big Bible Words – Holiness

Welcome to Partake Big Bible Words. The word for today is Holiness.

I wonder what the biggest fence, wall or barrier is that you have either seen or that you know about! Perhaps one of the biggest walls in the world is the Great Wall of China. It is seen from space and is over 4000 miles long, about 25 feet high and up to 30 feet thick! It is huge and enormous!! It was built to keep out invaders – for that is what walls and barriers do: Keep out enemies!

Holy Barrier

However big the Great Wall of China is, there is one barrier that is even bigger! I wonder if you know what it is!! The biggest barrier to exist is the one, which separates God from all His creation. This barrier is holiness, for God is a holy God. Ezekiel 1v27-28 gives us a vivid picture of the holiness of God and is seen in the fire, light, radiance, full of glory and majesty.

What is holiness?

Holiness is what separates God from all His creation. For God alone is holy and full of glory. Exodus 15v2 “Who is like you, O God, glorious in holiness!” Or Isaiah 60v25 “To whom will you liken me, or shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Holiness is also a moral attribute of God, of purity and freedom from the stain of ALL sin. Habakkuk 1v13 “of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon sin. Holiness is still more than that! It is in fact the sum of all His attributes! God is holiness and holiness is God!

Holy People:

Perfect holiness, while to us is inconceivable, has been revealed; revealed in the sinless man, Jesus Christ. As a Christian Disciple, you also are declared holy! That is because of what Jesus did on the cross… He has broken down the barrier between God and man. And if you are a Christian Disciple, you are declared holy, and therefore you are to live a holy life worthy of Jesus Chrsit.! As a Christian Disciple, the Holy Spirit is transforming you into the very image of the holy one, Jesus Christ. As a Christian Disciple, you are no longer an enemy of God but a friend of God and belong to God! So live out your faith and live your Christian Discipleship in holiness.

Two books I can recommend on Holiness are:

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges and A Passion for Holiness by JI Packer

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