What is a relationship with Christ? It is very much like any relationship, it takes communication to grow. It takes time invested, and a willingness to devote yourself to its betterment. Granted in our relationship with Jesus there is a supernatural bond working day and night to draw us closer to him. The Bible says that nothing can snatch us out of his Fathers hand. What a beautiful image that is, the God of All holds us safely in his hand. Our lives on earth are deeply enriched when we acknowledge this precious relationship, and then cultivate an environment for it to grow deep and strong.
John 10:28-30 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
We do this through our personal discipleship – our walk with Jesus. When Jesus came upon his Disciples he would simply say “Come and follow me”. He beckoned them to come and do something…there was action to his request. Those that failed to heed his request live on in the Bible as examples that displeased the Lord and are preserved in the pages of the Bible as an example of what not to be or do. (The rich man who wouldn’t sell his belongings Mathew 19:16-23, and the man who wanted to follow but only after he buried his loved one Mathew 8:18-22) They saw the living Christ, they acknowledged him, they wanted to follow him….yet they would not fully submit to him because they were still clinging to things in this world. Jesus just kept on walking though and as he walked away, the gap between them and he widened, until they could no longer see our precious Savior as he was gone.
Discipleship today is much like this. Spiritually, we know we are connected to God through our renewed and reconciled Spirit via Jesus Christ’s atonement and we are washed clean in his blood – this is called justification – it is instantaneous. We also know we are a living temple for the Holy Spirit meaning God indwells us. Can’t get much closer than that.
Sanctification however comes after justification. Sanctification also comes by the Spirit leading us to a holier life here on earth. A new life in Christ becomes evident as our nature becomes more and more Christ-like through sanctification. Now let me add this here for clarification- sanctification is a work of the Spirit in you – you do not sanctify yourself. You receive new desires in Christ, the old person slowly dies away. Some people experience an entirely renewed walk the moment of salvation but also there are many who’s sanctification takes time. Gods grace is sufficient and we must always patiently pray and love new Christians realizing that he who started a good work is faithful to see it to completion. Phillipiains 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Amen!
This new life and new desire is only capable through the Holy Spirits work in you. No man can walk as Christ without the Spirit of God in him. Secular humanism has been trying to attain a state of godliness without God for ions and has failed. Man without God is a depraved, sinful, being. Even if his public acts seem righteous, his private thoughts and actions will be depraved and sinful. He must have a source outside himself to save him, there is no way that a sinful heart can wash itself with anything other than more sin. It takes a holy source of reconciliation – it takes Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and resurrection.
Once justified through Christ we are imparted instantaneous righteousness, or a right standing spiritually with God. Through this righteousness we are adopted to be children of God. Another beautiful thought. We are always walking with the Lord, in this sense, we are always close to the Lord. A way to really energize this relationship is to keep the communication alive through prayer and reading Gods Word. This is you talking (prayer) and then you listening (Gods Word). I also believe the Spirit talks to us if we listen closely. I don’t believe in intuition I believe in the Holy Spirits guidance.
I want to encourage you all that discipleship is not works. It is a maturity of our Christlikeness. It is our sanctification through the Spirit of God alone that softens our heart to be as loving, kind, patient, long suffering and self controlled as Christ. It is nothing that we do other than the initial act of submitting to Gods will in this area. It is the evidence of Gods work in you! This is why when I ministered at a soup kitchen in Florida to the homeless we would experience the transformational power of the spirit in the sanctification of new Christians. One in particular was a drug addicted prostitute – after God got a hold of her heart he lifted her up and removed her from that prior life. There are now pimps in pulpits, prostitutes in the missions fields, Gods power to change us is BEAUTIFUL AND REAL! It is the witness to his presence!
Why be a Christian? Why submit to God? Why accept Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Even if storms come, you will have peace, given as a gift from God to your heart. If sickness comes you have hope for healing, and if healing doesn’t come in this life, you have peace knowing death does not effect you but only to benefit you, you will be with God in his glory. You have peace knowing Jesus removed the sting of death and conquered its power over you.
Gods love and grace are bigger than any sin you have committed. Jesus Christ suffered for your sins, he bore the wrath of God for them. Not only does Jesus want to save from hell and eternal damnation, he wants to live in your heart here on earth, and give you that peace you so desperately seek. The Bible calls it the peace that passes all understanding…it makes life better in all ways…I urge you if you do not know Christ please consider giving your life to him today – he’s waiting to take it all away – all the sadness, all the brokenness, all the hopelessness lay them at the foot of the cross and he will take them away and replace them with joy, wholeness, hope and a love you have never felt before. A big, warm, enveloping love…if you want to accept Christ please say this prayer with me today – right now is the perfect time – Go To The Sinners Prayer.
Sacred Simplicity : Jesus Christ : Searching for the true Christ comes through a humble heart devoid of pride in ones own intelligence. Jesus Christ is genius simplified to perfect, in person and practice.
No Greater Love : Here we explore the truth of what the cross means to mankind. How Jesus’ sacrifice became man’s measure for love, self sacrifice, and humility. It seeks to engage you in the deeper truths of just how great Gods love is and how it left a forever marker in time with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
7 thoughts on “Being More Christlike – Thoughts on Sanctification ”
Nods head. So I had just started reading this post when I commented the last comment to you.
YES! YES! YES! Amen!
❤️👍 I just responded.
Great post and I enjoyed reading! 💜
Have been spending time in the book of Luke, this morning was reading about how we need to count the cost of following Jesus. Full on!
“I want to encourage you all that discipleship is not works. It is a maturity of our Christlikeness. It is our sanctification through the Spirit of God alone that softens our heart to be as loving, kind, patient, long suffering and self controlled as Christ” – – What you have written here s awesome. Thanks for posting.
It’s a privilege for me to seek out sanctification. I have never understood the reasoning that somehow being Christlike in our actions is us trying to add to our salvation. I know that I could never add anything to what Christ did for me, yet he living in me compels me to behave differently- it does change your behavior in major ways. Not you, but Christ in you!
I have dealt with people who feel differently, that somehow glorifying the Lord with your actions is somehow wrong. My spirit does not allow me to believe that, and until my last breath, I want to walk as Christ and allow him free reign over my actions.