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He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sanctified: A Continuing Search for Beauty Part IV

Sanctification means to make holy; to consecrate; set aside for sacred or ceremonial use; to free from sin; to purify. Sanctification unlike justifiaction and imputed righteousness is a life process of consecration, founded upon the instantaneous act of receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savoiur. John 3:16, " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address provides insight into consecration when he says, "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
The echo of sacrifice resounds through these eloquent words, the embodiment of hope that death was not suffered in vain, the sense that any expression of gratitude is insufficient in relation to the great victory won and the thought, "This, ever grateful, in remembrance bear." Alexander Pope.

Leviticus 20:7, "Consecrate youselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God."
Leviticus 11:44, "For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy."
Leviticus 20:26, "... and you shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy, and have seperated you from the people, that you should be Mine."  
Leviticus 19:2, "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.'
1 Peter 1:15,16, "... but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

A believer's living hope should lead to a lifestyle of holiness, recognizing what has been done on the believer's behalf, realizing the undeserved and unwarranted actions of God in redemption. When we have been made aware of God's grace, we must acknowledge the price paid and respond with reverence and obedience.

Hebrews 10:1-4, "For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins."

We are justified and righteous by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, once and for all.

1 Peter 1:13-15, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,..."
Hebrews 10:14, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."

Sanctification is not a legal standing, it is based on personal action. It is the 'working out our salvation', after our legal standing is established. In the prior Bible passage there are only two commands: to have hope, with a prepared and self-controlled mind; and to be holy, not conforming to former evil desires.

In Romans 12:1,2 we are given the recipe for sanctification, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

The legal requirements for our salvation have been satisfied it is now our responsiblity to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk. "The blood of Christ will cleanse us of every sin, it will not cleanse us of even one excuse."

1 John 1:6-9 "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Built within these verses is the concept of 'conversatio' from which we have derived our modern word 'conversation'. Conversatio is more akin to the 'act of living with'; keep company with," lit. "turn about with,"; "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" in essence it is our walk, not our talk; it is obedience as children of God; exemplary; above reproach; and indicative of the value we place upon being saved.

Psalm 29:2, "Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

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