The Inside Column 8/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 09, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

I came across this in one of my readings by Nicky Gumbel this week, and though it worth sharing.

More and More: Sanctification

When I first became a Christian I was taught to make a distinction between ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’. ‘Justification’ is God’s declaration that we are in the right, in spite of our sin. This declaration, which will be made on the last day, is brought forward on the basis of Jesus’ death on the cross for us. It is a one off act in which we are justified by our faith (see Romans 3:1 – 4:25). On the other hand, I was told that ‘sanctification’ was a process. Although the word is used in different senses in the New Testament, sometimes it does refer to a process, as in the passage for today where St Paul writes, ‘It is God’s will that you should be sanctified’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Whereas justification is a one off event, sanctification is a process of gradual inward transformation, resulting in increasing holiness of life.

Twice in today’s New Testament passage Paul uses the expression, ‘more and more’ (4:1, 4:10). First, he urges them ‘to live in order to please God … more and more’ (4:1). Secondly, he urges them to ‘love each other … more and more’ (4:9-10). God calls us to ‘live a holy life’ (4:7). The Greek word used (agiasmō) could also be translated ‘sanctification’ (eg New American Standard Bible). The root verb (hagiazó) means ‘to be made holy, to sanctify’. The process of sanctification, being made holy, takes place through the work of the ‘Holy’ Spirit. God ‘gives you his Holy Spirit’ (4:8) for this purpose.

In each of the passages for today we see something about what it means to live a holy life and to be sanctified.

  • A life of impartiality, honesty, restraint and industry (Proverbs 24:23–34)

A life of love for God and neighbor: holy and honorable (1 Thessalonians 4:1–1)

I hope the holidays are going well for all.

Remember  that David Riddell is with us next Sunday.

Have a great week.

God Bless

Phil

 

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