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September 26, 2016, 1:12 PM

Sanctification is....the Born Again Experience

The following is the second part of the Sanctification Bible Study.  Sanctification is.....the Born Again Experience.  

Jesus told Nicodemus ye must be born again.  In John 3:1-8 we read,  “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?” Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

Definitions from Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

Sanctification - The act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

Regeneration - New birth by the grace of God; that change by which the will and natural enmity of man to God and his law are subdued, and a principle of supreme love to God and his law, or holy affections, are implanted in the heart.

Subdue - To conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection; to reduce under dominion. Subduing implies conquest or vanquishing, but it implies also more permanence of subjection to the conquering power, than either of these words.




September 20, 2016, 12:40 PM

Sanctification

Sanctification is by definition “The act of grace by which the soul is cleansed from sin and made holy in the sight of God.”

As discussed in Part 1 of our Bible study series, our first step in approaching a Holy God for obtaining salvation is to confess or repent of our sins.  Will God forgive us?  Of course the answer is yes.  According to I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  God is Holy and just and if we sincerely come to Him with a repentant heart confessing our sins with a desire to live for him then he will wonderfully forgive all transgressions.  We none deserve anything from God but by His grace we can be receive forgiveness.  In addition to forgiveness, God also promises to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.  This one verse describes the “Good News” of Jesus Christ…he will forgive and cleanse.  Another word for this cleansing is “Sanctification”.  This is stated by Jesus while interacting with Paul the Apostle at his conversion.

Acts 26: 17-18

17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Jesus also said in John 17:19

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

It is essential for salvation that we receive all of what God intends for us which is forgiveness and sanctification.  This sanctifying experience is truly why Jesus died and rose again.

Hebrews 13:11-12

11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Once we are sanctified, we become one with Jesus Christ, we become part of the family of God!

Hebrews 2:11

11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Romans 8:16-18

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.




September 6, 2016, 3:33 PM

Isaiah 40: 17-18 (KJV)

When we think about God, words can’t describe his greatness and majesty.  His power and love are indescribable and nothing or no one can be compared to him.  Isaiah 40:17-18 says “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.  To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?"  Although we are very small and insignificant, God loves us unconditionally.  His compassions toward us are new every morning.  Why God loves us is difficult to explain but God is love!  This week as you go about your day, consider God’s goodness and love towards you.

Have a great week!

Bro. Mike Merritt




August 8, 2016, 8:04 PM

It is really not about me

On occasion in our worship services we sing a hymn with a line in the song that says "when I gave all trying over, simply trusting, I was blessed".  We sing another hymn written by our own "poet" that says "Lean upon the Savior, tell him all your cares, for he's ever mindful how his children fair".  Another hymn says "trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey".

Our world is increasingly 'all about me'.  Increasing automation means companies can give personal, customized services (nothing wrong with that)..... but the me centered world sneaks in before we realize it.  As an example, most recent Christmas cards seem to have pictures of the senders more than the birth of Christ.  Do I go to church hoping for a blessing more than hoping to bring a blessing?  Do I seek to be encouraged vs. encouraging someone else?

There is a "release" that comes from giving one’s heart and life up and letting Jesus sanctify our soul and dwell in our hearts and lives.  'Obey' is not about me.  Just to help guide us more, Saul was told that "obedience is better than sacrifice". 

Your words may have been different than mine, but I promised the Lord…I'll go where you want me to go, I'll say what you want me to say, I'll do what you want me to do before I received the blessing that through faith, His Spirit is in my heart and I am sanctified. 

Unless I "take back" some of what I laid on the alter to be sanctified, it’s not about me.  The master of the wind and sea can easily calm the storms in my life; "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him".  So after I've done my part, the challenge is trusting him to take care of me and focusing on how to encourage and prosper His kingdom.  Let us "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love".

Bro. David Cosby  




August 2, 2016, 12:00 AM

Holiness

The Bible tells us in Hebrews that without holiness we will not see God.

Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”

How can a sinful person become holy?  We cannot find this state of being holy on our own so this is why we need the resurrecting power of the God resting in our hearts and lives.  To be holy is to truly find God and to obtain our eternal salvation.  To be holy, we must repent and then ask God for his Holy Spirit to live in our hearts.  It is truly a life changing experience.

In 1 Peter 1:13-19 we read, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”

Holiness is essential to our eternal destination (heaven) and for our way of life while living on earth.  Once we choose to follow God our pathway is brighter and the way is made for us:

Isaiah 35: 8-10 states, And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Life is still life, but the outlook and destination are much, much brighter when we choose to live Holy through the power of God.

Bro. Terry Clelland


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