Week 2

 

PRACTICAL SANCTIFICATION:

So far we have talked about positional sanctification. That means we are to know something. We are to know Gods method of making a sinner the kind of person He wants us to be. God wants us to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are to know we are joined with Christ. We are to count on it, consider it true. He wants us to have faith beyond salvation, we are to live by faith. Yield yourself or present yourself to God.

Verse 13: Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

King James says do not yield. It means do not present.

Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Same word. It is the idea of the surrendered life.

Most the time when we get in trouble, it is because we yielded ourselves to the old nature. But we can instead yield ourselves to the will of God, with the power of the Holy Spirit.

J. Vernon McGee told this story: A little girl fell out of bed one night and began to cry. Her mother rushed into her bedroom, picked her up, put her back in bed, and asked her, “Honey, why did you fall out of the bed?” And she said, “I think I stayed too close to the place where I got in.” 

That is the reason a great many of us fall. It is because we are actually yielding ourselves to the old nature. We are following dictates of the old nature; that is what gets us in trouble.

MOVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE BED! 

It says to offer yourself to God as one who has been brought back from death unto life!  Now think about that. If you were dead and suddenly brought back to life by someone what would you do?  Be SO grateful? Do anything for that person?  Ask what can I do?  Is that how we act?

Verse 13 says also, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

This is specific! What are your problems? I know what mine are. But ask yourself, think about it. Is it a bad temper, pride? Are you gossipy, do you judge others, are you lazy in the work of the Lord?  Whatever it is MOVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE BED! Offer yourself as a living sacrifice. Sacrifice is hard, it means give up something and kill it!

Don’t think or say you can’t do it. You have the mighty Holy Spirit of God Almighty in you!

Verse 14: For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

You have a new nature and you are to offer yourself to God. That is a wonderful privilege!

Consider God’s Will the middle of the bed!  You have the whole bed! You don’t have to stay on the edge anymore.

I am reminded of a Bill Cosby story where the parents tell the boy the boy there are monsters under his bed and he better not get out. They cannot get him as long as he stays in the bed. He hangs over and looks and yells at them (telling them he has to go pee and to leave him alone).

Well, consider Grace the middle of the bed with the added benefit of never having to pee!  You are safe in the middle of the bed. Off the bed is sin crouching and waiting to eat you up!

MOVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE BED.  Don’t hang your head off looking for sin, don’t get so close you fall in, go to the safe harbor of being in God’s Will. Stay there. It is everything you need.

So consider the fact that God made a place (the middle of the bed) for you to be, where sin cannot touch you, being under Grace.

God made a way. He took you out of the control of sin, and gave you a place to be free of it.

And then the ultimate of Grace is, if you DO fall off the bed and you cry out to God, He will pick you up and put your right back in the middle of the bed.  His Grace!

Verse 15: What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!

Sanctification is like Justification. We were justified through faith. We are sanctified through faith too. We live the life we have growing in Christ and headed for the “Goal of Perfection”, knowing we cannot do it. But that God can.

The Christian life is not following certain rules; you can follow rules and regulations and still not be living the Christian life. The Christian life is being obedient to Christ! It means communication with Christ.

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” Do you love Him?

Do not say you do if you do not obey Him.

Identification with Christ is the experience of sanctification, and that is practical sanctification. It is not how you walk, but where you walk.  (MOVE OFF THE EDGE OF THE BED ).

Are you walking in the light? In close fellowship with Jesus?

If you sin, it breaks the fellowship. You fall off the bed.

Cry out, ask for forgiveness and get back in fellowship with Jesus!

John 13:8 says “No said Peter. You shall never wash my feet. Jesus said, Unless I wash you, you have no part of me.

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Our job is to confess and His part is the cleansing.

The important part is for us to have fellowship with Jesus and to obey Him.

Where is Jesus?  He is in the middle of the Bed. He is not hanging off, looking at the sin, yelling at it, flirting with it, staying close to it. He is in the middle of the bed!

Verse 16: Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Here is another know!

Now think of this, if you are obeying the call of sin on your lives you are obeying Satan. The enemy of God!

We are only human excuse pushes us toward being a slave to Satan rather than Jesus.

Every moment you are a slave to something or somebody.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Sure we are free. Free to choose! And once you choose, you are obedient to whatever you chose.

John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

TWO VERSES AWAY from John 8:36!  But which one is quoted all the time?  It is like we only want to hear the pretty stuff, the easy stuff!  Not me, I want the truth!  All of it! Because God wants us to know, I want to know!

Now let’s put it in the right context.

John 8: 34-36   Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

J Vernon McGee told this story. He saw a group of chauffeurs.  15 or so. Behind them a bunch of fancy cars. A very distinguished looking gentleman walked up to the group and said something. Immediately one of the 15 left the others and went and opened the door of one of the cars. The gentleman got in and the chauffeur shut the door got in and drove off.   The point is; when the gentleman spoke, only one man obeyed. He obeyed the one he was working for.

Now who is to say this man did not have two jobs?  He could obey two people.  Or his bossy wife!  From moment to moment, who we obey can change.

So who are you obeying?  You may be good and not killing or stealing, but that does not mean you are living the Christian life. It means you are living a good life. That is all! The Christian life is one where we obey Christ.

Verse 17: But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

In other words, before salvation, it was natural for you to obey sin. When you have been saved, you have a new nature that CAN obey Christ, you WANT to obey Christ, and it becomes EASIER to obey Christ.

But be careful, you are still in your old body and it will always be natural for this body to sin.

Romans 7:18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

No good is in us!  You can do a lot to improve but you cannot make yourself good.

There is no power in your new self. We think because we are Christians we can walk on top of the world. Better watch out! We are just as weak as before.

This is the reason we must walk by faith as a born again, a saved by Grace Christian.

ONLY THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN PRODUCE A CHRISTIAN LIFE!

Verse 18: You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

He has made it possible for us to live the Christian life.

It does not mean sin has been removed from our life, just that we can now live for Christ.

LIVE LIKE A SLAVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. BECAUSE WE ARE!

Now do we live that way? Really?  Not all the time?  How much of the time? 

Verse 19: I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

We have to be spoken to in a way we can understand. If someone tells you that you should only read one particular translation of the Bible, read them this verse. Paul used the language that was understandable at the time.

We need to be sure we can understand what we are reading.

And when we speak or teach, we need to be sure we can be understood.