Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sanctification - Saint - Set Apart - Holy

Sanctification is the same as Holy.  It means set apart.  Someone who is sanctified is called a saint.  When God commanded Aaron to make the utensils for the Tabernacle, they had to be made Holy.  They had to be set apart and sanctified.  They were not allowed to go get a pair of tongs from the kitchen to use for God's alter.  They had to be pure and holy for Him.

Sanctification in our lives occurs upon repentance and belief.  Once a person repents and believes and is saved, God sets them apart from the unsaved.  So sanctification occurs at salvation.  However, it is also a life- long ongoing process from where we were not saved to the ultimate glorification.  You should be able to look back over your life from when you were saved until now and see a firm pattern of growth in sanctification.  You should also look forward and recognize that you are nowhere near where you want to be.  There is always growth potential in our Christian lives.  You are either growing in Christ, standing still, or backsliding.  Or worse yet, never saved to begin with.  You must consider this for yourself.  Read the letter of 1 John.  If you do not see progress in ongoing sanctification in your life, repent and believe.  Ask Jesus to work in your life and speak to your heart through His word.  Work through the tests in 1 John and see if you are truly saved.

1     That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 1 Jn 1:1-4
I want your joy to be full!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Imputation - What is it? Why do I like it?

Imputation is defined as the act of imputing.  What a lame definition.  Impute means to ascribe a crime or fault to another or to attribute (wickedness or merit) to a person as transmitted by another.  That is from the modern collegiate dictionary.  I don't have Mr. Webster's good dictionary here.  Maybe one of my regular commentators will provide the definition.  Websters 1828 dictionary defines imputation as ~ the act of imputing or charging, attribution. Impute ~ to set to the account of, to attribute; to ascribe, to reckon to one what does not belong to him. (by your loving commentator)

The doctrine of imputation is critically important in understanding the work Jesus for us did on the cross.  We are sinners.  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  God has to punish sin.  We deserve that punishment.  God allowed Jesus to take that punishment for us as a substitute.  The doctrine of imputation says that God now looks on us "as if" we had the perfection of Jesus imputed to our account, and God punished Jesus for our sins (all of them) by imputing our sins on Jesus.  Jesus became our substitute on the cross.  His imputed righteousness becomes our justification.

423 Now it was not written for his (Abraham's) sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Romans 4:23 -  5:2
Remember that every sin will be punished.  Those that don't repent and believe will be punished for their sins for eternity in Hell.  Jesus took the punishment for the sins of God's elect on the cross.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Judge Not . . . . .

I am convinced this is the most quoted verse in the Bible by our pagan friends. I think it is from a deep seated knowledge that they know they are pagan already and don't want to be reminded of it, especially by you.

When Jesus gave us this teaching in Matthew 7, He was not instructing not to judge others, He was telling us how to judge others.

7     “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Mt 7:1-5

Jesus is reminding us that to judge someone else is a task full of potential landmines and should only be considered after much self reflection and inspection.  The warning is that the measuring cup you use will be used with you.  Make sure your cup is full of grace and mercy as much as depends on you.  You also need to remember that you are a much worse sinner than your brother and that Jesus saved you from your sins.  Preach the gospel to yourself everyday.  Especially preach the gospel to yourself before doing speck surgery on your brother.  By remembering the measuring cup you are filling, and the great mercy Jesus has bestowed on you, you will be able to recognize that there is indeed a plank in your eye.  Work on it first, then you will be able to "help" your brother with his speck.  I like the way Jesus put it, "you will be able to see clearly."