Because He Is Glorified, We Are Sanctified


A fancy word thrown around by pastors and Bible scholars. What does it really mean to you and me?

If you read my blog last week, you know I talked about what happens when we have a saving faith in Jesus. We are made right before God. He declares us "not guilty" and we stand before Him in Heaven's court as if we had never sinned. He treats us as if we were like Jesus, His Son... perfect!

But of course, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we are very far from being like Jesus. We know we are really still sinners, even after coming to faith in Jesus. We know we are far from perfect. We are painfully aware of our shortcomings. We know that God knows all the secret sins of our heart.

Perhaps now we are even more convicted of our sins, and the more our hearts grieve that we are so far from being like Jesus.

Friend, if this describes you, be encouraged! You are ready for sanctification. You are ready to be used by God.

In Mark 2:17, Jesus said something to the self-righteous religious leaders that was very profound. It applied not only to them but to us just as much today.

He said that He had not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

A proud, arrogant, self-righteous person can never hear the call of Jesus to repent from sin, because they can't see their sin clearly. They only see their good. Or, they see their good as outweighing their sin. They maximize their good and minimize their sin in their own eyes. They do not accurately see how ugly and offensive their sin really is. They do not have the eyes of God, so they can't see their sin clearly.

For the sake of argument, let's say someone was 99% perfect. By human reasoning, that person should be considered righteous by God and should get some kind of a pass from God, right?

Okay, what if I offered you some homemade chocolate brownies, and I told you that 99% of the batter was made from organic imported cocoa, farm-fresh eggs, and pure cane sugar. But 1% was ground-up cockroaches and dog poop.

Would you eat it?

God's vision is perfect. He is holy and pure. Even the slightest sin is horrible and offensive to God. Sin cannot mix with purity and perfection. It pollutes and adulterates. It is poison. It is death.

The Bible says that as high as the heavens are above the earth are God's ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. That's pretty high.

And it says that to God, our good works are like filthy rags. In the original Hebrew language of the Bible, "filthy rags" translates to menstrual cloth. Yep, that's KOTEX back in the day.

Knowing all of this, it's a wonder that God can stand us at all. In truth, it's only because of Jesus that He can.

So, when Jesus said He had not come to call the righteous to repentance, He really meant that He did not come to call to repentance those who were righteous in their own eyes.

But to sinners, those of us who acknowledge that we are not righteous, He does call to repentance!

And then, because Jesus has been glorified in Heaven as God's Son who conquered death, and has interceded for us through our faith in Him, we're justified and made right before God in standing and He treats us as if we were righteous! Do you see how that works?

Jesus called us to repentance. We repented of unbelief in Jesus, and now, we are in a position to be used by God. We are ready to be sanctified.

Sanctification is the process of being sanctified, of being made holy and perfected. We begin to see other sins that we need to repent from. He begins to show us how to become more like Him. Conformed to His likeness. Thinking more like Him. Talking more like Him. Acting more like Him.

This is where the rubber meets the road. It's a process. A very long process. A life-long process.

And it's hard.

In fact, without the Holy Spirit, it's impossible.

Thankfully, Jesus said we would have help. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the helper, and He told us He would send Him to help us.
We need the illumination that only the Holy Spirit provides. We need the Holy Spirit to prompt us to do (or not do) certain things. We need Him to help us understand what we read in the Bible.

But if we truly belong to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will help us. We will persevere. We will make progress. We will have victories.

Not in a straight line up. Perhaps not as much as we could. Maybe not like someone else. But we will become more like Jesus. The Bible promises it!

There will be some changes in our hearts that will manifest themselves in ways that others may see. And there will be other changes that only God will see, and only God will know just how far He has taken us. Either way, our love for Him will propel us forward.

Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will obey My commandments."

Every step of obedience we take, no matter how small, is a step in the process of sanctification. It is a step in the right direction on the road toward the final destination.

Jesus walked that road of obedience... all the way to the Cross. Perfectly.

Our walk of obedience will not be perfect, and yet...

it will still end in our perfection!

That's glorification, the subject of my next post.

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