March 27, 2015 - A. V. Rauf
Stages of Salvation (Part II)
As I mentioned in the previous post, there is a conditional aspect of sanctification. This will depend upon the willingness of the believer to die to self and be alive unto God.
- Sanctification (being open and cleansed) leads to partaking of Christ’s Life (actually living His Life)
- Partaking of Christ’s Life leads to overcoming
- Over-coming leads to inheriting and co-reigning with Christ during the Millennial reign of Christ.
Again, it is important to understand that God’s grace is sufficient enough to help us to accomplish this and He has also given us the Holy Spirit to abide with us, but more on that a little later.
Consequently, our fulfillment, our meaning and our significance in this life and the next all rest upon this important first step of sanctification.
John 17:15-20—I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
John 17 is what I refer to as the “Real,” Lord’s prayer. So take courage that Jesus Christ our High Priest prayed this for His saints. Hallelujah!!
If we are not sanctified, we prevent ourselves from truly being able to partake of Christ’s Life, which in turn prevents us from overcoming, which ultimately prevents us from growing and maturing in Christ.
If we are not sanctified, nothing else may happen! In other words, it stagnates the whole cycle.
The bottom line is: the measure of our usefulness to the Lord in the future kingdom will be found in the measure of our sanctification here and now.
God’s whole purpose in calling us is to place us back in the position for which we were originally created––to be a “joint-heirs” with Christ ruling and reigning with Him over the earth.
Genesis 1:26-And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Ruling and reigning with Christ is the mark or the goal of the high calling of Christ.
Philippians 3:10-14—That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Incredible as it may appear to be, God seeks our fellowship, our communion and our love. He actually seeks to dwell among us.
Revelation 4:11–Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
The purpose of our salvation, therefore, is not only an earthly mission (to be conformed into the “image of Christ” for a witness to others), but also to partake in the blessings of a future heavenly and glorious kingdom. NOW is just the testing ground!
Hebrews 10:22-25—Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
But it gets even better:
The role of the Holy Spirit is to help believers become sanctified and reach the goal of inheriting the kingdom. First of all, the Holy Spirit is sent to seal us, then to sanctify us and finally, to transform us into Christ’s image for our future inheritance.
Ephesians 4:29-32—Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
In other words, the Holy Spirit will provide the power that will enable us to become those partakers and those over-comers who produce “fruit.”
In the Bible, “fruit” is spoken of as actions, deeds or “good works” that are accomplished by the Spirit through us. “Fruits of righteousness” should be a natural outgrowth of receiving God’s eternal Life in our hearts.
James 2:14-18—What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
The works we do after we are born again is NOT the root of our salvation, rather it is the fruit of our salvation.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that bearing “fruit” was God’s plan all along:
Ephesians 2:1-10—And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
God’s will, then, is that we not only receive His Life in our spirits at our new birth, but that we also learn how to live His Life out in our souls (mind, will, emotion, intellect & imagination) so we might bear “fruit.” This is why John wrote in 3 John that it was his desire to see that our soul would prosper:
3 John 1:2-4— Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Notice we must walk in the truth, the truth that Jesus prayed would sanctify us. Remember God’s Word is His truth.
Titus 3:8-—This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
They are profitable unto us now as we grow in Christ and they will also be profitable unto us in the future. More on that in the next post……