This month I want to focus on one of the richest theological terms in all of scripture, namely, sanctification. As followers of Jesus this, in essence, is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. Our identity and purpose in life is to look more and more like our Creator. That lifelong process involves saying no to sin and temptation and yes to the call of Jesus on a daily basis. The Westminster Shorter Catechism gives a succinct answer to the definition and process of sanctification:
Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Yet the foundation of our sanctification is not our efforts but the work of Jesus alone. Jesus not only paid it all for our salvation but he obeyed it all in terms of our responsibility to the law of God. Our hope should never lie in our efforts but in his finished work on the cross.
The next few weeks I will be talking about some necessary ingredients to the normal Christian life which is our sanctification. But for now be reminded of the Apostle Paul's call to live out the gospel when writing to the believers in Ephesus, “…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and …be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and ..put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
May God renew in us this day a hunger to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.
If you are like me you can take for granted some the blessings here at Tenth, like the officers God has blessed us with each year. We recently had a wonderful evening together sharing a meal with the elders, deacons, deaconesses and their spouses. It was a true blessing to hear how the Lord has worked his sanctifying love in the midst of difficulty and how he has brought a blessed unity. Continue to pray and thank God for those who lead us.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Jerry McFarland. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org