Progressive Sanctification

 While I was in prayer today God reminded me of how faithful He has been to me. Despite many ups and downs in my walk with God He has never failed me, let me go or given up on me and I just praised and worshipped Him for that. It made me think of how patient God is with us, how well He really knows us and how determined He is to transform us into His image (the image of Christ). Their is doctrine in Christian teaching known as the doctrine of sanctification, the word sanctification means to “sanctify” or “set apart” so really it means the doctrine of seperation. This doctrine of sanctification has 3 aspects: Positional, Ultimate and Progressive Sanctification. What I want to consider in light of what God was ministering to me in prayer is Progressive Sanctification. Progressive Sanctification simply means that as I grow in my walk with God I become more and more seperated from ungodly and unholy things. It means that overtime as God works in me – He begins to transform me from a former image into the image of Christ. Here it is in the simplest terms I can think of, “becoming what God has already declared about me”. The reality is that we do not always live like what God has declared about us for example: God has declared us to be loving, kind, fruitful, compassionate, patient and enduring but many times we act in the opposite way. I think most Christians would agree that all of us fall short in one way or another in one or more of these areas. But God is patient and merciful towards us, yet never distracted from His purpose of working these godly graces into our lives. As we become more and more seperated from the things of this world and we allow God to work in us – we ourselves begin to see God’s manifested work in us – I know of no greater joy than being able to see how God has changed no transformed some part of my life into the image that His word declares. It is nothing but divine joy for the angry man when God transforms his anger into kindness, it jdivine joy for the worried woman when God transforms her worrying into peace, it is jdivine joy for the bitter man when God trnasforms his bitterness into happiness and a life of friutfulness. I like how Paul describes this ongoing work of God in us, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Wow what an amazing thing, it is the glory of God that transforms me and just because He has transformed me into one glory that does not mean that He is done, He still wants to transform my glory into another glory. The word of God is amazing! So when I think about God and His mercifulness His patience towards me it helps me to understand that He is patient towards me because He is working His purpose in me (sanctification). But we must understand that God is not alone in this. We are to be co-workers with God in this work of sanctification and spiritual transformation. Often times we can speed up the work  by doing our part and understanding what He is trying to work in us, looking at ourselves honestly in the light of God’s word and asking Him for the grace to change. I leave you today with this scripture in Hebrews 12:1, “…let us lay aside every weight and sin that doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Sometimes the only thing that is hindering us from growing is our reluctance to lay aside somethings for God. May God bless you in your sanctification. God Bless.

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