Saturday, April 12, 2008

Being properly Worded.

That is one of the sayings of a seminary professor Dr Norman Nagel of Concordia Seminary. He is originally from Great Britain and has a wonderful way of teaching truths from scripture.

John 17: 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. ESV

When speaking with Christians about the subject of sanctification one will find many who will think of it as something that is his or her job. That is what has been taught for years in many Christian churches. It is put forth that God expects, now that you are His child, to have the ability to muscle up against sin and conquer it with His help. In addition He expects you to search out ways in which to serve Him in order to get Him more on your side.

If a person comes to faith later in life one will see an initial change in behaviour. Old habits which used to be of interest will not longer capture a person’s want. Rather than hours sitting in a tavern getting drunk a person will be satisfied with sitting visiting with family or other Christians. When confronted with lust of the flesh revulsion will strike that person rather than hours of feeding the thought and perhaps sharing this with others. These and many others will appear to be the choice of the believer and he or she will be understandably happy and rejoice in it.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ESV

St Paul puts it out there that all those things we have a change in our minds about and the good deeds we want now to do is actually God doing them. However, why should it be done with fear and trembling? Due to the fact that a Christian is indeed a saint he or she remains a sinner. The mixed motivation of self interest is contained in everything he or she does or refuses to do. This self motivation falls short of the glory of God who gives gifts and care totally out of love for the person receiving the gift. It is impossible to accomplish that as a finite person in a sinful body and world. Each and everything is laced with fear of punishment or hope or reward.
Jesus when on earth did His work totally for our good out of love for us. Nothing was in it for Him other than the joy of fulfilling the law for us and suffering, dying and rising again for our salvation and sanctification. We cannot fathom how that suffering could contain any joy for Him especially doing it for those who by nature are His enemies and to this day spit at him with our sin. Amazing!

In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Terific Post!

Our lives are caught up in His.

It is the spirit of God that moves us to do, and certainly not the goading of the law.

I forgot who it was, maybe Forde (?) that said," sanctification is just getiing used to (comfortable with) our justification"

Thank you, David!

- Steve