Wednesday, July 4

Christianity 101- Part 6: Sanctification and Discipleship

New Christians that have been saved by Jesus Christ will experience a feeling of gratitude, joy and love for Christ in their hearts for the mercy they have received (1 Peter 1:8). The Spirit of God dwells in believers (Romans 8:9-11) and enables them with divine power to be sanctified. The process of sanctification in believers is a work of the Holy Spirit that gradually transforms sinners to increasingly mortify sin and live unto righteousness. He empowers new Christians to become disciples by following the teachings of Christ and performing good works. While it is primarily a work of God’s grace, believers can and should co-operate in their sanctification. True Christians do participate in sanctification to varying degrees. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus tells us that true Christians return a yield of one hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. Scripture does not leave any wiggle room for someone to claim Christ as savior, but deny him as Lord by refusing to co-operate in sanctification. This so-called carnal Christian view of a true believer is a myth and is refuted by many passages of Scripture such as (James 2:14). Christians may grieve the Holy Spirit and fall into sin for a season, but they will gain the victory over the bondage of sin by the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s discipline.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command? (John 14:15 ).” The Bible is full of warnings of things to avoid (Rom 12) and things to do such as love, forgive, serve, give, etc. These Biblical exhortations to good works are sometimes mistakenly thought to be the cause of justification by God. However, good works are the fruit of the grace of justification that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ is what saves sinners, not their works in the sanctification process. Sanctification happens in a Christian because Jesus Christ not only saves sinners form the penalty of sin, but He also saves them from the power of sin (Romans 6).

As new Christians begin their walk of sanctification and discipleship they participate in and practice activities like worship, Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and witnessing. These activities are not burdens but bring joy and peace to Christians in their Christian walk.

Praise God that the power of his grace is sufficient to not only save sinners but also sanctify them.

This series first appeared at Bluecollar Blog!

5 comments:

Susan said...

Amen!
Christ's words re: who builds a tower without counting the cost -- come to mind.
I don't know many believers who love to discuss the things of God and also expect an "easy" or "comfortable" life.
I'm thinking here of the caption of your photo - the Christian's path is upward and occasionally dangerous - but never alone.

jazzycat said...

Susan,
Thanks.

mark pierson said...

"the Christian's path is upward and occasionally dangerous"

Unless you preach a crossless gospel...

Susan said...

Mark,
Good point.

jazzycat said...

Mark and Susan,
Yes, that is a good point. A receipient of the saving gospel of power will be enabled and motivated to place himself in opposition to the world. The world does not like that at all.