Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sanctification or Justification - Both are Important - Both are Separate Issues

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you."
From 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 ESV

   I'm not going to elaborate a whole lot on this because I think the verses speak for themselves. However, I do see some professing Christians confusing sanctification and justification, and in so doing, actually condone lawlessness. They seem to think that the only issue between God and man is salvation and everything in the Bible relates to the act of salvation. Instructions on what to do, or not to do seem to be designated to what must be done or not done in order to receive salvation. Many of these people understand the hypocrisy of the churches that have a bunch of rules, which don't really have anything to do with anything. For example, I was listening to a man, probably a pastor of a mainstream denomination, teaching why it is wrong for the church to have musical instruments. He basically concluded it was wrong to have instruments in the church because none of the apostles used them, and, the verses in the Old Testament about using instruments, well, that was the Old Testament, and didn't apply to today. 
   There is a well-known and beloved woman Christian artist who actually came from this type of background. Sadly, this woman holds a low standard of purity when it comes to men/women relationships. She has made many comments about flirting and sexual innuendoes when it comes to those kinds of relationships. One of the things she believes in is that God created marriage for a man and woman to enjoy each other to the fullest. If a person is not happy in their marriage, then she recommends getting out of the marriage. She herself has done this as she was married and had a family, but was not happy in the marriage, so divorced her husband. Then she remarried another man and is starting all over again. She is still widely respected, not only for her music, but for her spiritual standing. 
  But could it be that this woman really saw the hypocrisy of the church she grew up in? Could it be that she saw the stupidity in a doctrine that has no basis in anything whatsoever, and perhaps has swung the pendulum in the other direction? If God really isn't into legalism, I guess the other way is the correct way to go to respond to God?
  No, God saves people by grace. It is a free gift from Him. We are not saved by being morally upright. But when we are saved, we have the power and desire to live a holy life. We don't have an excuse or reason to live sinfully or selfishly anymore. That is the way sanctification works. We are saved, but we are saved in order for God to be glorified. We are saved to present the power of God to the world. God is not glorified when we stay in our sins. He is not glorified when we turn lawless. It doesn't defend the doctrine of grace when we live immorally. 
   God will freely forgive us when we repent. We have to want to be forgiven, and if we continue in sin, we really don't want to be forgiven. But in that case, we believe in a God who is ok with our continuing in sin. Then we have to ask ourselves if we really do understand the Gospel. Have we really been saved in order to bring glory to God, or are we saved only so we can escape hell? Something to think about. 

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