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Sanctification: The Process - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 11, 2023 12:00 am

Sanctification: The Process - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 11, 2023 12:00 am

God prepares you for service and transforms you into the image of Christ.

In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, August 11th. Psalm 119, verse 9 says, How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to God's Word. Today's lesson cites this simple verse as the cornerstone for living a holy life. When you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, what did you expect after that happened?

Did anybody sit you down and say, Hey, here's what you can expect. Here's what your responsibility is. And here's how the Christian life works. What I want to help you to understand is what to expect, what God's going to be doing the rest of your life, as long as you're on this earth and how he's going to be able to do that. And the title of this message is Sanctification, the Process.

And I'm going to catch you up to date on what we talked about last time so that you'll be able to understand exactly where we're coming from. So what I'd like to do is I'd like for us to begin with talking about the very nature of sanctification itself. So I want to define a couple of terms. For example, the word sanctification means holy. A person or a thing that has been sanctified is something or someone who has been set apart by God, for God, for sacred holy purposes. Every single one of us who is a believer is one who has been sanctified, set apart by God, for the purposes of God. The word also not only means to be separated, but it also is the same word from which we get our word saint.

A saint is a person who's trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior and one in and through whom the Lord Jesus Christ is progressively moving them to be conformed to his likeness in their character, their conversation, and their conduct. So that's what sanctification is all about. Now there are three stages to sanctification.

Stage number one is simply this. When you not trust the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and we become a child of God, at that moment, he sets us apart from our past life into a new life. Old things have passed away, but old things have become new now. Because you have a new destiny, a new Lord, a new sense of direction, and God begins at that moment to alter and to change your life. So the first stage is sanctification.

He sets us apart at that moment. Then there's the second stage of progression. That is from the moment we trusted him as our savior, at that moment it is his purpose that you and I so live a life of progressing in our understanding, in our conformity to the likeness of Christ, that all the rest of our lives we are being continually sanctified, being continually set apart, being continually made holy and conformed to the likeness of Jesus. This stage lasts all of our life from the moment we're saved to the moment we die. It's the most difficult stage. It's the hardest one. It's this stage in which you and I hit temptations and trials and difficulties and disappointments in life.

We have to learn how to respond to those things. Then there's the third stage. And the third stage is at death. When at that moment before we walk in the presence of God, we are ultimately and absolutely perfected. So we have the stage of a change of position, the stage of progression, the stage of perfection from the moment we die.

What happens? Our soul and our spirit are absolutely perfected. And then at the resurrection, our physical body will be perfected.

He says it will rise. He says, listen, fashion like under the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. So there are three stages to sanctification. It's salvation, the progression all of our life, and then at death and then the resurrection.

Now, every single one of us believers is now in the stage, that second stage, and that is we are supposedly, should be progressing in our relationship and knowledge and understanding of our Lord. Because you see, the very reason for which He saves us is not to keep us out of hell. It isn't just to make life easy. God saves us to make us holy. He says in His Word that He's in the process of conforming us, shaping us and molding us into the likeness of His Son. So therefore, His goal for saving us is a much higher goal than most people. They say, well, if I get saved, then when I die, I won't go to hell and I'll go to heaven.

Well, that's only the initial part. But God is, listen, He's not just interested in keeping you out of hell. He's interested in shaping us, molding us, conforming us, making us into the likeness of His Son, which is the highest compliment He could ever pay us that He loves us so much He wants to make us like His Son, whom He loved enough to send into this world to be the Savior and the only Savior of all mankind. Now with those things in mind, how do these things become a reality?

How is it that you and I are able to live a sanctified life? I didn't say it was sinless, but we are continually progressing in our walk and in our relationship with Him, becoming more intimate, more obedient, because listen, the passion's growing. The love for Him is growing. The desire for Him is growing. The hunger for Him is growing. The thirst for Him is growing. And the thirst to see other people saved and other people's lives changed. Something's happening on the inside of you.

You know what? God is willing to effect change in your life far more rapidly than you realize. He's willing to effect change in your life in areas that you don't even realize need to be effected. When you say, Lord Jesus, I want to walk a holy path. I want to be obedient to You. I want to walk in Your way. I want holiness and righteousness and obedience to be characteristic of my life.

I want people to meet me and meet Jesus in the process. You know what? God goes to work, because that's what He wants for every single one of us. Now how do these things come about?

What means does He use? Well, first of all, let me say that God certainly can speak to us in prayer, for example, and speak to us straight, right to our spirit, right to our minds. But usually that is His choice tools of perfecting us and that is His choice tools of sanctifying us are four.

And let's look at them. Number one is certainly prayer. When you and I begin to pray and to talk with the Father, here's what happens. We talk to Him. We develop a relationship with Him. We talk to Him. He speaks back to us. He impresses our spirit.

We are very convinced and persuaded that the Spirit of God has impressed us to do or to say something. And so we develop a fellowship. We develop a companionship.

He becomes our friend, not just our Savior and our God. There's an intimacy. There's a friendship that develops between us and Him. You know what's happening? What's happening is we're growing. In fact, one of the most exciting, I think probably the most, the most exciting and the most rewarding thing about our relationship is that we can grow in our intimacy with Him. Sometimes we take baby steps. Sometimes we take leaps. If there's going to be any sanctification process going on in your life, prayer is absolutely essential, talking to Him daily, telling Him how you feel, how you hurt, what you want.

You don't like what His will is in this particular area. It's fellowship. It's companionship. It's intimacy.

It's growing. That is absolutely one of His primary means of sanctifying us. A second means is the Word of God. He says the Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. That is the Lord is using His Word. It's His divine revelation. Somebody says, well, what does God think about this or what does God think about the other? And oftentimes we forget His Word.

The 119th Psalm is full of how God thinks about His own Word. Now, you cannot, listen to this, you cannot, not may not, you cannot live a godly life. And listen, keep that book closed from Sunday to Sunday.

It won't happen. You cannot be in the progress of being sanctified and neglect the Word of God. He says, how shall a young man cleanse his way?

By the living Word of God. A lamp unto my feet, a light to our path. It shows us where we ought to go, where we ought not to go. What we should do and what we should not do.

Who we should relate with and who we should not relate with. This is the Word of God. And how many times have you been reading along in the Scriptures and all of a sudden this passage jumps off the page and hits you square in the face.

And you think, oh my goodness, what's this? And you know the moment you read it, you have got to deal with something that you haven't dealt with. Listen, he says in the fourth chapter of Hebrews, in that fourth verse, here's what he says. He says it's sharper than a two-edged sword. He says it penetrates to the very dividing of soul and spirit. That is, it has awesome power to do what to reveal to us, to give us the capacity to understand. That is, the Word of God gives us discernment. What is right? What is wrong? What is good?

What is best? What's the will and purpose and plan of God? If you are not reading His Scriptures daily, what you're doing is you're missing out on a vital element in the process of sanctification. I'm telling you, you cannot, you will not, you won't, you can't live a godly life and neglect the Word of God.

You can't do it. Then there is a third means by which God progresses our sanctification, and that is His church. You cannot, you will not, you cannot be progressively being sanctified and ignore the church.

Let me just say this, I do understand this. There are some places in this country and many places in the world where there is no local church. When you and I think in terms of a local body, small or large, there are some people who've been saved and out there where they can't get the church. I do understand that, but that's a rare exception.

And so they watch television or they listen to tapes or whatever it might be. And even those people, every once in a while I'll meet somebody who lives somewhere in this country so far away from church, it's a long time getting there. And so they don't go very often. But they do go once in a while. But the person who says, I don't need church. Yes, you do.

Well prove it, I am going to. Ephesians chapter four, look at this. When he says he gave some, that means he gave to the church gifted men who have the following responsibility. Verse 11, he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers. That is, that phrase is pastor-teacher, which means pastor should also be a teacher. Now, he says, what did he give the church? What did he give this local body or the local bodies? Why does he give them pastors and teachers and evangelists and so forth? Listen, for the equipping of the saints, that is building up the children of God and the faith. For the work of service to the building up of the whole body of Christ. That is, who makes up the body?

Each of us individually make up the body of Christ. So what's he doing? He says, listen, God gave pastor-teachers in order to do what? Build up the body. Teach them the truth. Strengthen them in the Word of God.

So they'll do what? Grow in their Christian life. Now watch how many times he mentions that. As a result, for example, he says, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man or woman, to the measure of the statue which belongs to the fullness of Christ. That is, he's growing us up in Christ-likeness. As a result, we're no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness and deceitful scheming.

Here's what he says. He says, the responsibility of pastor-teachers is to equip the saints, build them up in the faith so that when they hear false doctrine, they don't get swept up by it. This is why I've said to you as parents, you need to have your kids in church learning the Word of God so that when we walk into a college classroom and somebody starts spouting off a bunch of erroneous garbage that's heathen, ungodly, unscriptural, your son or daughter can sit there and say, mm-hmm, I got warned about you. In one ear and out the other, I know what I believe and I know why I believe it.

And then you start praying for the professor because he's the guy who's in need. He may have a lot of intellectual knowledge, but listen, you can have all the knowledge in the world. If you don't have the truth of this book, you are ignorant.

You're ignorant about the thing. You're ignorant about the thing that determines your eternal destiny. Today, you'd better learn something about the Word of God.

Very important. We understand the importance of God's Word in our life and what He's trying to do and when it comes to the church and the importance of the place of the church in our life, very important. My friend, the body of Christ, the church is one of the primary ways in which we learn Learn and we grow and I sanctify there's one of the way one of the primary way and that is in Suffering one of his tools for sanctifying us is suffering now watch this There are no shortcuts in growing in the Christian life. No shortcuts to sanctification But if there were a shortcut if there were a possible shortcut It would cause us to take big leaps forward in our relationship to him and our growth It would be suffering you say well now why would God use suffering? to sanctify Because listen suffering gets our attention.

Amen. Now where it's God doesn't have to wave any more flags Suffering gets our attention heartache trouble trial tribulation all those things get our attention He uses those to do what get our attention and you know what happens When you get driven to your knees you begin to see things in your life that you never saw before I mean you talk about cleanse and I mean you can't get enough hot water Because you know, you don't want any of this stuff in you if you're gonna meet God with the truth is that's where we should live every day While wait till suffering and bad news comes why not just let him progressively sanctify us Which he is willing to do and ready to do now one last thing I would say there's one caution about this whole issue now we said remember now There are three stages first stage salvation. That's when we get in Second stage and growth our progression all the way through to death and death Absolutely perfected later the body at resurrection is perfected now in this stage All of now watch this carefully. All of us are somewhere Sometimes we make the mistake we look at other people and we say Well, I don't I just don't understand how you could trust the Lord Jesus Christ your Savior And you don't know any more than that. And I mean, it's easy to criticize other people I as a pastor I get challenged that once in a while Here's what I want you to remember this is what I have to remember Number one now what you listen say man You don't know where they started They may have started 50 below zero may have been where they started and I've seen some people who've been saved Who've come from way way way below zero?

Then I've seen some Christian for some people who've been saved who had a big background wonderful background and Oftentimes a person who comes from the furthest down Once they understand what it's all about and somebody explains it to them. You know what they have this tenacious desire To learn everything they can learn Experience everything they can experience, you know why because they realize what they have missed all these years What I want you to understand is this not where you've been It's what you're learning now It's where you can be if you choose to say to him Lord Jesus I want you to sanctify me. I want you to keep that sanctification going on I don't want any sin and disobedience and bad. I want nothing in my life God that doesn't please you. I Want you to just do whatever's necessary to make me the person you want me to be you know what it's what's gonna happen When you start taking bigger steps and larger steps and great steps You're gonna know God's up to something fantastic in your life And once in a while meet somebody who is so excited about Jesus and I knew them before they were And I thank God you've done an awesome work in their life Is it not refreshing when you and I meet somebody who is excited about Jesus Christ? Excited about His Word excited about church loving to worship Him loving other people want to see people save have a global vision They want to see the whole world impacted for the gospel. Yes So, let me ask you the last question When somebody meets you What do they feel They sense a passion for God can they see on your accountants a sense of tranquility and contentment Can they hear in your voice a sense of joy and peace?

Can they watch your movements and know that somehow you're a godly person? If not What you should ask is Lord What area of my life am I overlooking in this sanctifying process That I've missed something That some aspect of my life is not radiating the very life of Jesus Christ himself He will show you what it is and then you have to make the decision Are you willing to surrender that lay that aside abstain from that and allow him to change this? And when it comes to listen reflecting the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, would you not agree that? Whatever we have in our life. That doesn't belong there Doesn't fit there. It's worth laying down in order to be able to know in your heart everybody who meets you meets Jesus Christ the Son of God in you and that's my prayer Father how grateful we are that you would even think about loving us enough to save us and forgive us of our sins That you would even think about wanting to conform us to the likeness of your son That you'd even think about wanting to spend eternal life in heaven with us But that's the kind of awesome God you are we want to say thank you and I pray the Holy Spirit Has spoken To multitudes and will speak to millions of people through this message to understand What this Christian life is all about? What you're up to and what we ought to be up to What we can be up to and what we can enjoy? in Jesus name amen Thank you for listening to sanctification the process if you'd like to see more of this Sanctification the process if you'd like to know more about charles stanley or in touch ministries stop by in This podcast is a presentation of in touch ministries, atlanta, georgia
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-11 04:08:27 / 2023-08-11 04:17:06 / 9

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