Heavens Light 4-9-16 In His Image – Enjoying Christ and Sanctification

Sanctification

2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves

from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. NASB

Enjoying Christ and the goal of sanctification

Let us consider that as we exert God-dependent effort to press on toward Christlikeness, we will in fact by the Spirit’s transforming power attain ever increasing degrees of holiness and experience His virtue in our character. In this striving after Christlikeness we glorify God and have a sure goal that is always before us calling us heavenward to progress in bearing His image. We must actively fix our eyes on Jesus and seek to imitate His likeness.

Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. NASB

We are called to pursue this character actively in our Christian life, for it is God’s purpose to conform into Christ’s image. The New Testament puts this forward as an imperative again and again. Putting on Christ’s virtue is not optional but mandated by Jesus and the Apostles.

John 15:10-12 – 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. NASB

Colossians 3:12-15 – 12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. NASB

As we look to God in faith in seeking these virtues, and seek the filling of the Holy Spirit, we receive power from God both to put off the old nature and to put on the new. God’s Word calls us to careful and calculated God dependent effort to accomplish this.

Ephesians 5:15-19 – 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; NASB

As we experience the daily renewal of the filling of the Holy Spirit, these virtues increase in our character and we come to enjoy the very goodness of God in our own selves and relations, and become nourished by the good fruit of His Spirit in our daily lives. In this transforming process we experience the beauty of Christlikeness in a rich and powerful way as it seasons our life with the very character of Christ and we fulfill our chief end of glorifying and enjoying God.

Galatians 5:22-25 – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. NASB

This fruit of the Holy Spirit becomes the very experience of our days, filling our life with the beauty of God’s nature. Bruce Demarest points out that these 9 rich and powerful virtues (which are the single fruit of the Spirit) are given to us in three triads, each expressing a different relation to our lives. These are to be actively cultivated in us by God dependent effort.

· Love, Joy Peace – These virtues affect our basic disposition or if you will the foundation of our attitude, demeanor and mindset in daily life. Love here is the agape love of God which is self-giving, sacrificial and supernatural (John 15:13,1 Cor 13:4-8,1 John 3:16-18,4:7-11). Joy is that inner delight and felicity in the heart that, being focused in faith on God’s goodness to us in Christ, is immovable and constant regardless of negative circumstances (Psa 31:7,Neh 8:10,Acts 13:52,1 Pet 1:6-9). Peace is that abiding calmness, serenity and rest in the heart and mind which results from reconciliation with God in Christ, and provides us with freedom from anxiety and distress in daily circumstances (John 14:27, Rom 5:1,15:13, Phil 4:7,Col 3:15,2 Thess 3:16,).

· Patience, kindness, goodness – These graces concern our relationship to others. Patience is that forbearing temperance of attitude that suffers long or endures with difficult circumstances or troublesome people (Rom 15:1, Eph 4:2,Col 3:13,1 Thes 5:14). Kindness is a charitable and generous disposition toward others that manifests in gracious acts of free benevolence to others (Luke 6:35,Eph 4:32,Col 3:12-13). Goodness is not sinlessness but an integrity and uprightness of heart and mind that reflects God’s goodness (His righteousness, holiness, justice, kindness, grace, mercy, and love) in our relationships with others (Luke 6:35,Gal 6:10,1 Thes 5:15,Heb 13:16,3 John 11).

· Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – These qualities regard our individual selves. Faithfulness is a steadfast and reliable integrity and loyalty to others in our word, priorities and commitments (Luke 21:16-19,1 Cor 4:2,2 Tim 4:7-8). Gentleness is a humble consideration toward others which gives preference in honor (Rom 12:16,1 Thes 2:7,Tit 3:2). Self-control is that self-discipline or self-restraint which is temperate under temptation and emotional duress or excitement (Acts 24:25,1 Cor 7:5,9:25-27,2 Pet 1:6).

Let us then actively cultivate these virtues and to the degree that we do, we will enjoy Christ!

2 Corinthians 13:11 – 11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. NASB

If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and receive eternal life….. have a look at these links below that explain the Gospel…..

What is the Gospel? by JI Packer

An excellent overview of the Christian Gospel.

Defining the Gospel

A brief and concise overview of Gospel Basics.

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Pastor Shaan Sloan

Christ’s Servant at

Heritage Christian Fellowship

11104 Menaul Blvd NE

Albuquerque, NM 87112

www.heritageabq.org

The Lord is the Strength of My Life

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