Friday, October 23, 2015

The Vision (10.23.15): Sanctification is like warming up from the cold

Note:  This devotion is adapted from last Sunday morning’s sermon On Hebrews 2:10-15.

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:11).

Hebrews 2:11 reminds us that the God who saves is also the God who sanctifies.  It also affirms that those who are saved and those whom God sanctifies are given unity or union with Christ:  “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one.”

Consider the act of progressive sanctification, which is referred to here.  Becoming a Christian is both something that happens all at once and something that happens little by little over time.  Justification happens all at once.  Sanctification, however, is a process that begins the moment we are saved but which is never fully accomplished in this life.  We only arrive at definitive sanctification at the final stage of life:  glorification.  And this occurs at our deaths (absent from the body and present with the Lord; 2 Cor 5:8) and, ultimately, at the end of the ages in the final resurrection (when we receive our resurrection bodies; John 5:28-29). 

I recently read a book in which the author described sanctification as like being transferred “from the icy cold into a warm room.”  He continues:

The heat is a decisive force; it cannot be reversed.  But as someone stands in front of a roaring fire or even a radiator, that person still suffers from frozen joints or from pockets of cold.  They feel the decisive heat, and know that eventually they will be warm through and through.  But it remains a steady process, even though the warm and the cold represent two kinds of forces or ‘orders of existence’ (A. Thiselton, The Living Paul, p. 12).

Indeed, becoming a Christian is like coming in from the bitter cold and slowly being warmed up, even while we still feel the chill in our bones.

May the Lord continue to warm us up in holiness.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle  

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