Thursday 19 September 2019

The Purpose of Your Sanctification

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But First - “What You Need to Know About
The Purpose of Your Sanctification”

You are the Light in Darkness

You really need to know who you are in Christ. You are first His image bearer, created in His image (Genesis 1:26). Once you accept Jesus as your Lord, you receive eternal life, then what? That is where many pastors fail to remind their congregation, leaving them in the dark, without a purpose of their calling. Are you the Light in the darkness, (Romans 2:19?

“Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going,” John 12:35

Pastors need to teach what Jesus preparing us for. Without knowing who we are to motivate us, and the purpose of our fellowship, where can we find the courage and the determination to face the everyday challenges of this world? After all, didn’t God instruct us to be holy as He is Holy? (Lev 19:2). These rules of good stewardship applied to Israel, but also apply to Christians:

‘but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Pet 1:15-16

Immediately after Jesus’ teaching to His disciples on the parable of the lost son mentioned in (Luke 15:11), He went on teaching the parable of the unjust steward. I believe the order Jesus used to link the two parables was significant. At the end of the parable of the lost son, the older brother was angry toward his younger brother who returned after spending his inheritance to usury. What really upset him most is that he finds his father delighted and thankful by preparing a great and magnificent feast to celebrate his brother’s return. Is that the end of Jesus' teaching? Not exactly, we learned that the younger son would not be reinstated at the same level of stewardship to his father's domain as his older brother.

And he (the father) said to him (the older son), ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found,” Luke 15:31-32.

“All that I have is yours,” meaning that the older son owns his father’s entire domain. His younger brother would receive none of his father's inheritance. Many Christians have the assumption that God rewards His children equally since He loves us equally. This is not so. God is a God of justice and love. God is NOT a socialist nor a communist. There is no partiality with Him, (Eph 6:9). For example, “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat, but should work in quietness and eat their own bread,” (2 Thess 3:10,12).

Soon after our resurrection (1 Thess 4:16), we (the believers in Christ's resurrection) will all be judged for the choices made throughout our Christian life; the good works made for our Lord and the works that we assumed were God’s will. It’s all going to be judged for rewards or disapproval - all accordingly, (Acts 10:42, 2 Tim 4:1).

“and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away,” 1 Pet 5:4

If you are part of the resurrection of the saints, of those who had heard the testimony of the gospel and believed it – those who sleep or are alive at His return (1 Thess 4:14, 5:10), you will take part of the Bema seat of judgment. One by one, standing before our Lord, the books will be open, and Jesus will review our life of service for Him. Reassure yourself, that this will not be a review of our sinful behaviour. Our sins have been forgiven, forgotten and remembered no more, (Heb 8:12). However, our disobedience did hinder our stewardship and consequently our reward.

This judgement is not to be compared with the end-time judgement when all unbelievers will be standing at our Lord's throne. All their sins will be reviewed - all their sinful conduct. Understand this, they will not be judged because they’ve sinned but rather because of their unbelief. They will view the list of sins accumulated throughout their life only to realize that all their sins could have been forgiven if only they had believed and accepted Jesus as their redeemer who took away the sins of the whole world, theirs included, (1 John 2:2). Sad, isn’t?

Now, are we to shine our light within the four walls of the church building only. Nonsense! Here is a comment I wrote in an article titled, “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms vs the Canadian Human Rights Commission”1

I heard at the opening and closing prayers pastors giving thanks to God for the freedom to worship unaware that God has given them much more than the simple right to worship in Canada. I believe that it is God who wrote the Constitution on His behalf - for His purpose, not ours. He gave us, not the government the freedom of religion.

The Constitution was founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. Not any gods, but the Christian God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, Jn 3:16. (CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 PART I). 

The Constitution of Canada was signed by Queen Elizabeth which holds the title of the 'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England’.

What is the difference between freedom of worship and freedom of religion? The difference is that freedom of worship restricts Christians's sphere of influence by living according to their beliefs, ethics and moral standard values within the wall of a building, while the freedom of religion gives Christians the freedom to carry their right to beliefs, ethics and moral standard values everywhere in our society. It is our civil right. Have you not noticed how often we hear from the secular to keep our religion at church? It is a constant attack on our rights. Event Christians among themselves demanded not to mix religion with politics… go figure.

We have the fundamental right to peaceful assembly in a church environment and the freedom of religion in a social environment, in particular in our school.

In my next blog, I will write about our rewards for being a good steward, (the Light in Darkness) especially the defender of the widows the orphans, the unborn babies, and the oppressed.