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Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

This is the will of God, your sanctification.

For years as I matured in Christ, slowly yet relentlessly, I asked Him what was His will of me?

What I was really asking was “why am I here in New Jersey in the 21st century?” What big things did God have planned? And how would I know when they happened what my role was? Would an angel speak to me? An ancient prophecy? A inner voice?

This is, unless I’m a lonely idiot (which I might very well be), thoughts that have passed through many a young man or a young woman’s mind. Even those not so young.

I was reading scripture today (an attempt out of a series of stuttering attempts to read scripture daily) and I came across 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Paul has just finished telling the church at Thessolonica how well they are doing at following God and obeying Him.

Then he goes into a command so small and so familiar I usually skim by it. It belongs in the “fruit of the spirit vs fruit of the flesh” verses scattered throughout Paul’s writings. Abstain from this, don’t do that, don’t be associated by this sin.

Interestingly enough, my eye caught this little qualifier (I believe that’s what it is called) where Paul equates God’s will to our sanctification.

[note: there is not just ‘one’ will that God reveals eliminating from His being, but several. This is another topic though; another talk for another time.]

Did you catch that? God’s will is our sanctification! Not that we accomplish this task or minister to that particular group or to fully understand and teach the truth of Sovereign responsibility paired with human responsibility. It is that we grow more and more into the image of Christ (Col 3:10; Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:29).

How freeing is this? And how important of a destiny? God says not that we ‘might’ be more like Christ hopefully but He says we ‘will’ be like Christ.

Paul then connects this to the wrath of God. He writes how those who bear the image of Christ will be taken up with Him into the clouds. And why is Jesus in the clouds? He has come to visit wrath on the earth. Like in the days of Noah, when scoffers scoffed and mockers mocked, they said there is no wrath to come.

This same thread is woven in Colossians as well. Throughout all of scripture, you see God say “be holy, for I am holy.”
This call for repentance is such a trope in today’s world. These words bring up the man in the sandwich board saying “the end is near!”

Repent!

What does sanctification mean to you guys? How have you incorporated it into your lives?

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     One.  There is a free concert tomorrow put on by Tenth Avenue North, one of the few good christian bands out there in Ocean Grove.  free concert.  To someone with a newly acquired car payment, this is amazing.  how many times will this happen when a good christian band plays for free?  Never really.  This is New Jersey, land of a bar on every corner and a club on every boardwalk.  Why am I not jumping up and down for joy?  Because, several weeks back, I signed a paper for an evangelistic group at church saying that every Tuesday I would be faithful and committed to being there for a couple of hours.  Thus, I get to watch people go to the concert and not go myself.  In all honesty, I’ll get over it.  There are more important things in life and really, I’m sure there might be someone God will put in my path tomorrow that needs to hear the Gospel that would never get to hear it if I was moshing to Tenth Avenue North.

     Two.  I have just finished a book b Josh Harris called Dug Down Deep.  I believe I’ve mentioned it before.  It has been such an encouragement because I have felt that for too long faith in america has been shifting towards an experiential element per say than a truth based one.  “But it feels right”.  Yes.  But one also has to have firm doctrine to back up one’s beliefs.  And Josh does this simply but eloquently, with several experiences to help him along, persuading me that experience is definitly part of life.  Sometimes I’m in my head too much to realize this.

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     I am going to NYC this weekend to see a stage production of C. S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters”.  I am pumped.  C. S. Lewis has always been somewhat of a literary hero of mine.  I even read a biography of him (I know, I don’t read a lot of non fiction, nevermind biographies so this was a feat for me).

     I am also in the middle of a pretty good book, Joshua Harris’ “Dug Down Deep”.  What?  Yes, the guy who hates dating.  But this is a book about theology, a shift from his previous work on purity and such.  It’s a good beginner book on doctrine and theology in the Biblical sense.  He hits the major theological points: God’s sovereignty, the Holy Spirit, Veracity of the Bible, as well as other main topics.  It strips away Christianity based on an experiental view and gets into the truth of what scripture teaches.  I would recomend it to new believers who are starting to make thier way into the study of scripture.

     New York City and onward.  Dinner after the play.  Should be fun.

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