"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Simple and Serious Gospel of Salvation – Phase II The SANCTIFIER is the SAINT’s FIRE: Part Three

~~ By James Fire

What does it mean for a Christian to be sanctified? 
It’s a person who is not only born again, and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but whose mind is willingly submitted to the Mind of Christ, and to such an extent, that such a Christian resembles less and less the person they used to be, and takes on more and more the nature of Jesus.

Put very simply its one who is like Jesus, in a holy nature of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness.
This is a life long process, and none of us will be complete in being transformed totally in Christ; that blessed event will transpire when we see Him face to Face (1 JOHN 3:2), but its entirely possible to be Christ-like by renewing our minds by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We continue now in looking at the scriptures and examining the critically important issue of what the LORD requires of us as His following children: to be holy, even as He is holy.
Being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” is another idea that Paul develops in ROM 12 and PHIL 2.

Before we turn to those verses let me point out the architecture of our being as God created us. We saw the truth of this idea represented in 1 THESS 5:23 above. God created us as triune beings, that comprises of three parts: body, soul and spirit. You can approximate the idea of our soul with mind, and the idea of spirit with heart (not the organ that pumps blood as that is part of our body, but rather that inner most spiritual core that represents the real us that will exist long after our bodies are dust).

When we are born again, God indwells us, as I’ve stated before; but where exactly within us does He dwell? He dwells within our inner most being, that is, our heart or spirit (see EPH 3:17). It’s the blood of Jesus Christ that washes our sins away and grants us new, clean hearts whereas before, our old hearts were desperately (“incurably”) wicked (see JER 17:9). Once cleansed of sin, our hearts become a hospitable home for the Holy Spirit.

Yet God isn’t finished with us there! He intends to fill every part of our being, infusing us with His holiness, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, etc (see GAL 5:22 and EPH 5:9): essentially, the very nature of Jesus. Yet we need our souls or minds to come under this sanctifying influence as well in order for the Holy Spirit to dwell comfortably and operate efficiently in our lives. Once this starts to happen, amazing things can occur which we will discuss at the end of this article.

This requires sanctification or a renewing of our minds as Paul states in Romans:

ROMANS 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

That transformation occurs as we surrender to the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to overcome our sinful nature that yet has dominion over our minds until we yield to the LORD. As we continuously (day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment) yield to God in these areas of our lives that we are tempted in, we become transformed as our minds are renewed. We begin to think like the LORD, we share in a ‘like-mindedness’ with Him (1 COR 2:16); His desires become our desires. The things that bring our LORD joy brings us joy; what breaks His heart breaks ours as well.

If you should stumble and fall into sin, don’t let this discourage you! Beloved of Jesus, you are supremely loved! And even when we fall into sin, we can confess our sin, and the LORD is faithful and just to cleanse us of all unrighteousness! See - 1 JOHN 1:9.

I recall a time early on in my Christian walk when I was so very discouraged because I kept falling into the same sin, time and time again. Frustrated and despondent to the point of tears, I sat before the LORD and asked Him, “How many times am I going to fail You?”

His still, small, sweet voice answered me: “As many times as I am going to wash you clean by My blood, grant you strength to stand, and walk before Me in My love and grace.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

As you may recall, I stated that salvation is a free gift, that we could do nothing to work for it or earn it, right? Now let’s read what Paul states a bit further along in this second chapter of Philippians - -

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

What?? What is this that Paul is saying? “Work out your own salvation…”? This sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Well, let me assure you, it’s not. What Paul is speaking of here is indeed that aspect of salvation that is sanctification (not justification which is granted freely and completely as the work of Christ alone in our lives). It’s in the process of sanctification that the LORD requires our cooperation; simply that when we are confronted with the temptation to sin, we step aside, and in prayer ask the LORD to do His work of sanctification in our minds that He seeks to renew and re-fashion in accord with His own mind. Note what Paul says after vs. 12 - -

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Do you see that? God works “in us” both a will to do, and the ability to do His good pleasure! It’s His work in us that brings this wonderful work of sanctification, and we simply work out, or allow to be made manifest that which God is working into our lives and minds! Awesome, isn’t it?

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

We who have been Christians for some time are aware of the fact and wonder why there seems to be so little power in the church today. There seems to be a stark contrast between the church in the book of Acts, and among Christians of only a century ago and even among Christians within the life time of Anne Kisly and myself, and the church as we see it today. Or even, by certain accounts, the power of God in foreign nations than we see here in the West.

The church seems to be more about seminars than spiritual power, conferences more than conforming to Christ, consensus with other religions rather than consecration to God, self-help programs rather than crucifying self to the cross of Christ; self-esteem rather than esteeming Christ Jesus our precious, wonderful LORD!

Why don’t we see more believers living in the power of God here today in America? Why statistically are Christians doing no better in their marriages and families, in businesses and other commitments than the world? In some cases to our shame, Christians come up short even in comparison with the world!

I think that this, at least in part, is why so many of our young people are leaving the church and migrating to other fellowships that are at least different than the dry deadness they see in their own churches. The problem is that these different fellowships teach an Emergent world view that is unbiblical, so their latter situation is worse then the former. But both are bad!
Yet would they even feel a need to leave their former fellowships if THEY FOUND THE KIND OF SPIRITUAL REALITY THAT WE ALL NEED?

I believe that God greatly desires, even yearns to manifest His power in the lives of believers but we quench Him by not yielding ourselves to Him in obedience to His Holy Word. We indulge in sinful practices and live unrepentant lives. We are not crucifying our flesh with its unlawful affections and lusts . . .

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

When we learn to die to self, allowing our pride, anger, jealousy, hatred, coveting, lusts, etc to simply die and nail these things by faith to the cross of Christ, we enter into “the fellowship of His sufferings” and its not until we acknowledge our sin ‘dead and buried’ that we can then experience the power of His resurrection!

Until then, the Holy Spirit can’t function through all the garbage of unholy clutter that clogs our minds and interferes with what He would want done in this world through the lives of us His children.

Our prayer lives suffer, our witness to the world suffers; we lack the joy and peace that is ours by our spiritual birthright. Reading the Word becomes a chore instead of a delight (I confess that I have been there with all this and it’s no good, and it grieves our tender-hearted LORD literally to tears).

Be assured that Satan, our great enemy does NOT want any believers to receive and understand this message that has long been recorded in scripture, but is hardly taught in today’s pulpits! If you are reading this, it’s not by mistake! I believe the LORD has you here for a reason.

As we begin to put these spiritual truths back into our lives, and make them a daily practice, I believe our lives individually, as well as our churches will experience a radical transformation, and God can once again begin using us as potently as He has long desired to! The world out there is hurting and walking wounded. They are seeking answers in Emergent churches, adhering to politically and ecumenically correct dictates and dogmas. They don’t even believe there is an absolute Truth to believe in! They are rushing headlong down the ruinous river leading to hell. They need answers, but they won’t receive them from a powerless, lifeless church!!

What they need is a church overflowing with the power of God, inundated with the unction of the Holy Spirit. Saint, the LORD desires that our love for Him should be fiery hot, and in order to burn brightly and cleanly for Jesus Christ, “the Sanctifier needs to be the Saint’s Fire!”

By way of reminder, if you are interested in learning more about this vital truth, look into getting a copy of 
The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
by Chuck and Nancy Missler. Note: I have previously stated a disclaimer on some of the issues in this book, primarily the idea of a remedial process of sanctification of saints once we enter into heaven, which we at TTUF do not agree with. We believe that once we see the LORD Jesus Christ, the sanctification process for all saints in the church will be finalized and complete. Be discerning, do your own study and hold fast the form of sound words (2 TIM 1:13)!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us here at The TRUTH Under FIRE; you can also contact pastor Bob at the email address he has provided. If you have any questions personally for me, feel free to email me at KNYHTF1RE@gmail.com

I would be very blessed to help in your understanding of the WORD, or answer any questions about this or any article.

Lastly, for your consideration, let me post the following scriptures for you and I pray you would copy these down, or print them out and meditate on them as the LORD leads you.

PSALM 24:3-4; MATT 5:8; ROM 8:1-13;13:14; 2 COR 7:1; GAL 5:16-25; COL 3:5-17; 1 TIM 1:5; 2 TIM 2:19-22; HEB 4:14-16; 12:9-14; JAMES 1:21-27; 1 PET 1:18-25; 2 PET 3:11-15.

May the LORD Jesus bless you WAY TOO MUCH!!!

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