This year, our women in our church have divided into small discipleship groups and have been meeting every other week to discuss the theology upon which God Word stands. I have really loved these times--it has grounded me in Truth by discussing what all of those heady words like 'Justification', 'Regeneration' and 'Predestination' really mean. So often, I throw around all of these big words, but do I 'truly' know what they mean? Studying these things has helped me to truly know what I believe and believe what I believe so that I can stand for what I believe.
This week we are discussing 'Sanctification'. As I have been preparing for our time together, God has brought this word up often this week in my bible study (God always seems to work this way, doesn't he?). I thought I would share what I have learned so far:
Sanctification: that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which He purifies the sinner, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works.
Santification takes place over a believer's entire life. It is a process. It is Holy Spirit led as the Holy Spirit within you desires to learn more about the Lord through studying His Word and prayer. As you study His Word more, you become more aware of who He is, you become more aware of His holiness, and you become more aware of how utterly sinful you are.
Sanctification consists of two parts: the gradual removal of the pollution and corruption of human nature and the gradual development of the new life in consecration to God.
When I think of sanctification, I think of the words 'through and through'. As you read and study God's Word, He is working His Word through and through every joint and marrow of your being. He is changing you and conforming you into His image.
A portion of my devotion this morning touched upon sanctification: You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it. You must "work out your own salvation" which God has worked in you already (Phil. 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it "out"? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you. --My Utmost for His Highest
As I have been thinking about sanctification, I have been thinking about where and how I spend my time and what I allow into my mind. Because whatever we allow into our minds will shape us and make us. You may think you can read certain books and watch certain television programs and not be affected, but it simply isn't true. Your worldview is being shaped by how you spend your time.