VN520439 2016-02-21 Sanctification
There was this preacher who was preaching at a church and their congregation sent out a focal committee, and the focal committee approached the minister after the services and said, “You’re so good we’d like to offer you a position at our church. If you accept it the first thing you need to know is that our church is twice as big as what you’ve got going here, with much greater potential. Our church also pays about three times as much as what your congregation is paying. Our parsonage looks like a mansion and every year we lease you a brand new car. There are other perks that we won’t go into at this time, but believe me it will be a great sweet setup, for you.” Well, the minister was like, “Wow, gee, I don’t know.” The people said, “Well, make up your mind” He said, “I need to go home and talk about this.” So, he goes home and tells his wife all the things that they had told him and she said, “Wow, are you going to take it?” And he says, “I really don’t know. I need to go upstairs and pray and find out what God’s will is. ”She said, ”Okay, I’ll come up there with you”, and he said ,”No, no, you stay down here and start packing.” Unfortunately that’s the way it works a lot of times. I don’t know where that joke started but a friend of mine told it to me yesterday.
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” If you haven’t figured it out, we’re talking about God’s will. 3 John 1:2. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3, first part only. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” There we have it, three things that God has talked about we have in the scriptures that we can safely go live and say this is what the will of God is. God is not willing that any should perish but that all will come to repentance. God wants us to flourish. He wants us to prosper and to be in good health just like our soul prospers. That was divinely inspired by the Apostle John when he wrote this. And Paul wrote, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.”
Now, sanctification, once again, is just a fancy word that means set apart for God’s use. It doesn’t mean that your feet don’t touch the ground, you have a halo and everywhere you go people go ohh, ahh. It just means that you’re set apart and God is going to use you. There is a question that is asked of me occasionally, perhaps you get it too. They’ll ask, “Since God is omnipotent (that’s just one of those big words that means all powerful), since God is all powerful and since it’s His will that none should perish, and why don’t you teach that everybody goes to heaven?” Now, there is a branch, a denomination of Christianity that does teach that based on that idea. If God is omnipotent and He doesn’t desire that any should perish therefore everybody, and they mean literally everybody, is going to end up in heaven. Also people will answer with, “Then why aren’t you Christians?” I hear it, I don’t wish to visit that church. It’s filled with a bunch of hypocrites and I’m thinking, “You ought to feel right at home, come on, you know? Don’t worry about it. Just come on.” “Well, why aren’t all Christians prosperous?” On and on and on. ”If God desires this for us then why doesn’t He just cause it to happen?”
This is the will of God. It is the will of God. This is God’s desire and yet why doesn’t it happen? It’s not God’s fault. Let’s read this other part of scripture, Hebrews 11:6. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him,” God, “for he who comes to God must believe that He,” God, “is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” The problem is not the will of God. God desires these things to happen and He is more than willing to provide these things. Salvation. He is more than willing to provide blessings to you and to yours. He is there ready to use you if you have that faith. First you’ve got to believe that He exists, and there are a lot of people who will say, “I don’t believe God even exists.” Fine. You’re not going to be bothered by God because He won’t deal with you. You’ve got to have faith that He exists. That doesn’t mean that we’re not supposed to put the call out to every person and say it doesn’t matter. You come, you learn, you’ll come to faith in Christ. You come and we’ll teach you about God and show you the things that we understand about him. Even if they’re an atheist they’re still welcome to come here to come and listen. You never know when an atheist, like they say there are no atheists in fox holes, so you never know when an atheist will fall into a fox hole and start crying out to God.
So, it’s nice if we’re there inviting the people to salvation. It’s nice that we’re praying for people to prosper in all areas like their health and their wellbeing and that we would all be used for the glory of God, but those things will not happen in our lives unless first we believe that God is, and second we believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek him. He didn’t say we had to be specifically seeking a particular blessing He wants to give us. He is very broad about it. He is very open about it. You just seek me and I will bless you. He will find blessings that we need and He will give them to us when we need them. Like it said don’t be upset if it seems like God is a little slow on answering His promises, but He is patient towards us. He is bringing us up to the level where we can handle those blessings that God wants to give to us. They’re there, they’re ours, it’s a promise, and we can trust God it’s coming our way, but it’s only coming our way when we have the faith to believe and to trust.
Once again, I’ve said this a lot and I’ll keep saying it, faith is a window. Faith is a portal. Faith is an opening that allows God to do His will, that which He desires to us. He is sitting out there saying, “I desire to do all these things for you. Just open up and let Me come in. Trust me.” That’s why it says in the Book of Revelation that Christ stands at the door and knocks and if anyone hears and opens, He will come into them and sup with them and be with them and all that good stuff, and that verse isn’t referring to nonbelievers. It’s actually referring to the church. It’s in the Book of Revelation. It’s addressed to the church in Laodicea. So, there are people who are in the churches and they had shut God out, but He is saying, “If you will answer the door and open it up and let Me in, I’m going to be right there with you all the way bud. I’m going to be yours. I’m going to be working with you and I have got things.” God is saying, “I’ve got desires, things I want to bless you with, things that are within My will just for you, but you have got to trust Me.” You’ve got to open up and say, ”God, I trust You first for salvation. I trust You. Then I trust You to give me the blessings I need and I trust You to raise me up, to grow me up, to cause me to become the person that can handle those great blessings.”
There is no limit. It’s not limited. The only thing that limits the blessings coming to us is not God and His abilities because He is omnipotent, but what limits those blessings flowing into our lives is our faith to believe it. I know people who say, “I don’t believe that God answers prayer. Yes, I believe in salvation by grace, through faith, and I have trust in Christ as my personal Savior, and I know that one of these days when I pass from this world to the next I will walk into heaven’s doors because Christ paid the way, but I don’t think that He answers prayers after that. It’s just something we’ve got to hang on. We endure to the end. We shall make it and so all I’m doing is just trying to endure.” Don’t worry about it. God’s not going to hear a prayer if you happen to pray it, because you don’t believe that He answers prayers. You don’t believe that He is there to answer your prayers, He is not going to answer it. ”Well, I don’t believe those kinds of things ever happen in this day and age.” Don’t worry about. It’s not going to happen to you because you do not trust God for those things to happen whatever those things are.
But, if you trust God there is all sorts of potential out there for you and I don’t know what it is, and I don’t want to particularly want to enumerate all the possibilities that’s in your life because God has potentials for you to fit your personality. He knows you so well that He is ready to give you something that will fit you that you and you only can use, appreciate, observe, be a blessing and share it to or with other people. He has something that is designed for you and you alone. Now, He might give other things to other people that are similar, but still He is completely interested in you and the only way that you can hit that potential to maximize it more, to increase it is to trust Him more and more and more and more and don’t say this, “ I didn’t go to Bible college Doyle. I don’t know this stuff.” You keep coming to this church and I’ll teach you everything I know. It won’t take long, but everything I know I’ll teach you and then you won’t have that as an excuse. “Oh, Doyle, I’m too old.” Don’t try to use that as an excuse.
A non-Biblical example. Colonel Sanders opened his first chicken franchise at 65 years old. I am still waiting to see what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t hit 65 for 3 more years. No, 2 years. I’m older than I thought I was. I just remembered that. That’s alright. I might open up a chicken franchise in 2 years. So, don’t think that you’re limited by anything. Our God is great, He is omnipotent, He is omniscient. He is all that stuff and He is there to bless us and to cause our lives to open up, and I have seen one of these plants, a Century plant. It only blooms once every 100 years so if you plant one today do not expect to see it bloom in your lifetime. I wouldn’t, but I have seen one of them in bloom because some guy over at Clay City had inherited one and it bloomed when I was about 8 years old. They had it stuck in a bank so people could go see it. To tell the truth, it wasn’t that great other than the fact that it only bloomed once every 100 years. Have you guys ever seen one in bloom? Have you ever seen one? Okay, imagine this. You’re driving along and you see what they call yucca plants around here and it’s got that spike with those flowers on it. That’s what it looked like. That’s what it looked like when I was 8 years old. I don’t know what it looked like in reality but my feeling was that’s just a yucca plant.
Anyway, all that aside, all that potential is there, just for us, when we say, “I trust You Lord. I trust You.” Even though the circumstances are working against this, it does not look like it’s going to happen, we can still receive the blessings and the promise because God is elevating us, causing us to grow in knowledge and, therefore, in His favor and we will experience the grace. It is a matter of faith. A lot of people think that God blesses us because we are such perfect people. We have to achieve a certain level, holiness, in order for God to bless. Well, let’s look at this. Noah. He got off that boat and got drunk. Abraham, he threw his wife under the bus twice meaning that two different kings came along and said hubba hubba hubba, I like her. This woman here, what about let me have her for my harem and he said sure. Yeah, that’s Abraham. Jacob, he was a sneaky little thief. He stole his brother’s birthright by deception. Moses committed murder. David committed adultery and murder. Jeremiah, I like the guy. He had a depressive personality and other issues. Rahab was a harlot and Ruth was a Moabitess which if you don’t know about the Moabites they were not to be permitted to come in to the nation of Israel, they were not to be married into. You were to stay away from the Moabites but yet Ruth herself was blessed by God and she ends up being the great grandmother of King David himself and she is one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ Himself, and they’re all listed in this one chapter in the Book of Hebrews and it’s called the Chapter of Faith.
All these people, with all their imperfections, were still used by God, blessed by God, and it’s known as the Chapter of Faith. It’s not the chapter of high moral character. It’s the Chapter of Faith. We need to come to a place where we trust in God and let Him take care of our problems. He is there saying, “I will raise you up and I will take you right where you are and I will improve you to the place where you will be a blessing to other people, but trust in Me.” You can’t do it on your own. If you could, we would all save ourselves by our good works, our good looks or our quick talking wit and humor, but that never pays off. It’s only trusting in Jesus Christ and His perfect, perfect sacrifice. When we do that, when we trust in Him for that particular blessing, then God says you’re safe because you trust in Christ. It’s not the chapter of perfection. It’s the Chapter of Faith. They trusted God. Therefore, God blessed them and He got them to the place that they were appointed to be at.
Moses, 40 years old, committed murder. 40 more years he went into hiding and finally he got to the place of maturity that God said, “Now you’re prepared to go, take My children away from Pharaoh himself.” The circumstances never looked good for 80 years for Moses and yet he was the one called to that. He trusted in God. God prepared him, raised him up. Moses might not have been the most patient person because that’s why he killed that man is trying to protect some other children of Israel, but instead, God said, “You’re not ready yet”, and took him off, prepared him and then brought him back to his calling. Abraham, years and years and years he waited for a son. Years and years and years. Finally he took the matter into his own hands with the help of his wife, messed that up royally and we’re still paying for that one today, and as time went on God finally shows up and says, “Now, right now is the time. By this time next year you’re going to be a dad and Sarah is going to be a mom.” Sarah said, “Yeah, right.” That’s why they named that boy Isaac and his name means laughter.
The people that are mentioned in the Bible are not perfect, but they are a prepared people. He took them where they were and He called them and He said, “Trust in Me and I will get you there.” David turned out to be a ruffian and a bandit. That’s what he was considered by his people. For over 17 years he was considered an outlaw and yet God raised him up and said, “I anointed you when you were a kid to be the kind of Israel and here it is in your 30s and now you are the king of Judah.” Two years from then he was the king of all Israel, the 10 northern tribes and the 2 southern tribes. He got him there. David trusted God. Read the Psalms. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” The Lord leads me into the pastures. He takes me to the waters. He guides me and yea though I walk through that valley of shadow of death I’ll fear no evil because God is with me. David was being prepared, he was coming to the place where he could be a shepherd to Israel. Still imperfect, but yet he was learning to become the shepherd. We are called. We are called to be beings of faith. God knows we’re not going to have perfect actions in this life because we’re still made up, we still have that old nature because we’re still human with the human bodies and the human’s way of thinking we’ve been taught.
Here’s something else you might as well think about. Before you became a Christian there were all sorts of people putting you down, telling you you weren’t good enough, you weren’t smart enough, you weren’t tall enough and you weren’t quick enough. Blah, blah, blah, and they ripped into you for all sorts of reason and told you that you were (just fill in the blank here with what you feel bad about). “Gee, I’ve always been nervous about that stuff because I never thought I had those abilities because people put me down” Well, I want to tell you something. When you accepted Jesus Christ all that stopped. You are no longer that person. You are a person with great potential. Shake off what those people lied to you about and condemned you about because that does not apply to you anymore. God is there for you and He will bless you and take care of you and improve you to a place where you will be elevated and they will just stand there and go, “Who would have thought it? Who would have thought that that kid, that girl, that boy would have grown up and become that kind of a man?”
Or, if you’re an older person people will say, “Well, I knew them when.” Well, they knew you when but they need to know you now, because you are a Christian. You have been blood bought, blood washed and you have potential, and that potential is waiting for you to say, “God, I trust you. Alter me in such a way that other people will be in awe of what You have done for me.” Don’t let that past hold you back any more. Rahab was a harlot. Rahab was a harlot and yet God raised her up also, to become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Don’t let your past hold you back because it’s gone. It’s dead, it’s put away. You are now a new person. You have great potential. You have great potential so don’t let your past, your nervousness, hold you back. Go for it. We are called to be beings of faith. I’d like to read to you at this time Hebrews 10:12-14. Hebrews 10:12. “But He, having offered one sacrifice,” this is Christ, he offered one sacrifice, “for sins for all time.” He, “sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
Did you get that? What it is saying is this. Christ died one time. He made an absolute perfect sacrifice. One time all people are slated to pass away and after that the judgment. Christ died one time. He was judged and God said, “Oh my gosh, You are perfect, You are righteous. You are more than what I have ever hoped for in a human being and there You are, My Son, absolute perfection. Therefore, I am going to honor You. I am going to let You raise from the dead and anybody that trusts in that sacrifice I will accept them also because Jesus, You did it right.” So, as we are now those people that He has set down and He has been waiting for in that verse 14, remember what it said. For by one offering, that was what Christ made with His blood, He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Those who are sanctified are you. You accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior. By His blood you are now sanctified. One time. That’s all it takes. You are sanctified. Sanctified means you’re set apart for God’s use. Because you trusted in Jesus Christ you are now sanctified. You are potential to be used by God.
The only part that goes on with this is that you’ve got to continue to walk by faith. Those who are by faith, justified by faith, shall live by faith. You’ve got to continue on. So you’re saved, so you’ve got the potential of being used by God, you’ve got the potential of being blessed by God, to become a blessing maybe not just to your family but to the county, to the state, all the United States of America, the whole world. I don’t know. The potential of God is huge and you have that God who could use you with that great amount of potential. If you trust in Him, it says that He has perfected you. He has perfected you. A lot of people don’t understand the word perfected and that’s where I like to say you need to get a book where you can study these particular words. The word perfected means that you have been brought up to a state of completion. You have been brought up to the level where you lack nothing. You lack nothing so that you are now set apart for God’s use which causes you to be in a position where you can approach God, where you can say, “Forgive me of my sins. God, I ask that you hear my prayer. I am seeking You. I’m expecting You to bless me.” You lack nothing. You can go there and talk to God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. You can do this and if you trust in Him. It says that He will bless you. You seek after Him. It doesn’t say what specific thing you had to do other than just seek Him. Just start, ”God, I want to be in Your presence. God, I want to hear You. I want to walk in Your way. I want You to bless me. I want You to be with me. God, I want You to use me so that my family will eventually come to a place where they accept Jesus Christ. I want my family and my friends to spend all eternity with You and with me. God, I want You. Just let me be there. Let me approach Your throne. I’m trusting You God. I’m seeking You, seeking You.” He goes, “Because you’re seeking me I will bless you. I will favor you. I will raise you up to the level where you can get more blessings, and when you get to that level because of that, you keep trusting Me and walkin by faith and I will raise you even higher and cause you to receive more blessings.”
You can receive all sorts of grace as long as we just keep walking up, walking up, the altar of God is, if you’ve got an altar where the sacrifices are made, it wasn’t a stair step going up to it, it was a ramp so that you just continually are all going all the way up. It’s just a continual walk up there. It’s not oh, that’s a hard step up. As you get older you’ll understand about taking these steps up, they’re not always easy, but a ramp is to make it easier for us to go up. So, God is saying, “You just keep seeking me and you’ll keep getting closer and closer and I will continue to bless but you’ve got to be willing to open up by faith to Me and then keep seeking Me. Keep coming up, keep coming up and I will keep blessing you.” He says, and He does that. Take the woman who was caught in adultery. What did Jesus say? He said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” People stumble over the last part when they should start with number one. Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn thee.” “Neither do I condemn thee.” That’s past, that’s over with. You come to Me, you sought mercy. I gave it to you. All your past is gone. Now go. Go, go, go, go, go, go and sin no more.
Let me paraphrase that for you in my way of understanding it. He is saying, “I’m not condemning you. Go on, become a successful person. Go on, overcome your past. It’s irrelevant now. You have sought mercy and I have given it to you. I’m not condemning you. Go on”. He’s saying to us, “Go on people. Unhinge yourself from that past. Cut that past off. Walk away from it and say, “That doesn’t belong to me anymore. God does not condemn me and He told me to go on with my life and I’m going to go on, and because I’m seeing Him I have potential to be a success. I have potential.” Faith opens the doors. Blessings will flow through when we walk by faith and not by sight, when we say this is what God says. I don’t care what events are going on, I don’t care about my past any longer. I care about God and I’m seeking Him. Proverbs says that, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous.” Blessings are like a crown on the head of a righteous person. When you accepted Jesus Christ, when you became a believer in Christ you became completed without fault in the eyes of God. Without fault, legally standing before Him.
You are now righteous before God and those blessings are right there, right there on your head. Wear them like a crown and if you trust they will flow into your life. Your actions will improve. People say. “Well, Doyle, you’re telling people that they can walk in sin.” No, I’m telling people they can walk in blessing, and when we walk by faith He will improve our actions and we will start walking away from our sins and not walking in them, but we will walk away from them because He is blessing us. Have I arrived? Oh, people, I wish that I had arrived, but I’m still walking along by faith expecting Christ to improve me each and every day of my life. I know some of you just can’t believe that I could get any better. Ask Vickie, she’ll tell you. Our actions will improve not because of our effort but because of our faith in Jesus Christ and because we say He will improve me, He will bless me, and I’m trusting in Him. So, I guess what I’m saying is, this is the conclusion, blank paper. Go out there and fill this out with a list of things that God is going to bless you with. If your future is blank go out there and write up little things that are successful, things that just make other people go, “Wow!” Go out and live a life that makes other people envious and you say, “That’s my God blessing me”, and don’t let them pull you down. They’ll try. Don’t let it happen.