Romans 8:5-7a – Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. (NIV)
Imagine everyone living in perfect peace and harmony. During the 1990s, our autistic son was fascinated by a television show called Barney and Friends. Barney was a talking, teaching, dancing, singing purple dinosaur who captured the hearts of American children. In Barney's world, everyone was happy-go-lucky, and problems were resolved immediately. Stupendous! — a word Barney used frequently to indicate marvellous astonishments to his viewers.
Unfortunately, we do not live in this fantasy land. From the time of Adam's fall, we became separated from God — a spiritual death. The result was that we received a sinful nature, a cursed ground, and painful childbearing. In the old economy, God offered the promise of a coming Messiah who would reverse that curse. However, although He was rejected, only through Jesus Christ is new spiritual life available to those who accept Him as personal Lord and Saviour.
Like "stupendous" is to Barney, "sanctification" is to theologians: a word used to define the spiritual, transformational growth process that commences with our new birth and ends when we meet the Lord in our new, glorified body. It involves holy living. In a sanctified life, a saint (a sanctified person) grows in Christ's righteousness, made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. The new believer then conforms more closely to God's holiness through daily obedience to His Word.
1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (NIV)
In simple terms, through the spiritual process of sanctification, Christians become better persons affecting the world around them. Therefore, one is more suitably prepared for the joys of kingdom living and life eternal. Sanctification –- stupendous!
Prayer: Lord God, we thank You and praise Your holy name as we humble ourselves before Your throne of grace. Watch over us and continue to keep us comforted under Your wings, that daily, our minds may be renewed and continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Peace Perfect Peace" (Lyrics)