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God’s Grace: Sanctifying Grace, part 1
Two weeks ago, we began this series of looking into a few of the different aspects of God’s Grace. In that study we looked at God’s,Seeking Grace. In the process we came to realize that God’s Grace seeks us out, long before we ever think of seeking Him, while we are still lost in our sin, before we come to faith in Jesus and that furthermore, His Grace continues to “Seek and Guide” us even as we walk in relationship with Him.
The reality is: We are drawn to Jesus, by God’s Grace, and are saved through faith in Christ, by God’s Grace. And in our study last week we looked into God’s,Saving Grace, as it is described in Ephesians 2:8 & 9. As we looked into God’s, “Saving Grace,” we discovered that salvation is: Grace Given, Faith Accessed, and it is God Glorifying. I would encourage you, if you missed either of the first two messages, to go to the church web page and listen to them – or send me a note, and I’ll send the studies to you. This week we are going to be looking into God’s, Sanctifying Grace.
The first part of 1 Thessalonians 4:3a says this: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified” NIV. Now, in the Bible, to sanctify something means: to set it apart for special use by God. And in the very same manner, to sanctify a person means the exact same thing – to make them set apart for special use by God. The fact of the matter is: God has a plan for each of our lives. We have been, drawn by God’s Seeking Grace and saved by His Saving Grace. Saved to serve God’s purpose.
Now, let me just take a moment here and clarify that God’s Seeking Grace and His Saving Grace are significant and the key in both of them, is that they are products God’s Grace– however, lest we somehow thing that God’s Grace is only about salvation, we turn our attention this week, to Sanctifying Grace. And the reason we do is this: while we cannot come to salvation, without the Seeking Grace drawing us and Saving Grace,forgiving us, we cannot grow in our faith and serve God, without His Sanctifying Grace,being allowed to do its work in us.
The secret to our seeing God’s purpose for our lives fulfilled, is our willingness to be sanctified… to be set apart, for His use. The process of sanctification has to do with our becoming more and more like Jesus; it is a journey in our daily lives as the Apostle Paul makes clear in our Bible passage for today. We are going to take a moment her to read our passage for this week…
Romans 8:28-30– we will be reading from the ESV: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”
As we read this passage, we see there are two thoughts that Paul shares with us about how God’s Grace works in our lives to make us more like Jesus, and thus set apart, to be used for His purpose.
Medication: A Merry Heart
But the package says…
Soon after the mother left, the baby started to cry. The father did everything he could think of to do but the baby wouldn't stop crying.
Finally, the dad got so worried he decided to take the infant to the doctor.
After the doctor listened to the father's list of all that he had done to get the baby to stop crying, the doctor began to examine the baby's ears, chest, and then down to the diaper area.
When he undid the diaper, he found that the diaper was indeed full.
“Here’s the problem,” the doctor said. “He needs a change.”
The father was very perplexed, “But the diaper package says it’s good for up to 10 pounds!”
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
Verse of the Week: Deuteronomy 31:6 CSV
Today’s readings: 2 Kings 1– 4