The Need for Sanctification
Hello my friends. Today I would like to share with you about the call of God on each one of his children to live a sanctified life. We don't hear that much about sanctification today, but God has not changed his mind about it. In Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) the apostle Paul wrote, "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." I would like to briefly share a few thoughts on this verse with you.
First of all notice the importance of the message. It begins with words of strong admonishment. In the KJV it is translated "I beseech you..." The NLT puts it "I plead with you..." The NIV has it "I urge you..." What the apostle Paul is about to say is clearly something of great importance.
Secondly, note that what he is going to say to us should be done in response to what God has already done for us. In the NIV we're told that what he about to say should be done "in view of God's mercy." The NLT says it should be done "because of all he has done for you."
What are we being called to do? We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Unlike other sacrifices, this is a sacrifice that does not die but continues to live. It is also the kind of sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to God.
This sacrifice is manifested in two primary ways. One is in what we do not do. The other is in what we actually do. We are to no longer conform to this world. We are not to let the world dictate to us what is right and what is wrong. It must not determine for us what our values are. It cannot establish the way we speak, the way we dress, the way we conduct ourselves in general.
But because we are a living sacrifice we must allow the Lord to transform us by changing the way we think. In Philippians 2:5 (KJV) we are admonished with these words, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." How can we experience a transformed mind? I believe that there are three primary ways. The first is to get in the Word of God. Read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and most importantly, put it into practice. Secondly, spend more and more time with the Lord in prayer. It is of course a time when we speak to him, but it should not be only that. It must also be a time when we listen to him and receive what he desires to impart to us. And thirdly, we should sit under good, Biblical, anointed preaching. Let God minister to you through those that he has called to preach and teach. As we do these things God will continue the process of sanctifying us holy.