Response to the Topic of Justification and Sanctification (Dec23 CSLI)

A Monthly Reflection

“Sanctification means more than being freed from sin. It means the deliberate commitment of myself to the God of my salvation, and being willing to pay whatever it may cost.”

Oswald Chambers

In the last few months, wounds have been opened and my faults and struggles have been laid bare.  To hurt is to heal as the one who is the Doctor knows where to cut and how to heal.  I am sure it is not over as sanctification is the process of those cuts, those chips off, and the Master’s hands working through the smelly mess to put me back together.   In fact, not just back together – but better – His perfect better.

It is all by grace that we have the blessings of justification and sanctification.  We are much like Jesus – being led to the slaughter as Isaiah 53 vividly portrays.   He was led to the cross for the propitiation of our punishment and if we don’t surrender to Jesus then we are led to our punishment in a very real place without Him.

The differences are (1) He has the power to rule over death and hell and (2) He decided to pour out His love on the cross without hesitation and without us asking – a true selfless sacrifice.

This is justification.

As was said this month in the material – justification is a point-in-time item.  It is finished.  Jesus doesn’t have to suffer again for us.  He does not need to pay the price over and over each time we sin.  This is a starting point on our sanctification journey.  We are now engaged in an expedition that may take some considerable time, we may stumble, we may take a few steps in the wrong direction, we may endure hard climbs and steep descents – but at the end of the long and narrow road we get to enjoy being at home with our true Father.

This is sanctification.

Cost = temporary suffering for long-term rewards

Cost = bearing our cross daily

Cost = turning our cheek when we want to lash out

Cost = loving instead of hating

Cost = saying yes to Jesus when we want to say no

Cost = fighting temptation through prayer and scripture

Cost = full surrender to Christ

Cost = what is yours …???

But is it worth it?  Is the pain worth the end?

We live with the ever-pressing knowledge that we are stained with sin.  Some try to continually fight and rightfully so to get out of the quicksand, some try to yell for help, some try to pull others in with them, some others try to just throw up their hands and indulge their fantasies or just give up and sink lower and lower….  And then there are those who will stop fighting, lean back, and rest knowing that if they continue to try to tough it out – the more they struggle – the worse it will get.  We need to stop fighting.  We need to surrender and lean on His strength and peace.

When you come back to God for pardon and salvation, come with all you have to lay all at His feet. Come with your body, to offer it as a living sacrifice upon His altar. Come with your soul and all its powers, and yield them in willing consecration to your God and Savior. Come, bring them all along—everything, body, soul, intellect, imagination, acquirements—all, without reserve.

Charles Finney

There will be freedom if we can break through the rut that we have been going about for so long.  We need different.  I really enjoyed the different viewpoint perspective from Francis Schaeffer when he makes a point that we need to live in the light that we have come back from heaven and have been with the Father.  I know this is not directly true – yet I can see his point that if we have died to Christ and live to Him then our perspective should be different.  We should want to share what Jesus is all about and not worry about all the specific details here.  We physically live here but we are also with Him – He is in us and we are in Him (refer back to the month about our union with Christ). 

From pg 73 of his book, True Spirituality:

But one more note needs to be sounded clear and strong.  We must not stop here!  When through faith I am dead to all, and am face-to-face with G-d, then I am ready by faith to come back into this present world, as though I have already been raised from the dead.  It is as through I anticipate that day when I will come back.”

Think about this.  Ponder with me for a moment.

The curtain re-opens.  You’re on the stage.  Act II Scene VII.   You state loudly:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely Players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His Acts being seven ages…

You continue in your monologue about how we all just play our part in life – when all of a sudden you wake up and realize that you were dreaming about being Jacques in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” comedy.

You wake to realize that while you are not on stage – but sitting on the couch wondering why you dosed off in the first place.  Yet it gets you thinking there is a stage – there are watchers – real watchers.  I never realized as much about the truth in reality there is in this until later in Schaeffer’s book when he states:

“…This is cause upon the earth, and in the unseen world there is an effect.  The supernatural world is not a long way off, and our part is not unimportant, because we are observed; and, more than that, there is a cause-and-effect relationship with the real battle in the “heavenlies” on the basis of our living the Christian life or not.”

You now are sharply awake – point eyed.  You realize (just like I did) that it is not just the watching as we have heard that Jesus and/or G-d is looking down upon the earth – to me it is the concept of all (or more than one) are watching – angels, the Trinity.  In fact, there are effects, as well.

This should jolt us into either reflection of what we are doing with Sin X or Feeling Y – or – it should bring us to our knees.  This is part of what, I mentioned, previously of the hurt and the healing.  Our hearts should be melted.  Our face downcast.  At least at first.  Then upon His grace we can turn and find hope, grace and knowledge that He hurts because He knows we messed up and are messed up.  We need His saving grace.

Schaeffer ends his book with two distinct challenges – to seek healing in our personal relationship with others because we are relational beings from G-d – made to be with each other in the right environment and second is to live this way within and for the Church.  We are members of a unique body where Jesus is the head yet we are members working by Him and for Him in conjunction with each other.

Of course – this all goes with saying that we are all a work-in-progress.

Is your perspective different?

What would it look like if you were looking down on yourself right now from the heavenlies?

What does it mean now to find that peace?

Are you willing to partake even if the cost is high?

This is my ongoing struggle and going back to the opening line in this paper – I have been cut, there is more to remove, more to allow my Father and His H-ly Spirit to do in my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

x  Powerful Protection for WordPress, from Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security