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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Do You Want To Be More Like Christ?

The word “sanctification” often conjures up images of a “holier than thou” attitude. It is a word that is not heard often, but is viewed with some suspicion by secular society. Yet, every Christian should be concerned with the subject of “sanctification.” Why is it important? Sanctification begins with regeneration. When a person is “born again” he should no longer desire to yield to the slavery of sin. This is because of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who is now within him. This may be considered as the first step in the process of sanctification. This process continues throughout the life of the Christian. The Holy Spirit and man participate cooperatively, each in their own particular roles.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, ESV) Paul notes here that throughout the Christian life we are to become more and more like Christ. This is called “progressive sanctification.” I have often experienced times in my life when I felt I was making very little progress in the area of spiritual maturity. Probably, the people around me would have agreed with that assessment. The process of sanctification, however, does not guarantee moral perfection in this lifetime.

We are never completely free of sin in this life, but we are no longer slaves to sin. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” (Romans 6:22, ESV) Progressive sanctification does bear the fruit of a heart in love with God. James warns us of the difference in the way of life of the true Christian as opposed to the cultural Christian: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22, ESV) Our role in sanctification is never passive.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10, ESV) Even though we are Christians, there is still sin in our hearts throughout this life. However, when we die, our souls are set free of sin and made perfect in the presence of God. Only in heaven can we say, “I am without sin.”

You may ask, “If I’m never going to be perfect and without sin in this lifetime, why bother to participate in progressive sanctification at all?” As we progress in our sanctification in this life; the more the beauty of Christ is seen in our own daily conduct. We take more pleasure in the fruit of the Spirit, and our love for God becomes more intimate. Our desire to obey His Word is greatly increased and our witness to His kingdom – likewise. We are fully alive in Christ right now.

Look back now upon your days, your months, or years as a Christian. What do you see? Do you see examples of growth toward becoming more Christ-like? If not, pray for the Holy Spirit to help you live in greater submission to His counsel. Pray for wisdom that you might apply the Word of God to every aspect of your life. Pray and read your Bible.

Teaching Kids How To Be Homosexual

WorldNetDaily reports that a state-funded organization in Maine is advertising a seminar that essentially provides information to school-age boys on how to be homosexual. The seminar, “Queer, Questioning, Quiet: Developing Gender Identity & Male Sexual Orientation,” is promoted by the Boys to Men organization in Portland. The speakers will be from the homosexual Proud Rainbow Youth for Southern Maine.

The Boys to Men website says the outreach is “targeted primarily to middle and high school boys and their adult male mentors.” The workshop will feature speakers who will discuss their own coming-out experiences and use these as a springboard for exploring LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) issues and resources for youth.

How is your state tax money being spent?

Read the entire article here. . . .

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