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My Hope: Sanctification (Audio)

05-03-2017

Introduction…

[pic] It’s amazing how a huge ship, a massive vessel, weighing thousands of tons, can be turned by a rudder, a relatively small panel on the back of the ship that turns left or right. And the rudder is controlled by a wheel on the bridge of the ship! A huge vessel, capable of braving the high seas, carrying tons upon tons of cargo, is controlled and directed by a small wheel. That wheel sets the course of the ship according to the wishes of the captain.

Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about repentance here at Priory. Repentance is when we adjust the trajectory of our lives so that we are heading straight towards God. Repentance, that course correction, that adjustment of where we are headed, is like steering a great ship. It is what moves the rudder of our life so that we steer straight for Jesus.

Repentance is what brings us to Jesus in the first place. The point of conversion, or the process of coming to Christ involved repentance. We’ve been talking about evangelism and reaching one person for Christ, cooperating with the Holy Spirit to help one individual in our lives take steps towards faith in Christ. [diagram] We’ve depicted that process of taking steps towards faith in Christ by a scale from 1 to 50. This is evangelism.

But why does the scale end at 50? Is there nothing beyond? Sadly, too often in the West, we act like there is nothing beyond accepting Jesus. Too often, we are so concerned with getting a person “to that point” that we fail to continue to cooperate with the Spirit to help that person move beyond 50!

[diagram] Moving beyond 50 to 100 is a different process. We call that discipleship. Today we are going to talk about a neglected part of discipleship. We are going to talk about cooperating with the Holy Spirit to take steps ourselves towards being conformed in the image of Christ. I think that may be a good definition of discipleship: cooperating with the Holy Spirit to take steps towards being conformed in the image of Christ.

This requires that we change our trajectory. We must continually be adjusting the rudder of our life to make sure our course is taking us towards God, towards being conformed in the likeness of his Son, Jesus. We must be continually cooperating with the Spirit if this is to happen.

But what is the rudder of our life? That’s a great image, but what is the thing that steers the ship of our life? Our life’s rudder is our heart. [pic]

Now, the Bible has a special word to describe this process of being conformed in the image of Christ. That word is “sanctification.” This is what we are talking about today, that often neglected part of the Christian life, sanctification. Sanctification is the divine process in us which sets us apart for special use for God, making us holy. [Thomas Watson, Body of Divinity, p. 240] If you think of the scale from 50 to 100, the more like Christ we are in our character, actions and life, the further along we are to 100. That is, the more like Christ we are, the closer we are to 100, the more sanctified we are. Sanctification is another way to measure Christian maturity!

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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 42.2MB - Duration: 46:06 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)