For those of you who are under 30, this picture is something called a typewriter. It was a device that predates the word processor and was used for hundreds of years (the earliest one dating back to the late 16th century. Despite the quick history lesson, today’s blog has nothing to do with typewriters. Instead it has everything to do with the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.
It’s a blessing to know that our salvation is assured at a moment in time. Paul told the Romans that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9) At that moment, we are sealed into the Book of Life for all eternity. However salvation is not the completion of the story, just the chapter. With salvation, we transition into the next chapter of our life.
This chapter following salvation is called sanctification or the process of becoming Holy. This chapter will not be complete until your new address is Heaven. Between the moment you are saved and the moment you meet Jesus face to face… you are called to become Holy. This is the final chapter of your earthly life.
This chapter of becoming Holy is not so simple. Even though we are saved for eternity, we still live in a fallen world, with a flesh body that is still tempted by sin. We still have minds that have been polluted by the world, clouding our vision of right and wrong. We are still surrounded by other fallen people who also sin. But in the midst of this old world we are still in, we are called to put on a new self. This doesn’t come easy and requires constant correction, repentance and forgiveness.
Paul says we are to “put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” (Col 3:5-9)
This will not simply flow naturally as a result of salvation (although our saved heart will strive more and more for this). It requires work on our part… to ‘put to death’ our old ways. But remember, this is not a short term phase. You will be in this process for the rest of your natural earthly life. So don’t get discouraged when you find yourself not all that Holy some times. That is why His death paid the price for all our transgressions, past, present AND future.
For the rest of our lives, our time in this chapter, we are to focus on the words of this one paragraph. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:12-17)
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