Growing In Christ #1

Faith Church October 27, 1991

- we're talking about Basic Bible truths and today we're
  moving into the second major area we want to study
  together, and that's the subject of "Growing In Christ."
- after a person is sure of his or her salvation - the next
  thing that must be understood and practiced is how to
  change and grow

- when we talk about growing in Christ - we're talking about
  the doctrine of sanctification
- in this study, we're going to be using that term
  interchangeably with the word "growing", but I want to say
  right off the bat that sanctification is a biblical idea
  that:
    - can be understood by everyone here
    - must be understood by everyone here

- remember - we can get pretty lazy with our minds if we
  don't work at disciplining our thinking - and it's going to
  be important that we work hard at understanding and
  applying what the Word of God says in this area

- let's start with:

I. Understanding Sanctification

    A. Definition

        - original words literally mean "to separate, set
            apart"
        - our English word "sanctify" came from two Latin
           words (sanctus - holy / facere - to make)

        - the word is used in the Bible in many ways (all
          emphasizing the idea of being set apart)

        - i.e. - Gen. 38:21 - INPUT - what English word in
            this verse do you think comes the original Word
            usually translated "sanctify"?
              - "harlot" - WHY? - someone "set apart" to a
                   specific purpose

        - cf. also Jer. 6:4 - INPUT - what English word there
             do you think comes from the original word
             translated "sanctify?"
               - "prepare" - again, the idea of set apart for
                    a specific purpose

        - many passages in the Word of God show how God wants
            us to be "made holy", set apart from sin so that
            we are better prepared to accomplish His purposes

               - I Thess. 4:3

               - I Peter 1:16

 


    B. Four "aspects" of sanctification

        - I don't want to spend a lot of time on these next
          two points - but there are a couple of things we
          need to say about this subject to avoid confusion
          as we move ahead in our study

        - one is - sanctification is a "big subject", and as
            a result, as we study the word in the Bible, we
            find that the Lord talks about sanctification in
            four ways

        1. preparatory

            I Peter 1:2

            - the work of God where he sets us apart for
                 salvation

        2. positional

            I Cor. 6:11

            - the work of God where he sets us apart at
               salvation

        3. progressive

            - the ongoing work of God where He commands and
              enables us to change and grow to become more
              like Jesus Christ

        4. prospective

            - I John 3:2

        - in this study, we are going to be talking primarily
          about the third aspect - progressive sanctification
          - how a believer changes and grows.
              (develop - one of the most neglected doctrines
                in the church)

- one more thing we need to do with our definition of
   sanctification (or growing) is to differentiate it from
   other important terms in the Bible.
    - there's two reasons why:

        1) some of the things that happen in a believer's
           life are entirely the work of God. It's imperative
           to understand "which are which" so that:
              - we're not trying to do something we have no
                business doing or:
              - we're not failing to do something that God
                expects us to be doing.

        2) some of the things that happen in a believer's
           life are instantaneous, some are ongoing, and some
           won't happen in the future.
             - it can be very frustrating for a believer if
               he/she gets these parts of the salvation
               process confused

    C. Chart (from More Than Redemption)

        Doctrine   Act   Process   God alone    God enables
                                    does it     man to do it
      _______________________________________________________

      Regeneration  x                  x

      Conversion    x                               x

      Justification x                  x

      Sanctification        x                       x

      Glorification x                  x


        INPUT - what is unique about sanctification and what
                 are the implications of this?


II. Why Sanctification Is Important

  
                  GROWING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS


Part I

  1) What happens in individuals' lives and in churches when
      believers don't aggressively seek to grow?

  2) Why should believers grow? (Please include Scripture
       passages.)


Part II

    Look up the following passages and list both the "put-
    off" and the "put-on."

  1) Eph. 4:26-27


  2) Eph. 4:29


  3) Eph. 4:31-32


  4) I Peter 3:9


  5) III John 2


  6) Heb. 10:25


  7) Gal. 5:16-26


  8) Psalm 1:1-3


  9) Col. 3:8-14


10) Luke 6:40

III. The Goal of Sanctification

    A. Change - to become more like Christ

        - II Cor. 3:18


        - Rom. 8:28, 29


        - II Cor. 5:9


    B. Change is hard!

        Jer. 13:23


        Jer. 22:21


IV.  The Process of Sanctification

    - Put-off / Put-on

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