Sanctification & Time
by Pastor Dennis Dickinson
First a definition.
Sanctification is a modern and fancy word for “being made whole.” It is the entering into the life and new nature in Jesus the Christ that is now within the person who has called on Jesus Christ with at least a basic understanding of the true gospel.
Off And Running
As our progress begins not everyone has started from the same place. After 2 years some are making fair progress and are stabilizing in their Christian Nature. But here is an important item which needs to be understood: someone further back may in fact be further along! After 2 years he or she may be 2 or 3 steps away from the starting line; but they may have in fact covered 5 years of growth in the two years just to get up to where the other person started! Everyone is broken, but some of us far more broken than others. God is not focussed on the distance but upon the faithfulness. The widow’s penny may in fact be far greater giving than the millions of the rich man.
Paying The Price . . . Suffering
Jesus offered many the opportunity to come with Him on His journey. The opportunity to join the band of itinerant preachers by getting in the boat, by leaving their earthly inheritance behind, by sleeping on the roadside instead of nice hotels, etc. There is a price to be paid! When told to “Come now!” many would simply tell Him “Someday!” But He did not wait and the boat sailed and earthly things were left behind. Even in being made whole there is a price to be paid. We will watch the boat sail also if we delay. A good teacher can shave years off of the Discipleship Journey; but no one can fix the problem of not showing up, or a heart which isn’t interested in what Jesus actually taught rather than selfishness which caters His teachings to one’s personal greedy pleasures. “Take up your cross daily and follow ME!” is the message for Disciples.
God Is Waiting
God Himself knows how and when to move. Who is ready for the next step and who is not. “I have many things yet to tell you, but you are not yet ready!” Jesus said. Our frustration and failure along the way are testimony of the new life and nature within. You can succeed by simply not giving up. “If ANY man is WILLING TO DO the will of the father, he will know of the teaching if it of God or of man.”
Here is where I begin with Discipling others.
The Bible & the Body of Christ – God has spoken to men called Prophets. They were moved and controlled by Him to see that His message got to His people accurately. Reading the Bible is the Primary-Witness you will need to evaluate all things in life. Having said this, God says He gives TEACHERS to His people. Not one but teacherS! If you find that the teachers at your Church follow the Bible in reality, they stay there. If not you may have to leave and find another Church. Don’t be led by your emotions, music, or any of the senses (Peter says False Teachers use these to lead you astray). Use your Bible.
Read the Gospel of John first. After this read 1 John for 30 days. Then read Galatians for 30 days, then Philippians, then Ephesians, then Colossians. By now you know some things fairly well. Now read the New Testament through, and then the Old Testament. If you are at a good Church, you will be learning many of the parts throughout the Bible.
Two books recommend as you go are 1. THE FIGHT, by John Whight – This is a text that begins with, “Now that you have met the Lord.” Who you are in Christ, how and when to read your Bible, how to pray, dealing with discouragement, and more. 2. THE COMPLETE GREEN LETTERS – This about how to keep growing and maturing and never stop. Together you will have the basics from a couple of very good teachers.
No doubt there is more; but this is more than enough to get you off to a good start. So plug in! You will increase your understanding each and every year that you continue on.
Blessings on each of you . . . and remember that “You are partakers of the divine nature.”