Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spiritual thoughts

When I became a Christian, I understand a spiritual process begins in my life in the process of sanctification in which Paul refers to it as "inner man being renewed day by day." The Bible explains the promise of God that when I am saved, the sanctification process begins. There is a continual working of the Holy Spirit in my life that renews that believer from one level to another level spiritually to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. During my sanctification over the years, I have faced groanings in my life, and longing to be delivered from sin and the debilitating power of temptations. I need to look into God’s gracious means of sanctification are revealed to us in Scripture. I understand that there is no sanctifying power in human intuition, there is no sanctifying power in insight and also there is no sanctifying power in experience. It is all in the Scripture with the help from Holy Spirit. Only the truth of God revealed in Scripture sanctifies through sound teaching accurately interpreted, understood, applied. And as I embrace the truth, I progress spiritually. By doing that, my Christian life is no longer defined by my theology because it is defined by my adoration and passion for God. All my biblical knowledge has introduced Him to me and now I’ve engaged in a communion with Him that has deepened. I don’t want to be ignorant about great truth. I don’t want to be ignorant about it because I want to be able to thanking God for everything He’s done. I want to appreciate Him in all His fullness. I want to go beyond just appreciating the things that are true about Him and I want to know Him in the fullness that I can. Through cognition, it starts with understanding what the Bible says and what it means. The meaning of the Scripture is the Scripture. Sanctification begins with renewing my mind. It’s about understanding truth so that I can obey it and praise God for it, as His Son did. The discipline of putting the truth constantly in my mind is critical because lack of knowledge retards my spiritual growth, it retards sanctification and there isn’t any way I can make it up. Legalism won’t get me there (I went through this). Mysticism won’t get you there (I went through this). All Christians acknowledge that life in Christ begins by the work of the Spirit. It cannot be perfected or brought to maturity through the flesh. Yet many in the church today seem to believe that it can. We must turn to the Spirit of God and learn to walk in the Spirit and know the power of the Spirit. We must reject man-centered, humanistic, psychological solutions to problems. Built into such solutions are false impressions of man's ability, which create the illusion of sanctification by intellectual achievement. In Galatians 3:1-3, Paul explains that sanctification comes by trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit by faith.

From cognition in understanding the Bible and move to conviction as in accepting. As I learn the Bible, I develop conviction to the things that I believe. Biblical truth establishes cognition in the mind and develops conviction in the conscience. You cannot achieve a spiritual goal by natural means. The Holy Spirit produces spiritual life initially and He also sustains it. The Holy Spirit is to the Christian what the Creator is to the creation. In reading Isaiah's prophecy Christ was saying, "I am the true Sabbath rest, the One who proclaims a spiritual Jubilee by freeing sinners from bondage to sin." That's why Christ said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Through His atoning work on the cross, Christ inaugurated a new covenant, which did away with the sabbatical system (Col. 2:16-17). The righteous have entered Christ's salvation rest and look forward to ultimate rest in His presence (Heb. 4:9-11).

Many Christians seem to understand the concept of being saved by grace, but they have missed the concept of being sustained by grace. James D. Mallory, Jr.

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