In the previous lesson, we talked about the spiritual transactions that take place when we are saved. Can you list them?
As we continue living in our salvation, we are living in the kingdom of God with Christ as our king. Our lives are submitted to Him. That’s why we call Jesus our Lord and not just our Savior. He saved us out of hell, out of the world, out of slavery to sin and is our Savior. But then we follow Him the rest of our lives as our Lord. Our response to Him for the rest of our lives is to humbly bow before Him with “Yes, Lord,” on our lips, no matter what He asks of us.
For this lesson I want to look specifically at one of the spiritual transactions. “We were bought out of slavery to sin and become slaves to righteousness.” If you are saved, one evidence is that you are no longer a slave to sin. You used to feel compelled to do the wrong thing. It had control over you. Now, you feel compelled to do the right thing. If you are wanting to do the wrong thing, you feel convicted. You feel you shouldn’t do something (or should do something) that you just ignored before you were saved.
I remember that after I was filled with the Holy Spirit, I no longer wanted to watch the TV shows my friends were watching. Before, we always watched together. I had long considered myself a Christian and read my Bible every day, but I didn’t have that conviction of sin until I had an experience with the Holy Spirit. Before, there were things I didn’t do because I knew they were wrong, but this was different because I was convicted over something I had never considered wrong before. God put it on my heart.
This process of God showing you something in your life that’s not pleasing to Him and your getting rid of it is called sanctification. It’s the process of becoming holy. We are set apart into His kingdom, made holy, but we are also being made holy, becoming set apart to Him. He’s got to get the world out of us, so He can get us out of the world.
Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
We are perfect, complete, and are being perfected, sanctified. It’s done and is being done. That’s part of the mystery of salvation.
You should always be growing in the Lord. You should always be learning. He should always be showing you new things about yourself and how you could be more like Jesus.
When God shines His light on our life or on our heart or on our thoughts and exposes something that’s not of Him, we confess it. We admit that it is true about us. We don’t try to hide or cover our sin or make excuses. We repent, meaning we change our mind about it. We decide we don’t want that in our life anymore and choose God’s way instead. We ask forgiveness. We ask God to remove it from our life. God promises to cleanse away our sins. Then we trust Him to answer our prayer. We cooperate because we’ve made the choice to hate the sin, so we no longer choose it, but we rely on His help to make the right choice.
When you are in this spot, here’s one lesson for you. First, we change our thinking on something, and then the feelings will change. We can’t expect the feelings to change first. You can’t ask God to take away the feeling of being drawn to something if you haven’t first made the choice to hate it and want it gone. But the feelings will eventually follow. This applies to any number of things, even things like anxiety. You may want the feelings to go, but your job is to work on your thoughts. Repent of worried thoughts and work on thinking true thoughts about God. The feelings will eventually follow.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Do you see these promises? He cleanses us from ALL sin. He is faithful to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.
Submit yourself to God to walk through this process of being sanctified, of being made holy, of being set apart for God alone. You can’t just rely on past sins being forgiven. You need to walk in holiness for the rest of your life. The good news is that it is God’s work. It’s all God’s work. We can’t save ourselves.
Holiness is being holy, set apart to God. That’s how we get to be in heaven, because we are set apart to be with Him. If you aren’t walking in holiness, then you are set apart from God.
Lesson Point: Salvation is something we walk in, not just receive. We are always growing into the salvation that we have received. We are perfect and are being made perfect.
Challenge Question: Can you point to the sanctification process in your life? You should see it at work, both in being convicted over sin and repenting, but also in attitudes changing. You can see how you used to always react in anger, but now you react gently. Or how you used to complain all the time, but now you are grateful all the time. If you can’t, then ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and show you what needs changing. Cooperate! Make sure you are willing to let God have your way with your life. You want Him to! His goal is to save you!