Sanctifying Grace

Romans 8:14-18

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

I want to begin by pointing out that my order of these graces is not necessarily the order in which you experience them. Clearly saving grace is first in that the incredible gifts from God comes when we accept Christ. Our passage from Romans expounds on this idea.

When we accept Christ we become co-heirs with Christ! What a magnificent honor! We can cry out to Abba and know that our heavenly father will take care of our every need. Let us take a moment though and elaborate on the idea of sanctification.

Sanctification in this context refers to the idea of us becoming holy. Our body, after we become a child of God, becomes our temple. This sanctification is only possible through Jesus Christ taking our sins on the cross. We were made pure and holy and acceptable only by the brutal betrayal of Jesus on the cross. Hebrew 1:3

Many worship songs say that we will never know “how much it cost to see Jesus take our sins on the cross”. Jesus did not only experience extraordinary physical suffering, but he was rejected even by his disciples. When he hung on the cross he was even separated from his heavenly father. “Father, Father why have you forsaken me.” (Matt 27:46,  Mark 15:24)

I remember watching the movie “The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson, and I just kept wishing for the floggings and other tortures to be over. We cannot fathom what he endured for us to become sanctified. It makes our grumblings and worries seem meaningless. However God allowed this torture to happen to his one and only son because he did want to hear our grumblings and worries. God loves each one of us so much that he didn’t want us to suffer these injustices.

This is so humbling! On the days I feel totally overwhelmed and feel like the whole world is against me…I think about what Christ endured. My problems are just little bumps in the road. As we live as sanctified co-heirs to the throne of God how can we focus more on loving like Jesus and less on our personal hardships.

My prayer is that each of us, as we continue to move through Lent, think of ways to bring God glory through sharing the message of Christ. On the days that being a disabled person becomes too much for us…remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ already endured for us to eventually reside in heaven with perfect bodies!

 

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