Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Where Does Abundant Life Come From?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

Regeneration, Justification and  Sanctification= Abundance

The day we are saved is the first day of the rest of our lives, earthly and eternal. Salvation is the first step,in which we are justified by Christ. Titus 2:11 says that if we surrendered our lives over to Jesus Christ we are justified in Him. That means that we are delivered from the penalty of our sin. This deliverance from sin is the beginning, but the steps that follow require discipline, intention, and commitment on our part. The result is sanctification, which is an ongoing process that we will walk in for the rest of our lives on this earth. 

God’s purpose for us is to change us into the image of His Son that we might know the abundant life He promised.  God promises to finish what He starts in us. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 tells us Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. God will do it – He will bring it to pass. But we must do our part. We didn’t save ourselves and we cannot sanctify ourselves. Neither will He sanctify us if we go on with our lives, ignoring Him but expecting Him to be there, clearing the path and setting up a sweet life for us. At our invitation, He walks with us through this life, through this process of regeneration, justification, and sanctification.

Regeneration, is the new birth, or when we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. When we believe Jesus is the Son of God and we confess and repent, we begin the process of regeneration. We start the process of becoming a new creature in Him. 

Justification happens when God has paid the debt of our sin. To justify is to declare righteous. Justification is an act of God whereby He pronounces a sinner to be righteous because of that sinner’s faith in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.  

Sanctification - Progressive Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is grown into the image of Christ. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

There is nothing in the Christian walk, besides salvation, that is not an ongoing process. Salvation happens once but growth in grace should continue throughout our lives. Christians should develop in their faith and be committed to a life of personal devotion to God. 

How does this process of sanctification work? God’s plan is to change us through a personal relationship with Him. This is personal discipleship. We get to have one-on-one discipleship training with the King of Kings. He loves us enough to give us a personal relationship with Him. Through this relationship with Him, He transforms us into what He created us for, while also giving us the strength we need for everyday living.It is a two-fold process. He transforms us into the image of His Son, Jesus, while strengthening and empowering our daily life. This happens when we spend time with Him, listen to Him and follow His leading. 

God wants a realationship with us more than He wants us to follow the rules. He wants us to obey out of our love for Him, so it is our responsibility to make this happen. It is our responsibility to prioritize our relationship – and time – with Him. The Bible tells us that our relationship with God and that transformation is worth more than anything we can ever attain on this earth. For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8  

Regeneration, justification and sanctification - this kind of growth is not found in a self-help book or in a program. It is only found in Him – in a relationship with Him. He is the only One who can give us new life, justify us before God and change us or sanctify us. When these things are happening, we will know abundant life. More abundant than having more things. Every relationship takes two for it to succeed. If we want to know God more, to obey in love, be transformed in His image, and know the abundant life He offers, we must invest in a realsionship with Him. The result of a personal relationship with Him will be knowing Him and His word, knowing His power and protection in our lives, knowing God’s direction and wisdom in our lives, knowing God’s peace and joy in our spirits, and seeing God’s work in our lives.

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