SANCTIFICATION: Why & how can God accept sinners into His Presence?

sanctification

Grant Swart

DEFINING A BIG WORD: SANCTIFICATION

Firstly, we should define what the word sanctification means. Put simply, sanctification is the act or process of being made or becoming holy. To sanctify is literally ”to set apart for special use or purpose”, figuratively “to make holy or sacred”, and etymologically from the Latin verb sancitificare which in turn is from sanctus (holy), and facere (to make).

The fancy word, etymology, simply means the study of the history of words and where they originated from, but of course you knew that, didn’t you?

Sanctification means taking something that is common and ordinary and setting it apart, for God’s purpose and for His service alone. According to the Scriptures and the experience of saved believers, sanctification is an act of God, not something which is done by man.

In Scripture sanctification is mentioned in many places, underlining the importance of the sanctified condition. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of sanctification in John 17 while He prayed: 16-19 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” Continue reading

God Rules!

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Our God is in control of this world- absolutely in control of it (Ps. 76:10). God, and God alone, is in absolute, total control of the entire universe. We can and should trust Him with implicit confidence in all things, and with all things. The Word of God, the promises of God, the prophecies of Holy Scripture are all utterly meaningless unless our God is the God who rules everything, whose will is always performed, whose purpose stands fast, whose thoughts are irresistible!

Here is the basis of our faith and the foundation of our comfort- Our God is in control- as fully in control of Satan, the demons of hell, and the thoughts and deeds of wicked men as he is of the angels about his throne. We live in a world of woe. We are often tossed to and fro in this world, confused and perplexed by many things. Let us ever rest ourselves in our God. Continue reading

A Marvelous Change

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         By Don Fortner

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

            After declaring that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” the inspired apostle writes, “And such were some of you.” If I understand the phrasing of Paul’s words correctly, he is saying, “And such were you.” He is not suggesting that some of the Corinthians were guilty of these sins and others were not. He is saying, “All are guilty. Some were adulterers, some extortioners, some drunkards, etc.; but all have been guilty.” What was true of the Corinthians is also true of us.

This is what we were and where we were when God saved us by his grace (Isa. 51:1; Eph. 2:1-3). We must never forget from whence we came. We must never forget where we were and what we were before the Lord saved us. Not only is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 a description of what we were – This is what we all are by nature still (Matt. 15:19). There is no evil recorded here, or recorded in the annals of human history, the seed of which is not in each of our hearts by nature. Why does the Holy Spirit remind us so often of this painful fact? There are four reasons for this reminder:

1.      To humble us and keep us from pride and self-righteousness (1 Cor. 4:7).

2.      To honor, exalt, and magnify the grace of God in Christ (1 Cor. 26-30).

3.      To encourage sinners to come with all their sin to Christ, trusting him alone for salvation (Isa. 1:18).

4.      To inspire in our hearts the intense zeal and ardent love for Christ that our great Savior deserves (Lk. 7:47). Continue reading

Man’s Need of Salvation: Total Depravity and Man’s Inability

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By: Brian Schwertley

 

We begin our study of God’s sovereign grace in salvation with the biblical teaching regarding the effect of the fall upon man and the doctrine of original sin. This teaching is crucial for understanding the doctrine of salvation because one’s understanding of the effects of the fall upon mankind will largely determine one’s view of salvation. In other words, a person’s view of man’s state resulting from Adam’s sin is foundational to that person’s concept of how man appropriates salvation. Obviously, a person who views man as spiritually dead and unable to do anything that meets with God’s approval will view salvation differently than a person who believes that man is sick and weakened but is still able to cooperate with God in the salvation process.

What Happened When Adam Sinned? Continue reading

Soaking Prayer? The New NAR Pagan Approach, Beware !

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This trend will surely reach our shores soon, if it is not already in South Africa. Beware and run from these type of false teachings, beloved brothers and sisters. This new ludicrous practice is part of the New Apostolic Reformation movement (NAR) as it is typical of their style of teaching. Do not be deceived, there is nothing Biblical about this latest trend from NAR. This latest pagan ritual called “soaking prayer” is nothing but a form of Contemplative spirituality, an eastern form of meditation wrapped in a nice colored paper and disguised under the banner of Christianity. It is pagan Mysticism. Dr John MacArthur says the following about NAR :

“NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation, by the way. It is like Grape-Nuts, it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts, it’s like Christian Science, it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams.”

We previously reported on NAR in an article here: Warning! Rick Joyner to visit South Africa and Join hands with Angus Buchan

Here is how Dr  John MacArthur explains Contemplative spirituality:

Contemplative spirituality is an extremely dangerous practice for any person who desires to live a biblical, God-centered life. It is most commonly associated with the emerging church movement, which is riddled with false teachings. It is also used by many different groups that have little, if any, connection with Christianity.

In practice, contemplative spirituality is primarily centered on meditation, although not meditation with a biblical perspective. Passages such as Joshua 1:8 actually exhort us to meditate: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Notice what the focus of meditation should be—the Word of God. Contemplative spirituality-driven meditation focuses on nothing, literally. A practitioner is exhorted to completely empty his/her mind, to just “be.” Supposedly, this helps one to open up to a greater spiritual experience. However, we are exhorted in Scripture to transform our minds to that of Christ’s, to have His mind. Emptying our minds is contrary to such active, conscious transformation. Continue reading

Some Important Questions To Ask About ” Discernment Ministries “

Discernment ministries

How to Discern : What of the Watchmen? 

Here are some important questions to ask about discernment ministries:

What attitude do they display? Is it one of arrogance and pride and do they feel that they are better than those poor heretics over there? Or do they genuinely mourn and weep over the state of the church? Do they speak with humility and grace, recognizing that it is only the grace of God that has kept them? Do they feel that they are superior to everyone else and God’s only remnant? (The series “Contentiously Contending” deal with this in more detail see below.)

Who are the faces behind that particular ministry? What are their personal lives like? Do they have a history of serving the churches and standing for truth? Are they in fellowship with other believers and ministries and do they serve a local church or are they loose cannons?

What is their motive? Is it revenge, profit, fame and importance? Or is it love for the Lord, His Word and His People? (The previous article “Who’s Who?” applies as much to discernment ministries as to preachers.)  Continue reading

Getting Past the TULIP

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Michael S. Horton

“Like Christ’s redeeming work, then, faith is not merely offered but is actually conferred, by sheer grace and without any obligation to grant it.”

Just as Luther’s followers preferred to be called “evangelicals” but were labeled “Lutherans” by Rome, around 1558 Lutherans coined the term “Calvinist” for those who held Calvin’s view of the Supper over against both Zwingli and Luther. Despite self-chosen labels such as “evangelical” and “Reformed” (preferred because the aim was always to reform the catholic church rather than start a new one), “Calvinism” unfortunately stuck as a popular nickname.

No Central Dogma  Continue reading