Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wesleyans Believe In the Sanctification of Christians

Sermon Notes from Sept. 23rd:
Text: Romans 6:13-19

I will do anything to make church theology interesting. I will sing Amazing Grace to the Gilligan’s Island tune. I will ride a bicycle into the church. What will I do today?
I will play with play dough. Watch me make a pencil, plate, corn, ball, & fish.
Why? Because I can’t make pottery, even if I could it would be too messy.

See Jeremiah 18:1-6
Isaiah 64:8 > O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Romans 9:21 > Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Clay on the potter’s wheel is our image to better understand the work of sanctification in a believer’s life.

Wesleyans: We believe that sanctification is a work of God’s grace in a Christian’s life enabling him to wholeheartedly love and obey God by separating him from sin as the Christian surrenders completely to God.

* Sanctification is God’s work, not ours.
1 Cor. 1:2 > To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.
“Sanctification is the work of God in which believers cooperate.”

* We must be saved before we can be sanctified.
John 17:16-17 > They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Sanctification literally means: set apart for sacred use, to purify, to make holy and pure. God can’t set us apart until we are His disciples.

* Sanctification involves our entire being (all of us).
1 Thes. 5:23 > May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Like the clay on the potter’s wheel we must allow God to take complete control in order to shape us and then to use us as He wills. Unlike the clay – we have free will and must decide to cooperate with the Potter.

God’s Part – Sanctify My Part – Surrender
Romans 6:13 > … offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Offer = yield / to put at one’s disposal

Three Things You Must Say to Experience Sanctification:

1) Say “NO” to Your Self.
God can do a better job with me than I can do with me.
I need to give up control.
Gal. 2:20 > I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

Dead people don’t control anything. They have no power.
Have you given Christ the steering wheel of your life?

2) Say “NO” to Your Sin.
God can not stand sin in my life and will help me destroy it.
1 Peter 1:15-16 > But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Common Attitudes:
I will sin all I want, God’s grace is free.
Romans 6:1-2 > What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

I can overcome sin if I am strong enough.
Romans 7:24-25 > What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Sin and Satan are stronger than I am but not God.
But when I repent (turn from my sin) and trust in God’s power, He will enable me to overcome temptation.

Gal. 3:2-3 > I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

3) Say “YES” to Your Savior.
God can empower me to victory if I will always obey Him.
This is the true measure of our love for Jesus.

John 14:23-24 > Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

Shirley Caesar song: I'll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I'll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I'll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes.

Romans 6:19 > Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Have you offered yourself to God today? It is a daily decision.
The first time is the hardest. But it is never easy.

Will you be like clay in the potter’s hands today and let God sanctify you so that He can shape you as He wants and use you as He wants?

God can’t shape us unless we are yielded to His will. Our hearts can be hard like clay can be become hard.

Eze. 36:26 > I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Invitation: Come and take a piece of clay (play dough).
Let it be your reminder of this act of surrender and your need to yield every day for the rest of your life so that God can sanctify you through and through.

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