Welcome to this beautiful morning. We are glad that you made it to the house of the Lord and few who haven’t be able to make it, can read from here and be blessed. It doesn’t matter if you think that you like to come to Church on Sunday since you love the music, or you love the oratory skills during the sermon at our Church. Indeed, it is only God who has brought you to his home as your life matters to Him and God wants you to be sanctified.
At times you may have noticed that in sin, you may get some pleasure and happiness. But in God, there is joy and pleasure is forevermore. We are enjoying our life at the moment, but always remember that satan like to trap you, so be careful. Be sanctified!
Illustration: I once saw a drunkard fell in front of me. To my amaze other drunkards were helping him. I noticed there was a blood on the side of his head. I was thinking that drinking is a temporary pleasure but his head which is bleeding could be a permanent problem.
We like to get saved but we don't like to follow certain things. Talking about holiness, we at times try to show ourselves holy and righteous. That's not what God wants us to do.
“He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still.” - Revelation 22:11
He is the Lord God faithful and true. There are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. This has thus kept open, will have effect upon men; the filthy and unjust will be more so, but it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify those who are upright with God. Never let us think that a dead or disobedient faith will save us, for the First and the Last has declared that those alone are blessed who do his commandments. It is a book that shuts out form heaven all wicked and unrighteous persons, particularly those who love and make lies, therefore cannot itself be a lie.
Illustration: At times we notice our youth studying in college follows certain trend. When a young person ask another about which college he or she is studying. On receiving the response one start imagining that what could be the attitude of that person.
See, if we are sanctified we do not differentiate ourselves or judge others. Sanctification will tell you that, "God has separated me!"
Sanctification is a process in which a believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God's righteousness.
There are three things which I would like to share about what happens when someone is sanctified:
1. When you are sanctified, you move from disobedience to obedience.
If you sanctified then you should move from disobedience to obedience. If we read the Genesis we read when Adam and Eve committed first sin, we notice there was disobedience and pride.
Illustration: While teaching at our GLTC (The River of Life Assembly Bible college), we read that there are many important figures such as John Calvin, Martin Luther etc. But I say this, they aren't the one who did the reformation alone but it was God. When God wants He can use anyone. The way he used them, you can use you.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." - Genesis 3:1-7
"And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” - Genesis 3:12-13
Unquestioned obedience will release the mighty blessings of God from your lives.
Satan assaulted our first parents, to draw them to sin, and the temptation proved fatal to them. The tempter was the devil, in the shape and likeness of a serpent. Satan's plan was to draw our first parents to sin, and so to separate between them and their God. Thus the devil was from the beginning a murderer, and the great mischief maker. The person tempted was the woman: it was Satan's policy to enter into talk with her when she was alone. There are many temptations to which being alone gives great advantage; but the communion of saints tends very much to their strength and safety. Satan took advantage by finding her near the forbidden tree. They that would not eat the forbidden fruit, must not come near the forbidden tree. Satan tempted Eve that by her he might tempt Adam. It is his policy to send temptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that have most influence upon us. Satan questioned whether it were a sin or not, to eat of this tree. He did not disclose his design at first, but he put a question which seemed innocent. Those who would be safe, need to be shy of talking with the tempter. He quoted the command wrong. He spoke in a taunting way. The devil, as he is a liar, so he is a scoffer from the beginning; and scoffers are his children. It is the craft of Satan to speak of the Divine law as uncertain or unreasonable, and so to draw people to sin; it is our wisdom to keep up a firm belief of God's command, and a high respect for it. Has God said, ye shall not lie, nor take his name in vain, nor be drunk etc.? Yes, I am sure he has, and it is well said; and by his grace I will abide by it. It was Eve's weakness to enter into this talk with the serpent: she might have perceived by his question that he had no good design, and should therefore have started back. Satan teaches men first to doubt, and then to deny. He promises advantage from their eating this fruit. He aims to make them discontented with their present state, as if it were not as good as it might be, and should be. No condition will of itself bring content, unless the mind be brought to it. He tempts them to seek preferment, as if they were fit to be gods. Satan ruined himself by desiring to be like the Most High, therefore he sought to infect our first parents with the same desire, that he might ruin them too. And still the devil draws people into his interest, by suggesting to them hard thoughts of God, and false hopes of advantage by sin. Let us, therefore, always think well of God as the best good, and think ill of sin as the worst evil: thus let us resist the devil, and he will flee from us.
Sin is so tempting that you like the pleasure in it. Even thinking of the idea that man will be like God, would have tempted both Eve and Adam. This lead to their disobedience.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.” - Romans 1:18-21
“There are six things which Jehovah hateth; Yea, seven which are an abomination unto him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that deviseth wicked purposes, Feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that uttereth lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.” - Proverbs 6:16-19
“Counsel is mine, and sound knowledge: I am understanding; I have might.” - Proverbs 8:14
Sometimes we say that why I have to say sorry every time. Pride is so much that we start disobedience.
We can walk from disobedience to obedience by removing pride from our life.
“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” - 1 Peter 5:5-10
2. When we are sanctified, we are separated from hate and we are supposed to love.
Remember Cain and Abel? The brother killed his own brother because of hate. As a Christian we need to learn to forgive.
Illustration: Few people say, "I hate him like anything." Is there any definition of the word ‘anything’? No, there is no word and we at times don’t even know why we hate the other person.
God asks us to live the exchanged life. To exchange the life that derives it direction and source out of our own strength, for life that comes from abiding in Christ's purpose and strength. Dying to self and living life in the Spirit is the only way to continuously live in right relationship with God Himself. Will you today surrender and travail "until Christ be formed in you"?
In order to be loved and to love we must remove hate from our lives and only then we can understand that we are sanctified.
3. From making God to worshipping God.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” - Exodus 20:4-6
The first four of the Ten Commandments, commonly called the FIRST table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbor to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the object of worship, JEHOVAH, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment. Whatsoever ye do, do all the glory of God. The second commandment refers to the worship we are to render to the Lord our God. It is forbidden to make any image or picture of the Deity, in any form, or for any purpose; or to worship any creature, image, or picture. But the spiritual import of this command extends much further. All kinds of superstition are here forbidden, and the using of mere human inventions in the worship of God. The third commandment concerns the manner of worship that it be with all possible reverence and seriousness. All false oaths are forbidden. All light appealing to God, all profane cursing, is a horrid breach of this command. It matters not whether the word of God, or sacred things, all such-like things break this commandment, and there is no profit, honor, or pleasure in them. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. The form of the fourth commandment, Remember, shows that it was not now first given, but was known by the people before.
Sanctification is a process and we may have not be there but we are on our way. The journey must go on!
Are you sanctified? If not, then you need to ask Lord and seek all the help you can because in order to do all three things we learnt today, you need to be sanctified.
One must live either under the Law of sin and death or under the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. God has done all He can to make freedom and life available to you. Jesus has died for our sins and the Spirit has come to lead us into life. Will you open your ears to His pleading with you and your heart by surrendering your life today to walk in the Spirit? As the Spirit leads, you decide.
We pray that Lord sanctifies all of us and that we are enabled as the vessels of our Lord and that we always seek His face and be sanctified. And we hope that you enjoyed today's service. We look forward to see you next Sunday. God bless!