Monday, December 14, 2009

The Glory of God & Sanctification

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." 2nd Corinthians 3:18
The work that God is doing in us is more than just helping us to sin less. In fact, it's also more than just helping us to do good things. The transforming work God is doing in us TRANSCENDS our behavior.
Have you ever attempted to set up some system of godliness in your life, to remove some particular sin, and found that you came up empty? Not just failing your system, but empty?
We're getting closer when we speak of and pursue God's changing work in our hearts. But the sad thing is that a lot of us stop there. We want God to make us a "good person" rather than a "bad person". How tame and uninspiring!
Here's the secret--not some underground tip, but what should never have left the forefront of our attention--The transformation God works in us is centered on His magnificent glory.
Of course you came up empty in your behavior-based pursuits of "holiness". Look at the passage above (2 Cor 3:18) and observe these truths about sanctification:
-Sanctification takes place while "beholding...the glory of the Lord"
-Sanctification transforms us into a particular image (the image of Christ)
-Sanctification is a process of increasing glory ("from glory to glory")
-Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit ("just as from the Lord, the Spirit")
Sanctification is not primarily the absence of something but primarily the greater presence of something. That "something" is the glory of God. The glory of God is the inspiring reality that spurs us on, it is the power from which transformation happens, and it shown in us as the result of sanctification. That is sanctification.
And sinning less? Of course. But how does that occur?
"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." -Romans 8:13
Keep the glory of God at the center of everything; what you value, what you love, what you hate, what you pursue. We are not called to impersonal moralism but called, through the Gospel, to enjoy the God of glory.


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