|Wednesday, October 2, 2019|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
t is with great delight and joy that I welcome you to this special month of October, our month of Sanctification. Salvation we know is a gift- "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God." Thank God you believe in Christ Jesus, thereafter the bible says 'work out your salivation with fear and trembling' Phil 2:2 some young converts would question this seeming contrast "if I have received a gift of salvation why do I need to work it out"? My simple answer has always been if you are given a precious gift, like the gift of salvation the onus is on you to guard it jealously and manage it meticulously, which I believe the bible is referring to as 'working it out'. One of the ways to work out your salvation is what the bible refers to as sanctification. In the past century vocabularies like sanctification, justification, redemption, righteousness, holiness, integrity, rebirth, regeneration, restoration, grace, self-denial, self- control, warfare, forgiveness, remission of sin, the cross, were fundamental, now they have virtually disappeared among the church terminologies. It even appears they have been replaced with terminologies like prosperity, materialism, success, wealth, affluence, seed sowing, promotion, opulence, hype-grace, welfare, believe it claim it and many others that have literarily watered down the gospel and have produced half-baked if baked at all Christians of today.
This month, as the Lord permits, we are praying that we shall go back to the bible days, the apostolic era, not just as a discourse but as a way of life. "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." Jn 17:17 I am praying that you and I will be sanctified by the truth and live a sanctified life. "Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy; for I am the LORD your God. Keep my statutes, and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you" Lev 20:7-8. I pray you will be baptized with the fire of the Holy Ghost that will keep you sanctified and sanitized for our Lord.
Greetings To Nigeria
May I seize this opportunity to appreciate God for our dear country Nigeria and thank God for keeping us for 59 years of independence in spite of all the economic woes, the kidnappings, the rigging of elections, the corruptions, and bad governance, we have survived. I pray that we shall keep surviving, pass over survival stage and enter thriving era. I pray that God will give the government wisdom to execute their NEXT LEVEL three-point agenda of reviving the economy, properly handle the security challenges and more importantly push corruption down. I pray that our politicians will not just be next election focused but will be consumed by a vision and passion to develop the nation. May the Lord sanctity and sanitize Nigeria. Happy anniversary Nigeria. May you and I be partakers of the good of Nigeria in Jesus name.
Greetings to Canada
As Canada goes to the polls this month may the Lord choose for us godly leaders. Leaders that shall fear God and take Canada to Next Level of progress and advancement.
State of many Christians
It is sad today to notice that majority of Christians don't have the reverential fear of God; they think they're at liberty to live the way they choose. Christians live reckless lives and support it with their own interpretation of the bible. For instance, I hear people quote "Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty"1 Cor 3:17 therefore wear what they like, talk the way they like, attend services when they like, serve God the way they like. Listen -what the bible is saying is that there is liberty to do the right thing, not what you like! Another example is about Christians drinking alcohol and saying Jesus turned water to wine, Paul says give small wine for your stomach 1 Tim 5:23. Christians commit adultery and say Samson was anointed and committed adultery. Judges 16. People marry two or more wives and claim Solomon married 700 wives and 300 concubines, 1 King 11. That Abraham was a friend of God yet he told a lie about his wife. But this is a dangerous way for believers to think. To start with in citing those scriptures, they fail to tell you the implication of people who had such life styles. We rarely talk about holiness, righteousness and purity. The youth today is so obsessed with wearing tattoos, piecing their nose and ears everything is about copying the world! Instead of copying the bad habits of people, why not the good ones. Instead of being a Judas why not be a Peter who repented. Instead of being Reuben who covered his adulterous life with his father's concubine why not be like Judah who repented his adultery with his son's wife! Many today are contented with being LGBTQ2 Christians! Some churches even ordain them as Pastor! There's a way of life that's not right for a Christian, and if you're going to fulfil the purpose of God for your life, you've got to have purity of heart; you must live according to God's nature of righteousness and true holiness. Christians must change their life style of lackadaisical, nonchalant, careless attitude to sanctified life style.
Why I am concerned. Need for Paradigm Shift
I have noted with sadness that sanctification is no longer an issue in contemporary evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity. I am concerned because when God charged me to relocate from Nigeria to Canada and I asked him what am I to do in Canada he told me my assignment -is to raise an eagle generation. A generation of Christians that will be Christ-like that will embrace a life of integrity, holiness, godliness, sanctification, obedience, separation from sin, separation from the world - which were very common themes in the history of the church in the past and should forever be. If something is getting spoilt and it is not addressed it will get rotten. I am concerned because there is a new set of preachers in our generation who care less about sanctification. Preachers who are not aware of the decadence and pollution they are causing in the body of Christ. Similar to the story shared in the book of Ezra, when the temple was rebuilt, the younger generation celebrated excitedly but the older generation that saw the glory of the first temple wept. Those of us who by the grace of God have seen the glory of the church in the last century and by extension the last two millennia should arise and not keep quite at a time like this to what Christianity is turning to in this millennium! I am concerned because preachers are not preaching often on holiness, virtue, fleeing sin, fleeing the world. We must preach to call sinners to salvation and the saved to holiness. The truth of sanctification through the history of the church has been dominant, and it should be dominant because it is the dominant reality in the Christian experience. Today we beg people to pray, read their bible, attend fellowship because they have no idea of sanctification the narrative must change. I am concerned because the focus is no more the about the rugged cross but the benefits of the cross. The focus is no more for sinners to repent but transfer of gullible members from one church to another and celebration of unholy mega churches. Simply put there was an evil and unholy paradigm shift, there should be a paradigm shift back to sanctification by the church.
What is sanctification?
Sanctification is to set someone or something apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use. To consecrate. To be free from sin, to purify. Sanctification is God's will for us (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To "sanctify" a person is to make him holy. Sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is separated from sin unto God and is enabled to love God with all their heart and to walk in all His holy commandments blameless. Sanctification is initiated at the moment of justification and regeneration. Sanctification is becoming like Christ. In Christian theology, sanctification is a state of separation unto God; all believers enter into this state when they are born of God: "You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). But like a new born baby you grow in Christ. Christ begins to be formed in you. "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you Gal 4:19" when you gave your life Christ was fully present but not fully manifest. You don't see all the features of a woman when she is newly born, but as she grows all the feminine curves develop. Sanctification is to make you like Christ. Christ begins to shape the life of the person. Every genuine pastor wants to be like Christ and desires that every member of his or her congregation become like Christ, for sure that is my passion!
Purpose of Sanctification.
Titus 2:14 says, "The Lord gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works." Hebrews 12:14 adds, "Without holiness no man will see the Lord." We reach our final glorification through sanctification, and it starts at justification, God not imputing sin to you. The Purpose of sanctification is to keep you fit for the heavenly purpose so that God can rely on you and use you for a generation like ours. In Matt 7:21-23, Jesus said some will say they did this or that in his name and he will tell them "depart from me you workers of iniquity". Because they did those 'deeds' without resemblance of Christ. They used their own methods, lived their own lives. They were not "vessels of honor"
Types of Sanctification -Progressive Sanctification
Broadly speaking there are two types of sanctification-positional and progressive sanctification. While we are holy by our position ("set free from every sin" by the blood of Christ, Acts 13:39), we know that we still fall into sin (1 John 1:10). That's why the Bible also refers to sanctification as a practical experience of our separation unto God. "Progressive" or "experiential" sanctification, as it is sometimes called, is the effect of day by day obedience to the Word of God in one's life. It is the same as growing in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18) or spiritual maturity. God started the work of making us like Christ, and He is continuing it (Philippians 1:6). When you were born again you are "positionally" sanctified, if you die in that state you will make heaven. At best at that state if you don't embrace progressive sanctification, you could be likened to a 'chicken believer.' Someone who lives a life that does not glorify God is a disgrace to the body of Christ. They are unteachable, they claim you are judging them even though they fail to judge themselves. They have no intention of building the body of Christ, as a matter of fact they block those who want to enter the Kingdom. They are corrupt, debased, irresponsible, undependable, and unreliable, they swallow sin as if it is normal food. They are bad examples to the younger generation. They refuse to grow or develop. The progressively sanctified believer could be liked to an 'eagle believer': matured, regenerated, focused, he obeys God per excellence. He rejoices in serving the Lord, with good motives. Prayerful, dutiful, caring, runs away from sin, committed to God's word, walk and work.
How to know you are living a sanctified life
As the believer is being sanctified, the seductions of the world, the desires of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, the pride of life are replaced by love for God, love for Christ, love for the Word of God, love for obedience, longing for holiness, aspirations to give glory and honor only to the Lord with your life. Your desires begin to change. You begin to experience transformation. The things of the world, partying, corruption and all sin begins to irritate or disgust you. Sanctification is not a one day journey like salvation you are born one day but you grow all your life. When you are fully sanctified you think like Christ, Act like Christ, You speak like Christ, You have the Character of Christ. Paul wants those in His care to be fully formed.
Paul says I press towards that mark, Phil 3:12-14- what is the mark, he was talking about? The mark of becoming like Christ. You live the transformed life. Your words are seasoned with wisdom. You dress holy not sexy. You talk holy not dirty. You read and watch edifying movies not dirty pornographic stuff. Oh, that this generation will go back to the bible days of sanctified lives. Why are miracles scarce commodity and eluding the church, why are pastors becoming diabolical, seeking voodoo and juju to perform miracles, is because they cannot separate themselves to God anymore; "We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.' Psalm 74:9 Show me a Christian or minister that is living a sanctified life and I will show you a Christian who is at peace with God and God is at peace with him.
1. It is the will of God for you. God knows what is best for you. Sanctification. First Thess. 3:12 and 13, "May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love, so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father." First Thess. 4:3 and 4, "This is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel" - his own body - "in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the nations who do not know God." Second Thess. 2:13, "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification." Your final salvation will be reached through sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
2. You don't want to be like a dog going back to your vomit. 2 Peter 18-22. "These false teachers are dried-up springs. They are a mist blown around by a storm. Gloomy darkness has been kept for them. 18 They arrogantly use nonsense to seduce people by appealing to their sexual desires, especially to sexual freedom. They seduce people who have just escaped from those who live in error. 19 They promise these people freedom, but they themselves are slaves to corruption. A person is a slave to whatever he gives in to.20 People can know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and escape the world's filth. But if they get involved in this filth again and give in to it, they are worse off than they were before. 21 It would have been better for them never to have known the way of life that God approves of than to know it and turn their backs on the holy life God told them to live. 22 These proverbs have come true for them: "A dog goes back to its vomit," and "A sow that has been washed goes back to roll around in the mud." compare Lk 9:62 -don't look back
3. You want your prayers answered.
"The Lord is not too weak to save nor his ear too deaf to hear. 2 But your wrongs have separated you from your God and your sins have made him hide his face so that he doesn't hear you. 3 Your hands are stained with blood and your fingers are stained with sin. You speak lies and you mutter wicked things.4 No one calls for justice and no one pleads his case truthfully. People trust pointless arguments and speak lies. They conceive trouble and give birth to evil 5 they hatch viper eggs and weave spider webs. Those who eat their eggs will die. When an egg is crushed, a poisonous snake is hatched.
4. Without holiness nobody will see God. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Heb 12:14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matt 7:13-14.That narrow gate is the sanctification Gate.
How do we get sanctified
1. Know the truth desire the truth. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth". John 17:17 NKJV. "Use the truth to make them holy. Your words are truth", God's word. It is the sincere word of God, not diluted, impure, fake word, false prophecy will get you sanctified -Detoxifying you. Learn about the word and use it! Your word have I hid in my heart that I will not sin against you! Psalm 119:11.
2. Preachers must return to preaching sanctification. The truth of sanctification, the truth of holiness, godliness is disappearing from popular Christianity. In some places it's gone. Rarely do we hear any call from popular preachers for purity of life, holy living, separation from the world, self-denial and resisting all fleshly desires. Instead, the church is now offering God up as the one who wants to fulfill everyone's desires. All the longings of the selfish human heart are being legitimized, and people are being told, "Whatever you long for or whatever you desire, whatever you want to be, whatever you can dream, this is what God wants to do for you. Come to Him. Come to Jesus, and you'll have everything that you want." The televangelist, Facebook Live Preachers, and other social media preachers must preach sanctification, holiness , the fear of God, worshiping God in spirit and in truth!
3. Engage the Holy Spirit. First of all, it is again the work of the Holy Spirit, but not apart from men. Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit, but not apart from faith. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, but not apart from obedience to God's word. Second Corinthians 3:18 -- says that, "As you gaze at the glory of the Lord, you are changed into His image, from one level of glory to the next, to the next, by the Holy Spirit" the means the Spirit uses to sanctify you is the vision of Christ. Sanctification is Christlikeness. Christlikeness is loving obedience to God. You cannot live a drug free life, cheating or immoral life by sheer determination or yearly resolution, it is by trusting the Holy Spirit to help you, through prayers, fasting constant fellowship, and all other spiritual exercises.
4. Make Biblical/positive confessions about yourself. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". Gal 2:20. Confess your sanctification status. "I am crucified with Christ. Dele (Put your name) you must live a daily life in Christ". "I am living a holy life. I am a child of God". "I know whom I am. I am not a fraudster". "I am not a spouse abuser". "I am a good husband/wife", I am a man/woman of prayer". I shall live a holy life, -no drug no cigarette, no fornication.
5. Other things that can help your sanctification journey.
Suffering, wisdom, truth, and the sovereign work of God must be joined with your willful and constant repentance. You resist sanctification when you are passive and unresponsive to these four factors. You are called to be both a hearer and a doer of the Word. If someone rebukes you for sin, you ought to choose to repent and change. In the face of suffering, you have the choice to give in to the temptation, to mental doom or to find hope in God. When you believed upon the Lord, "You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God" (1 Thessalonians 1:9). But even your repentance is an outworking of God's power in you.
Reward of sanctified life. There are five crowns for believers in heaven namely: The Crown of Life; James 1:12, Rev 2:10; The Incorruptible Crown 1 Cor 9:12; The Crown of Righteousness; 2 Tim 4:8; The Crown of Glory; 1Peter 5:4 The Crown of Exultation 1 Thes 2:9; The Crown of Righteousness is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8, and is promised to "those who love and anticipate" the Second Coming of Christ. These Christians who desire intimacy with God. Christians who have walked with God in holiness. Christians who have sanctified themselves.
Conclusion. There is a song that says - Give me that old-time religion 3x, its good enough for me! Sanctified life is the old-time religion that will draw you closer to God and draw God closer to you. Crave for it, desire it and your sorrows will disappear. You will live a life that will glorify God. Sanctification does not eliminate persecution but it gives power to overcome tribulations. I read somewhere that you can sing, go to church give offering, and perform all the religious stuff and still go to hell but you cannot live a holy, separated, sanctified life and go to hell! Sanctified life breeds peace of God and above all it guarantees eternity with God. O Lord help me live a life of sanctification. What is your own prayer?