Holy Spirit, Sanctification, Separation

What House will you Build

Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool. What house will ye build me? saith the Lord.”

Acts 7:49

What house will you build for the Lord? Did not the Lord make all things with his hand? Maybe we forgot that God has laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of His hands [see Psalms 102:25]. Yet in verse 26 of Psalms 102, it states it shall perish, but thou will endure. How is it that we will endure, but the earth will perish. What is the meaning of the Lord asking what house you will build me? Here in Acts chapter seven, we have Stephen who was full of faith and power and did miracles among the people [see Acts 6:8]. Stephen is addressing the Sanhedrin on Israel’s past and what God has done. In 1st Kings chapter five we read that because of wars on all sides that the house of the Lord could not be built. There had to be a time of rest for the Lord’s house to be built. A time where peace will reign without adversary or evil occurring. Can you imagine what that would be like? Yet, God promised there will be a new heaven and earth and those who belong with Him will have peace for a 1000 years, which is known as the Millennium.

Isaiah, apostle Peter and John have all stated that a new heaven and earth will be created, and the former earth will not be remembered [see Isaiah 65:17]. Some call this a supernatural act of God, yet this is what the apostle Peter said that he was looking for. The promise of the coming new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells [see 2 Peter 3:13]. Peter said this after explaining how the Lord will come like a thief in the night and the heavens will melt with fervent heat along with the earth. Then Peter asked, “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” What manner indeed! Where is the house of the Lord? It is not in the many buildings we call churches. Churches are a place for Christian religious activities. Church buildings are not the house of the Lord. Churches are to be a place of worship, but they are not the house of the Lord. This may be shocking to hear, but the house of the Lord is where the Holy Spirit resides in individual hearts.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

2 Corinthians 5:1

The earthly house is our physical body which will dissolve, and we will have a new body that is not made with physical hands but with the hand of God. Our physical body is temporal whereas our heavenly body is eternal. Remember the Spirit of the living God is to reside in the stony heart of flesh and not in stone tablets or buildings. It is the Spirit that gives us life [see 2 Corinthians 3:6]. The ministration of the Spirit is to be more glorious in those who have believe. God has given us the earnest of the Spirit which now resides in our heart. This is eternal and it is the new building of God. It is the spiritual house that is being built up in Christ. This is a holy priesthood, a birthright for those who believe in the son of God. They can now have access to God through Jesus Christ. That is why the apostle Paul implores us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. This is total surrender to the will of God and allowing His Spirit to dwell within our physical body.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:5

A spiritual house that is acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Every believer is born of the Spirit and indwelt by the Spirit of God to where the believers body becomes a temple of God. That is why the apostle Paul exhorted to the Corinthians, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Because you were bought with a price through Christ death. Christ died for our sins and through Christ resurrection we receive eternal life. We must not defile the temple of God. We must be separate from those who are unclean. God is calling us to be separate, a people of God who through the Spirit has mortify the deeds of the flesh [see Romans 8:13]. We must not deceive ourselves, for the temple of God is holy, which you are [ 1 Corinthians 3:17-18]. We must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and have His way within our hearts. Let us not become stiff-necked like the Israelites under Mosses. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” [Romans 8:14].

I found it interesting to note that in 2 Chronicles chapter 6 in verse eight God told David that even though He desired to build a house for the Lord, that David did well in that it was in his heart. It was in his heart the house of the Lord. This is the key of where you will build your house for the Lord. Yes, our God knows the secrets of the heart of men.

Trust not in oppression and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

Psalms 62:10

Whatever happens in the world today, we can have the peace of God within our hearts. It is Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of God and our Father [see Galatians 1:4]. Now is the time to cleanse our house from all fleshly desires and separate ourselves unto God. That we may be a building of God. We must become living stones desiring the word of God and growing by the word that we may be rooted in good solid ground. We must present our life, our bodies as a spiritual sacrifice that is acceptable unto God. Asking God to purify our minds and to guide us with His Spirit is the will of God. Allowing his Spirit to help us to hear the word of God will change us from glory to glory, this is sanctification.

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

May we witness the ministration of the Spirit under the law of Christ which has hath made us free from the law of sin and death. Let us build our house on the foundation that is on a rock, which is Christ Jesus. May we grow into the living stones chosen of God and precious in His sight.

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Baptism, Sanctification

Walking in Newness of Life

Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

How does one walk in “newness of life?” What does it mean to be baptized into Jesus Christ death? We were taught in the Christian faith that baptism means immersion or dip under water for the washing and purifying the body from the flesh [from all sins]. The apostle Paul reaerated in verse three of chapter 6 of Romans that those who were baptized into Jesus were also baptized into his death. It is hard to conceive that we were united with Christ through his death, but it is a process of sanctification. Sanctification is to be set apart for a special use or purpose. Like a vessel that is used for specific tasks. It is to be set apart for a purpose that is united with Christ. This is a holy purpose that takes on the divine nature of Christ. I ponder upon this aspect of the Christian life and understanding how we are to be complete in Christ.

How many Christians are truly set apart for Christ to be used as a vessel of honor. Does our walk-in life reflect Christ true meaning of holiness? These are questions we each need to answer for ourselves. This is an individual choice we make, and it should not be taken lightly, for sanctification is a dedication to Christ in that it is a marriage. When a husband and wife are separated because of a disaster, there is an emptiness that resides within the individual. It is like the lines in the song titled, “Dedicated to the One I Love.”

While I’m far away from you, my baby

I know it’s hard for you, my baby

And it’s hard for me, my baby

And the darkest hour is just before dawn

That separation is painful to experience. Jesus felt that pain on the cross. Jesus experienced the human condition like no man has ever done in history on the cross, and that is why he is acquainted with all our ways [see Psalms 139:3]. Myer Pearlman, a theologian, and author stated that sanctification is positional and progressive in his book titled, “Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible.” He explained that the setting apart is the beginning of the process of sanctification. Pearlman states that this is a daily process and responsibility of every Christian. It is why some Christians are still carnal [see 1 Corinthians 3:3], because they have not move on towards growth in Christ. At this stage in their Christian walk they are not fully walking into the image of Christ. A cleansing needs to take place to wash the carnal desires away.   This is the reason why we hear the apostle Paul’s statement “to mortify our sinful members, and to put off the old man.” In other words, it is the function of the human personality that is not conforming to the image of Christ.

What many Christians do not understand is that they cannot do it all within themselves. Very few can maintain their image to be perfect without some human flaw revealing itself. There needs to be divine intervention to help both the positional and progressive process along. Every person progresses at a different stage in their Christian walk until we all come to unity in Christ. Sanctification is through the blood of Christ and worked in the human being through the Holy Spirit and the word of God. The blood of Christ does the cleansing while the Holy Spirit with the word of God helps lead us into the full knowledge of truth [see John 17:17]. It is a daily task to put away anything that does not reveal the image of Christ within our human behavior. The imperfections that we have are revealed in the word of God. Deliverance can only come through faith in the atonement with the working of the Holy Spirit.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:8

John Wesley dealt with the aspect of sanctification by affirming it as another work of grace. Our position is assured but our daily walk is a dying to self and taking up the cross of Christ in daily prayer asking the Lord to guide us to become more like Christ. We must have the love of God residing within our heart to allow the Holy Spirit to work through our character for change to take affect knowing that to be spiritually minded is life and peace [see Romans 8:6]. Whatever state we are in we are more than conquerors through him that loved us [see Romans 8:37]. May we continue to walk in newness of life through Jesus Christ, knowing His love is a sure thing, and through His love we can grow above whatever imperfections we may have. We can walk in newness of life every day by faith through Christ who gives us the victory.

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Fruit of the Spirit, Holy Spirit, Love, Sanctification

The Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

Ah! Juicy sweet fruit in a bowl, but how does that relate to the Spirit? Fruit in this passage of scripture is from the Greek word “Karpos,” which means fruit of the trees. I always find it interesting in deciphering a moral or spiritual lesson of what is written in the Bible. What about the word “Spirit”? The Greek word is “Pneuma,” and in Galatians here the word Spirit is capitalized, so it means it is talking about a personality and character. It is talking about the Holy Ghost the third person of the Trinity. The Christian character is produced by the Holy Spirit working in us and not by our own self-effort. The Apostle Paul is talking about the character of the Holy Spirit, which should be a reminder to us that the true Spirit always points to Christ and has the character of Christ; therefore, love, joy, peace, along with self-control will be the character of a true Christian.

We are to be conformed to the image of the Son [see Romans 8:29], so we will have the Son’s character working through us to reveal good fruit ready to be picked from the tree. The Spirit helps us to become free from our sinful habits and to become more like Christ. This is part of the sanctification process of every Christian. The continual renewal by the Holy Ghost to be set a part for Christ. 1st Thessalonians 4:4 states, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor. This is the will of God. We are set apart for the Lord and being changed from glory to glory into the image of Christ. Paul tells us where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. We must not abuse that liberty we have in Christ and go against anyone and do them harm [see Galatians 5:13]. We are not to be consumed by doing evil to one another. What did Paul say in verse 14 of this same chapter, “for all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

In order to bear the good fruit of the Spirit one must receive essential nutrients. Conditions of a fruitful life for a Christian are cleansing, abiding, and obedience.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:4 KJV

We abide in Christ through faith. And it is through faith that we ask for help to have our heart cleansed on a daily basis. There is not a day that I do not ask God to forgive me for my behavior of complaining, getting angry, or acting selfish. Sometimes we ignore our behavior, but he wants us to take those things to the Lord in prayer. Abiding in the vine is also seeking God’s word. Reading about who He is and what is the will of God should be done on a daily basis. Jesus said, “if you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,” [see John 15:7]. Jesus goes on to say that we are to continue in His Love. This is where obedience comes into the picture. Read and ask, read and ask and it shall be done. Read, ask for His love to rule your heart, and serve one another through that love He has given us. Abide in Christ and stay connected into the vine and you will fine that love, joy, and peace will come forth in your life.

Take time to read the following scripture: John 15:1-14, and Galatians 5:13-26, and see how they relate to each other. Cleansing, abiding, and obedience are what Jesus is speaking out in John chapter 15. See how the apostle Paul explains the difference between the flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit and that we are called to serve one another in love.

Listen to Abide in My Love by Inge Schultz from the album “Send The Light.”

This song is taken from the gospel of John 15.

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Sanctification

This is the Will of God even your Sanctification

For this is the will of God even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

What does the word sanctification mean? The Greek work [agiasmos] for sanctification means separation or setting apart. The Hebrew word is [qadosh] which means to “to be set apart for a special purpose.” Those who have a confession of being a believer are separated unto God for a special purpose, for it is God’s will our sanctification. How to we possess our vessel in sanctification and honor?

Another way of expressing sanctification is to be made Holy in the sight of God. Sanctification is rarely talked about these days, yet it is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible that the Apostle Paul teaches. Sanctification is only possible through the cross of Christ. It is a part of every believer’s salvation experience. A turning away from darkness into the light of Christ. A turning away from sin to living in the love of God. A believer is set apart to God through conversion and is now dedicated to God in holiness. The process of holiness is a daily surrendering of our selfishness or sinful conduct to relinquishing our will to the will of God. Sanctification in turn becomes our daily walk that the end result is living a holy life.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:13

Look at what the Apostle Paul states in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Paul exclaims that from the beginning of time God chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit. Sanctification is done through the Holy Spirit to establish our position in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit sanctification results in holiness or purification from guilt and the power of sin.

If we believe that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, and arose from the dead, then we enter into the process of God’s divine grace. Grace is favor from God through Jesus Christ. Sanctification takes on two key points. The first point is in the person and the finished work of Jesus Christ and the second point is the provision by the working of the Holy Spirit who testifies and points to Christ. The Holy Spirit works in the souls of men, leading them to the full knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When men received the revelation, a birth takes place in their heart and they receive the inheritance and promises of God. Our sanctification is based on our faith in the Cross of Christ. It cannot be obtained by our own efforts. God only looks at the one perfect sacrifice which is Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given as our helper to point us to Christ and to help us move and live through Christ. The Holy Spirit works as an agent in the process of sanctification.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

The vessel is our body, and we are to take care that it becomes a vessel of Honor and not sin. Fornication is an unlawful practice of sex outside of marriage. It is unlawful outside of marriage because it lacks commitment and responsibility for the sanctity of human life such as the unborn child. Many times, sex is used as a form of abuse like slavery. The focus is on self-gratification rather than on becoming a pure vessel for God’s ministry. The sanctity of marriage is to speak of true love for each other in consideration of each other’s bodies as being bought with a price [see 1 Corinthians 6:20] through Christ sacrifice on the cross. There is to be respect and honor for each other’s bodies in marriage.

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.

1 Corinthians 6:19

To think about what Paul is stating regarding our body being a temple of the Holy Ghost is seldom talked about today in many churches. In essence it is speaking of our body being a dwelling place or inner sanctuary where the Holy Spirit can reside. The Holy Spirit can only reside in a clean body. That is why it is so important to have a clear conscience before God. We yield ourselves to God and ask for help in cleansing and making us whole again. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, Paul states in Romans 12:1, for this is our reasonable service.

Paul is stating that this is a rational/logical thing to do. This is a mental process that we start with in seeking God, so will we find Him [see Matthew 7:7]. We are always warring with our self-life and we must continue to lay our self-life down at the feet of Jesus. I remember Smith Wigglesworth stating if there is not a continuous change or growth happening in your life, then you are a dead person spiritually. Wigglesworth called it backsliding because there is no growth in a person due to that person going his own way rather than God’s way. That is why we must consider daily where our vessel/body is. Is it for sanctification and honor or is it for something else like our own selfish gratification? I pray that we lay it down so the glory of God’s light can shine through our body as we learn to serve a wonderful loving God. I pray for spiritual growth to start this day as our eyes are open to see the truth of His word.

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