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Salvation & Sanctification

September 16, 2010

I grew up in the church where my mother grew-up, my grandfather grew-up, and my great-grandfather helped start. Members of my family had held every position in that church from organist to usher to Bible study teacher. Church felt like home. I wanted to be there more than I wanted to be anywhere else. Pastors, Sunday School teachers, camp counselors, and VBS volunteers all encouraged my growing faith, up to the night I prayed and asked God to “make His home in my heart” when I was six years old. Even then I knew I was a sinner and I knew I needed forgiveness.

If you were to observe my life from that moment to this, you might think I had it pretty easy. I appeared to follow the straight and narrow path, as the saying goes. I was at church every time the doors were open. I was active in my youth group. I went to a Baptist college, where I found another great church home and was active there. After graduating from college, I went to seminary and taught at a Christian school. There I met my now husband, who is a pastor.

But I certainly wasn’t perfect. I’m still not perfect. The truth is, I need the cross today as much as I needed it the first time I confessed my sin, was forgiven, and adopted into the family of God. I can easily slip into a Pharisee-like faith, where I get out my check-list and convince myself I’m a good Christian (or at least a good enough Christian when I compare myself to others).

Jerry Bridges writes about me “Christian Pharisees” in his book, The Disciplines of Grace. He warns against an attitude of, “varying degrees of self-satisfaction with one’s Christian life. We can drift into this attitude because we are convinced we believe the right doctrines, we read the right Christian books, we practice the right disciplines of a committed Christian life, or we are actively involved in some aspect of Christin ministry and are not just ‘pew sitters’ in the church.”

The cure is the cross. I must preach the gospel to myself every day. I am a sinner. I need God’s grace. I am a sinner. I need God’s grace.

Am I saved? Yes. But I’m not perfect. I’m in the life-long process of sanctification. 2 Thessalonians 1:13 says, “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.” I am so thankful God continues to give me abundant, amazing grace so that I can fulfill His call for me by His power. I cling to the cross–first for my salvation, and every day since then for my sanctification.

If you can’t recall a time in your life when you asked God to forgive your sin and Christ became your Savior and Lord, please contact us so we can encourage you to take steps of faith toward God- ScriptureDig {at} comcast {dot} net

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 8:26 am

    I really like how you point out that we first cling for our salvation and then for our sanctification. I can’t imagine having that long heritage of faith in my life, but you so clearly paint the picture of how we all need our own, personal relationship with our Savior.

  2. September 16, 2010 9:45 am

    Sandra, my testimony is not unlike yours. But you are right, we are all sinners in need of grace. All condemned to die before God chooses us as His own. We are all miraculously saved by the precious blood of Christ. Thanks for sharing your story today.

  3. September 16, 2010 11:41 am

    Loved this post Sandra! Thanks! This is my favoirte part: ” I cling to the cross–first for my salvation, and every day since then for my sanctification.”

    I have felt and believed this but never expressed it. You expressed it perfectly.

    Interesting that just last night a lady in our Bible Study posed the question: “Are we supposed to pray everynight for forgivness of sins we committed that day, or how should it be done?”

    The answers varied from choosing a specific time daily to stopping as soon as we are convicted of the sin and praying for forgivness. It was a little different for each one, but I loved that the urgency was there to daily seek God’s forgivness.

    ~Blessings~
    Marita

  4. September 16, 2010 1:37 pm

    Great post! I am so thankful for my salvation…I’d be lost with out Him. And each day I praise Him that He is continuing His work within me! I am far from perfect…but am full of joy that I’m on the journey of sanctification!

    Clinging to the cross,
    Joan

  5. stephanieshott permalink
    September 16, 2010 7:07 pm

    Sandra ~ Thank you for sharing your story. So unlike mine. So similar. A sinner in need of redemption. A saint in need of sanctification.

Trackbacks

  1. One of the Forgiven Much « Scripture Dig
  2. Salvation Theme Review « Scripture Dig

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