Friday, October 16, 2009

Sanctification – 1 Peter 1:5

Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (NASB)

I normally think of salvation as something that happened to me when I turned to Jesus and was born again as stated in earlier blogs. The ending of this verse refers to a salvation that is different. My understanding is that there are three stages of salvation. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (KJV) This is the initial start of my salvation. There was a point in my life some 35 years ago when I heard Jesus’ words, understood them for the first time and believed. At that point I crossed over (NIV) from death into life – eternal life. At that point I knew I was no longer condemned.

The second part of salvation is my daily growth in Christ. Some people call this a process of sanctification. This process is described in part in Phil 3:7-14 where Paul says that he considers everything that he had gained in the world, prestige, power, and whatever nothing in comparison to knowing Jesus. In fact he had to give it all up when he became a Christian. I didn’t have to give up as much as some people do in other parts of the world. Would I give it up, if I had to? I certainly hope I wouldn’t even have to think about it. He describes the process of sanctification as not having his own righteousness but the righteousness that comes from faith (initial start of salvation.) He goes on to say he wants to know the power of Jesus’ resurrection, sharing in Jesus’ sufferings, and to become more like Jesus.

In Eph 1:19-23 Paul describes the power of Jesus’ resurrection. He says that power is for me because I believe. That is the power to live a holly life. Learning to rely on His power is what brings me closer to being like Jesus. Back in Philippians, Paul also goes on to admit that he hasn’t become the perfect Christian but that he puts the past behind him to push on to that goal. I need to remember that when I sin (I’m getting tired of people saying they made wrong choices, messed up, or made a mistake – I just about typed one of those instead of saying sin) that I need to repent, put it behind me and get back on the path to becoming more like Jesus. With Paul, I admit that I’m nowhere near that goal, but I have experience His power to overcome sin.

1 John 3:1-3 says that in God has lavished His love on me so that I’m a child of His. I will be like Jesus and I don’t know exactly what that will be like. Because I will and I have that hope, I purify myself because Jesus is pure. It doesn’t mean that I sit around and wait for Jesus to wave a magic wand and I become pure. It means that I have to work with Him, to yield to Him so that it will happen.

Finally, the last stage of salvation is when I’m safely in heaven. That is the reference in 1 Peter 1:5. It is in the last time. That is after Jesus comes back, sets all things straight on the earth, rules for 1,000 years to give mankind a last chance at salvation then starts over with a new heaven and a new earth. (Rev 20 and 21) I wasn’t made for a life on this earth; I was made for an eternal life. Through sin, that life was forfeit. Through Jesus, that life is redeemed. Everyone was made for that eternal life but unfortunately, not everyone will make it and that too, is described in Rev 20 and 21.

So I’m eagerly waiting for the culmination of my salvation when Jesus is revealed to all.

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