Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy …” 1 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Your salvation should change how you live.”
The first stage of the salvation process was the actual moment of placing your faith in Christ and having your sins forgiven. Although that decision may have taken a long time to arrive at, the actual moment of forgiveness, and the consequent new birth, happened in a moment, in a flash.
The second stage involves all the rest of your life and it is the stage of salvation that Christians struggle with the most. This is where you live-out what is already true of you. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Apostle Paul wrote about the new birth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Now that you are a new creation you should live your life in a new way. What has happened inside of you should cause a change in how you live.
However the change is not instantaneous. Instead it occurs slowly and progressively over a lifetime. This is the part of the salvation process known as “sanctification”. “Sanctification” is a big fifty-cent theological word that simply means “To make holy. To dedicate, consecrate, and set-apart for a divine purpose.”
That’s you. Now that you belong to Christ you have been set-apart, dedicated, and consecrated for His divine purposes. You are in the process of being transformed from the person you were into someone who is holy and who reflects the attributes of Christ. This is what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 1:2 when he reminded the Corinthians that as Christians they had been sanctified – they had been set-apart, dedicated, and consecrated, and then they were called to live holy lives.
That was true of them and it is to be true of us too. Your salvation will be perfected and complete in eternity. But between the moment of forgiveness, when you placed your faith in Christ, and your eventual perfection, once you are in heaven and you are the person you will be for eternity, there is this long process of transformation as you progressively become more and more like Jesus. That’s the life of the Christian.
In the days to come we will talk more about what the actual process of sanctification consists of, and why it is so important.