We Were - Sanctified

Kale Magness
Not only do words matter, but the tense of words matter. In fact, the series we are presently in is completely grounded in this, “You Were”...you WERE.
This past Sunday, Pastor Andrew spoke on the subject of sanctification, which is one of those $10 Christian words that has a sort of mystical aura surrounding it. But what does it mean to be Sanctified? By definition, it means to be “made holy,” not “making holy.” Remember, words and their tense matter. If you’ve been around organized religion for very long, I bet you’ve heard or been taught just the opposite. Progressive sanctification is widely taught throughout organized religion and across all denominational barriers. In other words, once you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, there is an ongoing process in order for you to eventually become holy. So, the level of expectation is set, the performance track to follow is established, and for the rest of your days, you do your best to be accepted in order to one day in the future reach holiness. Don’t believe the lie. Pastor Andrew encouraged us not to believe the whispers of our enemy as he tries to point us back to who we once were. Like most things in life, we have a choice to make. We can choose to believe the lies of our enemy trying to convince us that we are still who we were, or we can choose to believe our God when He tells us who we ARE!
So, let’s look and see what the scriptures say about this. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul says this:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Paul is telling us not to be deceived by our enemy and identify with our past. Rather,  we can rest in who we are because of the finished work of Christ. He sets forth a laundry list of sin and bad behavior, saying this is who we were. Then in the very next sentence, he says we were washed, not we are being washed; we were sanctified, not we are being sanctified; we were justified, not are being justified. Words matter, and their tense matters.

Our identity is not something we work for; it’s something we live from!

If you give in to the lies that our enemy whispers to us about our identity, it compromises our peace, our joy, and our rest. All three of which were given to us in order to live out the salvation that we received from the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If our enemy can get us to redirect our focus from who we are in Christ to striving to “earn” our holiness, our righteousness, hoping someday in the future God will accept our “good works”, he can render us ineffective in our daily lives.
Pastor Andrew also pointed out that even back in the Old Testament, before the cross, when conditions had to be met to gain righteousness, God clearly points out that HE is the one who made them holy. Exodus 31:13, Leviticus 21:8, Ezekiel 20:12. But praise God....on this side of the cross, there are NO conditions for us to meet! Paul says in Romans 10:9:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It’s as simple as that. You are a NEW creation, not a remade one. The old is dead, the new has come!
Now, even though I don’t believe in progressive sanctification, I do believe once we are in union with Christ, there is a progressive understanding of who we are in Him. A growing, and a maturity, in the knowledge and understanding of our position and the freedom we have in Him. My experience has been, the more “I get it,” the easier it is for me to remind my enemy of the difference between his future and mine!
Pastor Andrew reminded us that our identity is not something we work for; it’s something we live from! You were sanctified! You were made holy! Go live in your freedom! Words matter...

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