Thursday, July 23, 2009

Devotional 230709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for beautiful sunshine in Burlingame. It was so foggy and wet in Daly City as I left the house. It made me sleepy even though I slept longer because our office is opened at ten on every Thursday. Let's meditate with Brother Chambers, who continued his devotional reading on the same verse that he had started yesterday.

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to me, not gradually, but instantly when by faith I enter into the realization that Jesus Christ is made unto me sanctification. Sanctification does not mean anything less than the holiness of Jesus being made mine manifestly.

The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is "Christ in you." It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification, and imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God's grace. Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His word?

Sanctification means the impartation of the Holy qualities of Jesus Christ. It is His patience, His love, His holiness, His faith, His purity, His godliness that is manifested in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation. Imitation is on a different line. In Jesus Christ is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfections of Jesus are at my disposal, and slowly and surely I begin to live a life of indescribable order and sanity and holiness: "Kept by the power of God."

Indeed we have nothing to boast of our holiness. We learned to strip ourselves to nothing but our relationship with God. And between ‘me’ and God, He imparts His holiness and the nature of Christ into our soul on a daily basis. We may not realize how the transformation takes place within us; when we look back after several years, we felt the difference in us. By God’s grace we grow and become more like Him. I agree with Chamber’s description: Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.

If sanctification is our effort to become perfect, our lives will be miserable because we will always be in a stage of regrets and frustrations. We hate our weaknesses, our sinful nature, our helplessness, our hypocrisy, our impotency to the point of giving up to fight. Martin Luther was serious about his calling to be holy. He repented to his supervisor in the monastery as soon as he committed a sinful thought. It came to a point that his supervisor was tired of hearing his repentance. Finally he told this young Martin Luther, to go home and meditate on Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is not by repentance we become holy, it is purely the grace of God. Of course, we have to do our part in stripping off the bondage of earthly relationship, so that we can become the disciple of Christ.

By stripping off the bondage of earthly relationship does not mean isolate yourself from Christian fellowship or from family. God does not make us an island or loner. He expects us to live in community and serves Him through community. But we learn to yield not to opinion of men but to the Word of God. Community could be stumbling. Religious institution could be corrupting. We learn to discern the difference between the opinion that is from God or from men. Just as Jesus reprimanded Peter who was out of good will to stop his teacher from going to the cross, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matt 16:23). Let the Holy Spirit continue to impart upon you the holiness of Christ each day.

Love you by His holiness,

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