|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Monday, March 14 2011 00:00|
Excerpted from Pastoring Men, Moody Publishers.
God is holy, and He makes us holy. Christians are a people whom God is making holy, conforming us to the image of His dear Son, Jesus.
Sanctification is this process by which God "sets us apart" for Himself and makes us holy. If we belong to Him, God is sanctifying us--whether we know it or not, whether we cooperate or not.1
Imagine a father with two sons whom he desires to teach good manners. One son seems eager to learn. Every time his father advises or corrects him, he thanks his father for teaching him good manners. But the other son kicks, screams, fusses, and fumes against his father's counsel. He rebels and rejects his father's instruction. One resists while the other cooperates. Do you think the father will be any less committed to teaching both sons good manners simply because they respond differently? What loving father would so easily give up on his child? The difference: For one child the experience is entirely pleasant, but for the other it is pain and torture.
We, too, can cooperate with the Father's plan of sanctification--moving toward holiness--or we can resist. If we cooperate, the results come more quickly and with considerably less pain.
To cooperate with God is to consecrate ourselves to Him. Consecration is another word for sanctification. God sanctifies us and, in return, we are exhorted to sanctify ourselves to him. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts" (1 Peter 3:15 KJV). "Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1). Our part is to consecrate ourselves to cooperate with what God is going to accomplish anyway.
Here's a good illustration you can use with your men. The evangelist Dwight L. Moody took up the offer to consecration after hearing these challenging words:
"The world has yet to see what God will do with, and for, and through, and in, and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to him."
Moody thought to himself, "He said a man. He did not say a great man, nor a learned man . . . but simply 'a man.' I am a man, and it lies with the man himself whether he will, or will not, make that entire and full consecration. I will try my utmost to be that man."2
Patrick Morley, PhD
#413 © 2011. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced
1Portions of "33. Holiness" are excerpted from Patrick Morley, Discipleship for the Man in the Mirror (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 237-38.