A Christ-follower wants to be like his Master. Is your daily desire to be more like Christ?
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:17
My pastor made a statement today that made perfect sense. He said, “A justified man always longs to be sanctified.” These terms come from 1 Corinthians 6:11,
11 And that is what some of you were. 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.
I underlined “washed” because it is the beginning of a process:
- We come to Jesus and He ceremonially washes us with His blood.
- We become justified, which means, “just as if I’d never sinned.”
- We are sanctified, which is the process of becoming like Jesus.
Sanctification is both a state of being and a progression. We ARE like Jesus in that we are now pure and blameless,
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27
We have a similar description in Philippians 1:9-11,
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This description includes the fruit of righteousness. The 1 Corinthians passage gives credit to the name of Jesus and to the Spirit. The fruit that the Spirit produces in us are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Ephesians 5:9 includes truth and righteousness in the list of fruit.
Let’s get back to my pastor’s statement. Why would a justified person long to be sanctified? Because his desires have changed. He now has the desires of Jesus in him. We long to be like Jesus, which is our sanctification, our goal.
The best illustration I can think of is “The Great American Hero.” It was a sitcom from the 80’s of a guy who was given superpowers, but no instruction on how to use them. He was constantly learning something new about his powers and how to control them. The illustration breaks down here because we have been given the Spirit as our Guide and the Bible as our instruction manual.
For us, we would do well to get up each morning, acknowledge the presence of the Lord in our lives, and set our hearts on sanctification for the day. Our desire to be like Jesus is our first step to becoming just like Him. The fun part is that even the desire comes from Him!
13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Philippians 2:13 AMP
Abba, knowing that I am holy in Your eyes, blameless and pure, blows my mind! From my view, You’ve got it all wrong! But I trust You, and if You say I am, then I believe You. It makes me want to live up to what I’ve been given. May Your Spirit guide me daily to become just like You, Jesus. Amen.