Did you know that there are 2 sides to salvation…God’s and ours? We can do nothing to save ourselves but we have a very clear responsibility in salvation.
Everyone loves to hear about God’s Amazing Grace…how sweet the sound! It does sound great and it is amazing! But God’s Word has a lot more to say about salvation than simply what He’s done for us.
The other side of salvation…our side…is all about God’s purpose for our lives once we accept His free gift of grace in salvation and how we can live most fully and freely according to His purpose, design and pleasure!
Don’t know about you but I want that! I know that I’ve been saved for Eternity with Him but I want to know what that looks like now. The great news is that we can know! It’s called sanctification and while it’s not easy because of the world we live in, it is every bit as amazing because it is His plan and will for our lives in Christ.
So what is sanctification? What is our part in salvation?
Sanctification is essentially holiness. When something or someone is holy or sanctified it means that he/she or it has been set apart for a special or specific purpose. God’s plan is not just to give you eternal life with Him. He has a special plan for you right now…that’s sanctification.
It’s also why it is so important that we spend time growing as His disciples, seeking to know and love Him more fully. Only when we follow through on the seeking, knowing and loving Him can we know who we are and walk in the special purpose that He takes great pleasure in fulfilling in and through us!
Let’s see what His Word says about being set apart for His plan and pleasure.
God’s Masterpiece and Purpose
God makes it very clear in Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church and to Christ’s Church today exactly what both sides of salvation look like. Here we see His role in salvation that we’ve talked about in previous articles, podcasts and videos…
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Thank you, Lord! But He goes beyond this to plainly describe our purpose in salvation…literally sanctification, in v. 10 – For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Handiwork literally means “masterpiece!” He has created you and in salvation has recreated you in Christ as His masterpiece for a specific, special plan just for you!
Paul tells believers in his letter to the Philippians that we have a responsibility (an obedient response) to His gift to us…
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)
There it is! We are to respond with reverent awe and fear in 2 ways:
- By walking in obedience
- Continuing to work out the salvation God has put in
Bearing Fruit, Not Producing It
John 15 describes what it means to abide in Christ and let God, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit work in and through us. Here are 5 Truths that are evident in the lives of those who have been saved and sanctified in Christ:
- Christ is the Source (Vine); The Father is the Vinedresser (Gardener) – (v.1)
- We are branches that bear fruit…not produce fruit. Any branch that does not bear His fruit is cast away (v. 2)
- We are to be pruned by the Vinedresser (The Father) – pruning means to be cut back and cleaned up to become stronger to bear more fruit (v. 2-3)
- We are to abide in The Source, Christ (The Vine) – abide means to endure or remain despite trials or hardships of weather, predators and pruning
- As we abide in The Vine (Christ) we bear more fruit. Apart from Christ (Vine) we can produce nothing.
God has not only saved you in Christ, He has set you apart as His masterpiece for His special purpose. Are you trying to produce for His Kingdom? Learn to rest, endure and grow in Christ and you will see His fruit coming through you for His Glory!
This does not mean that you are to sit back in your La-Z-Boy chair and say to God, “Ok, get to it, produce fruit in me!” It means you recognize His Gift, work diligently to know Him and allow His Truth and will to be lived out through your life to others. He will produce more fruit for you to bear, as you remain a faithful branch in Christ!
If you’re willing to seek, know and love Him, you will learn what it means to live sanctified you can get rid of the burden of “success” and learn to “bear His fruit” for His good will and pleasure!
Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Salvation and Sanctification…God’s free gift in Christ and my discipleship response in living out what He has set me apart for? Am I living for God’s good pleasure? Is He having His way in and through me?
Love and Lordship…Action Item – Spend some time this week in the Scriptures found in this article and ask The Lord if you’ve been taking His salvation for granted? Also ask Him to reveal to you what He has saved you for and how you can bear His fruit more fully in your life and relationships?