It’s a Process :: By Mitchell Childs

Hebrews 10:14 “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

At the moment of salvation we don’t instantly become “like Christ.” This is something we must work towards and a thing that can only be done by the Holy Spirit through obedience to the Holy Spirit. It is a process that begins at the moment of salvation and continues until we either die or Christ returns and removes sin once and for all.

We won’t instantly become super holy and unable to sin at the point of salvation. Indeed, we will spend the rest of our lives sinning on purpose or by accident. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to worry about changing ourselves. God did and does the most difficult parts for us. All He asks in return is to love Him, spread the good news of salvation, love each other, and feed His sheep (comfort, discipline, guide and encourage the brethren).

We don’t change ourselves; God changes us because we are useless/unable on our own.

Hebrews 10:15-17 “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds;’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.'”

God does the changing. For example, I’ve encountered people who are afraid of following Christ because they are worried that they will have to stop committing their favorite sins or that it will be too hard to stop doing everything bad; and the thought of having to make all those changes is overwhelming.

I’ve had these very thoughts myself when I was much younger. This is common to see in homosexuals or people who suffer from any sort of addiction. Really, it covers every single one of us because, as it is written, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We Christians aren’t “better” than the lost. We aren’t more deserving of God’s grace than the foulest of criminals. Indeed, we are even worse – we know the glory and the grace of God –
so what’s our excuse for our many sins? So what if I’ve never murdered anyone or robbed a bank? Sin is sin, and sin must be punished.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice and setting us free!

So, returning to the example of people afraid to reach out to Christ for fear of having to give up their favorite sins and/or holding onto a lifestyle that is blatantly against the Word of God – that fear is unjustified and meaningless. It’s another tool of the devil to snatch souls. God does the changing.

“I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.”

God has the power. God washed away our sins by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. His crucifixion: not only the death of His physical body, but the act of becoming sin. His act of taking the responsibility and the consequences of ALL OF OUR SINS FROM BIRTH TO DEATH upon himself, and enduring separation from God the Father in order that we may be saved. Saved from hell. Saved from the consequences of our sin, which is eternal separation from God.

Jesus actually did the impossible for us. God cannot sin (James 1:13; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). But He sent his Son, who is also God, to become sin and bear the punishment instead of us. God is so powerful He can do anything. Nothing is out of His power.

Roman’s 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

So, having forgiven our sins, we are also promised in Hebrews 10:17, “Then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.'”

Now, this doesn’t mean that we can go and sin whenever we want and just say “Oh, it’s okay if I do this; God will forgive me.” While it is indeed true that God has ALREADY forgiven us of every sin past, present and future, one who is indwelled by the Holy Spirit CANNOT endure long in continual, conscious sin.

Romans 6:1‭-‬4 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”‬

Being mired in the traps of sin and failing at withstanding temptation can be immediately mitigated by crying out to God for deliverance; although at times in my anger and the many varied lapses of reason associated with being human, I find myself too prideful/angry/hurt to humble myself to approach God in the proper manner.

Romans 6:12‭-‬14 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”‬
A true Christian living in sin on purpose or by accident as a result of slowly becoming disconnected from God cannot experience joy in the spirit or even fellowship with Christ with an unrepentant heart; although God’s mercy is so great that He continually loves us, even though we naturally stumble and fall.

Romans 6:6‭-‬7 “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”‬

We sin by accident and we sin on purpose. We cry out to God when we need Him, and we slowly drift away when things are going okay. But in His infinite mercy and glory He has promised to sanctify us

Hebrews 10:14 “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

And indeed He does, as long as we draw near to Him, study His words and try our best (which isn’t much). But we can do all things through Christ who is our strength. If we do those simple things, He will grow us. ‬

Some people may find it takes them a lifetime to learn God’s lessons. Some learn younger. We are each and every one different and special. God already knows our entire life’s path – each decision we will make. He has planned our lives accordingly, even though it’s ultimately our choice. That is a great gift God has given us. Choice. But the more we study His Word and the more we grow in Christ, the easier it is to resist temptation.

And as we grow from spiritual infancy and mature, be it fast or slow, an easy path or one full of stumbling and mistakes, we should remember to thank God through His Son Jesus Christ, who gives us access to the Creator of the universe.

Thank God for his unending mercy, His unfailing Grace and his discipline and correction that allows us to grow and mature.

Romans 6:20‭-‬23 “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”‬

Thank you, God, for salvation—for freedom from sin and death. Thank you for your Son Jesus and for the gift of the Holy Spirit by which we are sanctified. Thank you for this life and the blessings of family. Amen.‬‬‬‬‬