Eh! What Was That? :: By Grant Phillips

I’ll never forget what one of my Sunday school teachers said when I was a young boy. He said, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you say.” For some reason, that has always stayed with me. I don’t remember anything else he said that Sunday morning, but I do remember that.

I have noticed over the years, and I have spent a few on this earth, that those words are so true in the lives of most folks, mine included. How many times have we said one thing and done another? Come to think of it, we’ve all been there.

Why are we like that? Now come on, admit it. We have all been guilty at one time or another, but why?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23 emphasis mine)

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

WOW! There’s our answer. We are fallen creatures. None of us measure up to a sinless standard. Only God is perfect in all ways and in everything. He wants us to measure up to His standard, but we can’t on our own.

Even those of us who are true Christians, who have been clothed with the righteousness of the Son of God, still cannot measure up to a sinless life as long as we are in these earthly bodies. This is one of my greatest reasons for my longing to be with Jesus in Heaven after I leave this world behind.

It is very difficult to imagine being in Heaven with Jesus, and having absolutely no sinful thought, but that is His promise to me and all who come to Him to be saved.

As a Christian, our life on earth is very rewarding because Jesus lives within us by His Spirit, but our perfection will not occur until we are with Him in glory. This is our ultimate sanctification.

This is why we don’t always live up to what we say. This is why someone may say of us, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you say.” We long for our perfection in Christ.

Regeneration delivers us from the old person of sin. We are born again and made a new person in Christ Jesus.

Justification delivers us from the penalty of sin. When we are saved, God declares us not guilty because we have rested our faith in Jesus.

Sanctification delivers us from the power of sin. When we are saved, God sets us apart for Himself by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We are set apart to glorify Him.

Glorification delivers us from the presence of sin. When we are finally with our Lord, God removes any presence of sin. We are unable to sin.

Sanctification simply means that we are set apart and declared holy by God in Jesus, but we experience sanctification in three ways:

  1. Positional sanctification – God sets us apart for Himself. We are justified in Him. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
  2. Progressive sanctification – We set ourselves apart in service to our Savior and Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
  3. Perfected sanctification – We enjoy the sinless perfection God has made possible with Him in Heaven. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

Progressive or experiential sanctification concerns our spiritual maturity as a believer in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit works in us to help us become Christ-like.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

It won’t be easy. Satan will throw many barriers in our way, but the Holy Spirit is always there to pick us up, dust us off and help us on our journey to become as our Savior would have us be. When we fail as a child of God and break the fellowship we have with Him, He wants us to confess our sin/s and get back on track.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The Lord desires that we live by faith in Him and not by our own works for He says, “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

No, even a true Christian is not perfect. We still live in an earthly body with our old sin nature. The apostle Paul speaks of the constant battle between our old sin nature (the old man) and our new nature in Christ (the new man) in Romans 7:15-25.

So if we hear a voice calling out to us, “Eh! What was that?” maybe we are being reminded of our progressive sanctification that needs some fine tuning.

When we put our faith in Jesus to save us we were born again; regenerated and justified.

We were also sanctified at the cross and the empty grave (position).

One day we will be perfectly sanctified with our Savior and Lord in Heaven.

In the meantime, we should keep our eyes on Jesus and mimic Him. That is progressive sanctification.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Grant Phillips


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