Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
~Philippians 2:12-13, NLT
Sin is a parasite.
There is a sense in which salvation is finished, another sense in which is progressive and yet another sense in which it is future. Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs laid salvation out in all three tenses:
- Past–Regeneration [finished]–our new birth
- Present–Sanctification [progressive]–our growth in Christ
- Future–Glorification [instantaneous]–transformed into the image of Christ
So, literally I can say, “I have been saved from the penalty of sin, I am being saved from the power of sin and I will be saved ultimately from the presence of sin”. All three of these tenses are related to our being saved from one thing which is ‘Sin.’ In regeneration or our new birth, we are saved from the penalty of sin which is hell. In sanctification, we are saved from the power of sin which dominates or enslaves. Glorification is being saved from the presence of sin which of course we look forward to with great anticipation.
Philippians 2:12-13 is dealing with our Sanctification. God is at work in us and by His marvelous grace He changes our desires which gives us power over sin. We can sin all we want but when God transforms our desires, we don’t want to sin. F. B. Meyer says, “Sanctification is process of being saved from the power and the love of sin.” Do you love sin? If you are like me, you don’t love all sin: as a matter of fact, you loathe many sins but there are some in particular that you do not hate, yet. It could be tobacco, gossip, lust, greed, judging others, self-righteousness, or a host of other parasitic sins. Of course you hate murder, rape, sexual perversion, abortion, extortion and a host of social evils. To be fully sanctified, God is going to deal with you about the sins you love and He will take them one at a time.
There are some sins that I hate now but at one time I loved them. There are some sins that I love now that in time I am going to hate. Does this mean that I am good because I am trying to hate what God hates? No, it means that Christ is working in me as a holy anticeptic, fighting sin and changing my desires.
Let me give you an example that will not compromise me completely. As a young man, I had an intense craving for things. I was deeply envious of people who had new vehicles, boats, campers, UTV’s and such. I wanted my own land, house and things and I believed to some extent that if I could get these things, I would be content. I never got all these things but I did manage to get my own house and at one time was a land owner. There is nothing wrong with owning a home, it is a noble thing but my motives were impure and I was bull headed in my pursuit of what I wanted and very inconsiderate of what God wanted for me. God did not prevent me from getting what I wanted but He did prevent me from being happy once I got it. He changed my whole concept of ownership and stewardship. He changed the way I think about this world and the things of this world. He changed my desires completely and I gladly give Him the credit for doing so. Now I loathe things I once loved but understand this: God is not through, and there are sins I love presently that I will loathe in the future.
Of course, I acknowledge that all sin is evil, destructive and parasitic and I long with deep desire to be free of all sin and that includes gluttony.
- Another good crowd for the GATHERING. The Praise and Worship was especially good. It is a mystery to me why people do not attend on Wednesday night. Just another proof of how desperately we need REVIVAL.
- Speaking of REVIVAL, Wade Morris is coming to DBC November 6-9 so be sure and mark your calendar.
- Unfortunately I have some bad news, we have acted like Alka-Seltzer Baptist on the 31 Days of Prayer, we fizzled out. I am afraid very few took it seriously. We had 500 hits the first two days and only 500 since which is less than 20 people per day. I fear that the more accurate number is less than a dozen per day because we averaged close to 100 per day for the first week. The SEARCH TEAM asked me to promote it which I have done and I have participated. Some have told me they are praying but never log on and that could be true but we will know for sure within a month.
- Hopefully, we will have another Baptism this Sunday which will make 5 weeks in a row. Thank God for giving us an increase, amen!