By Brooke Holt
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Throughout the Advent season, we talked about preparing our lives for the coming of Christ. This preparation called us to wait upon the Lord who is our “blessed hope”. Waiting can be hard work. The work of waiting is letting go of control, trusting in the Lord’s plan and timing, and surrendering our own hopes, dreams, and desires. This process of waiting is what Paul refers to as “training to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” (Titus 2:11).
This is a process called sanctification. Sometimes people shy away from this seemingly big, theological word. Christians know the word salvation – the act of being saved from sin but far too often stop there. Sanctification is not a one-time act as salvation is but is the process of becoming more like Jesus. Sanctification is about learning to deny the flesh and to live in the Spirit. Essentially, sanctification is about becoming holy. While not always an easy process, it is God’s call on our lives – accept Jesus as Savior and then become like Jesus.
That is why HOPE is so important. You place your hope is in the work of Christ, and his work makes the way for your faithfulness. In fact, he is the very one who helps you in the work of sanctification. His Spirit comes to dwell in you, and that Spirit convicts, guides, and empowers you to live like Jesus. Hope is found in trusting that this work will one day be completed, and we will see him face to face. Until then, we join Paul in praying that we would become “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
Sanctification may be a big word and a lifelong work, but I like to think of it as dancing with Jesus. You keep your eyes on him, allow him to lead, and then through his Spirit you follow that lead and experience the abundant life of Christ. It is not so hard to be sanctified when you have such a great leader!
Are you ready to dance with Jesus and to experience the radical transformation that comes in following him? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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