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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

His Work in You

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
—1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NLT)

Paul’s final greetings to the Thessalonians is an incredible blessing. He wants them to know that the God of peace makes them holy and keeps them blameless until Jesus comes again. God is the One who will make it happen. He, who calls them to be holy, is faithful to keep His word.

Jesus has given you His Father—the God of peace! Jesus has reconciled you with His Father, and God is now your Father. Nothing separates you from intimacy with your God! Jesus has attributed to you His righteousness. Your Father makes you holy. There is nothing you can do to make yourself holy. Only God can.

"God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful," verse 24 reads. Through many years, I have looked at this verse only one way. If God calls you to do something, He is faithful to create whatever He called you to do. This is a true statement. God will not leave your hanging if He has called you. But there is another side to this verse, and its meaning is revealed in verse 23. The God of peace, your Father, makes you holy, and He will keep you blameless until the day Jesus calls you home. God will make this happen. He is faithful to you.

We live holy lives because Jesus loved us enough to give us His righteousness. We don’t live holy lives out of fear of God’s punishment. Jesus ended God’s judgment when He took our punishment for us. God sees us through the gift of His Son. He doesn’t pour out His wrath on His children. And that is what we are—His children. He loves us with His everlasting love.

We can’t save or sanctify ourselves. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Your spirit was reborn—newly created by redeeming love—when you believed in Jesus’ work on the Cross. You became the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Your soul (your mind)  is continually transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit, who lives in your spirit. This is sanctification by the Holy Spirit. He teaches you and guides you to understand the truth of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit reveals to you the truth of who you are in Jesus. You believe in your mind by faith that the redeeming love of Jesus has made you holy, and you allow that truth to shape your understanding. You trust in what the Spirit reveals, and your body (your flesh) lives out what your mind believes. 

"By his divine power," Peter writes, "God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the One who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence" (2 Peter 1:3, NLT). Do you see that? God has given us EVERYTHING we need to live a godly life. We don't live a holy life without using what He has given us. Our flesh can't live a godly life. He has given us ALL OF THIS by knowing Him. He has called us to Himself. He has made us His own.

Peter continues in the new few verses and tells us that “because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4, NLT). He has given you precious promises to help you share in His divine nature. It is His power that enables you to escape your human desires. You don't have the ability on your own to escape anything.

“In view of all this,” Peter continues, “make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT).

Allow the righteousness of Jesus to transform you!  Respond to God’s promises by supplementing your faith with what God has given you! You received these things when you were born again in your spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to change your perception and understanding in your mind. The God of peace makes you holy and keeps you blameless. God will make this happen. The One who calls you to live a holy life has given you everything you need to do it.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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