Fortner’s devotional for today seemed as if I read ahead yesterday, or that he read my thoughts and said ‘Amen’ as a punctuation. I’m smiling.
Yesterday’s post is not an original thought. It is shared by Christians because God reveals it as we read His Word and give diligent attention. Perhaps some of us have become frustrated by our own efforts to become ‘more holy’ before realizing that this is impossible. As Fortner says, we need to become totally aware of how sinful we are before it sinks in that our holiness is in Christ and not in ourselves.
Fortner gives examples of this awareness: Isaiah saw the Lord and said, ‘Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.’ Job saw the glory of God and cried, ‘Behold, I am vile!’ David was a mature believer yet said, ‘I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.’ Paul was also a mature believer when he said, ‘I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing’ and near the end of his life, he called himself the chief of all sinners.
Sanctification is a gift from God, a declaration of what I am because of Jesus Christ. “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Christ is my holiness — from the beginning of my salvation and all through my walk with God. God is not interested or impressed by anything I try to do to make myself holy . . .
“When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will.’ He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:8–10)
Sanctification is the work of God’s sovereign grace. He has separated me from my old life to be holy in Christ, declared me holy in Christ by redemption, and gave me the only source of being by giving me the life of Christ and with that whole new life.
How is this practical? As He reminds me who I am in Christ and what I have in Christ, it becomes possible to live accordingly. That is the secret of godliness!
Jesus, You are my sanctification, my righteousness, my redemption, all my holiness before God. Sanctification is not by any works that I do, but by what You do and have done in me. Oh my, what a wonderful Lord and Savior I have in You!