When we are saved through believing in the sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross and receiving him as our Lord, we receive salvation. It is a gift that God gives us, and it is something that changes us from the inside, making us into a new creation. Salvation by faith is how we are justified.
“know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16).
Salvation is the first step in our relationship with God. Then we need to grow. This is sometimes referred to as maturing, or is also referred to as sanctified. Sanctified is actually translated to mean “made holy” or “consecrated”, but what it is referring to is growing in our relationship with God.
One of the big questions that many people wrestle through and which can leave many in a place of disillusionment is how to grow, mature, and be sanctified. It is easy to read the Bible and see a list of do’s and don’ts. It is easy to talk with Christians and hear that we need to read our Bible, pray, and be in fellowship. All of these can be tasks or actions we must live and if we try to do that we can become trapped in a system of works righteousness (being made right or righteous through our actions). That is not the heart of God. If that is how we are living we are missing the point.
God wants relationship with us. He wants to walk with us every day in the same way a parent or teacher shares with those under their guidance. He wants to see us learn, grow, and change. He understands that we are going to stumble and fall at times, and he knows there are many things that are going to try to distract us or keep us from learning. He wants to stop that, but he can’t so he warns us to be cautious.
The change we need to make in our thinking is about how we mature, grow, learn, and become sanctified.
Romans 15:15-16 “I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
Galatians makes it clear that we are saved not by works (following the law), but by faith.
Romans makes it clear that our sanctification does not happen through our works, but by the Holy Spirit.
Our faith and walk with the Lord is not about our performance. It is not about what we accomplish. It is not something we earn. The Kingdom of God is actually upside down and we are told that we receive by letting go, surrendering, and no longer working. After we are filled with God’s presence and our hearts are changed we will then desire to pour out, serve, give, and demonstrate our love by living right and holy lives, but we can not find those lives with the Holy Spirit.
Our maturing and growing up is important. It starts through the one step of saving faith, and then through the surrender of letting go and letting God.
Are you ready to let the Lord change your thinking? Are you ready for him to mature and grow you?