BY Charles Stanley
A new believer is sanctified when he places his faith in Jesus Christ. He's set apart for God's purpose. Salvation takes place in a single moment, but sanctification is a lifetime process. Those who trust Christ as Savior and allow the Spirit to control their lives are being sanctified. It doesn't matter what we may feel or how our actions appear to others. We are progressively maturing in our faith.
If we're growing, we must be working our way toward something. In Romans 8:29, the apostle Paul explained the Christian's mission. He said, "For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." The believer's character, conduct, and conversation should reflect Christ. On our own, we'd place too much emphasis on conduct. We'd get caught up following rules and rituals that look "Christian" yet don't truly reflect Christ. But God has given each believer His Spirit as a teacher and guide. The Holy Spirit transforms our minds and hearts so our character is much different than unbelievers'. Only when we're under the Spirit's control can we speak and act according to our true identity as God's children.
Our heavenly Father wants His children to be living examples of Him. God doesn't expect perfection from us. He knows we can not be totally sinless in our human body. Instead, He shows us how to think and act. That way, you and I can live the command of Ephesians 4:1: to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."
Used with Permission