2 Kings 23, 24
Purging the Household of Faith - Reclaiming Covenant with God.
Destroying and Rejecting all Man-Made and Profane Worship.
Calling and Process of Setting Apart: Consecrating/Re-consecrating for the Purposes, Will, and Worship of God Alone.
Profile Story #1:
Josiah and Hilkiah
2 Chronicles 34:1-7
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images. 4 And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, 7 he broke down the altars and beat the Asherim and the images into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
Profile Story #2:
Judges 13:2-5, 24-25,
There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Profile Story #3
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
Sanctified - The Event vs. Sanctification - The Process
Let’s talk a little bit about Sanctified as an event and Sanctification as a process.
In each of the profile stories we heard of the process of Sanctification leading to a God-Purposed Sanctified event or moment. There is more here than just semantics - but not much.
To start, lets acknowledge that both the event and the process are the result of the righteousness of God at work in us. And, let's also acknowledge here that God's intentions were not for us to be caught up in semantics and word-play - the idea is that we are being sanctified in the glorious process of sanctification by the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit.
They both represent our calling to the Holiness of God, and to the fulfillment of the righteousness of Christ in us. The Holy Spirit will do both (call and complete) when we surrender to the bidding and will of God.
Here is the final note-worthy point on this. In order to be Sanctified [set apart] we cannot avoid or choose to opt-out of the refining and defining process of Sanctification. We must surrender to the Process. That means, we have given ourselves over to being made into His image for the purposes of His will - in and for, a time such as this.
Enough on that.
The Sanctified Process
[The Holy Spirit a Kinetic Force]
Clearly the Holy Spirit is the kinetic force (purposeful-active-movement) of Sanctification. And clearly that is a process that leads us to those ever-important Sanctified moments and God-purposed events. How do we get there?
To His followers Jesus said that He would go to the Father, for the divine purpose of sending to us His ongoing and unending Presence. The Presence of God in Christ Jesus would now move and become active in us through the person of the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit would reside in us as an advocate to the Father, and as Champion to our causes and cares as active believers and obedient disciples.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
Salvation came to all through incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. Christ left and as promised the Holy Spirit arrived.
The presence of the Holy Spirit comforted the broken-hearted, empowered the weak and fearful, gave witness to the revelation of Christ as Messiah, revealed truth to the lost and searching, gave gifts for serving and edifying the church, and produced fruit in us as the evidence and authenticity of our character and faith in the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
For the Christ follower - Sanctification is that Process. But, understand this, the target of the Holy Spirit is to fully engage us and lead us in our process towards being intentionally set-apart for those moments and events designed and designated solely for the Will and Purposes of God. (that we be sanctified (set-apart - made-holy) for the pleasure and purposes of God the Father in obedience to Christ)
1 Thessalonians 4:2–4
For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all perverse sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
1 Peter 1:2
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.
The Spirit that inspired the Word of God now uses it to sanctify. In John’s gospel chapter 17, Jesus prayed an intense and prophetic prayer over His disciples, and those who would courageously go into the world make disciples - “Sanctify them by the truth.”
In the same gospel John would also recall, The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.
There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
Our blessing from God the Father through the New Covenant in His Son Jesus, is the presence of the Sanctified work of the Holy Spirit. This is what the Holy Spirit wants to do in and through us - set us apart for such a time as this.
To be relevant, to be difference-makers, game-changers, hope-givers, faith-builders, truth-tellers, a voice of one - crying out as many! Not looking to someone else, from anywhere else, to say whatever else needs to be said.
And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
The Holy Spirit not only is the promised restoration of the presence of God in believers; but also calls and equips believers to obediently and sacrificially serve both the church and the world.
This brings us back to where we started today - starting the process.
As we said... The Fruit of the Spirit are the result of the reproduction and breeding of Sanctified character in believers and followers of Jesus.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
The Gifts of the Spirit are the means by which believers and followers of serve one another and edify and build up the Church.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So, if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Though God sanctifies by grace, human beings are responsible to actively and righteously appropriate God’s grace by living each day in active faith. Faith is “the” means of sanctifying grace - not cheapening it.
The Bible consistently is leading and instructing the seeker of truth into "the process" to be Sanctified. It goes on and on, so that we can go on and on in such a time as this.
Sanctified—Word, Prayer, the Church, Destiny and Providence. It is all there.
And the Holy Spirit intends to lead us to it for the purposes of God's will to done in those Sanctified moments and events that change lives and outcomes for the Kingdom of God.
Personal Application: Verbalizing the Process
MY CHILD, the more you let go of self, the more you will be able to enter into Me. As the obsession of earthly and exterior things is released brings inner peace, so the abandoning of self-unites you to God. With that peace you can trust Me to teach you what it is to surrender perfectly to My will, without resistance or complaint.
Follow Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living. I am the Way which you must follow, the Truth which you must believe, the Life for which you must hope. I am the inviolable Way, the infallible Truth, the unending Life. I am the Way that is straight, the supreme Truth, the Life that is true, the blessed, the uncreated Life. If you abide in My Way you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free, and you shall attain life everlasting.
If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.
Lord Jesus, because Your way is narrow and despised by the world, grant that I may despise the world and imitate You. For the servant is not greater than his Lord, nor the disciple above the Master. Let Your servant be trained in Your life, for there is my salvation and true holiness. Whatever else I read or hear does not fully refresh or delight me.
My child, now that you know these things and have read them all, happy will you be if you do them. He who has My commandments and keeps them, is the one that loves Me. And I will love him and will show Myself to him and will bring it about that he will sit down with Me in My Father’s Kingdom.
Lord Jesus, as You have said, so be it, and what You have promised, let it be my lot to win. I have received the cross, from Your hand I have received it. I will carry it, carry it even unto death as You have laid it upon me. Truly, the life of a good religious man is a cross, but it leads to paradise. We have begun—we may not go back, nor may we leave off.
Take courage, brethren, let us go forward together and Jesus will be with us. For Jesus’ sake we have taken this cross. For Jesus’ sake let us persevere with it. He will be our help as He is also our leader and guide. Behold, our King goes before us and will fight for us. Let us follow like men. Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle. Let us not suffer our glory to be blemished by fleeing from the Cross.
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