Volume I, Issue1

Newsletter: September 4, 2003


I am happy to send out this first GIFU.com Newsletter and would like to offer a few words of introduction. The Newsletters' purpose is to provide encouragement for Christians in their walk and witness and to provide a better understanding of the website and how it can be used to spread the Gospel. I will be sending it out bi-weekly for the next few months after which there will be a time of evaluation to see if the Newsletter should be continued. I welcome your questions, comments and other feedback, and hope you are blessed in some way as a result of receiving it.


Our Walk and Witness

I would like to share with you for a time regarding the biblical teaching of Sanctification which is an essential part of the Christian life. It is not a topic that is discussed too often and is also one in which some Christians might not as yet have received any in-depth instruction. The following scripture illustrates the importance of this subject to the Christian life:

1. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; (1 Th 4:3 NASB)

2. God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification... (2 Th 2:13-14)

3. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb 12:14 NASB)

The word "sanctification" in the preceding verses is used to translate the Greek word "hagiosmos" which conveys the thought of consecration and purification. In reference to the Christian life we are to understand that God has called us to be set apart from the world, purified from sin and consecrated or dedicated for service to God.

The bible explains sanctification as taking place in at least two ways. In the first sense sanctification is past tense having, in part, already taken place. When a person believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as Savior and lord they are forgiven their sins, sealed with the Holy Spirit, set apart from the world and placed in God's kingdom. Responding to the call to repent the new believer ceases to practice the gross sins previously indulged in and begins a new life in Christ. In this regard sanctification is considered a past tense event that has already occurred (I Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 1:13-14).

(1 Cor 6:9-11 NASB) ....do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, {10} nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

Sanctification is also presented in scripture as something future, not yet fully realized, which needs to be pursued as God's daily will for our life. Our purification from sin and continued separation from the world is an ongoing process which should be at the heart of the Christian life. This can be seen from the first three scriptures offered for consideration as well as the following important passage found in the book of Romans:

(Romans 6:19-22) For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. {20} For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. {21} Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. {22} But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

Here Paul points out that the believer is to present himself to God NOW as a slave to righteousness with the future result being sanctification and the outcome eternal life. While we have a tendency to focus on sin mainly in terms of our own forgiveness we must go a step further and see the priority that God has for our lives in terms of our ongoing purification from sin. While we all are eager to lay hold of those scriptures which offer assurance that we have been forgiven and saved from the penalty of sin we need to ask ourselves if we are we equally concerned with those scriptures which explain God's will regarding the continual purification of our lives from the presence of sin.

Perhaps we can find additional motivation to focus more intently on our sanctification by realizing that one of the main reasons that Jesus went to the cross of Calvary to suffer an agonizing death on our behalf was to then be able to purify our lives from sin. If we truly love the Lord Jesus and want to please Him and God the Father in all things then we will give our sanctification, the purification of our lives from all sin, the top priority that it deserves.

(Titus 2:11-14 NASB) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, {12} instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, {13} looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; {14} who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

In the next Newsletter we will explore the need for sanctification. The angel explained that Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21). When we fully understand what terrible things sin has done to the human heart we will better understand why sanctification is an integral part of God's plan of salvation.


The Website

The website has been designed to present the gospel on the internet in the context of a personal contact with another individual. For those who visit the site as a result of seeing a bumper sticker or finding it through a search engine I hope the dynamic of the personal contact will make the website more effective in communicating the Gospel.

I also hope that other Christians will feel led to use the website in their day to day witness to others. I have tried to present biblical truth on every important topic that needs to be discussed when one considers their relationship to God. Those wanting to share their faith with others should find the site a helpful resource to grow in their knowledge of the truth and to be able to share it with those who are seeking God.

To make best use of this resource one should understand the three primary sections of the site which can be found at the bottom of every page.

1. Home: The first two pages offer a greeting, some background information on the author and an explanation of the purpose of the site which is to help others understand and embrace God's love for them, His will for their lives and the truth about life.

2. Table Talk: Here the visitor learns that six important points will be explained which are the key to understanding God's love, His will and the truth. In these six points I have tried to encapsulate the essence of the Christian message in a clear and concise form. Links to other parts of the site where these points are developed in-depth are provided.

3. The Library: The Library offers the visitor the opportunity to explore all of the relevant issues in-depth. The first topic in the Library, "God's Word the Bible", provides a comprehensive presentation on the Bible and it's inspiration by God. The remaining topics give in-depth biblical explanations of all the issues which need to be considered for one to come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Additional resources are also provided for the seeker and the new Christians wanting to grow in their faith.

While it's my hope and pray that God will use the presentation of the gospel on the website to bring some to saving faith through bumper stickers and other things of this nature, I think it can also be a valuable resource to other Christians who are actively sharing their faith with others. In the upcoming Newsletters I will take some time to briefly touch on the different parts of the site highlighting the ways in which they can be useful to equip the believer in doing the work of evangelism.

Because God is For Us,

Kevin McGill