Volume I, Issue 8

Newsletter: January 04, 2004

January 04, 2004
Volume I, Issue 8

Greetings to all! I hope everyone was blessed this past Christmas season and pray we will all experience God's working in our lives in this New year! This is the eighth issue of our bi-weekly newsletter designed to give encouragement for the Christian walk and witness, and to help others better understand the website and how and it be used to evangelize the lost. Please feel free to forward any questions or comments you may have regarding the topics being discussed. You can view previous issues of the newsletter at this URL: http://www.godisforus.com/Archives.htm.


I would like to conclude this series on sanctification by presenting some of the methods I believe the scriptures teach regarding the ways in which the believer should pursue the sanctification to which he has been called by God. I offer the following three thoughts for your consideration.


When writing to the churches Paul gave us the following instructions:

(Galatians 5:16-25) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. {17} For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. {18} But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. {19} Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, {20} idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, {21} envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. {22} But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. {24} Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. {25} If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

(Romans 8:1-4) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. {3} For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, {4} in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

(Rom 8:12-14 NASB) So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- {13} for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. {14} For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

In the above passages Paul urges the believer to yield to the Spirit of God so that one is led by the Spirit, walks by the Spirit, and crucifies the flesh by the Spirit. Paul says that such people are living according to the "law of the Spirit of life" and are sons of God who are free from any dread of future condemnation from God.

The question arises as to how exactly are we to be led by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit, and how are we to put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit? Once again I believe the answer is found in the words of Jesus?

(John 6:63) "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

We have in the written words of scripture the words of Jesus and the apostles given to us by inspiration of the Spirit of God. We must make the daily study of God's word a top priority in our lives so we can be led by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit in every circumstance of life. As we crucify the sinful flesh and develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives through daily obedience to God's word we will be allowing God to accomplish His will for our lives in the matter of sanctification.


When Paul wrote to Timothy he told his young companion the following:

(1 Timothy 4:7-8) But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; {8} for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Paul tells Timothy that he must discipline himself for the purpose of Godliness. He contrasts this to bodily discipline which he says has little profit since it is of benefit in this life only. Many today have regular routines by which they train and discipline themselves to remain physically fit. This requires a significant amount of planning, time and effort coupled with a long-term commitment to be faithful and consistent. Those who want to make progress in their sanctification and spiritual growth must do no less! The godliness that can result from this type of spiritual discipline will have, as Paul said, great profit in this life and the life to come!

The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that discipline in the spiritual realm is no different than that in the physical in that it takes hard work which often is not pleasant while being practiced yet afterwards offers great reward:

(Hebrews 12:11-14) All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. {12} Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, {13} and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. {14} Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Finally James reminds us that simply being a hearer of the word and not a doer is useless. Those who sit in church Sunday after Sunday agreeing in principle with what is said but never changing are deceiving themselves and will not experience the blessing of God in their lives:

(James 1:22-25 NASB) But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. {23} For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; {24} for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. {25} But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.


Scripture tells us that those who believe in Jesus Christ are new creatures who have been given a new life through faith in Christ:

(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The believer when understanding this is to lay aside that old life and old self and begin to put on the new self by means of the renewal of the mind and obedience to God:

(Ephesians 4:20-24) But you did not learn Christ in this way, {21} if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, {22} that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, {23} and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, {24} and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

(Colossians 3:9-11) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, {10} and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him {11} --a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

While this method of putting off the old and putting on the new may seem quite simple in theory the one who attempts to be obedient to God in this way will find that the old man and the flesh can be quite obstinate and not quickly put to death. Yet those who are persistent in doing good in this way will find God faithful in providing victory over old sinful ways.


Having established the inspiration of the Bible in the main topic "God's Word the Bible" and presented what it teaches concerning God, this world and sin in "A Biblical Worldview" together with explaining that Jesus is God's Son and the savior of the world in the topic "Jesus God's Son", we will now look briefly at the last of the four main topics found in the Library. The last main topic is titled "The Gospel Message" and it gives an in-depth presentation of the Gospel message as found in scripture.

In the introduction to this topic the periods of law and grace are explained in terms of the persons of Moses and Jesus and the context of the Old and New Covenants and Testaments. The Gospel is introduced by means of Paul's presentation of it in 1 Corinthians 15 where he writes:

{1}Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, {2} by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. {3} For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The remainder of this subject is presented in four parts based on the beginning of this portion of scripture which provides the outline as follows: 1. The Gospel Explained: {1a}"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you" 2. The Gospel Received: {1b}"which also you received, in which also you stand" 3. The Gospel Held Fast: {2a}"by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you" 4. The Gospel Rejected: {2b}"unless you believed in vain" In this topic I have tried to present a full explanation of every aspect of the Gospel that need be understood for one to make a genuine confession of faith. I pray that you may find it helpful in your own understanding of the Gospel and in your witness to those who do not know the lord. You will find this topic on the website at the following URL: http://godisforus.com/information/thegospel/intro.htm

CLOSING NOTE: This newsletter concludes the series on sanctification and the trial period for this newsletter. I pray that you will find it helpful in your Christian life. May God bless you in the coming new year!

Because God is for Us!

Kevin McGill