Have you ever seen something so cool you wanted to figure out how it worked? When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the inside of computers. I took three giant dinosaurs and tore them apart. I wanted to make a supercomputer out of the three.
But, alas! None of the computer parts inside were compatible with each other. All I did was create a giant mess on my bed that kept me from using it to sleep at night. Eventually, my parents made me throw out all three. But I did learn a lot about how computers work in the process. And I only got shocked twice!
Holiness and sanctification are the same way. How does it all work? How does God make us holy? Is it just a title that we have even though we are not acting in line with it? Or is it something that he never finishes until we die and go to heaven?
God has been working from the inside out to make each of us holy in his sight. The funny thing is that the moment we become believers in Jesus he declares that we are holy. This is why we’re called “saints.”
It really bothers me as a pastor when I hear Christians say things like, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” That used to be true until you met Jesus. Now you are a saint who is dead to sin. As I will discuss throughout this blog series,
I believe a lot of Christians miss understand exactly what happens at the cross. And the reason they suffer and struggle with things like the flash, temptation, and sin is that they don’t apply that understanding to their lives.
God begins with our heart and our mind when he begins the process of making us hold (sanctification). After declaring us to be holy at the moment we are saying, he then turns to making us holy little by little.
The Holy Spirit is our guide to becoming holy. He is the one who uses Scripture and conviction to turn us in the right direction, the godly direction. He works the hallmarks of the Christian life into our character and behavior.
The Spirit usually works on one or two issues at a time. He tends to address character rather than actions. Actions are the outworking of our character. But both are important. And he wants to change both. But his transformation process starts with character.
Think of it like this. If you adjust the character, the actions will follow. He may look at your actions and convict you because of what you said or did or thoughts. But he really wants to get to why you thought, did, or said it.
One of the ways he works on character is through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He is working these nine qualities of that one fruit in each Christian. He may start with one character flaw and then moved to another. They are only flaws because they do not resemble God’s character.
We shouldn’t be afraid of the discipline and conviction of the Holy Spirit. These are the tools that he uses to transform our character. He is doing these things in a loving way. God is never vindictive toward his children.
People will notice the outside actions but they have no idea what the Holy Spirit is doing on the inside with your character. While other Christians, wise and loving Christians, may be able to help you and point you in the right direction, Holy Spirit must have the first say in what part of your character he works on.
So what do you think? Think about what the Holy Spirit is working on in you. Are there scriptures you have read in your devotions that he won’t let you stop thinking about? Has he convicted or disciplined you lately? Leave a comment and tell me what you think about how the Holy Spirit works holiness into our character and actions.