Sorry I’m a couple days late posting this. I spent the last few days at a Biblical Counseling Conference and totally space. Hope you’re having a good week.
John 17:17 says “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
This 2 week period finds us in the middle of God’s view of our sanctification and the impact of God’s Word in the life of the believer. Is God’s Word sanctifying you? Do you desire to be sanctified? These are valid questions and this is very revealing as to who the children of God are and who are not. Last week I mentioned I’d explain a little deeper the connection of being controlled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5) and how the Word of God dwells in you (Col 3). So here we go.
In back to back epistles (Ephesians was his 7th epistle, Colossians was his 8th) Paul is expressing Gods’ power in terms of Christ being raised from the dead, because this is the same power that ignites the believer and gives them the current from God necessary to carry out His plans that ultimately involve their transformation in the present as well as the future glorification. Regardless of Paul’s intent and priority to the original audiences he, makes a couple substantial points that overlap. In Ephesians 5:18 he states “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”. Now remember that Paul usually writes his epistles half doctrine and half application (practical theology). He is to the application portion in Ephesians. His point is don’t be controlled by anything other than the Holy Spirit. See the English throws you off, but what if I stated “I was filled with rage”? That would express Paul’s point better because we don’t want to be controlled by rage we want to be controlled by and submitted to the Spirit. So how does this practical theology play out? Paul explains further describing the life of a believer, wives are submitting to their husbands (vs 5:22), husbands are loving their wives like Christ is loving the Church (vs 5:25), children are obeying their parents in the Lord (6:1) and in general everyone is thankful (5:20). The corollary passage in Colossians makes an interesting addition to our discussion. In Colossians 3:16 Paul states “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom”. So what happens when we let the word (Scripture) dwell in us? You’ll never guess: Wives are submitting to their husbands (3:18), Husbands are loving their wives and not being harsh with them (3:19), children are obeying their parents (3:20) and in general everyone is thankful (3:17). So the question stands: do you want to be controlled by the Holy Spirit? This involves letting the Word of Christ dwell in you. How will the Word dwell in you? By reading it and memorizing it and meditating on it.
I would conclude it is very difficult to be sanctified by God’s Word if your not taking it in and letting it “dwell in you richly”. Read it memorize it, be transformed daily by it. The Spirit and the Word always agree because as we will see in a few weeks ultimately He gave it to us. (2Tim 3:16, 2Pet 1:21). If someone would happen to tell you that they have a word from God for you, ask them politely for a chapter and verse…then you’ll know its truly from God as His Spirit and Word always agree..
I hope you’re all being encouraged in your memory work. If you’re not getting it memorized find an accountability partner to help hold you accountable. If you desire is to grow in Christ, the Word must dwell in you. Consistency is the key. An accountability partner will be a huge asset. If you want, I’ll hold you accountable, but that is up to you. If you’re serious about growing, rare is the person who can go alone. All in all it’s in your best interest. If God’s Word is going to be sanctifying you and continue conforming you to Christlike-ness (Romans 8:29) it has to be taken in consistently.
In the next series of memory work (not the Sermon on the Mount Series) we’re going to look at the “Post Modern” mindset. This will involve not only understanding what it is, but as importantly how we respond biblically to it. I hope you enjoy it.