Bible Text: 1Thess 5:22-23 “Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There are some signs that will show you that you are genuinely saved. For example the moment you are genuinely saved, you stop thinking about what Jesus can do for you and start thinking about what you can do for Jesus. When God opens your eyes to see how close you were to hell before Jesus saved you, your question will be ‘God what can I do for you?’.
In Acts 9:1-6, the moment Saul was knocked down on his way to Damascus and realised he had met the Lord, his first question was ‘ Lord, what do you want me to do?’
When you are genuinely saved, it’s difficult to just keep quiet; you will be eager and happy to tell everyone who cares to know about the Jesus who saved your soul from hell. Today many people claim to be born-again but instead of asking God what they can do for Him, they keep on bombarding Him with all sorts of requests.
Back in the days when people got saved, they gave their time, talents and money to the work of God but these days, so called born-again Christians go to the extent of billing the church double for different works and projects.
If you’ve genuinely given your life to Christ, you won’t find it difficult to restitute.. In Luke 19:1-10 as soon as Zacchaeus had an encounter with Jesus, he said “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”.
A backslider is worse than a sinner that has never been saved. The bible describes a backslider as a dog who returns to his vomit. Don’t let anybody deceive you that once you are saved you’ll remain saved or that you can never backslide…it is the lie of the devil. In 2Timothy 4:10 Demas who was once fervent in the Lord backslided and started loving the things of the world. Also Ananias and Sapphira who were once saved, fervent in the Lord and also devoted to the point of selling their things for the church backslided and started lying (Acts 5).
For those of you who are saved, may you never backslide in Jesus name, Amen.
For those of you who think you can toy with sin once in a while, remember David! David committed sin just once and as a result he brought a curse not only on himself but on his generation forever.
Sin and backsliding is such a horrible thing and that is why you need something called “Sanctification” after the salvation experience. We have people who seriously give their life to Christ but with time their hearts begin to drift and they eventually backslide. After giving your life to Christ, for you to remain saved you need to strife for sanctification. Why? The bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Matthew 15:19-20 says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”.
Your entire life is determined by the condition of your heart. If the same heart that controls the issue of your life is desperately wicked then there is a big problem
God in his mercy has made provision to deal with this desperately wicked heart of yours so you can do his will completely. God can change that terrible heart and give you a heart of flesh if you are really determined to live holy. The bible says in Ezekiel 36:25-27 “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Every patient who has a heart problem needs to have a heart donor before anything serious can be done by the doctors. For anyone who has a heart of stone, Jesus is a donor with the heart of flesh. The day Jesus hung on the cross, He made a new heart available for everyone who has a bad heart and wants a heart of flesh.
EVIDENCE OF THE SANCTIFICATION EXPERIENCE
When a Christian gets sanctified there are several evidences to show for it:
1) The moment Jesus’ heart of flesh replaces your heart of stone, you begin to think the way Jesus thinks (Phil 2:5-8).
2) When the heart of Jesus is in you, you become humble and you start to forgive those who hurt you.
3) When you have the sanctification experience, like paul you can say Phil 1;21
4) When you get the heart of Jesus you are meek. Mark 11;29. To be meek is different from being weak. To be meek is to have trmedous power but you don’t use it.
5) When you become sanctified you will be pure in heart. Matthew 5;8
PROCEDURE TO GAIN THE SANCTIFICATION EXPERIENCE
1) You have to admit that it is possible to live holy.1 Peter 1:15- 16. God says be holy, He wouldn’t have said we should be holy if we can’t do it.
2) Admit that it is possible to be 100% holy. Matthew 5:48 says we should be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect. God is the standard for our holiness, this means we need to make effort to be 100% holy… 75% holiness is not good enough.
3) Admit that you can’t do it on your own. You need to admit that it is impossible to be 100% holy without the help of God.
If you want Jesus to perform a heart operation on you, it will require total surrender to Him. You will have to surrender your life, soul, body and all to him. If you are going to call on Him for a sanctification experience, you have to make up your mind to surrender 100%, totally and absolutely to Him.
In conclusion, before doctors carry out a heart operation on a patient, they clean the person up. For God to carry out a operation on your heart, He has to clean you up first! You cannot get sanctified without being saved so if you are yet to give your life to Christ, ask God for forgiveness now! Ask Him to have mercy on you, wash you clean and save your soul.
Father I surrender completely to you, please take the heart of stone away from me and give me a heart of flesh. Sanctify me holy… I want to be able to live a life of absolute holiness.