Sanctification. Holiness. Pure. These are words, if you read the Bible often enough it keeps coming up. Being Asian, I find that my upbringing and even the Chinese culture as a whole, there are practices that goes against these words.
So what does it mean to be Sanctified? Made holy? Remain pure? There are many visualisations I can think of in my head on how God does this. A nice elegant one is like a pearl, constantly polished by sand and grit in the Oyster. Or crudely, like a stainless still pot. Sin entering is like burning food on the pot. Once there, each time you cook it’ll just keep charing… The only way to keep my pot “pure” is to scour it. To scrub it to keep it clean. Like the pearl and like the pot, even after all that, under the microscope, there’ll still be impurities…
Anyway, why am I saying all that? Well all based on this versed that lingered in my head for the last few weeks… “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Heb 4:12
In 1 Thessalonians we are told to “admonish” one another. Over the last month, I myself have been rebuked by my wife, put straight in my place at work and even admonished at my bible study group to keep my priorities right. So what am I saying?
Well, I’m saying that I appreciate it! I appreciate my wife, friends and work mates being so straight with me. To not beat around the bush, to not sweep under the carpet, to tell me straight up that I am wrong. I want to be sanctified by God, and the only way to get there is for people and circumstances around me to be my “sand”. Get it? I am not asking you to go out and look for trouble or cause trouble for me and others all the time. However, if it is righteous, justified and edifying, a fellow Christian should not feel afraid to speak up. To Admonish!
I had to learn humility and stifle my pride to accept the rebuke. Honour and appreciate the admonishment.
Friends, if you are a Christian and are part of a church family that smiles at you each week and talks behind your back without coming to you with the hard conversations, something is wrong. We are not heeding Hebrews 4:12 and obeying 1 Thessalonians.
Do you feel the constant Sanctifcation/scrubbing by God?