The Journey of Salvation - Sanctified

The Journey of Salvation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The costly mistake

What is the highest mountain above sea level?
Mount Everest’s elevation is 8849 metres high making it a tremendous and awesome scene, on average the mountain attracts 35000 tourists each year with the number increasing every year.
Although these 35000 tourists visit the base camp of Mt Everest, there are around 700 to 1000 climbers that attempt to climb it all the way to the summit each year. Out of that number only 350 to 500 climbers successfully reach the top.
Now you have to realise, climbing this mountain is no easy feat. You would have to do a lot of training to get your body used to the mountain and its harsh environment. Not to mention getting the best equipment needed to handle the extreme cold and limited oxygen as you traverse the side of the mountain.
Climbing the mountain doesn’t take a day, it is said that it takes 19 days round trip to trek to and from Everest Base Camp, and that’s just the base camp. It would take an average 40 days to climb to the peak of Mt Everest. In fact, the average expedition to the summit takes two months.

Would you do it?

Imagine doing that for a Pathfinder expedition?
To do an expedition up Mt Everest you would need to have or train to have the strength, endurance and dexterity to climb this mountain as it is no walk in the park.
You would be crazy if you were to climb this mountain ill prepared and ill equiped. Those that aren’t able to make it to the summit are either carried to the nearest base camps by the other climbers or sherpas who are the Tibetan ethnic groups native to the mountainous region of Nepal and Tibet.
Where those that don’t have the luxury of having a sherpa nearby or assistance from the other climbers will become the latest fixture of the mountain. It is said that there are over 200 bodies that remain on the mountain and cannot be brought down because of the harsh environment. These bodies have said to be used a landmarks and have been there for decades.
Either way, to climb Mt Everest and to survive the climb to the top is an incredible feat to achieve. But what comes up must come down correct?
The descent they say is also as dangerous as the ascension, why? Well as you ascend at least you have a point and goal to look at right? I mean you have the tip of the mountain to head to.
Whereas descending in the snow, especially if there is a snow storm it can be dangerous and deadly. Some of those bodies that remain on the mountain are as a result of being lost in the snow and going off the beaten track.
Many people prepare for the trip up but never do they realise the trip down, and as such someone that was to take on the Mt Everest expedition would have train themselves mentally and physically preparing them on this pioneering journey. Because if they don’t take this training seriously, well it is a matter of life and death.
Either you come out victorious or it will be the last trip you will ever take.

The climb for salvation

But for many of us or maybe all of us the idea of climbing Mt Everest maybe something that is unachievable or beyond our means to achieve, or we find it simply insane to make such attempt. Either way it’s no cheap holiday that’s for sure.
There is, however, a spiritual journey that we are all taking and it is unavoidable the moment we accepted Jesus into our lives, this journey that we’re taking is a matter of life and death because the choices we are making determines whether we are ready heaven or not.
We’ve been going through the three stages of salvation, last week we looked at the first stage and that was justification. This second stage of the journey of salvation is the stage of sanctification.
Sanctification refers to the process of being made just, right, or righteous before God. The key difference between justification is that sanctification is an on going process of growing to be like Jesus.
For justification, it is for us to be put back on the right path when we stray away from that process or that journey of salvation. It’s when we look back at Jesus when we looked away.
And like Mt Everest, we are all climbing up that spiritual mountain to our ultimate goal and that goal is to be like Jesus. Because only in Jesus can we find salvation and that is the journey we must take to be made just, right or righteous before God.
So the question is how do we become more like Jesus? What does that mean to be more like Jesus?

How to be like Jesus?

Well, Jesus shares to us on how we can be like Him and what it means to be like Him through His prayer to the Father. He says in John 17:14-17
John 17:14–17 NKJV
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
So the first part, how do we become more like Jesus?
Well, Jesus has given us the answer to this question in verse 14. Here Jesus says that He has given us His Word, and that through His Word we are sanctified, for His Word is truth.

The Word of God

God’s Word is a guide for us an expresses the Father’s love for us and a plan to live a sanctified life. I like to think that the Bible is an acronym which stands ‘Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.’
The Bible contains 66 books and letters that all reveal how God has interacted with humanity and how He wants to help them in their journey of salvation, and that is the salvation from our sins and salvation in Jesus.
King David writes in Psalms 119:105
Psalm 119:105 NKJV
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
From king David’s son, Solomon, he says in Proverbs 6:23
Proverbs 6:23 NKJV
23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
Through His Word we are given the light that will lead us to the way of life through faith.
Galatians 3:24–29 NKJV
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It is not the keeping of the law that will save us if there is no faith in Jesus, the law is a lamp and light that will point to Him and it is the law or His Word that helps build our faith to help us look to Him.
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NLT
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Regardless, if ever you have doubt and do not know where to go in our faith, look to doubting Thomas and Jesus’ response to him in John 14:5-7
John 14:5–7 NLT
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Through God’s Word, here we find the instructions on how we can become like Him when we look at how God interacts with His rebellious creation.
Through His Word we are given the path that will help us on our journey of faith to help us know Jesus and be more like Him.

What does it mean…?

So, our next question is, what does it mean to be more like Him?
Jesus’ prayer again was John 17:14-17
John 17:14–17 NKJV
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
There needs to be a disconnection with the world as we draw closer to Jesus.
Just as we make that journey up that mountain, we draw ourselves further and further away from the world and we draw closer and closer to Him through faith.
It is through God’s Word that our lives should be transformed.
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And if you feel that the Word of God isn’t making a difference in your life then you’re not looking to Jesus to let Him make a difference in your life.
Remember, be justified before Him so you can start this sanctified journey of salvation with Him.
And as Jesus said, that as you’re being sanctified in the truth, the world that you once knew will change on you, your friends, the things you enjoyed will change as you look to the source of life.
They will not understand because they do not know Him and as you draw closer to Jesus those that don’t know Him will draw away from you.
John says in 1 John 2:15
1 John 2:15 NKJV
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
And Paul says in Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2 NKJV
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The journey of salvation through sanctification will be a tough one for many whether you’re new to the faith or even if you’ve been a Christian since you were young.
Because as we are part of this world, we’re detaching ourselves from the world to be more like Jesus.
But that comes naturally when we follow Jesus by faith and remain on the straight and narrow up the hill being set apart to be just, right and righteous before God.
And I want to remind you that there is nothing in our capacity or ability that would make us just, right or righteous before God for this is all God’s doing.
Remember what Jesus said, in John 17:17, Jesus said “Sanctify them by your truth”. It is God alone that sanctifies you all we need to do is follow and obey.

The Word is our guide

Friends, His Word is what we need to help us on our journey of salvation. It’s there to help shape and guide our faith as we look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Look at all the many examples of the people of the Bible, see their testimony on how God sanctified their lives.
Let God sanctify you, allow Him to transform you to prepare you for eternity. Don’t be a landmark on the mountain like many who have failed to make their way to Jesus,or get lost as you make your back down the mountain. The only way for life is up that mountain and there you will meet Jesus.
This journey can only get hard because we’re sacrificing the things that we’re too attached to on earth, let is go for what purpose or place does it have with eternity with Jesus?
Climb that mountain and be sanctified in His Word and you will find the salvation that can be found in Jesus Christ our Lord through faith.
1 Timothy 6:12–14 NLT
12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
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