Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil. Most people would agree that we should stay away from evil things.  Google's motto around it's business is "don't be evil". There are reports Google has dropped this informal motto, but that is for another discussion. But, what the motto underpins is the incredible influence and capability of knowledge to both harm and help. Google thrives on published knowledge over the Internet. Many can say that much of the Internet is not as much knowledge as it is information (good and bad). It is this knowledge of good and bad information that presents the trouble. Good information can better someones life or even save it. Yet, bad information can harm someones life. A young girl in Massachusetts, Peobe Prince, committed suicide because she had bad information from classmates at her school-information that they hated her and wanted her dead. A group of classmates tormented her so much with messages of their hate toward her that she took those messages and the information of those messages drove her to no longer want to live. The information transformed her mind to an awful end. The bullies that tormented her wanted to affect her by making her feel worthless. They succeeded in their evil end. The bullies ran toward evil and the end was the death of a young lady. Evil destroys.

It is not rocket science to know that we need to stay away from evil but it is difficult to stay away from bad information that can feed evil. It is easier to think about separating ourselves from evil when we experience it against us. It is easy to say that Peobe should of, could of...yet, when it is us in the position evil's victim or even in the position of bringing harm to another, or even taking hold of our position at the knowledgeable expense of another, then we can find all sorts of rationale as to why we must accept it. Ah, but you argue, I am not those bullies! I am a giving person, kind and thoughtful, simply delightful in every way. So, in response, you have never cut in on the off ramp nor gone over the speed limit nor sent that email (you know what email). Alright, well that is the way the world works and if we are going to survive then we need to take matters into our own hands, but it's not like we are forcing people to kill themselves.

Scripture records, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." We understand that evil destroys and that bullies harm. Most people will admit they are perfect and rationalize at least they are not bullies. When we compare ourselves with identifiable and unquestionable evil it makes us feel like we are doing fine. Less often, though, when we compare ourselves with perfection...and it is usually because we do not want to see how far we are away from the standard.

The old saying, "Nobody is perfect," is not necessarily true. Scripture describes Jesus as sinless and perfect.  He is the standard God uses to measure. When we place ourselves next to him the contrast is clear. The movie, Invincible, is about a man that dreamed of playing professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had an open try-out and he walked on the field with other regular fellas that, too, wanted to play professional football. Many of them dropped out or got cut. The movie plot focused on his shortcomings as a player, and person. Yet, in-spite of all his shortcomings his perseverance got him on the team! But that, is an exception to the norm. Yet, it is the norm for God to take the less than perfect.

By asking for the forgiveness of sin, you are admitting that you are not perfect and that you want God to begin perfecting us. It starts with the cleaning our sin away by accepting Christ's death and resurrection. By accepting his death and resurrection we share in the victory over death.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that(K) our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

It is a daily exercise to live this way. Paul writes in Scripture, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

It is the information taken into our minds that drives us toward or away from evil. The information that we have a right to take revenge. The information that we are no good and deserve to die. The information that we deserve the abuse. BUT, God says different information.  God says He loves you God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The information that God wants us to take in will transform our minds and we are able to accept the Scripture. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God wants to keep us blameless! Too often we believe God wants to blame and judge us and send us to hell for every little mistake. That however is not true. That is the evil that comes to destroy and kill. God wants to give you the opportunity o become blameless. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. We become blameless through Jesus Christ. To get the full effect of this blamelessness we must separate ourselves from evil and dedicate ourselves to God.

Next stop - Beacon Hill


Separate from Evil

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