Archive for the ‘Sanctification’ Category

December 7th, 2015

My Brother’s Keeper?

“Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13 (ESV)

Christ has set us free from the burden of ritual purity. Yes, we have been called to live pure lives but that purity now comes from that of Christ imputed in us by the Holy Spirit. Our holiness and standing before God, then, is not threatened by the ingestion of created things declared impure by the law. The problem in Paul’s day, however, as see in the Corinthian Church was that some weaker brothers, who had not yet fully grasped the concept of grace, had not arrived at this conclusion and still viewed the eating of food sacrificed to idols as a crisis of conscience, worshiping the deity to which it was sacrificed and falling back into their previous sinful behavior. Paul suggests here that as the more mature believers, we have the responsibility to refrain from a known freedom so that the weaker brother can grow into that knowledge.

How does this apply to us today? Certainly, there are various applications, but the chief concern for us should always be the spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters around us. If we know they struggle with something that we do not struggle with, we should not in spiritual pride throw that temptation in front of their face; rather, we should seek to create safe environments for them in which they can experience in greater ways the ultimately satisfying nature of Christ. Nothing that is free for us to experience is more important than the sanctification of a fellow saved sinner.

Now there is a balance here in that we cannot allow legalism to prevail as it did in the time of Christ. For those who wish to create new rules under the freedom of grace, we must stand firm in remembering the cause of our salvation. Yet, when there is a legitimate concern for a fellow brother or sister on their way to Christ-likeness, may we freely give up our freedom for the sake of their freedom and for the good of the Kingdom.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Freedom, Sanctification.
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July 22nd, 2014

The Desert of Preparation

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Exodus 3:11 (ESV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Preparation, Sanctification.
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July 14th, 2014

Seeking God

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

You are as close to God as you choose to be. You determine the level of intimacy with God. Do you earnestly seek Him? Does your soul thirst for Him? Are you longing for Him as though you were in a dry and weary land where there is no water? Calculate the level of your pursuit.

When you wake up each morning, make pursuing God your top priority. Don’t allow the demands of your schedule or the deadlines of the day to rob you of the joy of pursuing God through a meaningful daily quiet time. Select a sacred place and carve out some uninterrupted space to commune with the Lord.

Nothing is more important than your unbroken fellowship with God. Nurture the life of Christ in you through a deliberate and persistent pursuit of God’s Presence. Commit to start your day with God. Establish a standing appointment with the Creator of the universe each morning.

Pave the way to satisfy the crave for pure spiritual milk by implementing an intentional Bible reading plan. Commit to read through the Bible in one year by reading four chapters each day for the next 365 days. Daily consumption of God’s Word will build strong spiritual muscles to help you know God intimately and to live for His glory radically.

Keep your eyes on the prize of growing in your love relationship with the Lord. There’s so much more that God wants to reveal to you.  God wants to entrust you with His purposes and plan.  Emulate the passionate pursuit of God’s Presence in your life. Remove distractions and return to your first love.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Intimacy, Pursuit, Sanctification.
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July 3rd, 2014

Displaying His Fruit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Which fruit is most lacking in your life? If patience is lacking, then God will often allow challenging circumstances to come into your life to develop that particular fruit of the Spirit in you. If there is a deficit of gentleness in your demeanor, then God will often engineer opportunities for that fruit of the Spirit to be expanded in your life.

God values you and the display of the fruit of His Spirit through you. Sometimes God will allow difficult people to come into your life in order to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit most neglected in your life. Learning how to love difficult people is a fertile environment for that particular fruit of the Spirit to be developed. Loving difficult people with the same love that God chooses to love you with does not come naturally. Loving difficult people necessitates a supernatural enabling that only comes through the Spirit filled life.

God will develop the fruit of His Spirit in you and through you as you yield to His control. Your flesh will battle to be placed in the display window of life. Therefore, you must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life in order for His fruit to be displayed. The fruit of the Spirit is featured best in the midst of the trying circumstances you face and the difficult people you embrace.

Crucify the sinful nature (Gal. 5:24) and keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). Allow God to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your life so that others will be drawn to Christ.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, Fruit of the Spirit, Sanctification.
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April 16th, 2014

Conformity to Christ

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29 (ESV)

We take comfort in knowing that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). Our comfort is found in the sovereignty of God, knowing that He is on His throne and has the final say. Yet, there is more to the purposes of God than our comfort. God also treasures our conformity to Christ.

The ultimate goal for the believer is to be conformed to the image of Christ. To become like Christ requires our participation. God provides the environments and opportunities for our transformation. We get to join God in His redemptive activity.

Our teachability determines the level of our conformity. Are we responsive to God’s corrective measures? Are we sensitive to God’s prompting?

  • “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Eph. 1:4-6 (NIV)

God’s desire for us is that we operate as holy and blameless in His sight. We are clean before Him because we have received the imputed righteousness of Christ. However, there is a practical daily response to God’s work to conform us into the image of Christ.

When you stand before God one day to give an account for your life, how many adjustments will be needed in order for you to be completely like Christ?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Sanctification, Spiritual Maturity.
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February 6th, 2014

Living the Redeemed Life

“’And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?’” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (ESV)

What does the redeemed life look like in practical day-by-day living? Once a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, how does that new identity translate into daily living? God reveals His expectations for the redeemed life.

Revere supremely. When you experience God’s redemption, your response to that redemption is a life of reverencing God. To revere God is to esteem Him and to give Him the rightful place He deserves in your life.

Live righteously. The redeemed life results in a righteous lifestyle. Godliness replaces worldliness. Selflessness replaces selfishness. Instead of allowing the world to influence your behavior, you influence the culture with the character of Christ in you.

Love completely. God loves you and demonstrated His love for you by allowing Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty of your sin. Love God completely by giving your heart to Him in full surrender. Express your love to Him in private and corporate worship.

Serve passionately. Now that you have been redeemed, serve God by continuing the ministry of Jesus. Serve God by spreading the fragrance of Christ through random acts of kindness. Find a need and meet it.

Obey instantly. Love what God loves and hate what God hates. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 ESV). Choose to obey God.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience, Salvation, Sanctification.
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November 10th, 2013

Sanctity

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV)

How would God reverse the curse sin produced? What would God do to restore fallen humanity? The most incredible display of unconditional love became God’s response to man’s sin. God provided for the removal of our sin through the sacrifice of His only Son. God allowed Jesus to pay our sin debt in full and to purchase our salvation. The shedding of blood was essential for the forgiveness of our sin.

God chose to sacrifice an animal to provide garments of skin for Adam and Eve after their fall (Gen. 3:21). God took the initiative to reconcile and to restore them through the shedding of blood. Adam and Eve still had to face the natural consequences of their sin. They were still banished from the garden and Adam had to work the ground (Gen. 3:23).

  • “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.” Rom. 5:18 (NIV)

Through Adam’s sin, condemnation came to us all. As a result, we are born in sin and inherit the sin nature. However, through the obedience of Jesus on the cross, we are made righteous. Upon our trusting in Jesus alone for salvation, we receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are justified through faith, receive peace from God, and gain access into His grace (Rom. 5:1-2). The righteousness of Christ is deposited into our account. We are reconciled to God through the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus paid it all!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, November 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Justification, Sanctification.
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December 7th, 2012

My Brother’s Keeper?

“Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13 (ESV)

Christ has set us free from the burden of ritual purity. Yes, we have been called to live pure lives but that purity now comes from that of Christ imputed in us by the Holy Spirit. Our holiness and standing before God, then, is not threatened by the ingestion of created things declared impure by the law. The problem in Paul’s day, however, as see in the Corinthian Church was that some weaker brothers, who had not yet fully grasped the concept of grace, had not arrived at this conclusion and still viewed the eating of food sacrificed to idols as a crisis of conscience, worshiping the deity to which it was sacrificed and falling back into their previous sinful behavior. Paul suggests here that as the more mature believers, we have the responsibility to refrain from a known freedom so that the weaker brother can grow into that knowledge.

How does this apply to us today? Certainly, there are various applications, but the chief concern for us should always be the spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters around us. If we know they struggle with something that we do not struggle with, we should not in spiritual pride throw that temptation in front of their face; rather, we should seek to create safe environments for them in which they can experience in greater ways the ultimately satisfying nature of Christ. Nothing that is free for us to experience is more important than the sanctification of a fellow saved sinner.

Now there is a balance here in that we cannot allow legalism to prevail as it did in the time of Christ. For those who wish to create new rules under the freedom of grace, we must stand firm in remembering the cause of our salvation. Yet, when there is a legitimate concern for a fellow brother or sister on their way to Christ-likeness, may we freely give up our freedom for the sake of their freedom and for the good of the Kingdom.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 334: 1 Corinthians 5-8)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Freedom, Sanctification.
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November 10th, 2011

Sanctity

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11 (NIV)

How would God reverse the curse sin produced? What would God do to restore fallen humanity? The most incredible display of unconditional love became God’s response to man’s sin. God provided for the removal of our sin through the sacrifice of His only Son. God allowed Jesus to pay our sin debt in full and to purchase our salvation. The shedding of blood was essential for the forgiveness of our sin.

God chose to sacrifice an animal to provide garments of skin for Adam and Eve after their fall (Gen. 3:21). God took the initiative to reconcile and to restore them through the shedding of blood. Adam and Eve still had to face the natural consequences of their sin. They were still banished from the garden and Adam had to work the ground (Gen. 3:23).

  • “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.” Romans 5:18 (NIV)

Through Adam’s sin, condemnation came to us all. As a result, we are born in sin and inherit the sin nature. However, through the obedience of Jesus on the cross, we are made righteous. Upon our trusting in Jesus alone for salvation, we receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are justified through faith, receive peace from God, and gain access into His grace (Rom. 5:1-2). The righteousness of Christ is deposited into our account. We are reconciled to God through the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus paid it all!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Justification, Sanctification.
Interact No Comments
July 22nd, 2010

The Desert of Preparation

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’” Ex 3:11 (NIV)

Who am I? Why am I here? These two basic questions are innate in every human being. We long to know who we are and we strive to discover why we are placed on this planet called earth. Our security is proportionate to our understanding of our identity.

God allowed Moses to experience forty years in the palace and then forty years in the desert. God wanted Moses to learn some things about his personal identity through a desert experience that he could not learn in the palace. God was preparing Moses for the purpose of delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The burning bush encounter was a life changing experience for Moses. The encounter enabled Moses to come to know God in a personal way. God revealed His holiness to Moses and then unveiled His plan for Moses to embrace.

As you can imagine, Moses could not visualize himself as the deliverer of the children of Israel. They had been slaves for over 400 years. Moses began making excuses and tried to deny his usefulness to God. Moses began to focus on what he lacked and missed the reality of God’s ability to do the extraordinary through ordinary people.

Have you ever doubted your usefulness to God? Have you ever tried to convince God that you are not fit for His plan? God is not impressed with our abilities or our inabilities. God is not limited by our limitations. Are you willing to yield to God’s control and allow Him to have His way in your life? God is willing to take you through a desert experience to prepare you for His assignment.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Preparation, Sanctification.
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