Wednesday, February 8, 2017

HEBREWS 2:10-13

"For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,

'I will proclaim Your name to My brethren,
In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.'
(Psalm 22:22)
and again,
'I will put My trust in Him.'
(Isaiah 8:17)
And again,
'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.'"
(Isaiah 8:18)

"It is fitting for Him...
to perfect the author of their salvation through suffering."
We cannot forget the price tag when we put on the engagement ring
the Lover of our soul purchased for us. 
It cost Him everything. 
It costs us nothing but love that is pure.

"Without suffering He could not have died, and without dying He could not have made an atonement for sin.  The sacrifice must be consummated, in order that He might be qualified to be the Captain or Author of the salvation of men, and lead all those who become children of God, through faith in Him, into eternal glory."
(Adam Clarke)

What does it mean "He who sanctifies"?  Do you know what sanctification is?  It is heart purity.  It is an undivided heart, being set apart as a vessel that has been cleansed for God's use. It is a deeper work of grace than the wandering Hebrew children had.  It is made possible by the Holy Spirit who comes in, not to visit us, but to indwell us. He cannot do that unless He cleanses our heart.  How can the Holy Spirit dwell where we are back and forth playing around with sin, where we repeatedly are unfaithful?  God's purpose in His Son's suffering was to bring many sons to glory, not by the skin of their teeth, but by a whole-hearted devotion to His Son.

When we first come to salvation, we may be desperate for God to forgive our sins.  But as we go on, we realize there is a battle for our allegiance.  Sometimes, we vacillate from one side to the other, win a few, lose a few, and we rationalize that this is normal.  However, we grow weary unable to enter into His rest that He promised.  Finally we come to the point of total surrender of everything we are and accept His conquering over the power of sin in our lives.  There is a difference in the forgiveness of sins and the power of sin.  (It's the little "s.")  Andrew Murray compares it to the two covenants in our lives.  We cannot receive it unless we believe that the Holy Spirit can fill us.
That's how we can, as the children of God, look like our Father.

I know, I know, I am a Pinterest addict.  I am a visual person and feel refreshed looking at beauty.  So, I enjoy snow  vicariously without going out in it.  There is nothing like snow, it's pristine splendor, the smell, the crisp crunch of it, its brilliance.  Having lived in the valley so long now, I  forget how many years we lived in it.  I grew up enjoying it in Kansas and Missouri until the age of nine.  We again returned for two more years during seminary in Kansas City.  Our first two pastorates were in the snow in California,  Weaverville and Yreka.  Even in Roseburg, Oregon, snow is not unknown.  Traveling cross-country driving in the snow, we found it to be indescribably beautiful.  One year we were even marooned in the snow in Lake City, Colorado, and were stopped by a white out blizzard another time.  Seeing the snowy landscape by train is also unforgettable.  Then there have been retreats in the snow, once even being lead out of the mountains behind the sheriffs in Nevada City due to the snow closing down our lodge. I love snow, o beautiful snow!  All this to illustrate the beauty of holiness, the purity when our sins are washed white as snow and our hearts are cleansed from sin.  Like snow is the pure white dress the earth puts on, sanctification is the pure white dress the bride of Christ puts on.

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