11/10/13 A Prayer for Completeness!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Under: Sermon

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NKJV)

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Intro: Sanctification for the believer gives completeness! BUT it takes work! The Prayer the Christian should have is a prayer for completeness, this means – Wholeness, Fullness, Totality, its Entirety. When your sanctified your set apart, you have been paid for. You are the property of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will complete you. At the closing of this book Paul is praying for complete sanctification in the hearts of the believer’s. There are several essential elements of this sanctification: Its nature, source, its human components; its goal and result; and its final security.

Application: Results of proper behavior, completeness.

1. Sanctification’s Nature and Source: vs. 23a

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.”

It is God’s desire, His nature to complete you. Sanctification is the ongoing spiritual process by which God increasingly sets believers apart from sin and moves them toward holiness. “Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

God rescued all believers from the dominion of sin and spiritual darkness and placed them into the dominion of His righteousness and spiritual light. Believers also receive a new nature at salvation: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

The indwelling Holy Spirit signifies the believer’s new nature. God is the source for this completeness and offers us a guarantee of a citizenship in heaven. With God as our source and His nature to complete us we must move in a direction that is pleasing to Him. It seems many Christians get off the course that God had originally placed them on. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Christians are to live out in their daily lives the salvation God has produced in them. The reminder of the results of the cross and the need for the believer to take up their cross daily will keep you complete.

2. Sanctification’s Human Components: vs. 23b

“May your whole spirit, soul, and body.”

The sanctifying work of God includes not only the immaterial part of the believer but also the body. If sanctification is to be complete, it will extend to every part of the believer, especially the body, which thinks, feels, and acts in response to the holiness of the inner person.

Spirit and soul are familiar and common substitutes that Paul used to emphasize the depth and scope of sanctification. Some suggest that an acceptable translation of this portion of Paul’s prayer could be, “May your spirit, even soul and body,” in which case “spirit” would refer to the whole person, and “soul and body” to the person’s nonmaterial and material parts.

“From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Galatians 6:17-18

“The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” “May your whole spirit, soul, and body.” Be sanctified and really let it be complete!

3. Sanctification’s Goal and Result: vs. 23c

“Be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Complete also means total the prayer presents a desire for the church to be holy, without blemish or defect! Our goal should be: “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

The prize of being called up to heaven is eternal holiness and Christlikeness. It’s completeness that’s a great goal. Imagine believers in the end at the finale trumpet: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

At the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, God will make all believers sinless forever. The result is “Death is swallowed up in victory.” Paul prayed that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes for believers He will find them faithfully pursuing the goal of being as holy as their Lord and longing to receive the promised heavenly perfection.

4. Sanctification’s Final Security: vs. 24

“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. God who calls is also faithful to complete and bring … to pass His sanctifying purpose.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Conclusion: Sanctification occurs chiefly in the heart, the mind, the inner being. It is not concerned with Finally, Christians must remember that sanctification is God’s priority for their lives. It is His will for them, and the result of Christ’s death on their behalf - “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds”. All believers are to live for sanctification. They have no other goal in life than to be like Jesus Christ. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” THAT’S COMPLETENESS!

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