Cleansed in Christ (Identity and Calling in Christ, part 7)

01/02/2024

Question #7. What is the condition of my heart in Christ?

My heart has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit, sanctified and being sanctified unto God.

  • In the Prophets, God promised a new heart by the work of the Holy Spirit. 
"I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7)
"And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, [20] that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." (Ezekiel 36:26–27)


  • In Christ we enjoy the fulfillment of God's promise through faith.  
"And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, [9] and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:8–9)
"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart" (1 Peter 1:22)
"For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. [29] But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God." (Romans 2:28-29)


  • In other words, we have been sanctified (i.e., set apart by God and made holy by Him), 
"To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours." (1 Corinthians 1:2; see also v. 31)
" And such were some of you. 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)
"... to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (Acts 26:18)
"... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood. May grace and peace be multiplied to you." (1 Peter 1:2)


  • And we also are being sanctified (i.e. gradually conformed to the likeness of Christ inwardly).
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; [4] that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, [5] not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God." (1 Thessalonians 4:3–5)
"I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. [20] For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. [21] But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. [22] But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." (Romans 6:19-22)
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Furthermore, any sanctification within us is wrought by the Spirit of our exalted Savior. 
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:9-11).
"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)


  • And finally, the reality of sanctification in this life guarantees glorification in the next.

THE GLORIOUS SIGHT OF GOD 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)
"Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)


A GUARANTEED INHERITANCE

"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13–14)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, [5] who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials." (1 Peter 1:3-6)


THE RESURRECTION BODY

"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. [49] Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven." (1 Corinthians 15:48–49)
"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. [3] And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." (1 John 3:2–3)
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." (Philippians 3:20–21)
"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." (Romans 8:23)

Application

Spend time thanking God for cleansing your heart by the work of the Spirit. What are some things that are different about you now that God has done that for you? What are some things you used to love but now are grieved by? What are some things you used to not care about but now are precious to you?

Pray for God's ongoing work of sanctifying you by the power of the Spirit. What are some specific ways you need God to further conform you to the likeness of Christ? What are some sinful tendencies, desires, or behaviors you should cry out to God to put to death by His grace and power (see Galatians 5:16-21)? What are some areas of godliness (see Galatians 5:22-26)? 

Why is it such a wonderful thing to have the character of Christ cultivated within you?