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Just days ago, a friend asked for a book recommendation about sanctification. Killing Sin Habits: Conquering Sin with Radical Faith by Stuart Scott with Zondra Scott seemed fitting. As believers in Christ living this side of Heaven we are in the process of sanctification, becoming less sinful and more holy. A change process that takes both time and work, but invaluable above all other things that can be accomplished in life (1 Tim 4:8). Two statements that brought personal conviction to my soul were “change begins when we learn to value and delight in Christ supremely, and to appropriate the faith and resources God has given us (1 Cor. 6:12)”[1] and “unless we see the surpassing value of Christ, and therefore see all else as rubbish or broken cisterns, we will worship something else (Phil. 3:8).”[2] Why did these bring such conviction? Because it reminded me how much I don’t view God supremely. I don’t value Him as I should. If I did, I would be more passionate about putting to death sin in my life. I recently heard of the term Christian paganism, a nonbeliever who knows all the right answers but is unsaved. While I know I am in Christ I have tendencies that would point to Christian paganism. Let me explain, I know God’s Word, I believe it whole heartedly, but I don’t always live it out. As Paul said, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15). God has given me life and yet I choose death, death daily to sin (James 1:14-15). It sounds preposterous or as Vizzini from the movie The Princess Bride repeatedly says “inconceivable.” I know Jesus is the Fountain of Living Waters and yet I return to my broken cisterns filling my days with social media or other outlets that do not build me up in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. I don’t want to live a life with seemingly wholesome activities to the point that I neglect reading the Bible and spending time with my Lord. I will not deny life is busy, but as my brother-in-law says, “You make time for that which you desire most.” If I get to the end of my day having spent little to no time with Christ, have I truly made Him my heart’s desire. Have I learned to value and delight in Christ supremely? Do I see the surpassing value of Christ? I would have to say no. So how do I change? By cultivating my relationship with Christ and growing in faith (Phil. 2:13). By being intentional with time. It is not a matter of a lack of time, but rather am I being a good steward with the gift of time God has given me? It doesn’t happen in a moment, but know each minute adds up. How do I change wrong thought patterns and mortify sin? By renewing my thoughts with God’s truth (Col. 3:16, Rom. 12:2, Phil. 4:8) “We must desire to become a person who has the Word in us that speaks truth to our heart, because it glorifies God and it will help us be more like Him.”[3] Romans 13:12, 14 say “Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” May I earnestly strive by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit within me to put to death sin and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Impossible on my own, but possible with Christ. May the Word of God dwell in me richly (Col. 3:16). May God reveal the pride in me showing me my Christian paganism ways (does my life reflect that which I say I believe?). To my readers I say to you as Paul said to the church of God that was in Corinth “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). If Christ is Lord of your life labor in the work of the Lord, including your sanctification. If Christ is not Lord of your life, I pray you seek the truth and receive Him as your Lord today (Matt. 7:7-8, John 8:31-32). Christ is Worthy of it all (Phil. 3:7-9).

[1] Stuart Scott with Zondra Scott. Killing Sin Habits: Conquering Sin with Radical Faith. (Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, 2013) 7. [2] Ibid, 28. [3] Ibid, 39.

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