The Expediency of SanctificationBro. David Chancellor
8/1/1999 11:00 AM
Matthew 16:17, 18
Peter enjoyed a blessing because he had understood something that flesh and blood could not reveal. In our own ability we can't understand all things in the things of God. It takes more than our natural ability to know God. The church was to be built on the rock - Christ Jesus/divine revelation. Christ speaks of BUILDING a church. In Acts it speaks of the church he BUILT. There were some things that needed to be accomplished in order for Christ to build his church. He established that he has the power to forgive sins.
It was expedient that Christ went away. It was to the advantage of humanity that he went away, but it was hard for the disciples to see how it could be advantageous. There was a real need for the Comforter. Verse 12 tells us why it was expedient. There were many things Christ desired to tell them, but they lacked the Spirit of God to help them understand. When the Spirit of God speaks to your heart, he speaks what God says to speak. When we teach, we aren't supposed to speak of ourselves, but what GOD has to say. The opinion of man is not the concern, but the things of God. The church of God won't prosper without the Spirit of God teaching and leading.
They needed the Spirit of God. The church could be like Peter. When God speaks, we don't want to tell him that isn't how it is. The church won't prosper if we don't have the Spirit of God. We need God's Spirit so we can understand and savor the things of God. We don't want to rebuke the message of God. He has everything planned out. We don't want to talk back to God.
An example of what Christ encountered as he walked among men. He was headed toward Jerusalem to face the cross. Jesus went through the country of the Samaritans. Humanity excludes from one group or another. James and John entered in to this spirit. Christ rebuked them. He knew the expediency of a different spirit. We, as a church, need a different spirit than that. "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you..." How can you love your enemies and yet not have anything to do with those that disagree? Have a spirit like Christ. The opposition here was nothing like what was ahead, yet on the cross even, Christ forgave them. If people oppose themselves, will they agree with you? People in sin do not understand. The Spirit of God is needful if the church is going to accomplish God's plan.
Christ was asking them what they were fussing about on the road. They didn't want to tell him. This is one of the reasons why it was expedient for him to go away. God's church won't be built with people trying to be the greatest. The problem with humanity is the desire to be first. "He that desires to be first, the same shall be last..." If you have that desire it will be a hindrance. If you would be great, be a servant. It was to their advantage to receive the Spirit of God so that they wouldn't seek to be the greatest.
James and John's mother asked that they would receive the high, important positions. People like those high positions; to be the one that all others come to. Jesus told them, "You don't know what you're asking for." The important positions aren't all they're cracked up to be. They weren't seeing the persecution that would come to Christ and his followers. The other 10 were moved with indignation. You can't build God's church today with people seeking positions. It was expedient that Christ went away, that they wouldn't be seeking positions. On the day of Pentecost the worshipers in the upper room (the disciples in particular) were in agreement and were all standing together as equals. They had all received the Spirit of God and were glad to be part of God's church. There was so much to go around that they were telling about it and "trying to pass it out". There's a place for everyone in God's church. We need his Spirit to be where he wants us to be. With God everyone is important. Seek out the place he would have you to fill and fill it.
The message we want to get here is that Christ manifested his love for the church as he did that which was expedient. He wanted to purify it and put in it what would make it really strong. He wanted a church that was holy and without blemish and glorious. People seeking positions, calling down fire, those who can't figure it out - you'll have problems. The church won't be glorious without the Spirit of God in each member. For that expediency Christ went to the cross. Christ provided more than forgiveness for sins. Sanctification of each one is absolutely critical for a glorious church. Sanctification is absolutely essential. Justification is a wonderful thing, but for the church to be holy, without spot, and glorious we have to have sanctification.
As far as the old worship of the Jews, it won't bring you to the place where God would have you to be. The blood of Christ is needed to be applied to the hearts of mankind. He suffered a shameful death to provide that which is needful and expedient... the Holy Spirit. God doesn't intend that we be as the disciples were before the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit in the heart of each one is absolutely essential. The Holy Spirit is here to share what God said. We want his will and working in each of us that the church may prosper.