Article Nine

The Sanctified Life of the Believer







We believe that every justified believer in Christ receives the gracious gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit urges, teaches, empowers, and enables all believers in Jesus to begin to live loving, sanctified lives. In Christ, we will begin to bear the fruit of God's Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control. We are called to unite with Christ to use the spiritual weapons He has made available for Christians to enter the battles of life as we struggle against sin and hardness of heart. Daily the spiritual qualities of God's Law, the Ten Commandments, are impressed and written upon the heart and then expressed and reflected in the life as we earn a living, raise our children, are faithful in marriage, help our neighbor, reach out to our enemies, and wrestle with inbred tendencies to evil. This life long battle against sin and daily growth in character is called sanctification. In sanctification we resist the Devil; strive against sin; take up our cross; hunger and thirst after righteousness; overcome the love of the world, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls; love our neighbors as ourselves by doing unto others as we would have others do unto us; endure hardships and persecution; bless those who persecute us and not curse them; labor to proclaim the gospel to all the world; pray without ceasing; use every talent we have for the glory of God as we present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, not conforming to the world but rather being transformed by the renewing of our minds; rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep; do not set our minds on high things but associate with the humble; pay no one evil for evil, not avenging ourselves; show mercy to all with cheerfulness; minister to all; teach all; give to all; show love to all; do not lag in diligence; do not think more highly of ourselves than we ought but think soberly; are kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love; rejoice in hope; are patient in tribulation; distribute to the needs of the saints; persue hospitality; despise all forms of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambition, dissentions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, and ungodly associations. In all things we are to be zealous of good works and put on the Lord Jesus Christ and not make any provision for the flesh.

However, even as we mature in Christ, obey the Commandments of God, partake of the divine nature, grow in faith, and deepen in our repentance, there is no point in the Christian life where we will not need forgiveness and justification by faith in Christ's imputed righteousness. Our prayer, this side of eternity, to our Heavenly Father will always be, "Father, please forgive us of our sins, for Jesus' sake" and "Lord, I am an unprofitable servant. Be merciful to me a sinner, for Jesus' sake." Thus the Christian church is always a forgiven community and therefore is to always be a forgiving community. This is true now and even unto the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven.

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