Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Sanctification of the Church

 Acts 7:44-53
        v51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit"

The Church is the extension of the incarnation. It is expected to be holy. Being holy is not just desirable, it is a commandment. God commands "Be holy as I am holy". 

What or who constitutes the Church? The word 'church'  comes from the Greek word 'ecclesia' which means a called-out company or assembly. We often think of the church building as the holy place where God dwells. But the New Testament teaches that 'Your body is the temple of the living God ---- you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body'. (1 Cor 6:19-20). 

Does the Church need sanctification? Sanctification means the action of making or declaring something holy. The need for sanctification implies that what is existing is unholy or impure. 

In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus teaches us clearly about God's love for us and about His plan for our future. The father accepts the prodigal son as he is, with his sinful nature; but he does not allow him to continue in his filthy state. He asks his servants to bring a new dress, footwear, and ring, thereby restoring the son to his rightful place. Sanctification is something we passively receive, but also need to actively pursue. 

It was Sir John Dalberg Acton who said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Love of money is another important component of corruption. The first-century Christians did not have either of these. But powered by the Holy Spirit, they were able to lead victorious lives. In John 10:10, Jesus promises that He came so that we may have abundant life.

Can we, the modern-day Christians who constitute the Body of Christ (Eph 1:23), claim to be leading abundant and victorious lives? 

Let us look inwards. Am I a temple suitable for God to dwell? We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are not our own, but have been purchased for a price. May our soul and body be always guided by the Holy Spirit in every thought, word, and deed. 

Dear Jesus, I thank you for the precious gift of eternal life. Please help me to a befitting temple for you to dwell. Enable me to be aware of Your presence within me and around me constantly so that I always remain focused on You and do not stray away from You. Amen. 

Thought for the day
Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever, and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow. (St Augustine).

Dr. Mammen Varghese
Salem Mar Thoma Church, Ayoor

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church

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