Caterpillar This week we finished our mini-series in our Middle School Ministry called "2 Big Words."  Certain words in our Christian faith can be difficult to understand, and in certain occasions these difficult-to-understand words are central to our faith.  This series was about defining and exploring the importance of the words justification and santification.

Faith Changes Things

Sanctification simply defined means "to make holy."  What this practically means in our walk with Jesus, is that God makes us to be more and more like him.  Sanctification is the process of being made to be like Jesus.  As we grow in our faith, we are changed to be more and more like Jesus in our attitudes, thoughts, and actions.  Sanctification is about the transformation that is taking place in us.  We are new creations.  We also read from the book "Very Hungry Caterpillar" to illustrate how a transformation takes place.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17

As God changes us to be more and more like him, this becomes evident in three primary ways:

1. He changes our hearts.

As we are changed and growing by our relationship with Jesus, our hearts our changed.  We begin  to fall more and more in love with Jesus.  We desire to follow him and get to know him.

2. He changes our attitude towards sin.

As God is working in our hearts, our attitude towards sin changes.  It's not that we stop sinning, but that our attitude towards sin changes.  We begin to struggle with sin; we battle against sin as we fight to do what's right.

"For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." - Romans 7:18-20 (the do-do verse).

3. He changes our actions.

As our hearts are changed and our attitude towards sin, our actions should follow behind.  We are saved by grace through faith alone, but these things are never alone.  Good works follow closely behind.  As we are changed by grace through faith, our actions will also change to share the love of Christ with the world.

Photo Credit: Logical Progressions