It Is Time to Read the Instruction Manual

June/July 2023

 “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11 ESV).

   I want to begin with a Japanese proverb that will help illustrate the point I intend to make in this article. I am told that the Japanese believe the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. Of course, the second-best time to plant a tree is right now. I agree with that statement. It can take years, often more than a decade, to see a fruit tree begin to yield good productive fruit.

   The same holds true for our lives as believers.  We must give the Spirit liberty and the time to see His work come to fruition. Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that Christ cannot and does not radically and dramatically change lives, He absolutely does. What I am saying is that the process of sanctification is an ongoing process, and the examples we see on the pages of Scripture will continue to hone and refine the believer who takes the time to be in the Word of God with all diligence and prayer.

   From the moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we are justified in Christ. Justification happens only once because justification is the process of the completed work and perfect sacrifice of Christ being applied to the born-again believer by grace through faith. Sancti ...

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