“Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions” (Matthew Henry).
It is interesting to observe how people react to pain and various afflictions. The tendency is to avoid it at all costs. Man is attracted to pleasure and ease and repelled by pain and effort. The carnal man has developed this into a doctrine in which to live by. His moral precepts and fundamental, “truths” that guide him are based on a pain and pleasure principle. He justifies his actions accordingly and even will define his civil and social “rights” on what serves his pleasure and prevents his pain. A right is no longer a moral or legal entitlement safeguarded by equity, a right becomes a guaranteed privilege and benefit.
So it should be expected that the unregenerate and unrepentant soul would avoid the divine process of sanctified afflictions. Unfortunately for him this is to his detriment.
To be sanctified is to be separated and culled away from the profane and unrighteous. Anyone that is sanctified is dedicated to God. This dedication is both an offering of self and a state of being. To be dedicated to God means that one’s life is no longer their own. It is a working tribute to God in commitment of glorifying Him. This is the path of righteousness but does not make the person righteous.
So how is a person made righteous? How is a person made presentable to God, a God who can only have the pure in His presence? We can’t earn righteousness so there is nothing we can do in that regard. We don’t deserve sanctification and salvation for when man is left to his own devices his wickedness is great and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart are only evil continually.
Sanctification and salvation can only come through Jesus Christ. We must accept Christ as our Savior and have complete faith, belief and trust in his plan for salvation. Jesus is our hope and promise with all things revealed in God’s due time.
Man can only be righteous through Christ. Outside of Christ he is unregenerate, inequitable, unjust, unrighteous and imperfect. Man needs Jesus as his mediator and covering.
Sanctified afflictions are those afflictions from God. These afflictions, trials and tribulations are intended to refine the person of God and form them into His image. Affliction carries a negative connotation, but this fire forms and shapes it doesn’t destroy.
Sanctified afflictions are willingly accepted and understood by the Christian. It is a process which brings us in light and in line with Christ.
The judgment of God compares His character and attributes with ours. Anything that doesn’t align with God is sin. Sanctified afflictions are intended to eliminate those imperfections and inequities.
“For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore” (Hebrews 7:28).
We are not to endure sanctified afflictions for they are not punishments. We are to press in to them and become that thing God is shaping us into.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:13-17).
As Matthew Henry said, “Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions”. God sets on fire what a man of God builds. What withstands the flame is of God. What burns down was not. But we as a child of God will be saved. Although sanctified afflictions may create a loss, it is a loss that was necessary to clear the way for the good and Godly.
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