LATJ: From Head to Heart

8 12 2009

Justification, sanctification, glorification. These are wonderful things to understand as a Christian. Justification refers to our being declared just or righteous before God. Sanctification refers to the process of being made holy or perfect before God. Glorification refers to our joining God and partaking in His glory. The Bible shows that these are the three phases, if you will, through which all believers progress. When you accept Christ as your Savior, you are immediately justified. Through the work of the Holy Spirit you are being changed and made more and more holy everyday (sanctification is a process, not an event). And one day in the future, when you die or when Christ comes again, you will be glorified with God in heaven.

But is understanding theology and all of the other ‘ology’s a requirement for living a Christian life? Absolutely not! On many occasions Christ rebuked the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. They were very well versed in the scriptures but lacked understanding of their true meaning. Like so many people today they had a lot of head knowledge but very little heart knowledge. Billy Graham has said, “Our generation has become well versed in Christian terminology, but is remiss in the actual practice of Christ’s principles and teachings. Hence, our greatest need today is not more Christianity but more true Christians.” (from Peace with God). Christ is more interested in what is in our heart than what is in our head.

So how do we become more like Christ and live a Christ-like life? We must first spend time with God by reading His word and praying. God will reveal His will and desires to you. And second, we must apply that information to our lives and to the choices that we make daily. In his book “Think Like Jesus”, George Barna says that “Righteousness is not just knowing what is proper, but acting on that knowledge.” It is the choices that we make that reveal the conviction that is in our heart. All of the knowledge and understanding that we gain by studying and memorizing God’s word will not lead to wisdom by itself. People with a lot of knowledge can make unwise decisions, and people with less knowledge can make very wise decisions. And herein lies the point — the difference between knowledge and wisdom is choice.

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) Choose wisely.

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