Welcome to TheSanctifiedLife.com. Here you will find a completely free online book written by best-selling author, Jerry Robinson, entitled The Sanctified Life. The book is a work in progress and is being presented in its entirety. To get started, begin reading the Introduction below. This website will guide you through each chapter with ease. (Find the Table of Contents on the menu bar to the left.)
THE SANCTIFIED LIFE – INTRODUCTION
When we experience the spiritual rebirth made available to us by the redemptive work of God through Christ at Calvary’s cross, we are granted a brand new life. Through the precious blood of Christ, we are given a new nature and an eternal hope beyond anything we could ever imagine. (It should be stressed, however, that it is only through our heavenly Father’s gracious and merciful blood covenant that we are able to gain entrance into the glorious Kingdom of God. There is no other entrance into God’s presence, except through the door of God’s dear son, Jesus Christ.)
Through the finished work of God, in Christ, you and I can now experience true and lasting peace with God both in this life, and in the one to come.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,” (Eph. 2:14)
All of the former hostility that existed between us and our Creator has been demolished through the reconciliation made possible by the life, death, and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Eph. 2:15-16)
When we repent of our innate rebellion towards our Holy Creator and instead, turn to Him for forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ, we are no longer counted as “strangers and aliens” to God’s Kingdom.
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” (Eph. 2:19)
At the very moment that God declares our spirit to be justified in his sight, we are instantly translated from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of light. It is at this moment that we become citizens of Heaven and “members of the household of God.” (Eph. 2:19) This switch in citizenship from earth to Heaven, carries with it an entirely new set of precepts for living. We experience a transformation in our desires and appetites, which is directly related to our shift in citizenship.
In our previous state, as citizens of earth, we were the children of God’s wrath. (Eph. 2:3) As citizens of earth, we spent our lives consumed by our own lusts as we were disobedient from birth. So too, we were prisoners to our own foolishness and rebellion. We were enslaved to our fleshly desires, which were contrary to the Spirit and will of God.
But, upon our translation from an earthly citizenship to a heavenly citizenship, we are literally infused with a supernatural power for living. (1 John 4:4) This infusion is the direct result of God’s Holy Spirit working His transformative power into our formerly dead spirits. (Rom. 8:11) Christ described this transformation during His conversation with Nicodemus when He said:
“Unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
How did Jesus define the “born again” experience? He continues:
“Unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where is comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the spirit.” (John 3:5-8)
Clearly, our natural birth as a newborn baby is our birth in “water.” But what does Jesus mean when He says that we must be “born of the spirit?” Our merciful mediator, Jesus, answers that question very plainly and it is one of the most quoted phrases in the entire Bible.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Our Heavenly Father has placed a yearning desire deep within each of us for eternal life. (Eccl. 3:11) It is something that all men desire at their deepest level because our wonderful Creator designed us for eternity. We were handcrafted and engineered to live forever in the presence of our God. But this glorious destiny for humanity was aborted through a conspiracy hatched in the mind of the fallen angel, Lucifer. Through the Bible, we learn that Lucifer was the original rebel to God’s purposes and plans towards mankind. While Lucifer was the original name for this formerly glorious angelic being, the Bible refers to him in his post-fallen state as “Satan the Devil.” Satan is the archenemy of humanity. His initial goal was to turn the hearts of mankind away from our Heavenly Father. He accomplished this through his deceptive work among humanity’s first pair, Adam and Eve.
Adam was designed in the image of God. (Gen. 1:27) Adam experienced divine peace with the Creator and knew no sin prior to his devastating act of disobedience. After his creation by God, Adam was given a perfect complement in his wife, Eve. (Gen. 2:21-24) While Adam was created with no inherent deficiencies, his union with Eve as his helpmeet and earthly companion pleased God and brought an increased sense of satisfaction to both God and man.
The fall of man in the Garden of Eden represents a devastating reality which impacts all of mankind to this very day. Satan, described as a “serpent” within the context of the Garden of Eden, seduced the woman, Eve, by appealing to three specific – and apparently vulnerable – areas of her humanity:
- The lust of her eyes
- The lust of her flesh
- And her pride (of life)
In his clever subtlety, the serpent questioned the very intentions of humanity’s Creator. The first four words that were uttered from the serpent’s mouth according to the Biblical record or Genesis 3:1 were: “Did God actually say…?”
From this simple phrase, the serpent’s intent is immediately clear. His goal is to create division, doubt, and uncertainty within man’s relationship with his Creator. Perhaps the serpent had already tried, and failed, to turn the Creator against his creation. This, of course, would have been impossible as the serpent’s deception and craftiness, no matter how subtle, could never succeed in deceiving the Creator. However, could the serpent succeed in turning the creation against its Creator?
Unfortunately, the answer was ‘yes.’
Satan knew the vulnerabilities of humanity. He was intimately familiar with our divine make-up. He was likely present — and watching closely — at the time of humanity’s creation. He witnessed the loving effort that God poured into the creation of humanity. When Satan realized God’s plan of making angels subordinate to mankind, it is likely that his pride rose up. Satan abandoned any shred of humility left within him and determined that he would never serve mankind. Instead, he decided that man should serve him.
Before this tragedy occurred, Satan’s (Lucifer’s) beauty is seen in scripture where he is called the “Day Star” and “Son of the Dawn.”
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star (Lucifer), son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)
Before the creation of humanity, Lucifer was described in the Bible as “the Signet of Perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
“Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God:
“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezek. 28:12)
As an “anointed guardian cherub” he dwelt “on the Holy Mountain of God” walking “in the midst of the stones of fire.”
“You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.” (Ezek. 28:14)
Lucifer was greatly blessed by God and had unhindered access to the Creator God. God gave Lucifer “every precious stone” as his covering and his settings and engravings were crafted in solid gold.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.” (Ezek. 28:13)
Interestingly, these precious stones that covered Lucifer were remarkably similar to the stones that bejeweled the breastplate of Israel’s priestly garb. According to Exodus 28:15-21, the Jewish high priest’s breastplate of Judgment contained four rows of stones.
“You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names,like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.” (Exodus 28:15-21)
Some commentators have noted that the three additional stones on the high priest’s breastplate (jacinth, agate, and amethyst) point to Satan’s deficiency and Christ’s supremacy. (You can read more about this topic in detail in our forthcoming free online booklet, Lucifer Exposed.)
Before examining the tragic exchange that occurred between the serpent and the first woman, Eve, let’s first note the Creator God’s direct exchange with Adam. The Lord God had placed both man and woman into a beautiful and lush paradise called Eden. Despite its beauty and serenity, Eden’s purpose was to serve as a testing ground for man. God provided Adam and Eve with complete and total access to all of Eden’s glories and pleasures with one major exception. This exception is recorded in a direct command delivered by God to Adam:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16)
It is here where we discover the great paradox of humanity’s freedom. That is, man’s freedom reaches its pinnacle when he lives within the boundaries of God’s divine commands and laws. To the spiritually untrained, this paradox inevitably appears foolish and in drastic need of adjustment. After all, can someone be truly “free” if their actions –and their very existence — are restricted by boundaries imposed by some outside force?
At first, the concept of “freedom” seems to be at odds with God’s restrictions and boundaries. But don’t let this paradox confuse you as it does the unbeliever. This “paradox of freedom” is evident throughout all of creation. For example, consider a goldfish living in a bowl of water. What if I were to shatter the glass fishbowl in order to “free” the goldfish from the constraints imposed by his tight quarters. Would my actions increase or maximize the goldfish’s “freedom?” Hardly. To the contrary, the day that the fish is removed — or “freed” — from its body of water, it will surely die.
Likewise, true human freedom does not — and cannot — exist outside of the Creator’s divinely imposed boundaries. All of God’s laws and commandments were uniquely designed for mankind’s ultimate freedom. The fool believes otherwise, but rest assured that he will be punished for his lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) The original rebellion against God occurred when Satan believed this very lie, that true freedom can exist outside of God’s divinely imposed boundaries, authority, and dominion. Through foolish pride, sinful desire, and an excessive focus upon self, Satan sought “escape” from God’s loving boundaries. Therefore, Satan’s mission in Eden was to spread this terrible lie by exploiting the vulnerabilities that he knew laid deep within humanity. (It is even possible that Satan watched the creation of mankind with a rebellious heart, eagerly seeking specific areas of vulnerability to exploit within mankind as God molded Adam into a fully created living soul.)
The book of Genesis records that the serpent approached the first woman, Eve, in subtilty. When the serpent confronted Eve, he did so with a series of seemingly sincere statements designed to question the Creator’s motives. In their first and only recorded exchange, Satan uttered three simple, but intoxicating sentences to achieve his purposes. A simple reading of the exchange in Genesis 3 puts on display the massive power Satan wielded over the first humans. With mere words and insinuation, the Creator’s loving motives suddenly were turned upside down within the mind of Eve. These three sentences are recorded in the book of Genesis.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
Let’s briefly consider each of these subtle statements posed by the serpent.
1. Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
This question is clearly misleading and was obviously designed to elicit any underlying angst within the woman towards God and His strict command. In fact, the serpent purposefully misquotes God’s words. After all, God expressly told Adam:
‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”
That the serpent is a truth-twister is clearly seen from his very first question to Eve. But this is just Satan’s “warm-up” act.
2. “You will not surely die.”
This was Satan’s greatest lie of all time. Indeed, it is the greatest lie that has ever been uttered by human or angelic voice. To imply that God would not judge an outright act of disobedience to His commands is simply false. Sin cannot exist permanently within God’s divine universe. Our holy God refuses to tolerate the willful disobedience of His own creation.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Mankind would pay the ultimate price for their failure to obey God’s loving commands. Some may suggest that the serpent was accurate in saying that the woman would “not surely die,” given the fact that she continued living even after consuming the forbidden fruit. But this view downplays the reality of mankind’s dual nature as spirit and body. It is more accurate to say that the penalty imposed for Adam and Eve’s disobedience would include instantaneous spiritual death, which was then followed by a lifetime of bondage and separation from God. The judgment ultimately concluded with the death of their physical bodies. Therefore, the day that Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree, she immediately tasted more than just the fruit itself. She tasted spiritual death as her spirit was darkened and separated from God’s holy presence.
3. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Satan, the original tempter, is skilled at blending truth with lies. His success comes from having both an intimate knowledge of God’s character, person, and words along with an immense understanding of mankind’s emotional and spiritual composition. Consider the sheer number of world religions that hold men in bondage merely by withholding the simplistic truth of their inherent sin. During His earthly ministry, Jesus reminded mankind of Satan’s true nature when He said:
“When he [Satan] lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
While Satan is a master at deception, his lies always carry the same message: Freedom from the one true God. Satan promotes a false freedom. His message is that mankind can exist without the limitations and constraints imposed upon them by the Creator God. His message has always been the same. Namely, that mankind should exercise their ability to act according to their own wills without any interference from God. Why has Satan been so successful in deceiving humanity throughout the ages? Because he weaves occasional threads of truth into the fabric of his deception. One example of this is seen in this third statement to Eve, that her eyes would be opened upon partaking of the forbidden fruit.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (Genesis 3:7)
This one element of truth, that the eyes of mankind’s understanding would “be opened,” is where the accuracy within Satan’s statement ends. The serpent conveniently failed to mention that this “eye-opening” experience would virtually destroy their relationship with their Creator. In essence, Satan’s suggestion to Eve was that by disobeying God’s command, she could “improve” herself. Did Eve really believe that by a single act of disobedience to God’s will, she could “improve” God’s original intent and design of mankind? Apparently so.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Regardless, Eve succumbs to the serpent’s temptation and eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Interestingly, Adam follows suit without any apparent protest.
However, pay close attention to the Bible’s description of Eve’s mental state just after being tempted, and just prior to eating the forbidden fruit:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)
Eve’s three-fold desire is revealing. Consider these inspired words from the Apostle John.
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:16-17)
- Eve saw that the tree was “good for food” = the lust of the flesh
- It was “pleasant to the eyes” = the lust of the eyes
- It was desired “to make one wise” = the pride of life
The Bible is clear that when we obey the “lust” of our physical bodies, and when our motives are poisoned by the “pride of life,” we are operating contrary to God’s will and purposes.
Thankfully, God has provided us with a way to please Him through our thoughts, actions, and deeds by the example set forth by the Second Adam, Jesus Christ. The life of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, provides humanity with a perfect picture of God’s divine and original intention for mankind.
Man’s true nature, as originally intended by God’s divine design, became horribly distorted in the wake of Adam and Eve’s failure in Eden. Thankfully, the life of Jesus presents every man today with a clear picture of God’s original intention for man. By admitting our own innate sin nature, and following the life example laid out by Jesus Christ in the Bible, the image of God within us can be restored. While this is devastating news to Satan and his kingdom of darkness, it is glorious news to all of mankind.
Interestingly, when Christ appeared in the flesh on earth, His clarion call was to “follow” Him. Those who would desire to be freed from the bondage of sin and power of death must submit to Christ’s leadership. Unlike Adam and Eve, we are to not seek “freedom” apart from God. Instead, we are to follow Jesus as He serves as our guiding light back to God amid this world of darkness.
After his sacrificial death upon Calvary’s cross, and subsequent resurrection, it was not God’s will for Christ to remain in the flesh among men. After His death, burial, resurrection, and ascent back into Heaven, Christ began preparing a place for His followers. (John 14:3,4) In Christ’s stead, the Holy Spirit was sent to manifest God’s convicting power and loving presence both to the world and to the Body of Christ.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
(I believe that the glorious role of the Holy Spirit has historically been a neglected aspect of teaching within the Body of Christ. It is not my intention within these pages to provide an overview of the Holy Spirit’s unique role in this present age. For more on this topic, see our booklet entitled: “Who is the Holy Spirit?”)
The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who follow Christ is of particular interest in this study. After all, it is through the Holy Spirit that we are empowered to live lives that are pleasing to God.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
What a breathtaking scripture uttered by a compassionate and loving Father! Despite Israel’s defiance and spiritual adultery, God’s love trumps as He declares His watchful eye over His people. At the time of this writing by Isaiah, Judah had already fallen and its people had been taken into Babylonian captivity. Through Isaiah, God urges His people to be motivated by faith, not fear. He reminds the people of Judah that despite their subjugation to Babylon, they should remain steadfast in their faith because the sovereign king of Israel is still their God. God promises to strengthen His children, help His children, uphold His children, and defend His children. He is the Father that many of us today never had; a warm, caring, and gentle Father who made us feel safe by His vigilant care and nurture.
Is that you? Living in a cold world void of love and compassion? Does your heart cry out for a loving father? He stands ready with open arms to take you into His divine family and be your heavenly Father.
While this penetrating scripture was initially directed towards the people of Judah, it spans the ages and has fallen right in front of you this day. When you embark on the journey of faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, you are cleansed from your former self. That man you were is dead. He has been crucified with Christ. The lives that both you and I live are not ours, but Christ dwelling within us. Does Christ live within you? If so, what does that mean to you? It means that your life is lived entirely by faith in Christ who loved you and gave Himself up for you.
In this book, we will examine the many traits of a true Christ follower as laid out by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12. Let’s begin.