Ahhhh, another beautiful day, thought Cole, glancing out the window as he laced up his boots. And today is extra special—Dad’s day off. He promised to take me down to the lake to learn how to fly-fish!
“Good morning, Dad,” smiled Cole as he entered the kitchen.
“Good morning, Cole. It looks as if you are all ready for a day down at the lake. I’ve got our fishing gear together, and Mom has breakfast on the table. Dig in.”
Shortly after a hurried breakfast, Cole and his dad were on their way down the path toward the lake. As they hiked, Cole couldn’t help thinking how glad he was his family had moved out here. Then his dad interrupted his thoughts when he asked, “Well, Cole, how has your new life as a Christian been this week?”
“Dad, it has been just great! Everything seems so different. The sun seems brighter, the grass seems greener, and my friends seem to be easier to get along with. I’ve been wondering ever since I was saved last Sunday if it will always stay like this. But Dad, I have a question.”
“What’s that, son?”
“It’s about sanctification. I’ve heard the word at church, but I guess I don’t really know what it is or why it’s important. If a person is saved, why does he need to be sanctified? That’s what I don’t understand. I feel so much better now that I‘m saved, I just don’t see why I need to be sanctified.”
“That’s a normal feeling, Cole,” replied his dad. “But I think if you can understand the importance of sanctification in a Christian’s life, you will feel your need for this experience. Do you remember that oak tree you and I cut down here in the woods last fall?”
“Sure. There’s the stump right over there,” Cole answered, pointing toward a clearing off the path. “Remember how the sunlight streamed through the forest after the tree was down?” Cole’s dad asked.
“I sure do! What a change around here. The birds had to find a new place to build their nests. The squirrels had to get their acorns somewhere else. And we cut a lot of wood for our wood stove. But what does that have to do with sanctification?”
“When you got saved last Sunday it was like cutting down that tree. There was a big change. The light of God’s love flooded your life. Everything has been brighter for you since then. Those sins that were in your life were removed. But Cole, there is more. Look closely at this stump. What do you see?”
“The tree is starting to grow again. There are little green shoots on the stump,” answered Cole.
“Well, Cole, that growth started because we didn’t remove the roots. This stump is still alive. We were born with the nature of sin in our lives, because Adam, the first man, sinned. We have a natural tendency to sin and do the things that are displeasing to God.
“When we are saved, like you were Sunday, God forgives all the sins we have committed in the past. Then He gives us power not to sin again, but the nature of sin is still there.
“Do you remember, Cole, how we dug up that old stump at our other house in the city?”
“Yeah, it was sure a lot of work to get all those roots out.”
“Well, we did that so the stump wouldn’t start to grow again. God doesn’t want that root of sin to start growing in a Christian’s life, either. It is His plan for us to be sanctified after we are saved. We read in Hebrews 13:12, ‘Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.’ In other words, Jesus died on the Cross not only that we might be saved, but also that we might be sanctified.
“Cole, Jesus even prayed for you. In John, chapter 17, He prayed for those who were already saved. After we are sanctified, the temptation to sin won’t come from within our hearts, because the nature of sin has been removed, just like the stump. Do you see how important being sanctified is, Cole?”
“I sure do, Dad. I want Jesus to sanctify me, and I’m going to pray that He will.”