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The unity of the faith

For the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13)
Sanctification is much more intense and extensive than what Christendom ordinarily believes. Sanctification is the opposite of the works of the flesh, such as:
Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… (Galatians 5:19-21)
The works of the flesh (also called sins) not only separate us from God, but also from brothers and sisters in faith and unbelieving fellow-citizens.
The countless churches, congregations and sects with their disagreements and dissent which thrive in our days, are works of the flesh derived from the old man. As long as we are not rid of it, we can not live in a peaceful unity of faith. But this does not mean that we should not salute and honour the believers and unbelievers of these communities, on the contrary!
Christ has come to take away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) If we believe this and desire to be freed from sin, we also accept his invitation and follow him to his death by means of baptism in his name.
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
We who believe, we let the old man be buried in the baptism of Christ in order to live in a new life freed from sin. This divine miracle is the crowning achievement of the work of Christ. This work was first revealed to the apostles and then to those who sought victory over sin and heard and believed this good news.
For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. (Romans 6:5)
If the baptism of the new covenant is not confined to a religious ritual, as it is unfortunately often the case, then the baptized will also be able to walk in newness of life. The body of sin (which was formed with the works of the flesh committed in the time of ignorance) is then destroyed and the old man crucified must die.
Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6)
Since the works of the flesh have their roots in the old man, they become ineffective by his death. Without roots, neither plants nor works of the flesh can develop. Therefore, if the old man is crucified with Christ, even the entourage can see and hear it. And in harmony with the apostle Paul, every faithful believer can testify:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
By dying and rising in the baptism of Christ, we are far from being accomplished, but we receive in the school of Christ a divine education and learn how to become in everyday life gentle and humble in heart. (Matthew 11:28-29) We receive more and more light on what we think, say and do; and thus learn to distinguish between good (what is useful) and evil (what is harmful) and to overcome the imperfect deeds of the body and make them die.
For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
When we think of all that we can learn, our life resembles an endless race. As there are always embarrassing obstacles that arise on the way, which are often more painful to master than imagined, we risk discouraging ourselves and give up the race. Then it is a great help to heed this apostolic exhortation:
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:32-36)
Sanctification is a spiritual growth to the perfect Man, to the full measure of the fullness of Christ. The one who shares in this sanctification lives a triumphant life in humility and love. The virtues of Christ unfold and evolve in them until they reach full growth of the fullness of Christ.
Love and goodness then reign in everyday life, so that disagreements, disputes, or separations can not be found in the families or in the assemblies. Even the authorities are honoured by such sanctified citizens who pay their taxes with joy and thanks.
Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting them to this very thing. (Romans 13:5-6)
Why is this not so in Christendom? First, because most believers have not laid aside the old man who always sins. Therefore, they are not able to love Christ's commandment and do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven: fast, accurate and with joy. Secondly, because many ministers no longer observe God's Word, they no longer believe in victory over sin and teach it even less.
If, however, God's Word is no longer taught faithfully, one must read the Holy Scriptures carefully himself, and listen to the Holy Spirit who leads one to the whole truth. If not, one risk leaving the earth without having received what is promised, without having reached perfection.
That would be sad, but not necessary.

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