SANCTIFICATION

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6;1,2)

I hope that you find what follows to be of encouragement and help: Sanctification may sound extra religious to many people. But sanctification represents good news. In essence it means that we can become better people in our walk with Jesus Christ. The Bible puts considerable value in sanctification. The words sanctify and sanctification are found throughout the Bible about seventy times.

Sanctification brings good news to us. It means that God is going to make us better people; that we may grow in his grace. Sanctification means that with the teaching of the scriptures and our obedience to our God, our lives will give evidence that we belong to Jesus Christ. We cannot claim to be perfect. We still struggle with sins in our lives, and must come to our Savior for his forgiveness.

When we look around us, we see and hear of things that we do not like; that offend us: stealing, lying, violence, killing; some parents abusing their children; husbands and wives disrespecting and harming one another. God has a better life for each one of us. We are not alone in the process of living. God stands by us .

“I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.” (Romans 6:19)

“So put away all malice and guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babies long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (I Peter 2:1-3)

“I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9)

“Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:7, 8)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin with clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:1,2)

“Now to him, who by the power at work within us, is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)

It is good news that God is enabling better people! We are not on our own, we have a great God to help us!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU!

Jesus And The Children, by Ruth Elliott, 2003

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please forgive me for being late with this week’s Blog. We intend to post it every other Wednesday. Janis and I recently returned from a ten day trip to Hawaii that was very good. As a result we had to do some catching up when we came back!

All of us who have children, have hopes and desires for them. We would like to be a good example to our children, we would like for them to grow in knowledge and understanding. As they grow, we hope that they will choose a good path for their lives; that they will choose goodness over evil. Faith in Christ, plus high regard for the teachings in the Bible gives great support for the future that we hope for.

We receive good guidance from the teachings that we find in the letter of Paul to the Colossians. He writes this letter while in prison in Rome. Whatever situation we find him in—he is engaged in serving his Savior, Jesus Christ. Twelve of the twenty-seven New Testament books were written by Paul He was a great traveler for Jesus Christ, by road or by ship. He covered much of the Roman Empire. He wrote to the Romans that he aspired to go to Spain (Romans 15:24), but we are not assured that he reached Spain. There is no evidence that he went to the British isles. His allegiance for his Savior must be a great example and encouragement to each of us.

The letter is addressed to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in Colossae. They have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ through Paul’s associate, Epaphras. Through his ministry, a strong church was established. It was Paul who came to Asia and established himself in Ephesus. Out of Ephesus many churches were planted; Colossae was one of those churches.

All who believe in Jesus are the children of God. The teachings that Paul brought to Colossae are God’s instructions to his children: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9,10)

This emphasizes that our intentions are to seek and understand and do the will of God. It clearly implies that we are to be students of the Bible, engaged in the Christ’s Church looking for the fulfillment of God’s will.

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

“And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard,” (Colossians 1:21-23)

In this remarkable scripture, we find the Heavenly Father’s desire for parent and children.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

GOD’S ANSWERS for Christians Today

By Foster Shannon

Why GOD’S Answers?

As a pastor, I have often been challenged by younger members of my congregations with
questions about how to relate the Bible and God’s words to today’s world.  I find more people today
rejecting Christianity because they believe it not applicable to their lives and is thus, irrelevant.

I suspect some Christians are “straying” since the answers to daily dilemmas and major life
issues are not evident or easily attainable. Perhaps, considering God’s point of view has
become less important for many. And yet, HIS are the only answers that truly give any lasting value to our lives.

How do we find the way?

 

“Seek and ye SHALL find.

Knock and the door SHALL be opened.

ASK and it SHALL be given.”

Searching for the truth in the Bible can seem like a daunting challenge.

There is always something new to learn, and new questions to be raised.

And, like digging for gold in the ground, it can be a long and arduous task.

However, as one who has been mining it’s pages for many years, I have done the digging for you.

An experienced guide, I will help you explore the territory to find it’s riches without getting lost along the way.

For instance, my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity is one of the great tools I have created to help you discover the treasures the Bible offers, as well as a dynamic reference in sharing nuggets of truth with others.

You can order the book directly from this link at GoGreenleaf.com

And as always, I am always here to help with any questions.

Please contact Foster directly at his email address:

The answers are there.

Don’t give up.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE

plant-hands-2

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

As we look forward to the new year, we should remember that Christianity is dynamic; in it we find new life. We are drawn by God to believe in him. We understand that Jesus Christ is our redeemer; that we are accountable for our sins, and that Jesus went to the cross for that very reason. He suffered for our sins. He paid the penalty that was our due. So we commit our lives to him. We find forgiveness and acceptance through Jesus Christ. We affirm our faith in him. We are baptized in his name. We rejoice in our salvation. Ours is a living religion. As we believe in Jesus Christ, we are to walk with him. We are to grow in his grace.

The book of Romans teaches us of our salvation in Jesus Christ. It further reminds us that we are to become the people that God would have us to be. The believer has the calling to align his or her life with the will and purposes of God. The Bible gives the name sanctification to the process of Christian growth. Believing in Christ, we belong to him. We are members of his family. We are brothers and sisters with all who believe in our Savior.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”~Romans 6:1-4

We are to grow in the grace of God, because he is preparing us to live with him for all eternity! Our destiny is with our Lord in heaven.

“And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” ~ II Corinthians 3:18

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” ~ Ephesians 4:13,

As we look forward to the new year, let us look with confidence in our Savior that we will be growing in his grace. We are to be like a growing tree:

“He is like a tree planted by the streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers.” ~ Psalm 1:3

We can celebrate the New Year with the psalmist:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ~Psalm 27:1

THE CHRISTIAN DOES NOT SEE THIS LIFE AS THE END!

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” ~ I Corinthians 2:9

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

THE GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS!

Sharing the Truth in Love.  A Nicky Imber Bronze of two old men talking.

Sharing the Truth in Love. A Nicky Imber Bronze of two old men talking.

by Dr Foster H. Shannon

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (II Timothy 2:24,25)

From the Bible, there are some basic requirements that we must fulfill:

  1. Believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, so that we may find forgiveness and fulness of life.
  2. Become students of the Bible.
  3. Read, study, and think so we can fulfill the instructions of I Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
  4. Share your faith with others. As Christians we must be pro-active, eager to tell others about our Savior.
  5. Take care that we communicate God’s word in an appropriate manner. We are not to be rude. We are not to yell. We are to be respectful. We are not to act superior and put others down. May we love those with whom we speak.

Certainly it is good to know that you are right in what you have to say, but we must remember whom we are serving!

“I am the vine, you are the branches….for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

There are passages in II Timothy that we should find helpful:

“Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” (II Timothy 2:14)

“Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” (II Timothy 2:16)

“Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” (II Timothy 2:23)

Evidently, the Christians in the first century had problems similar to ours. That is, people are blabbering a lot of nonsense today. It is as if all that we have to do is to spit out words, and everyone will think that they are cute and interesting. Much of gossip is similar. Someone tells us something and we take it for the truth, although we have not verified it. To make it more interesting, we embellish it, add to it, to the end that the person who started the questionable statement would not even recognize it.

These are days when the winds are blowing against those who have a high view of scripture. We are required to swim upstream against the currents. We do not believe that any group of people should be reviled or despised because of the color of their skin, their language, their location or cultural practices. But we believe that there is both right and wrong.

“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.” (III John 11)

We want for people to get along with one another. Conflicts are disturbing—they may make us uncomfortable. Yet, as we have the privilege of believing in God, we also have the responsibility to tell others about him!

Thank you.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

the nativity

Photo thanks to Amy Jung

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We are now in the midst of the Advent Season, the four weeks that precede Christmas Day. It is the time that Christians remember and celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who emptied himself of many of his divine prerogatives, and came as a baby in order to come and dwell among us.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Promises of the miraculous birth, life, death, and the powerful resurrection of our Savior are foretold in the Old Testament. Some of the passages, written more than one thousand years before the birth of the Savior; others hundreds of years before.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feed, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” (Genesis 49:10)

The hope of the believing people of Israel was primarily in the good news of the coming Messiah in scores of passages.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

The greatness, the glory, the magnificence of the coming Messiah was celebrated by the prophets in the Old Testament—and also his suffering.

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

One of the promises was that the Messiah would bring a good and perfect government. A major problem in our world continues to be the corruption and evil of many governments: leaders who use their position to benefit themselves at the expense of the people—whom they are supposed to serve.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Where is the peace? How is it that we have so little of it? Because when we fail to live by the teachings of scripture, we bring the roof down on our heads. Our Savior teaches us how to live in peace, and we are remiss in following him.

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:2,3)

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

These teaching apply to the nations as well as to individuals. If we say and do what we are taught to do, surely we will have an encouraging influence upon others.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!





 

IMPROVING FAMILY LIFE

Norman Rockwell told it the way it WAS!

Norman Rockwell told it the way it WAS. Or USED to be.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The health of the family is the keystone of every nation. All of us are children or parents, grandchildren or grandparent —we have a connection with the past and a destiny for the future. Our relationships as husbands and wives, as children, as brothers and sisters is primary. We need to shore up those relationships in these days, and we need the help and instruction of our God. The health of our society begins with the health of our families and the news has not been altogether good.

One third of our children have a mother, but no father. Too many parents do not expect respect from their children—as a result, many do not receive the respect that makes for order in the home and ultimately in the society of which we are a part. Too many children are expected to raise themselves. If we begin with the 1940s, we have seen a steady increase in the divorce rate until the present century. The divorce rate has begun to decline, because increasing numbers are choosing to live together rather than marry!

Some of my remarks here are based on my Quarterly Newsletter from last April. I believe that a quote from Malcolm Muggeridge is appropriate:

“We are living in a nightmare precisely because we have tried to set up an earthly paradise. We have believed in “progress.” Trusted to human leadership, rendered unto Caesar the things that are God’s…There is no wisdom except in the fear of God; but no one fears God; therefore there is no wisdom.”

I believe that those of us who believe in our Savior and his word can make a difference, not only for ourselves but also for the society in which we live. The scriptures teach that our marriages should be exemplary:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery and I take it to mean Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31,32)

We do not just live for ourselves. We live for one another and for the society of which we are a part. Too many people, today, look upon marriage solely from their perspective. They are interested in what they can get out of it, but not sufficiently interested in what their spouse and even their children can get out of it. The teachings of scripture lead us on the right path:

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3,4) 

For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ—we are to grow in his grace. It is a life long process. We call this sanctification. The challenge of the Christian marriage should be that more and more we learn to be considerate and helpful to our husbands and our wives; to our brothers and our sisters. The closer that we draw to our Savior the better will be our lives together—and we will be what Jesus said we will be:

“The light of the world.” (Matthew 4:14)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!