Monday, September 9, 2013

Sanctification // in Sky Blue

Hey y'allllll! How are you today?! I'm exhausted, but oh so happy. Seriously, I couldn't stop smiling yesterday from the time we walked into church to the time we walked out. It was just so good to be back home (not that the travel was bad!) and among "family" to worship God who has orchestrated all for His glory. To look at those around you and know their stories, their struggles, their successes, and know that they are pursuing sanctification wholeheartedly is an incredible encouragement and the joy of praising the Lord for this is unsurpassed.
 
I still haven't listened to the two sermons we missed while on vacation, but yesterday's sermon was an introduction to chapter 6 of Romans, so I wasn't lost in the middle of a chapter. :) Our pastor started out by talking about unpacking which was relevant to me this week, since I'm still working on unloading those suitcases. He said it is a labor-intensive process to unpack Romans, so it'll take time to understand with our minds the doctrine that is in this chapter. "Success and failure are in the details."

 Paul has just spent all of chapter 5 discussing justification which is our legal declaration of righteousness before God in a "courtroom" scene. I wrote more about this here: Positional Peace // in B+W. We were declared righteous in the past-- before God, in Christ, we are currently blameless.
Sanctification goes hand in hand with justification. They are distinct, but never separate from each other. It is God working in me what was declared in me in Jesus. Many wish to have their "fire insurance" without taking Christ as Lord of their lives. But Paul is bringing sanctification right on the coattails of justification. Sanctification is the work of God- particularly the Holy Spirit- in taking a justified sinner and making him more righteous and changing him into the image of His Son. There is never one without the other.

Paul answers two questions in Chapter 6-- logical possible conclusions after the doctrine of chapter 5.  Verse 1: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" Here the premise is from chapter 5: grace abounds. But, the conclusion (shall we continue in sin?) is wrong. We may face this more than we realize.  We try to justify the more enjoyable- but sinful- path by thinking, "Yes, but God will forgive me." That is the way that leads to death, y'all. Our fallen minds make bad conclusions on sound doctrine very easily. Paul wants us to understand this-- verse 2- "God forbid!..." He uses this phrase 10 times in the New Testament, when he wants us to straighten out the facts. :)

Every major doctrine of scripture (God's abounding grace, etc), even properly taught, leads to false conclusions in our fallen minds. It's hard stuff. For those of us who drive, think of when we were learning. Big, straight highway. It's harder than you'd think to keep the car going straight, isn't it? We over-correct, swerve all over the road. Riding the knife edge of understanding is hard, but we need to try because it sets the whole trajectory of how we live our lives. Success is in the details. Christ died for us- we now live in Him.

Paul's gonna show us a 3 fold pattern for spiritual growth in verses 3-14 of Chapter 6. This is a great way to look at how to actively pursue sanctification and reach the right conclusions for our premises.
1) To know the facts. Verses 3-10, he appeals to what we understand, know, what is in our minds as fact. He just spent several chapters telling us that we are dead. We should know that now and have it internalized. When it's in our minds, we know it in our hearts.
2) To reckon. We need to put faith in these facts we know. Paul has gone 5.5 chapters without giving us a command. Now he's commanding us in verse 11, "Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin." This is an accounting term. It means to credit, to calculate. It has to do with our thinking.
3) To present, to show yourself. To demonstrate and cause it to be. Col. 1- "Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
We know. We put faith in that. We change.

 
In Romans, Paul spends seven chapters on knowledge, two on God's calling the sinner, and three on application. In our culture, we often want to just get to the application. Don't tell me why it works, just tell me what to do. But we need to really know this stuff. We need to know that we are dead to sin. There are actually at least five different interpretations of this idea- the difference is slight but it makes a huge difference in the right conclusion on the doctrine of dead-to-sin.
1) Renunciation view. A time where you renounced your sin. | this makes salvation something you did.
2) Your obligation- as if the apostle is commanding us that we ought to die to sin. | but those who are justified are also glorified.
3) Your progression in life- that you are more and more dying to sin. | Um, how do you be more and more dead?
4) Your perfection as a believer. | No one is more dead than another.
5) You are a corpse-- true, you are dead. But we are not corpses in the sense that we are safely immune to sin or insensitive to it.

This passage is talking about our position in Christ as we ourselves are identified with his own death and descent. It's about us being in Christ.
We continued to look at Romans 6:2-10 looking at all the ways that we died with Christ in sin. As we look at our sanctification, we need to know that our old man has died and therefore cannot multiply sin anymore. I got to thinking out loud at potluck lunch time-- this is a huge shift in focus. When we know that we are dead, but think we need to die more to be more sanctified, we spend our time "killing" the old man when we should be focusing our energy on living righteously in the new one! Super freeing, to me anyway. In Christ, all things are possible.

Paul dedicates three chapters to this doctrine. It's meaty stuff. But I want to work to unpack the beauty of how to live victoriously. I'm so excited to hear more from Chapter 6. Because it is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. Everything goes back to the cross. The Gospel is not just for the unbeliever- the power of God is shown in the gospel at work in the life of the believer. We were dead, but now we are alive!

This outfit is the result of a "dress-up" session I had in my closet Saturday night. When I'm getting bored of outfit combinations or I have a challenging piece I need to figure out how to use, I take a few minutes when I'm not rushed to try clothes on until I like the look. This time, it was this peplum shirt. I love it and bought it after I loved my dark rose one so much. I've worn that one twice: Dark Rose + Brown and Peplum. However, this one is kind of too tight and I left it in a bag to return for moooonths. Now it's too late to take it back, so I wanted to make it work. Enter: the scarf. It draws attention to my face and hides the problem area. I wouldn't do this with most shirts, but it worked for this one.
Things can get silly during a dress-up session. Our usual slimming black maxi skirts were dirty from the funerals last week (yep, I'm struggling with the laundry), so I flipped my favorite printed skirt inside out and heh, no one noticed. :D Just had to make sure the tags didn't hang out. :P

Shirt: JCPenny's: $12: Arizona Brand
Skirt: Thrift Store: $3: Jones New York
Tank: JCPenny's: $3 clearance: Arizona Brand
Sparkly scarf: Bought in Paris: $7.50
Earrings: Etsy: $3.50
Shoes: Charity Shop: $2: Dr. Scholl's
For those wondering, I did wear a black head scarf with this outfit, but took it off after services and was too lazy to get it for pictures. :)

I wish y'all a fabulous day! What was your sermon on?



36 comments :

  1. Flipped your skirt inside out?! Now that's creativity! LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I love this outfit. It just seems... so... you! Your hair looks so nice up like that and the earrings and shoes match perfectly. The skirt and top just go together and the scarf adds a touch of elegance. I love this outfit. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful! Perfect idea for with scarf and skirt we will have to see if any of our skirts will work like that! The color of the shirt is superb! Glad to know that you do the "dress up" sessions too! It is so much easier to look good in a rush if you know what looks great together!
    I will have to read your sermon tomorrow....just got done with a post for our blog...thought that I would check yours again before I hit the hay! :)
    ttfn ~Cassie
    calicoclodhoppers.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did a post on my sermon as well. It was called "Drifting Away or Staying Anchored" about how easy it is to just slip away from God, what happens if we do, what causes us to slip and etc! Then on Sunday night we continued our study on Revelation, which is always interesting!!
    http://modestyismypolicy.blogspot.com/2013/09/drifting-50s.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful, Olivia! Hey, we touched on Romans six this past Sunday as well!

    Have a great week,

    Kelsey

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Olivia ! I'm back on the commenting business after a summer packed with counselling in christian camps, fun nights with friends and an amazing choir... It's good to see your outfits again and I really like the color of the top, though it's tight. You did a great job at making it work. I never thought about flip a skirt inside out but this one works really well !
    I was visiting a church this weekend : it's a church where several counsellors from the camps go and it was awesome : it's a really conservative church, like mine and it felt good to get to know those persons better. The ladies were dressed so modestly and all wearing headcovering, how awesome is that ?! The sermon was about the love of Christ and how it changes our entire life, with several applications in different areas.
    I can't wait to read more from you ! Hope you have some A+A in stock ;-)
    Blessings from France

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much for posting about the sermons at your church. I sincerely enjoy reading them. They have been a great blessing to me.

    Brigid
    The Middle Sister and Singer

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this outfit, Olivia!
    The close-up portrait of you is so lovely!
    Sky blue is a great color on you. :)
    -Alison

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a pretty outfit and that color blue really looks good on you! Hah! I would have never thought to turn a printed skirt inside out... will have to remember that one.:) I have used a scarf when a top was a little too low but never for too tight, another good idea to remember. God has really blessed you with creativity!:)
    Our sermon was titled "God's Grace in Our Unfaithfulness". We are going through the life of Abraham, and we were in chapter 20 of Genesis where Abraham lies, once again, about Sarah being only his sister, and this time to Abimelech. Talking about getting to the "root" of the problem when we continue to commit the same sin over and over again, and not just trying to get rid of it at the "fruit".

    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think this is one of my favs, girly! :D Formal, yet your hair fun; elegant, classy and everything else charming!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love how excited you always are for the next week's sermons. If anything tells me you love your church, that definitely does, haha.

    It's nice to be back after vacation, isn't it? Even if it means waking back up at the crack of dawn (or before) and having to do all that laundry. There's just something about being *home*. Hope your week settling back in is nice nad easy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. love the shirt/scarf combo. =)

    -Chels
    {www.chelsyrenee.com}

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your church sermons each week, Olivia! This post in particular really helped me to better understand and think about more deeply the concept of dying to self and being raised again in Christ. Your blog is a huge blessing to me an many others! Keep up the great work.

    Blessings,
    Anja

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Olivia!
    this is my first time commenting and I love your blog!
    Please check out my blog

    http://highdeserthomelife.blogspot.com/
    Hannah Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  15. LOVE the scarf thing! That look is so pretty! I have two scarves in my closet, and I've been looking for ideas on how to wear them (especially for the fall). This was a great way! Do you happen to have any other posts on wearing scarves?
    And that sermon sounds great :) "Because it is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me." AMEN! That's pretty much my life motto. :D

    ~Molly~
    mollyslittlecorner.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! I try to label my posts with different items (like scarves) so it's easy to find them again. So, here is the scarf label: http://freshmodesty.blogspot.com/search/label/Scarves
      However, looks like Ive hardly work them on the blog. I may have to remedy that in the future, although honestly I don't wear them that much because its so warm. :) blessings!

      Delete
  16. I love how you did your hair! Looks nice!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your words about not focusing on your old self really hit me. I've been struggling with that for a while. I love your blog, style, and the way you show your faith!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sky blue is such a lovely color on you. :) cute scarf!

    ~Sarah
    cutecombinations.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love maxi skirts! :) Your posts are always so refreshing and inspirational. :)
    God bless you!

    Peregrin

    http://travelinghomeamdg.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a lovely outfit, Olivia! You're such an inspiration!
    I tried that shirt on at Penny's...yeah it made me look pregnant! But it looks lovely on you!
    How funny! I never would've guessed the skirt was inside out....hmm...wonder if I have any I could do that with! That would almost double a wardrobe!! ;)

    My sermon was in Exodus, on the treating of servants, what happens when your ox spears somebody, etc.
    So I've been meaning to ask you a couple questions about your church! I remember you said it was age integrated, our church is starting to move in that direction and I'm excited to see what God does with that. Some growing pains right now, but that's ok! I never particularly liked the idea of children's church. I think children take in far more than we give them credit for! They're little sponges, seems only fitting to have them in adult church and let them soak up the stuff that's not watered down.
    Just wondering what you do for the babies that are crying? Do you have a room they go to, or what do you do? Just curious!
    Natasha
    A Modest Fashion Blog:
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! Haha, I have to be careful how I style it because of the "preggo" effect. :D

      Awesome that y'all are including the children in worship! I think more important than them learning anything from the sermon (although like you said, they know more than we think they do) is that when included in worship they learn that they are part of the whole body of Christ and are not just "extra mouths" that we don't want interrupting our big-people service. They are as much a part of the worship of the Lord as we are! :)
      Our current meeting place does not have a sound-proof room for crying babies-- if they're inconsolable for whatever reason parents have to take them out to the porch. :p It's not really an issue though because the children learn how to sit still from a young age at home during family worship time so when they get to church they're familiar with the concept of sitting still. Of course, children will be children so there's always a squirming 2 year old or hungry newborn, but we've all gotten used to the occasional noise and the "disruption" of taking a child to the back of the room or the restroom to talk to or feed. There are some weeks when a dad or mom will constantly be taking a child out and back in as they are teaching them to sit still, but eventually the kid will learn. We have a lot of kids in our church (It's literally 77% children) so there's usually one or three moms standing in the back rocking babies... Basically, since we realize that children are our brothers and sisters in Christ and are overjoyed to be worshiping with them, their antics don't really bother us. They are expected to behave, though, and participate like the adults, but we know it's a process and they're learning. :) Hope that kind of answers your question-- feel free to ask any more! You've got my email address, too. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  21. I love all the blue! :D That is one of my favorite shades right now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This outfit looks so good on you! Once again, I am reminded by how similar our styles are. :)
    I've never thought about turning a skirt inside out.. Such innovation and creativity! I know how you feel coming home from traveling and not being able to stop smiling! We just got power after 5 days power cut due to a recent storm, so I couldn't comment before. ;)

    Black and blue seems to be a 'no-fail' combination, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi OLIVIA. I just love all your outfits, I never commented before butI wait anxious for your posts and I am a follower. You and some other girls inspired me to create my own blog. Thank you for being such an example in a young age!

    here is my link: http://themodestbeauty.blogspot.com/

    Much love!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi, Olivia!

    I've been reading your blog for a while, and it is very encouraging! I think I've read all your archives, too... :) I can tell that you have this blog to glorify God, not yourself. That's so different than a lot of modern fashion blogs, even modest ones, and I really appreciate that. That's what makes it worth reading. :)

    What is your family's standard was for "tightness" in shirts? My family's standards seem to be different than yours, so I was curious. I often have trouble with shirts that are too big (especially T-shirts), as some of them are obviously men's sizes. It's hard to fix them without making them too tight. I did try your solution at your sewing blog, but I'm not very good, so it didn't turn out right. At least it was a shirt that I didn't care a bit about... :)

    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Hannah! Thanks for reading!
      Our standard is kind of hard to describe, since we don't have a "test" or anything. Basically, if you can see the outline of your chest on the sides (looking from the front)or an obvious curve (looking from the side) then it's too tight. We don't want CHEST to be the first thing that's noticeable about our attire. ;)
      I would encourage you to keep trying to alter your t-shirts. I can't think of any other way to help them fit better. The important thing is for them to fit in the shoulders-- that will help a lot with making a too-big tshirt look elegant. :) Unfortunately that's the hardest part of a shirt to alter. Sorry I don't have any really good suggestions! Blessings!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for replying! I'll keep trying to fix them--thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. :)

      Delete
  25. I love these outfit! I dont know why I still dont dare to wear a long maxi skirt like this one :/ I want to but Im from the caribbean and wearing that in these heat wuuuu!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I absolutely LOVE your skirts!!! Do you make them or buy them? LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!!
    You look so elegant in this outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love this outfit SO much. That blue is absolutely lovely, as well as the style of the shirt, and buns look great on you. This just may be my favorite outfit on the blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Love it!
    You do such a great job, sometimes I wish I could take your outfits out of the computer and wear them!😍

    😜Rebekah😜

    ReplyDelete

Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!