The first time I ever heard the phrase “popcorn ceiling,” I envisioned pieces of popcorn glued on to a ceiling and wondered why anyone would do that!
I wondered if bugs might eat the ceiling. Wouldn’t it eventually get moldy?
Yes, I’m serious. I had no clue.
It’s messy, but no one has to live with popcorn ceilings anymore!
I feel about a popcorn ceiling about the way I feel about lingering sin in my life.
It’s ugly, messy, and I don’t like it. And I don’t have to live with it.
But lingering sin, just like a popcorn ceiling, isn’t going to go away by itself.
Lingering sin must be removed.
The result? We are beautiful in Him.
When we trust in Christ, repent and confess our sin, God forgives and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9; Psalm 130:3-4). He declares us righteous in Christ and there is no condemnation (Romans 5:1; 8:1). Salvation is the restoration of what God originally intended for us.
Jesus died to forgive and remove our sin. In Him, we have an unblemished record. Jesus perfected for all time those who He has sanctified (Hebrews 10:11-14). We can walk in confidence, knowing we are defined by our relationship with Christ, not our sin. On Judgement Day, we arrive in heaven with no guilt.
Yet we will arrive in heaven with the evidence, or fruit, of the choices we made to live out who we are in Christ.
Our justification at salvation is a one-time work of God; but sanctification is a process, beginning with justification and continuing until the day we pass into eternity.
- Our past sanctification occurs at salvation. We are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11; 1 Corinthians 6:11). Christ lives in us! (Colossians 1:27)
- Our present sanctification is a matter of counting we are no longer under sin’s control (Romans 6:14-18) and cooperating with the Holy Spirit in making us more like Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Our future sanctification is completed when we are glorified, when we receive glorified bodies (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-49). There will be rewards for our faithfulness and fruit-bearing (Colossians 3:23-24; Acts 20:32). We have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for us (1 Peter 1:4).
And that brings me back to my illustration.
The Lord scraped off the messy, ugly “popcorn ceiling” of my life, and He is in the process of creating the beauty of His holiness in me.
Are you in that process too? How do you know?