First we must be clear about one thing; every Christian must go through the sanctification process. The fire of God is not hyper-grace teaching. The sanctification process is impossible to avoid, nay it must not be avoided. Hyper-grace Christians avoid this process to their peril. The struggles and failures to overcome sin and obey God, builds character and the fruit of the Spirit. This character is critical so we can stand when God’s blessings come.
Without character, God’s blessings will destroy us. When God led Israel through the wilderness, he said the ten tests were to prepare them so they could stand in the Promised Land. Skip the tests and they would not be able to stand. Every person who has won a major lottery, was destroyed by their quickly gotten wealth because they lacked the character to use it wisely. Earn money through the work of your hands is a true proverb, Proverbs 13:11.
The fire of God burning out all the dross, challenges my faith. When I was born-again, God instantly changed my heart. I went into Church hooked on drugs, I came out hooked on Jesus. I know nothing is impossible for him so it is possible for the fire to instantly burn out the remaining dross, but to become like Christ!
To become like Christ is challenging but the Bible says we are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Romans 8:29. When I struggle with doubt, I spend time praying in tounges to build up my faith. This is essential because everything we receive from God comes through faith. If you struggle to believe you can become like Christ spend time praying in tounges. Your faith level will rise until you are full of faith.
Theologically, is it biblical for a Christian to have the dross burned out? If there was instant change in our lives when we were born-again, then it is possible for there to be another radical change, later in life. Isaiah experienced the fire and was changed instantly and completely, how much more can we expect it as New Testament Saints. Therefore I believe it is biblical for a Christian to have the dross burned out instantly.
I have already mentioned it is essential to go through the sanctification process. I am certain this fire will not come on new Christians or those living in sin because they have not persevered through the sanctification process. Who then will experience the fire of God?
When we are born-again we become a member of God’s family. First we have a servant relationship with God, then as we mature we come into a friendship relationship, John 15:15. The final stage is Sonship, where our character reflects Christ’s and the full power of the Holy Spirit rests on us, Romans 8:29, John 14:12.
Considering the need to go through the process of testing and trials, I believe the fire will only come on those who have become a friend of God and are near Sonship. Those who have overcome sin and weights (Hebrews 12:1-2), have defeated the evil one, have carried their cross daily, are strong in faith, have been faithful and become God’s friend, I believe these Christians can expect the fire of God.
Therefore the fire of God will come to those who are mature in Christ, not new Christians. I have not become God’s friend but I reach forward, looking to Christ and praying I be found worthy of the honour to become like him.
I pray you have the same mind.
Love Tim & Faith