April 2023
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In this month's newsletter you will find:

  • Sanctification
  • The Very Devil
  • God tests us
  • Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Don't miss any of the information enclosed!

From the Pastor's Study

My apologies for putting the wrong Pastor's Study message in the newsletter sent out early this morning.  This is Pastor Shon's correct message for this month.  Jodi Hansen

Hello Saints,

Last month we considered the theological term “justification”. This
month we continue our look into doctrine as we consider another
theological term: “sanctification”. Sanctification, like justification, is likely a
word that you have heard before, and I am quite sure that if you have been
coming to the Real Tree Church for any length of time, you have heard me
use this term from the pulpit. Again we need to ask the questions: What
does it mean? How does it happen? And what does it look like?

What does the term sanctification mean? Unger's Bible Dictionary
defines sanctification like this:
“The dominant idea of sanctification is separation from the secular and
sinful, and setting apart for a sacred purpose.”1
That very likely makes it as clear as mud! Let’s see if I can clear it up a bit
for you.

Sanctification is realized by us in three ways. For our purposes we
will call them positional, experiential, and ultimate.

First positional. Positional sanctification is interchangeable with
justification. That is to say, we are positionally declared righteous, or
sanctified, or set apart when we repent and believe in Christ. That is
something that God and God alone does. When we come to faith, our
position in relation to God changes from one of sinner to saint. Our
position changes from condemnation to right standing before God. That is
positional sanctification. It is the same as justification.

Next, experiential. Experiential sanctification is a process. It is also
referred to as progressive sanctification. This describes the process of
living our lives in light of our faith. What we do, what we say, and how we
live should be defined by our process of sanctification. The process of
sanctification, or experiential sanctification is a joint effort between us and
the Holy Spirit whom we are indwelt by at the moment of conversion. As
He works in us, we work with Him through our spiritual disciplines to be
formed more and more into the image of Christ. This is a process hence
the title progressive sanctification; and, it is something that we actively
experience in our daily lives, hence the title experiential sanctification. As
our lives progress we should be becoming more and more like Christ. That
is not to say that we become sin-free because we do not; however, the
overall trajectory of our lives should be toward Christ as we grow in our

And finally, ultimate sanctification. This is just another term that
speaks of glorification. This happens when we finally go to be with the
Lord either through death or His return. This form of sanctification is also
all of God. When a believer dies and goes to be with the Lord, there is no
more sin, meaning that the remnants of our old sin nature will be finally
and forever gone. I can’t wait for that day!

So in closing, sanctification can be a confusing word because it has
three different definitions. I like to remove some of that confusion by using
the term sanctification for only what is defined above as experiential
sanctification. That is the process of living our lives day to day under the
Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ working together with the Holy Spirit to
be evermore formed into the image of Christ. When you hear me say
“sanctification” that is what I mean.
Positional sanctification = justification
Experiential sanctification = sanctification
Ultimate sanctification = glorification.

I pray this has taken some of the confusion out of this five dollar
theological word! May the Lord bless and keep you and may you all be
sanctified more and more into the image of our Lord!

Forever In His Grip,
Pr. Shon

1Unger, Merrill F. Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1979), 965.
Biblical Resources

Trustworthy Teachers, Preachers, and Authors


Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Name:  David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Birth-Death:  December 20, 1899 - March 1, 1981
Wife:  Bethan Phillips 

Children:  Two daughters

Nationality:  Welsh

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher, and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.

Lloyd-Jones was well known for his style of expository preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several thousand, as did the Friday evening Bible studies, which were, in effect, sermons in the same style. He would take many months, even years, to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. His sermons were also transcribed and printed (virtually verbatim) in the weekly Westminster Record, which was read avidly by those who enjoyed his preaching.


  • St Bartholomew's Hospital as a medical student
  • London University -- Medical Degree

Occupations/Professional Experience: 
  • Preacher -- Port Talbot, Aberavon
  • Associate pastor and pastor -- Westminster Chapel

Books: Shortly after his death, a charitable trust was established to continue Lloyd-Jones's ministry by making recordings of his sermons available. The organization currently has 1,600 sermons available and also produces a weekly radio program using this material.  He also wrote a host of books, some of which are listed here:

  • The Plight of Man and The Power of God
  • From Fear to Faith: Studies in the Book of Habakkuk
  • Authority, The Banner of Truth Trust
  • Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
  • Faith on Trial: Studies in Psalm 73
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures (2nd revised ed.)
  • Preaching & Preachers
Deadline for the May 2023 newsletter is April 23rd.  Email information to Jodi Hansen at


Sundays, 10:00 a.m.
At The Real Tree Church, we are a family of believers who hold a very high view of God and Scripture. Worship with us as we give praise and worship through both hymns and contemporary music and receive strong, expository, biblical preaching.
Click here to watch online.
Praying Hands


Prayer Concerns

It is our privilege to pray for each other.  If you have a need for prayer, please tear-off the sheet in the Sunday bulletin and put it in the offering plate, speak with Pastor Shon, or email:

If your need is immediate, please contact:
Pastor Shon at 651-428-0439.
Check the Sunday bulletin and the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for all of the Bible studies and activities going on!  Don't miss any of the opportunities available to get to know both God and your fellow churchgoers better.  Feel free to jump into any of the Bible studies at any time!  
Power of Prayer
Follow Steve Olson on his CaringBridge website:


The Very Devil

1.  According to Jude's epistle, who disputed with Satan over the body of Moses?
2.  What animal does 1 Peter compare Satan to?
3.  In what epistle does Paul refer to Satan as "the god of this world"?
4.  What, according to the New Testament, is the final place for Satan?
5.  In what gospel does Jesus refer to Satan as "the prince of this world"?
6.  What is Satan the father of?
7.  What prophet spoke of the fallen Lucifer, usually taken to refer to Satan as a fallen angel?
8.  According to the parable of the sower, what happens when someone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it?
9.  According to John's gospel, Satan was from the very beginning both a liar and a ________.
10.  In what epistle does Paul call Satan the "spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience"?
11.  What Gospel uses the name Beelzebub?
12.  What book of the Bible speaks of the demonic fiend Abaddon and Apollyon, both names for Satan?
13.  What apostle spoke of the contrast between Christ and Belial (presumably another name for the devil)?
14.  What prophet spoke of "weeping for the king of Tyre" in a passage that has traditionally been interpreted as referring to Satan instead of a human king?
15.  In Luke's Gospel, Jesus refers to seeing the fall of Satan.  What does he compare the fall to?
16.  Who did Satan provoke to do a census in Israel?
17.  What disciple did Satan enter into?
18.  What disciple was told by Jesus that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat?

1.  The archangel Michael (Jude 9)
2.  A roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
3.  2 Corinthians (4:4)
4.  A lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10)
5.  John (14:30; 16:11)
6.  Lies (John 8:44)
7.  Isaiah (14:12)
8.  The wicked one (Satan) snatches from the heart what was sown (Matthew 13:19)
9.  A murderer (John 8:44)
10.  Ephesians (2:2)
11.  Matthew (12:24)
12.  Revelation (9:11)
13.  Paul (2 corinthians 6:15)
14.  Ezekiel (28:11-19)
15.  Lightning (Luke 10:18)
16.  David (1 Chronicles 21:1)
17.  Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3-4)
18.  Peter (Luke 22:31)

Dare to be Different


I remember a book we used in 4-H some years ago titled, “Dare to be Different.” What a challenge this is to Christians today. Dare to speak out for the Lord; dare to do what is right when society says sin is okay; dare to grow in knowledge of God’s Word – and live by it; dare to invite others to attend worship; dare to care about others and about the church of Jesus Christ. One thing is sure, we can’t live like the world and make it to heaven. The world travels the wide road, but it’s the wrong road (Matt 7:13,14). Dare to be different!

John K. Wills
Owingsville, KY
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