Now that you’re saved, you’re supposed to clean yourself up, right? And how’s that working for you? 1Thess. 5:23 tells us that God Himself sanctifies us by the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives. Hence even the process of ongoing sanctification is a gift. What then is the process of entire sanctification?
Sermons on the meaning of the process of entire Christian Biblical sanctification
The generic meaning of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning.” It means to be “set apart” or “separated” for a created purpose. There are two types of sanctification – vocational and moral. (Refer to other messages in this series at the bottom of this page.)
Moral sanctification has the meaning of being set apart for the purpose of living a Christ-like life. I have heard it said, “Our bodies were not designed to smoke, or God would have given us chimneys!” The point is, God created humans for His glory, and not for sin. But sanctification is not just adherence to a list of do’s and don’ts because God said, it is a process of setting ourselves apart for the purpose for which we were created. Sin damages the soul. Sanctification is the healing of the dysfunctionality of sin. Jesus justified us (declared us morally righteous in God’s eyes) and set us free from the ravages of sin. Sanctification is applied justification – living in a way that sets us apart for God.
Moral sanctification has a initial, progressive and final phase.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Thessalonians 5:23 New American Standard Bible )
Justification occurs at the moment of salvation, whereas sanctification is a process. We have already been set apart for God by being sealed with the Holy Spirit who lives inside us, but there is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit who cleans us up so that our lives reflect the nature of the One who lives inside us. But this is where a lot of Christians enter into legalism. Sanctification is still a work of God's grace. “It is God who works in you.”
1Thess. 5:23 tells us that God Himself sanctifies us by the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives. Hence even the process of ongoing sanctification is a gift.
But here is what religion teaches you…
Not! The New Testament replaces the Old for good reason – it didn’t work! The Old Testament was a tutor to bring us to Christ.
With the coming of Holy Spirit, God is able to write His laws in your heart, and change your behaviour from the inside out, if you’ll spend time fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit and the Word, which is where your spiritual life comes from.
Sanctification is a gift, but the process of being set apart for God requires an act of our will and our ongoing cooperation. Nevertheless, due to our total reliance on the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives (we are powerless to change ourselves) even the ongoing process of sanctification is a gift.
Hebrews 2:11 says, “Both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one.” The person who is holy and perfect (Jesus) is our advocate before the Father and is pleading our cause. He is the one who justifies us (declares us righteous) and who sanctifies us (sets us apart for righteousness.) The Holy Spirit living on the inside of us is performing His work of cleaning us up and making us more like Christ. But the scripture says that “both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one.” What does that mean? It means your problem is God’s problem. He does not point the finger at you and say, “clean your act up you sinner!” He says, “We have a problem. Let’s work on this together.”
For this reason the scripture goes on to say that Jesus “is not ashamed to call us His brethren.”
I had a situation recently where I was visiting a school where my brother had been a teacher. It really impressed me how much respect I was shown personally, simply because my brother had earned the respect of this community. Simply sharing his name gave me great favour at the school that I did not deserve – I was welcomed everywhere I went. The pupils respected me as my brother was a good but fair disciplinarian. They respected me not for who I was, but because I shared the same name with someone who they did respect.
Do you realise Jesus is not ashamed to call you His brother? Do you realise that you can “cash in” on His good name when it comes to finding favour in life and in overcoming your enemies? For example, when you face an enemy who is about to give you a hard time, do you come against them “in the name of Jesus?” He’s given you His name, and He’s not ashamed to call you his brother. When you need favour to gain access to a realm you know you don’t deserve, do you use the name of Jesus, or do you go in your own name?
“Better open the door or you’re in trouble, BIG trouble, because I’m not asking in my name, I’m asking in the name of my VERY big brother!”
When you pray do you put your hand out expecting a royal handshake? Do ask in your name, or in the name of Jesus? Prayers that beg aren’t prayed in the name of Jesus, they’re prayed in the name of someone who doesn’t deserve to have their prayers answered.
In “The Lord’s Prayer” Jesus teaches us to first pray, “Give us Lord our daily bread” and then He teaches us to pray, “forgive us our sins.” He loves us so much He wants to feed us first. Our privilege as a son or daughter enables us to receive our daily bread from Him, whether or not we deserve it. We do not have to be perfect and have all our sins forgiven before He will show His care for us.
Thank God sanctification is a process, and God does not wait until I am perfect before He considers me His friend and brother. And He is not ashamed of me during this process, because He considers Himself to be one with me, even in the process of becoming fully like Him.
Let’s pause for a moment to pray. Let us talk to our heavenly Father, and let us ask Him for our daily bread. He knows we are not perfect. Let’s not be conscious of our shortcomings, He died to put away our consciousness of sin. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, and ask our Heavenly Father to meet our needs today, and let’s ask in the name of Jesus, our big brother, who has gone before us beyond the veil, and has found for us a place of acceptance and love, in His name. Come on beloved, let us pray.
Salvation is a Gift (All the big words are free)
Sanctification – Part 1 – Definition & Vocational Sanctification
Sanctification – Part 2 – Becoming a Servant Leader
Sanctification – Part 3 – Moral Sanctification
Sanctification – Part 4 – You shall be Holy
Some elements in this study have been borrowed from Bradford A Mullen
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