Dear all, welcome on this beautiful day which Lord has made. This month we will be talking about sanctification, in a series of sermons. Today we will be learning about specifically ‘Sanctification’, its distinct works as well as the source of sanctification.
The verb originally means "to set apart" and thus, when God does it, it has come to mean "make holy." In every case, however, the original meaning must be kept in mind, for it is ever present in the Biblical usage. The failure to take this into account has led to many errors in this doctrine. God sets apart a thing or a person for His own possession or use. We, as believers are separated from the world unto God, and hence are called saints or sanctified ones.
“And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:23
There are various understandings of words and various translations. Below are few:
Set apart for God
According to the Baker's evangelical dictionary of biblical theology defines that the generic meaning of sanctification is the "State of proper function." To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is "sanctified" when used to write. Eyeglasses are "sanctified" when used to improve sight. In the theological sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified, therefore, when he or she lives according to God's design and purpose.
The apostle prays that they might be sanctified more perfectly, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this world; therefore we should pray for, and press toward, complete holiness. And as we must fall, if God did not carry on his good work in the soul, we should pray to God to perfect his work, till we are presented faultless before the throne of his glory. We should pray for one another; and brethren should thus express brotherly love. This epistle was to be read to all the brethren. Not only are the common people allowed to read the Scriptures, but it is their duty, and what they should be persuaded to do. The word of God should not be kept in an unknown tongue, but transplanted, that as all men are concerned to know the Scriptures, so they all may be able to read them. The Scriptures should be read in all public congregations, for the benefit of the unlearned especially. We need no more to make us happy, than to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an ever-flowing and an over-flowing fountain of grace to supply all our wants.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the Day of Judgment.” - 2 Peter 2:9
“For ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:20
“to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.” - Acts 26:18
“Yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him:” - Colossians 1:22
When children grow with their family they don't argue for going church. As they start growing big, their choices change. Their choices for clothes change. What happened here? We missed the focus.
Before one can experience sanctification he or she must be born again! It is easy to be all "churchy" and sing "I surrender all" but to actually wave the white flag and give up the self-run life is not easy. It often takes folks going way down emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. before living a surrendered life to Christ becomes an option to them. We cannot save ourselves but when we are ready to stop the downward trajectory of our lives we can surrender to the One who can save us!
“By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." - Hebrew 10:10
"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” - Hebrews 10:14
One sanctifies Christ by responding to unbelievers meaningfully, out of a good conscience and faithful life. God calls his own to set themselves apart for that which he has set them apart. Sanctify, therefore, becomes a synonym for "trust and obey".
Bible shows three distinct works of sanctification:
Initial instantaneous sanctification.
Someone said about sanctification:
1- Positional Sanctification
“By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” - Hebrews 10:10 Every believer is sanctified by the offering of Jesus Christ, at the moment they believe in Him.
This has nothing to do with our behavior. It is positional truth and does not change. The only relationship this has to the practical life of the believer is that it should be an encouragement to holy living.
2- Practical Sanctification.
“Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” - 2 Corinthians 7:1
This phase of sanctification is progressive and depends on at least three things:
1. The degree of active Trust or yieldness to God. 2. The degree to which we Turn from sin.
We turn from sin according to our Intake of the Word of God - as we get into the Word of God and let it get into us. We turn from sin because of the Lord Jesus Intercession for us. We turn from sin because of the power of the Indwelling Spirit.
This provision is necessary because of our fallen nature. The Bible never promises an eradication of our sin nature, thus victory is only by a moment by moment dependency upon the Holy Spirit.
3. The degree of how must Time we have grown in grace. Life in Christ is not a onetime thing, it is always a work in progress. We have to work towards walking with Christ every day.
3- Perfect Sanctification.
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” -1 John 3:1
Illustration: The tombstone of Ruth Graham says in its inscription, “end of construction–thank you for your patience.”
When we are presented to God in glory, we shall be perfect like Christ, wholly sanctified in every sense of the word.
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:” - 1 Corinthians 1:30
“And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” - 1 Corinthians 6:11
“And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am Jehovah who sanctifieth you.” - Leviticus 20:8
Who sanctifies us? The triune God sanctifies us.
“Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?” - 1 Corinthians 1:13
Jesus Christ is the Sanctifier and Model of Sanctification. The singular means of God's sanctifying grace is Jesus Christ: "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all". Christ was qualified to sanctify because he himself had been sanctified through suffering. First, Jesus Christ was the only human being since the fall to live a continuously, perfectly sanctified life. He was without sin, therefore, without guilt or dysfunctionality. He was sanctified from the moment of his conception. He was rightly called the "Holy One of God", sanctified by the Father. In his character, therefore, Jesus Christ was morally sanctified. Second, he was vocationally sanctified. Christ did what the Father called him to do. He accomplished his vocational purpose through time, yet he continually fulfilled his moral purpose. He sanctified himself by fulfilling his unique calling as the Messiah, being declared the Son of God at his resurrection. Jesus Christ, therefore, is the model human being for both moral and vocational sanctification.
By the spirit
“unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours:” - 1 Corinthians 1:2
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." - 2 Thessalonians 2:13
Have you had encounter with God that you really repented for your sins? Until and unless there is a personal relationship you cannot do anything. Once you have relationship with God everything will be changed and you will be having a different perspective.
Illustration: Suppose you are working for a big corporation. If you work hard, you will get promotion and you will get increment but you won't have relation with the owner. That's why because you don't know them personally. Even you knowing doesn't matters. What matters is your adoption into their hearts.
“Who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;” - Colossians 1:13
Many believers believe that walking without sin is being holy. There is a misconception because we cannot walk holy with our own strength. We need God to walk with us.
Paul gives advice in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow after holiness; we must cleane ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven. His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify, but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers. If the ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there is danger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and though ministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towards all. Ministers may look for esteem and favour, when they can safely appeal to the people, that they have corrupted no man by false doctrines or flattering speeches; that they have defrauded no man; nor sought to promote their own interests so as to hurt any. It was affection to them made the apostle speak so freely to them, and caused him to glory of them, in all places, and upon all occasions.
“But like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:15-16
“knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ:” - 1 Peter 1:18-19
A sanctified believer has assurance that he or she is Christ's. The call to sanctification reminds the Christian that he or she cannot presume upon justification. Professing believers are to "pursue" sanctification. Apart from God's sanctifying work in human beings, "no one will see the Lord". God will judge any person claiming identification with Christ while not actively engaged in pursuing sanctification. Though sanctification is never complete in this life, it is not an optional extra tacked on to justification.
Because I am sanctified and because you are sanctified, you will have a longing to read the word and pray. If you are sanctified, you will be out of your way to please God. Are you sanctified?
We hope you enjoyed today’s sermon. We look forward seeing you next Sunday. God bless!