LESSON 12
SANCTIFICATION

Teaching Copyright (C) 1999 John Iuliano (M.A. Min). All rights reserved. Published here with permission.


Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. WE BELIEVE it is the glorious provision for every believer in Christ to be made pure in heart and wholly sanctified, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, by the blood of Jesus and the Word of God - John 17:15-19; Acts 15:8,9; 1 Thess 4:3,4; Heb 2:11; 1 Thess 5:23,24; Heb 10:16-19; Rom 12:1-2.

Introduction

In lesson eight we covered Regeneration and Justification. To put sanctification in its proper perspective it would be good to compare it with Regeneration and Justification.

REGENERATION

JUSTIFICATION

SANCTIFICATION

1. Takes place in the believer's heart.

Takes place before God

Takes place in the believer's conduct

.2.Impartation of new life.

Declared righteous before God.

Becoming righteous in our daily walk.

3.God's answer to spiritual death.

God's answer to the problem of guilt.

The believer's response to God's work.

4.Places us into right relationship with God.

Declares our right relationship with God.

Exhibits the fruit of our relationship with God.


The doctrine of sanctification is of importance to us because it has to do with the way the believer behaves. If regeneration has truly taken place, the believer begins to behave in a Godly manner.

I. THE MEANING OF SANCTIFICATION

1. Separation from evil.
is the turning away from all that is sinful and all that defiles the believer.

1 Thess 4:3,7, "For this is the will of God your sanctification that you should abstain from sexual immorality. For God did not call us to unclearness, but in holiness."

2. Dedication to God.

In the Old Testament anything sanctified was for the exclusive use of the Lord. To be sanctified not only means to be separated from sin, but even more importantly, it means to be dedicated to God's exclusive use.

1 Cor 6:19,20, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's."


II. THE ASPECTS OF SANCTIFICATION

1. The Initial Act (Positional).

The moment a person is saved, they are said to be sanctified, i.e. separated from evil and dedicated to God. This is the way that God sees them.
1 Cor 6:1,
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God".

2. The Practical Act (Progressive).

Even though positionally before God we are sanctified, there is still a progressive act of sanctification. What we have positionally, we must seek experientially. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear.

2 Cor 3:18, We "are being transformed into the same image (of Christ) from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord".
1 Thess 4:1, We
"ought to abound more and more, just as you received from us, how you ought to walk and to please God".
2 Cor 7:1,
"Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God".
Phil 3:12, Paul said,
"Not that I have already attained or am perfected, but I press on".

Our aim in our progressive sanctification is to perfect holiness. When we have done that, we attain the complete image of Christ.

The Final Act (Perfected).

Sinless perfection and final sanctification await us when Jesus Christ returns. It is then that we will be like Him. We will be delivered totally from the body of this flesh and we will be totally holy.

1 Thess 3:13, "so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."

1 John 3:2,
"But we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is".

III. THE MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION

As with so many things in our Christian life, there is the union of the Divine will with the Human will. Both sides are involved in our sanctification.

1. The Divine Side

        The Godhead is at work in our sanctification.

a. The Father
1 Thess 5:23, "
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ".
b. The Son
John 10:10,
"We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all".
Hebrews 13:12,
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate".
c. The Holy Spirit
1 Peter 1:2,
"according to the foreknowledge of the Father in sanctification of the Spirit".
Galatians 5:16,
Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh"

2. The Human Side
Apart from what God has done, we cannot do anything. We need to appropriate what God has done by:

a. Faith
Acts26:18,
“we are sanctified by faith in Him”.
Acts 15:9, “
our hearts are purified by faith”.

b. Obedience to the Word of God.
John 17:17,
“the Word sanctifies us”.
Ephesians 5:26
, “God's Word sanctifies us, cleanses us, and washes us”.

c. Personal Commitment
Heb 12:14,
"Pursue peace with all men and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord".
Heb 12:1,2,
"That YOU present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".


Conclusion

1 Peter 2:9-11 gives us a great definition of sanctification.

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul".

What is clearly seen, is that God has made us holy. We have been separated from sin, we do belong to Him, and we are progressively working out holiness within our own lives. For too long the world has resisted Christian things because they have observed a hypocritical stance on this subject. Let us never excuse wilful sin, but let us also be honest to the world. We are progressing. We desire to live a godly lifestyle. If we fail, let us admit it, but then let's pick ourselves up and in God's strength press on to better things.

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