SANCTIFICATION - All The Bible Teaches About

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All our efforts toward holiness are useless apart from 1 the work of Christ on the cross Heb. God has given us His Spirit, but the responsibility for walking by the Spirit is ours. Whereas justification is once and for all, sanctification is a continuous process whereby we grow in holiness. The word walk also can be used to mean a certain walk of life or conduct.


Paul used a tense of the verb that reflects continuous, on-going activity. Refuse to be seduced into defining spiritual maturity in terms of religious activities sanctification-by-checklist. The 8-point record system offering envelope I grew up using in church is not a gauge of spiritual maturity. On the weekly envelope was a checklist: Sunday School attendance, Bible brought, lesson studied, giving, worship attendance, daily Bible reading, number of visits, and number of other contacts made.

On the contrary, Christ-like character is the measuring stick of growth in sanctification. But, of course, the word "holy" isn't much more relevant today than sanctification—what with "holy mackerel" and "holy cow" and "holy buckets"—we've just about ruined one of the highest and most valuable words in the Bible. I don't think there is any point in trying to invent new words for these old realities. It would take too long and by the time the new words got established people would already be using them for a banged finger.

Instead, I think we should dig into the minds of the biblical authors until we see the reality they were talking about when they said "sanctified. You may never have heard of the word hyperopia, but you won't be able to read unless you get glasses to correct it. As irrelevant as the word sanctification may be where you work and in your neighborhood, the reality is very crucial, very contemporary, and very relevant. Suppose you've always concealed private sources of income when filling out your tax returns.

Then you come to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and begin to tell the truth on your tax returns— that's sanctification. Suppose you're always on your husband's case, and then the Word of God pricks your conscience and you begin to preach less and look for ways to show respect— that's sanctification.

What Does Sanctification Mean? How Do We Sanctify?

Suppose you're sleeping with your girlfriend, and you meet Jesus Christ and get the courage to move out— that's sanctification. Malcolm Muggeridge takes Mother Teresa as an example:. I think a person like her comes into the world, not by chance, and radiates the Christian faith at its most simple, most pure, most effective level.

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She takes any baby that is given to her and looks after it. She brings in dying people from the streets who might live for only a quarter of an hour. When they leave this life with a loving Christian face beside them instead of one of rejection, she would say that it is well worth it. She is diametrically opposed to the spirit of the age—abortion is a horror to her, and all the attitude of mind associated with it.

Eternity , April , p. When a young woman living in the security and comfort of middle class Western society moves to Calcutta in obedience to Jesus, that is sanctification , and it is not irrelevant.

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Don't let the irrelevance of the word mislead you. The reality is immensely important. At the end of Romans Paul says, "Grace has been given to me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.


He pictures himself as a priest. His ministry as a priest is to preach the gospel. And the offerings he brings to God as a priest are Gentiles. And these Gentiles are acceptable because they are sanctified. Paul is not merely aiming for converts; he is aiming to make people sanctified.

2 Timothy 2:21

As soon as we see clearly that the aim of Paul's missionary labor is sanctification, we can get a very clear idea of what sanctification is by reading verse 18 which describes the aim of his life in different words: "I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles. Or more precisely, what does Christ aim to achieve through Paul's missionary labor?

Answer: he aims to win obedience from the Gentiles. So here's what I conclude. Since the aim of Paul's ministry in verse 16 is to present Gentiles to God who are sanctified , and in verse 18 Christ's aim in Paul's ministry is the obedience of the Gentiles, therefore sanctification means obedience to Christ. Jesus himself told us what the aim of missionary labor should be: "Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Sanctification is happening where the words of Jesus are being obeyed.

Romans —19 confirms that we've gotten on track with Paul in connecting obedience and sanctification. Verse "Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed. Obedience to the teaching of Christ in verse 17 is the same as sanctification in verse So the process of becoming sanctified is the process of more consistently and more fervently note "from the heart," Romans obeying Jesus Christ.

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See also 1 Peter for another connection of sanctification and obedience. One of our goals at Bethlehem is to be a people with a wartime mentality and a wartime lifestyle. A people who see the warmth and beauty of spring but do not forget that vast populations of our world and vast regions of the human heart are ice-bound by unbelief; that every season of the year Satan is fighting with his forces to resist the liberation troops of the gospel and expand his own deadly kingdom.

God helping us, we will not be a people with a peacetime mentality. Daffodils and tulip blossoms and Aspen leaves and carpets of grass will not make us think the millennium has come. The war rages on right through the summer.

Every new, fresh, beautiful leaf is an offer of love from God to a rebellious world. The deep blue sky and the warm sun and the cumulus clouds are a merciful call to repentance before the final storm gathers. Every softball game, every fishing trip, every hour in the garden, every day at the lake is a field of conflict.

What is Sanctification? A Bible Study

And there are a hundred ways for you to gain victory over evil in the power of Christ and advance his cause in the way you work and play this summer— if you maintain a wartime mentality. And what Paul has done for us in Romans and 18 is to define sanctification so that it can be a part of our wartime vocabulary. Sanctification is obeying the Commander-in-Chief. Sanctification is a wartime word.