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Understanding The Source and Process of Sanctification
Stats: 3,962 words / Reading Time: 19.81 mins

Published: Friday, 16th July 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

Understanding The Source and Process of Sanctification is read 713 times on CentreNDL.org 713
  

UNDERSTANDING THE SOURCE AND PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION

Discover How Christ Became Our Sanctification


Listen To Podcast: Understanding The Source And Process of Sanctification

In this piece, we are going to start by examining some facts about sanctification because I perceived that not every believer fully understands what this sanctification is and therefore, some struggles with it. Fact number one: Sanctification is part of our salvation package. When we talk about salvation package, they are things that accompany our salvation or being born again, the things we have access to by the Holy Spirit. For example, justification is one of them [Romans 5:1], good health is one of them [3rd John 2], also, Riches is one of them [1 Corinthians 8:9], and so also is sanctification.

 

Fact number two: Sanctification cannot be achieved or obtained by any other means in the flesh other than the means that Christ provided for us. Fact number three: Sanctification is not sanctimonious living [this has to do with pretentious religious devotion, pretentious righteousness or self-righteousness]. Fact number four: Sanctification cannot be obtained by any means in the flesh other than by the Spirit.

 

I will like us to start our meditation by turning our Bibles to the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. The Bible says: For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” You know, many people are looking for the will of God and they are yet to find it. They are looking for the will of God for a life partner, they are looking for the will of God concerning where to live and settle down [I remember several years ago before I got married, myself and my wife (then my fiancée) used to pray about this], many people are looking for the will of God concerning a situation. Many don’t even understand what the will of God is. Peradventure you are still in the search for the will of God for your life, this is one of them; YOUR SANCTICATION.

 

It says: For this is the will of God, your sanctification:” Now notice a colon. When you see a colon in English, what it means is that what comes next is related to the previous sentence. So, number one, your sanctification is: that you should abstain from sexual immorality…” What is sexual immorality? In a plain and simple definition, sexual immorality is any sexual act outside the confines of marriage between a man and a woman. And if you read the book of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, it gave us a biblical context of what sexual immorality is. It says:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified [notice it didn’t say you were sanctified first before you were washed, it says “you were washed and then sanctified] but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Verse 4 of 1 Thessalonians 3 says: that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour…” What does the Bible mean when it says: “Our vessel?” Our vessel simply means our bodies. Part of our sanctification is the ability to put our body under control. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27: But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 

Verse 5 of 1 Thessalonians 3 says: not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God…” So, from here, we see that the Gentiles or unbelievers aren’t sanctified. Why? Because they are not born again or better put, they don’t know God. It reads further from verse 6: that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

 

Definition of Sanctification

Haven said all these; what then is SANCTIFICATION? For us to know what Sanctification is, we need to first of all know what sanctification is not. Sanctification is not the same thing as righteousness. Sanctification is not the same thing as redemption. Righteousness is one thing. Redemption is one thing. And Sanctification is one thing. Righteousness came to us through reposing our faith in the things that Christ Himself has done on our behalf. So, with our righteousness consciousness, we are able to approach the throne of God that we may obtain mercy and find grace without any form of condemnation or guilt in our hearts (Hebrews 4:16). Redemption is a divine buy-back from sin and all its consequences by Christ Jesus. In Romans 3:21-26, the apostle Paul gave us a clear-cut difference between the terms and I want us to read it. The Bible says:

 

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed  being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 

So, from this Scripture we just read, we have seen clearly that there is a difference between those terms as used in the Bible. Also, in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, the Bible says: But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” So, from here, we could see that Christ became for us: wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Christ is the source of our sanctification as a New Testament believer. Sanctification therefore is a state of total separation from the world and total yieldedness unto God to be used for his purpose and intent alone. So, when Christ became our sanctification, it is to one purpose alone: TO BE USED OF GOD.

 

Process of Sanctification

 

#1. God The Father Himself Is Our Sanctifier [1 Thessalonians 5:23, Leviticus 20:7-8]

Why is God interested in our sanctification? God is interested in our sanctification so that we would be able to fully please Him and carry out His will. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the Bible says: 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. True sanctification takes place in the entire makeup of man: spirit, soul and body. There is no perfect sanctification of one without the other. Doing the will of God requires that your spirit is involved, your soul is involved and your body also is involved. So, when God sanctifies us, He sanctifies us wholly.

 

Also, Leviticus 20:7-8 says: Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them:Did we see that? To be able to do this requires the whole of man. In Matthew 22:37-38, a Pharisee Lawyer asked Jesus: which is the great commandment? Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. Loving God and carrying out His commandments requires the whole of us and not some part of us. The latter part of the Leviticus 20:8 read: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.So, God sanctifies us so that we will be able to carry out His will completely.

 

#2. Through Faith in What Christ Has Done for Us [Hebrews 10:8-10, Acts 26:17-18]

The New Testament believer is sanctified through faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross. Sanctification is part of the package that salvation offers us in Christ Jesus. In Hebrews 10:8-10, the Bible says: Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Also, in Acts 26:17-18, when Paul was recounting the account of his conversion on his way to Damascus, he said this concerning what Jesus said to him concerning faith and sanctification: I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

 

#3. Through the Spirit of God [1 Peter 1:1-2, 2 Thessalonians 2:13]

The Holy Spirit is also our sanctifier. The more we yield ourselves to Him, the more we are sanctified by Him. The Holy Spirit constantly produces in us everything that would help us in our daily sanctification. When we don’t yield to Him, we may end up grieving Him. In Peter 1:1-2, the Bible says: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

 

Also, in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, the Bible says: But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

 

#4. Sanctification Comes Through the Word of God [John 15:3, John 17:17]

In John 15:3, Jesus said to His disciples: You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. This means that the word of God is an agent of sanctification. As we receive the word of God and as we digest them, we are sanctified more and more by them. Also, in John 17:17, Jesus said: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. So, the word of God is our sanctification.

 

#5. Sanctification Happens through Prayer [1 Timothy 4:4-5]

Prayer is another process through which we are sanctified. In 1 Timothy 4:4-5, the Bible says: For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

 

Summary: We should never forget that as believers, Christ has been made our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). As we therefore yield ourselves to Him more and more, our sanctification is guaranteed and it is secure in Him. I pray that the Lord will help us in Jesus’ name.


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


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