Basic Bible Doctrines - Lesson 6 – Sanctification
A) Definition – sanctify -Greek hagiazo, to separate from a profane to a sacred use; to consecrate self-wholly to God and His service. The primary meaning is separation. It means to be made holy only when a person or thing need to be cleansed from sin or defilement in order for it to be fit for the Master’s use.
Hence, there is a twofold meaning of sanctification:
1) Separation from evil
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
See also:2 Chronicles 29:5, 15-18.
2) Consecrated to God
Romans 6:22 “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
2 Timothy 2:20-22 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
See also Numbers 8:17.
B) The Work of Sanctification
1) At the moment of salvation
1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Hebrews 10:1, 14
V1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
V14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
This is the divine side of sanctification. There are two points of contact: the Cross of Christ and the Work of the Spirit.
a) The Cross of Christ – We must have a revelation whereby holiness is received. It is all wrapped up in the simple phrase: “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This expression means three things: First, our identification with Christ and His crucifixion; second, our identification with Christ in His resurrection; and third, Christ’s identification with us through His personal indwelling.
1) Our identification with Christ in His crucifixion – Two aspects: Substitution and Identification
a) Substitution means he took our place under the wrath and endured the penalty we deserved. Christ died for us. He bore our sins on the cross.
Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Hebrews 13:12 “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”
b) Identification – To make the statement that Christ died for us is true; but it is only half the truth. We died in Christ is the other half of the truth. The statement is only partially true that Christ died for us that we might escape punishment. It requires also to be said that God regards us as having been punished in Christ. To make the truth individual or personal, in the person of my Substitute I bore the penalty of sin. In the Him the law exhausted its power of death upon me. When Christ died, I died too. With reference to the claim of the law and the power of sin, I am, in the sight of God, counted as a dead man.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
2) Identification with Christ and His resurrection. In the same way that the believer relates to the crucifixion of Christ in substitution and identification he also stands related to His resurrection. He not only died for us on the cross in substitution but He also rose for us in substitution from the grave. To make the truth personal, I died with Christ; but I also rose with Him. I was in Him when he hung on the cross and when He lay in the grave; but I was also in Him when He loosed the bands of death on the morning of His resurrection. “Crucified with Christ” expresses the death side of our union with the Lord. “Risen with Christ” expresses the life side of our union with Him. This is why baptism is a significant part and has deep spiritual meaning and importance in our substitution and identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Romans 6:4, 11 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
3) Identification with Christ through his personal indwelling. Christ Himself, by the Holy Spirit, will come and dwell in our hearts and live out His own life within us. The Christian life is a Christ-life. It is not an imitation, but an incarnation. We do not copy Christ, we reproduce Him. Actually, He reproduces His own life within us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:20-21 “At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
See also: Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20; Romans 15:29
b) The Work of the Holy Spirit -Progressive- the transformation of the believer in character and conduct through the reception of and cooperation with the Holy Spirit is the experiential and complete side of holiness. Contact with God, whereby the Christian becomes partaker of the Holiness of Christ, has a human as well as a divine side. On the human side, complete surrender and an act of faith is necessary. Another name for surrender is consecration. The Christian can yield his heart and life by the power or the grace of Almighty God. Surrender is giving up-a yielding to God. The believer must lay his whole life on the altar, relinquish all right to its control, and count himself henceforth and forever the Lord’s.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, and that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Self denial, which is the essence of surrender, does not mean giving up things; it means giving up self. It must be voluntary. Unless the step of surrender is voluntary, the surrender will be in name only, it will have no spiritual value. God calls man, but does not coerce them. In making choices and in deciding destiny, there is free will. God will supply motives to do what is right, but he will not arbitrarily determine the decision of the will. If the will does not yield, there is no surrender. If the will is not free in its action, the surrender is not voluntary.. Voluntary surrender is the result of love.
Philippians 2: 5-8 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
See also Hebrews 10:5-9; Philippians 3:7-11.
Unless surrender is complete, it is not surrender at all. A partial consecration is not sufficient. God will not accept a divided heart. If we expect God to give Himself completely to us, we must give ourselves completely to Him. Our surrender must be final. When rightly understood surrender to God cannot be repeated nor recalled. It is irrevocable. There are Christians who have a habit of making a re-consecration of their lives on every favorable occasion. Some believers give themselves new to God with each and every day. The motive of of this act is entirely right, but the practice of it is clearly unscriptural. Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12 “for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” See also John 10:27-29.
Surrender and faith must go together. Surrender is yielding to God. Faith is taking from God. Surrender is negative and passive. Faith is positive and aggressive. In the same way that surrender is voluntary, complete, and final, so the act of faith must be definite, vital, and appropriating.
1) Progressive in Our Walk With Christ
a) 1 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen”
b) 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
c) 1 Thesalonians 5:23-24 :And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2) Called to Holiness
a) Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
b) 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
c) 1 Peter 1:1`5-16 “But as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
See also: Romans 6:11-23;Hebrews 12:9-13.