Bible Lesson 66

SANCTIFICATION
2ND Corinthians 6:11-18

The first thing that we need to do in this study is to understand the meaning of the word sanctification. In the Greek, which is the language that our New Testament, was translated from, sanctification means ‘To be set apart for God’s use, saints, and holy’. We have to understand that there are differences in the usage of the word, but it is pretty clear that most people understand what most of those words mean. They mean the perfecting of a life that has been Depraved and which caused those who lived that depraved life to be under the wrath of God (John 3:35-36; Romans 2:5-11; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 3:1-10). Incidentally, we are all born under God’s wrath, and we all enjoyed the sin that was connected to our nature that we inherited from Adam. I know for sure that there are those, though they are few, who will not admit their depraved nature, and some of them even lived ‘good’ lives; however, their good was not ever good enough to save them. We are saved, if we are truly saved, by God’s Grace alone, through God’s Faith alone, in His Son Jesus Christ alone. As lost sinners, we do not even have the desire to be saved, (Oh, we would take salvation if God would give it to us on our terms, but we never really love God and His Son and appreciate what God has done for us enough to commit these bodies of flesh to obey Him). God has one way, and one way only that He saves anyone.

God saves only those that He ‘calls’ out of the sin and shame of the world to be sanctified, set apart, and made holy as they live on the earth and glorify God by their living (Romans 8:28-30).

Romans chapter eight and verses twenty-eight through thirty, speak to us about God’s purpose in salvation and those verses tell us that God works out His eternal plan in saving a people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation, as a gift (bride) for His one and only Son Jesus Christ; and God says that He calls them and has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son, God then justifies them and glorifies them.

Now, what does all of that mean’ it means that we have an Almighty, Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscience and Omnipresent God who is completely in charge who calls and saves whomever He will and then works in them to not only want to glorify Him but to glorify Him as they live sanctified, holy, set apart lives that show them to be saints (Philippians 2:13-16).

I can assure you that the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians do not and will not accept the title ‘Saint’ or Holy, instead they boast about being sinners. I suppose they don’t believe the Bible; because God has told us that there will be no sin in heaven and that means that there will not be any sinners.

Many people have been confused and fooled by interpretations that are so skillfully constructed with so much ‘snow’ interjected into various interpretations that people have simply set sanctification aside and that is a grave error; because we are told clearly to ‘Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12: 13-14).

We must always remember that we have to obey the Lord as we live Christian lives. To do that we must understand sanctification. As we have said, Sanctification involves both an immediate and a progressive condition.

The truly saved person is sanctified by God; they are set apart and made holy for God’s use. Since God is Omniscience and knows all things even before they happen, He knows that person; and if that person should die in the instant after his salvation would go to be with Christ in Heaven (for instance, the thief on the cross).

Sanctification in that instance is immediate and it is immediate in everyone who is ever saved. If we live past the moment of our salvation we will be sanctified progressively. As soon as God saves us we are sanctified, but we do not know all that we should know about what God requires from us as His Children, so we are led by the Holy Spirit to hunger and thirst after righteousness; and the knowledge of God.

Does that mean that we don’t have to be concerned about sin in our lives, as long as we get our lives in order according to the Bible, before we die’ Listen carefully now because this will surprise a great majority of those who call themselves Christians; the answer to that question is absolutely not!

The idea that we would have all the rest of our lives to begin cleaning up our lives after salvation is ridiculous; because the truly saved person has been restored to Spiritual vigor and the Holy Spirit is now leading that person and they will not only desire to do God’s will (be obedient to His commands); but will have the Holy Spirit’s power to obey (Philippians 2:13)!

The thing that we have to keep foremost in our minds is that most people who we know, that say they are saved by the blood of Jesus, are simply people who have joined some institutional church and have never really been saved. Most have been fooled by the shallow teachings of people who do not, as a rule, know the Word of God. If you were saved recently and you have a doubt about your sanctification, you can know that the moment that God did that wonderful work of recreation in your life (See Ephesians 2:10; 2nd Corinthians 5:17), you were set apart for the use of God.

God has a job for you and you will be hungry enough to begin to seek His will and unction to accomplish what God saved you to do. Now, understand that if you lived past regeneration, you have a life that has a track that was laid out by God before the foundation of the world, and that is that daily, as the Spirit convicts you of sin and that conviction may be as little as you running across some scripture that tells you that you have a sin in your life, you will begin to mortify the deeds of the flesh. In the initial phase of salvation, God the Father imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us when He saves us but that is not the end of our conversion, we have a duty to God, now that we are saved, to flesh out that imputation.

We do that as we obey God and His commands and work-out our salvation, in fear and trembling, as we become consecrated Christians, Christians who know how they were saved and when they were saved, Christians who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit that is in us (Philippians 2:12); because it is God that is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

We have yielded to the Holy Spirit and we are led by Him because we know that is the only way that we can please God (Romans 8:1-11). So why have we taken the position that we cannot live above sin, and therefore we should not try’ That is exactly the fruit of what is preached when you hear preachers and teachers, saying that we are all just sinners saved by grace and that we all sin every minute of every day, and normally the person who is orating will say, that he or she is the worst sinner in the church.

That may seem very nice to those who sit in the congregation and do not know what the Bible teaches, but that is certainly not what God demands from His children. Preachers have bought into interpretations rather than to study the Bible for themselves. Anyone who has read the Bible and studied what God has taught in the Word of God has to know that God is constantly commanding us to live lives that will glorify Him. Most who hold the position that says that God did not do a finished work in salvation like to say, ‘Well sanctification maybe your position but it is not your condition’. Let’s ask God about that and the way we ask God about anything is to go to what He has revealed to us in His Word.

The Word of God assures us that every member of the Triune God works in our sanctification. Jude verse one points ‘To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ’:’ now what can that mean’ Well, as we have said, that can be speaking of being set apart and made holy for the use of God, or we can apply it to all who are saved and call them saints, or we can say that it applies to those who are sanctified, but we cannot understand it any other way.

Then in First Corinthians chapter one and verse two, we find this, ‘To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours’. That is more focused than the verse in Jude and it speaks specifically of those who are saved, sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be saints.

That means that it is pointing to the sanctified people who make up the church. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that saints are the workmanship of God, created ‘in Christ’ for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ All of the truly saved have been recreated by God ‘in Christ’ and if we are in Christ and Christ is in us, then we have to ask ourselves can anyone who is in Christ and led by the Spirit sin’ The Bible teaches us that God, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are working together to produce a church that is without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

First Peter 1:2 speaks to us under the inspiration of God and says, ‘elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.’ There is no way that we can read all of the verses in our Bible that speaks of sanctification and believe that God does not intend to empower those who are truly saved to live exemplary lives.

The problem appears to me to be that we have had so many ‘Theologians’ who have massaged, strained and over-interpreted the scriptures about sanctification, that it is hard to read them and ask God to interpret them for us; because our minds are full of the disclaimers and doubts and just plain foolishness that we have been taught from books ‘about’ the Bible.

God not only commands our sanctification, but He also empowers our sanctification, and He even gives us His plan for our sanctification. In Hebrews chapter twelve and verses one and two, God speaks to us and says, ‘Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’.

The thing that we have to consider right here is, that this is speaking to those who are truly saved, born again, regenerate, adopted children of God, that are in Christ, and are new creatures with the power of the Holy Spirit in them to obey all that is commanded. No scripture from the Bible except for ‘Repent or Perish’ is directed to those who are not born again, saints and faithful in Christ Jesus.

So Hebrews 12:1-2, or Romans 8:1-11, or any of the scriptures that we will quote in this lesson does not apply to those who are not saved, even those who have been exemplary ‘church-members’. Only the truly saved can or will ever be sanctified because God works only in those who are obedient to His commands.

First Corinthians 1: 2, reminds us about where sanctification begins, it is in the New Birth, which is wrought in regeneration, and that verse says ‘ ‘To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours’. That makes it clear that if you are not sanctified in Christ, and living like a saint, then you are not saved and you are not a member of ‘The Church’, regardless of how many churches you may belong to!

In chapter six of First Corinthians, in verses 9-11, we find the writer, under the inspiration of God as He says to us, ‘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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 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’. The Apostle Paul here was writing under the inspiration of God and He says to those who had been the worst of sinners, that in their former conditions they were barred from heaven’.but they are now fitted for heaven by the Work of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Lest any of you think that we are not all born under the wrath of God, let me point out to you that Paul was talking to those who had gone into the depths of depravity and had been fornicators, idolaters, homosexuals and so forth, and the blood of Christ was sufficient for all of them. Never forget that you were on your way to the very same hell that they were going to even though you were not guilty of these sins you had the capacity to do them under the right circumstances and conditions.

If you do not remember anything else that I am saying in this lesson, please remember this, we are a people that have surrendered our hearts, minds, and souls to an idea that is corrupt and damning to our souls unless we wake up and change course and come back to Biblical teachings. We have learned how to leave God out of salvation. We talk about God and we sing about God, but that is all secondary to the message which is that we should join the visible church and come to the meetings. That is the problem.

There is nothing wrong with the visible church as the place where the saints meet to worship God; however, we must never supplant God with our particular group. We must first be saved and become a part of the invisible church before we should be allowed membership in the visible church. We have begun to think of church and church membership as a religious credit card that costs nothing in life but will be worth nothing in the judgment. The Savior preached that the truly saved people were salt and light, but judging from what our churches are doing in our day, why, with all that salt, is our world going to hell in a handbasket; and with all that light how come we live in the darkness of sin’

We have slept through the time that we should have been studying God’s Word and seeking His face, and we now have lost the knowledge that everything that our God has done or will do is supernatural! If you are truly saved you were saved supernaturally; and if you don’t remember that supernatural moment when the hand of God was on your life, then it’s possible that you are not saved. If that be the case, God will not hold it against you, unless you continue on the path that you have been on. What you need to do is humble yourself and fall at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to do that supernatural work of saving a soul that is headed to hell.

Some hate holiness or at least they appear to; because the very mention of someone who is attempting to live like a saint, or to be holy in their lives causes them to explode. Where did we ever get the idea that God is not able to empower His children, those who really strive to live holy lives, to be able to do so’ 1st John 3:3 tells us that if we have the hope of seeing Jesus in the end and being like Him, that we will purify ourselves, even as Jesus is pure.

Does that sound like we have all of our lives here on the earth to begin conforming to the image of Christ’ Our Savior, Jesus Christ preached in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’. Are we people who strive and seek the power of God to purify our hearts, or are we simply little church wimps that never strive, but always make excuses and blame God for our inability to walk straight’

We are always proud to say that we are saved by grace, but that is about as far as most people want to go with God and His grace; however, we are told in the epistle to Titus, that God’s grace not only saves us, but it then becomes our teacher and it teaches us to ‘deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and teaches us to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world’. God inspired the Apostle Paul to write here and tell us that His Grace would bring us to the holiness of life, no ifs, and, or buts. (Titus 2:10-12). In that same chapter of Titus (chapter 2) we are told in verse 14, that Christ ‘gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’.

In the book of Acts chapter 15 and verse 9, when Peter was addressing the issue of Gentile salvation, He said, ‘God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them, witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did to us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith’. It is Faith that makes all of the difference between true salvation and false ‘professions of faith’. True faith comes from understanding the Word of God and having a knowledge of God that is contained nowhere else other than the Bible. We cannot find ‘saving faith’ in any other place, we must read and ask God to interpret by His Holy Spirit, what He has revealed to us.

In the Old Testament, God sanctified many things, people, places and things, even the pots and pans, and all of the instruments that pertained to their worship of God were sanctified, set apart for God’s use, and made holy. No one was to touch anything holy except those who God had marked as priests.

Now in the New Testament economy, we who are truly saved, are sanctified, set apart for God’s use, made holy by God the moment we are saved and we must be careful not to allow the unholy worldly and sinful things to affect our status. We are the temple of the living God and 2nd Corinthians 6:14- 7:1 tells us that we are not to be ‘unequally yoked together with unbelievers’..or idolaters and infidels’.or idols because there is nothing in them that finds agreement with the things of God”.then verse 17 commands us to ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’.

Then in verse one of chapter 7, God continues to speak to us through the Apostle and says ‘ Having these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ That says that we who are truly saved must cleanse ourselves both our flesh and our spirit from all filthiness and in the process, perfect holiness in the fear of God.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that the saved should ‘value the blood of Christ as the foundation of our hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit which is your meekness for the inheritance of the saints in light; yea, rather, prize it so heartily that you dread the very appearance of evil. Prize it so that in your most ordinary actions you may be ‘a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, showing forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light’. We must come to the place where we trust God as the Almighty who can do all things. We must come out of the shadows of sin and stand in that perfect light of Christ and the only thing that keeps us from that is that we have begun to ‘have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof’, (2nd Timothy 3:1-5). I say with God ‘.be ye holy for He is Holy.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob