Bible Lesson 80

SANCTIFICATION

BOTH POSITIONAL/STATE

#1 In A Series

We must begin our understanding of sanctification, by looking back to our justification. Every one of us was born into this world under the wrath of God because of our inherited nature (the nature of sin and disobedience), that we received from our federal head, Adam. Adam was the father of all who is born on the earth because he was the first man created in the flesh. We were all in his loins when he fell in the garden and as a consequence, we received his nature at conception. That means that we were all born under the wrath of God because of our sin nature and our love of sin (Ephesians 2:2-3; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:16-19).

That’s the reason that verse four of Ephesians chapter 2 is so sweet to the heart and mind of those who are truly saved. Ephesians chapter two and verse four follow those devastating verses in chapter two and verses one through three of Ephesians where we are reminded that we were born under the wrath of our Holy God because of our sin nature and our resulting disobedience.
We are told there that we were born ‘dead in trespass and sin and had walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, just as the others’.

But praise God’..there is a verse four which tells us, ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us”.even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved, and raise us together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus’.

When God begins His work of regeneration and the new birth, He extends His grace and plants Faith in those whom He ‘quickens’. We have to remember that we have no means of salvation in and of ourselves, it comes with the gift of Grace from God; and, justification comes before sanctification, or at least jointly with it.

Without justification there is never sanctification, so let’s get it straight in our minds that we are justified by God because of Christ’s work on Calvary for us and we are sanctified by God when He saves us because He separates us unto Himself and His service, that’s positional sanctification, but it does not end there.

We are commanded to work out our salvation, and that is our efforts, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to cleanse the flesh from sin. We are commanded to mortify the deeds of the flesh, (Colossians 3:5); and Romans 8:13 reminds us that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that is to ‘put to death the deeds of the body or flesh.

Sanctification, as required by God for His children, can only be accomplished by the power of the individual trusting and relying on the Holy Spirit’s power in us.

We are sanctified in the eyes of God at the same time that we are justified, and that by faith. So in our salvation, God imputes to us at the moment of salvation Justification and Sanctification. God then expands sanctification to include the flesh behaving the way God’s children must behave and that brings the person who is saved into cooperation with God as they mortify the deeds of the flesh.

So, it is important that we recognize that if we are saved (Justified), we are being conformed (willingly and with our complete cooperation), to the image of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. If you are a sinner, then you are not justified.

Remember that all sinners will find their place in the Lake of Fire. Just as God set apart, the vessels and the tools used in the tabernacle, He called them to a holy purpose, to be used for nothing except His service, so he calls those whom He saves to be separate and holy and to be used for His purposes only in His service.

That’s what God meant there in Romans 8:29 when He inspired the Apostle to write to us’.’ For whom He foreknew (loved before), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren’. We are saved to live like Christ and in saying that we have to remember that Christ was fully man, yet fully God.

He could walk on water and forgive sin and we cannot, and will not ever be God; but we can live like the man Christ, that is if we are truly saved. To say anything else or to believe anything else is to call God’s Word the Bible in error. Remember, if we are truly saved, we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us (Jesus Christ). (Romans 8:31-39, Titus 2:11-12).

Sometimes we have to wonder what some people who call themselves Christians want God to do, more than He has already done for us. God could have destroyed us all and started over from scratch that is what God did in Noah’s time. Remember, God did destroy the world and everything that had life, except for Noah and his wife and Noah’s three sons and their wives, in a flood that covered the tallest mountains on the earth, back in the time of the patriarchs.

We have begun to think that if God did not have us, His creatures, that God would be out of luck, but remember that God lived for eternity without any of us. Sanctification, for the weak and willful congregations of our day, is almost a dirty word, because it requires that we do things according to the way that God has predetermined we must. It cuts us off from the world and the worldly and the sin that so easily besets us, and most are not willing to make that commitment. Oh, we all want to go to heaven, but no one wants to die to self to gain that blessed inheritance.

Someone may ask, ‘How can I stay focused and obedient to Christ as I live in this sinful world” The answer is that it takes a seeking and a striving and a purpose in the heart, mind, and soul of the one who would conform to the image of Christ. We are mandated in Matthew 6:33 to ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (needs) will be added to you’.

The word that is translated first in that scripture does not relate to a number but carries with it the idea that seeking the kingdom of God must be our first and over-riding priority. I think Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the mount explains it when He says in Matthew 7:13-14, that we have to make up our minds that heaven is not something that we can simply talk our way into and hell is not something that we can talk our way out of.

Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Sinless Son of God, God in the flesh, says in those verses that there are a wide gate and a broad way that leads to hell, but the gate and the way that leads to eternal life with Him, is narrow and the way is difficult; and because of that, there will be just a few that will take the time and make the effort to go in at that narrow gate, which is Jesus Christ.

The question becomes”.can a truly saved person live without sinning’ The answer is that we could’.if we wanted to because a truly saved person is the workmanship of God and is a new creature with the old things passed away, and all things become new. This new creature is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God and has all the power of heaven and earth to assist him in trusting God enough to obey Him. God commanded the people in the Old Testament, over and over to be holy and He commands us today to be Holy because He is Holy.

God commands us to offer our bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service (1st Peter 1:15, Romans 12:1; Romans 15:16; 1st Corinthians 3:17; 1st Corinthians 6:19-20). We have lost and are losing our value systems because we do not know God, as God, and we have been taught that we cannot live righteous lives; but if we are God’s children we can and will live holy lives. God assures us that we will ‘.that is if we are truly saved (Philippians 2:12-13; 2nd Corinthians 5:17)!

How many of us, who call ourselves Christians, wake up every morning and consciously examine our lives and determine to live that day and every day in strict compliance with the commandments, precepts, and statutes of God’ How many of us truly believe that God has the power to cause us to want to live righteous lives and then to live by that power’ Well, if we think about it and we believe that God is the God who created the world and all that is in it, we should have no problem believing that God is indeed powerful enough to change us in the new birth to be people who have the will and the power to live for Him, according to His commandments.

I refer you again to Philippians 2:13 that assures us that God is working in the truly saved person to cause them to want to be righteous and to live righteous lives. We have no excuse when we fail to follow God’s Will, because we were sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we truly believed, (Ephesians 1:13).

Not only that but we have an onboard teacher and guide to keep us on the narrow way, it’s called Grace. Yes, we are saved by grace through faith that is given us in regeneration, and instantly Grace becomes our teacher and it teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, (Titus 2:11-12).

God knows nothing about the kind of ‘Christians’ that most preachers, teachers, and churches produce in this society; because we are teaching the traditions of men and not the precepts of God. Too many are teaching traditions that are purposely put forth to make everyone in the congregation feel good about their lives and that is not the purpose of preaching.

The word of God was given to a world that stood under the wrath of our Holy God, because of our nature and our sinful lives, not to make us feel good about our sin but to humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation, and to promote real holiness in heart and life.

None of us was born any closer to God than anyone else, we were all born under the judgment of God and His wrath, unless and until He chooses to call us, and He calls us out of the ways of the world to the will and way of His way, which is set down for us in His Word the Bible.

No man, not the pope, not the bishops, not the preachers, not any man has any warrant to change one jot or title of God’s word, and those who take it upon themselves to preach the gospel either must preach ‘Thus saith the Lord’ or they are false prophets. Incidentally, Jesus Christ warns us throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, about false prophets.

If we read the seventh chapter of Matthew we find that the verse directly following Christ’s warning about only a few people who would take the time and make the effort to find the strait gate and walk the narrow way’ Christ says to us in verse 15 of Matthew chapter seven’.’

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves’. Jesus meant that these false prophets come to us looking neat and clean and they bring their degrees from prestigious seminaries and they mesmerize us with their powerful oratory; however they are not God-called men, and they preach for power, position and for money.

They are men to preach to itching ears and tell whole congregations exactly what they want to hear. They preach a gospel that asks nothing, requires nothing, and demands nothing from the person who says they have faith; but that kind of gospel will mean nothing in the judgment.

It will not save anyone, and instead condemns those who follow after that kind of heresy. We have heard so much error, heresy, and ‘cheap grace’ preaching that it would take a real drastic revolution (not revival) to even cause people to hear the real truth of the gospel.

Is sanctification really important’ Why won’t God buy our excuses about not being sanctified when we stand in the Great White Throne judgment; because that’s what we have been taught’ The answer is that God has left us the Truth and we have more or less ignored it, in favor of being entertained from our pulpits, and since God cannot lie, He will punish all sin and any disobedience is sin.

How in the world we ever concluded that God did not mean what He said about us being sanctified both positionally and personally is beyond me. The Scriptures tell us that all three of the Persons of the God-head are active in our sanctification, so we must know that God means for us to be sanctified, (1st Peter 1:2).

No doubt about it’.Christians, true Christians are sanctified people; but they cannot glory in that, other than to glory in God; because it is all of God. We certainly cooperate in our sanctification but we do that only because God has worked in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, (1st Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 2:13).

It is significant for us to understand that sanctification means exactly what we think it means, but fight so hard to deny and that is that the true Christian lives a life that will glorify God because God is working in that person to cause him/her to want to be sanctified and give them the power to live sinless lives.

God speaks to this sanctification as He deals with Christ’s relationship with the true Church in Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 26 and following verses. When we read that scripture and understand it, we have to see that God intends for us to read and understand His Word the Bible so that we can know how we are to live as we walk with Christ. Make up your mind, you are going be sanctified, if you are truly saved.

If you have made up your mind that you cannot be sanctified and you do not trust God enough to depend upon Him to accomplish sanctification in you, then you do not intend to be saved.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob