Summary: Here are three ways to help you evaluate if you have submitted to the Lordship of Christ and His sanctifying power.
A Sanctification Quiz
By: Dr. Mark Eckart
Recently I was teaching a class on the Doctrine of Holiness. It occurred to me while teaching that it is a lot easier to determine if someone is saved then sanctified. As we talked that day in class, a three part quiz (I call it) came to mind that I shared with the students to help someone know if they are sanctified.
For example, if someone gets saved or born again you can tell by a change in attitude, conduct, habits they stop and start, or the biggest way in my thinking someone can show they are saved is by getting baptized. This Biblical command stated all throughout the New Testament to “repent and be baptized” is certainly an objective way for someone to let God, the devil, and friends and foes know that have taken a new path. Certainly baptism does not save a person but a person that has truly been saved, I believe, will have a desire to obey and experience water baptism. We have heard that phrase that the sacraments are an outward sign of an inward work, or I like to refer to baptism as being a confirmation of my conversion.
We in the holiness movement, however, teach that there is a second work of grace that a Christian should experience. We just don’t make this idea of sanctification up because we like to use big theological terms or just because John Wesley taught a lot about the topic. We owe a lot to Mr. Wesley for bringing this topic to the forefront in evangelical thought, but it goes deeper than Wesley. The fact is the Bible talks a lot about sanctification.
The words sanctify or sanctification is used in at least seventy verses in the KJV English Bible. In the New Testament alone we have Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the Hebrews author (which very possibly was Paul) talking specifically about the importance of being sanctified.
The question is how can you know you are sanctified? I mean we know it is a Biblical concept. We also know that it is a theological doctrine that many church fathers down through the centuries have taught and expected believers to experience. One of my favorite verses that teach this is when Apostle Paul 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. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (I Thess. 5:23-24*).
Now relax, because I am not proposing in this article a huge theology examination on the Doctrine of Holiness. I would just like for us to consider a short quiz about this topic. Certainly it is not exhaustive and it could be argued that these topics we are considering in this article are dealt with somewhat when someone gets saved. This could be true; however, I contend all of these areas are Lordship issues that God deals with when we surrender all to Him at a deeper level than we experience at conversion. So, in my humble opinion this is one objective way to determine if you have been sanctified wholly. This quiz only has three parts. Ready, here we go!
1. What about your money and possessions?
Someone that has experienced the second work of grace in their heart will not be stingy. If you find a believer that penny pinches on their tithe and offerings, never gives to missions or charities beyond their local church, more than likely they have NOT been sanctified. A big part of sanctification is giving God full control of everything we own. The attitude is He owns it, we are just stewards of what He entrusts us with while on this earth.
A friend of mine recently told me they felt like God was asking them to give 15% of what they make each week to the church. A pastor’s wife was sharing a while back with Deb and I that God was leading her to give double tithe on the money she was making in her business.
Don’t misunderstand, for the sanctified person giving to God is not a chore it is a privilege. You are so in love with God that you can’t wait to give offerings to His work. No wonder Paul said, “That God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7*). God’s love reciprocates and there is a special love bond that takes place between God and the person that loves to give to God.
If all you think about is saving money, hoarding possessions and 401k’s, then ask God to work in your heart so you can become a “cheerful giver.”
2. What about your submission?
Once again this topic cuts to the heart of the issue of being sanctified. If someone that claims to be a Christian is always wanting there own way, not coming under authority, showing a bad attitude when they are told no by a boss, parent, or a board of directors, they probably have not been sanctified. I am not talking here about an occasional struggle dealing with a set back we didn’t see coming, but rather an overall attitude of rebellion.