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Summary: This sermon unpacks the Who of sanctification ? The How of sanctification? And the Why of sanctification?

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ARTICLE 13. SANCTIFICATION. WHO? HOW? WHY?

TO BETTER UNDERSTAND SANCTIFICATION WE NEED TO RECAP OTHER DOCTRINAL TRUTHS WE HAVE ALREADY COVERED IN OUR SERIES: LAST WEEK WE UNPACKED ADOPTION, WHEREBY GOD ADOPTS US, THROUGH ADOPTION WE HAVE A NEW POSITION WITH GOD. THEN WE OPENED UP THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION , WHEREBY GOD DECLARES US NOT ONLY AS NOT GUILTY BUT AS AS RIGHTEOUS IN HIS SIGHT THIS IS SOMETHING WHICH IS DONE FOR US BY GOD.

BY SANCTIFICATION GOD MAKES US INCREASINGLY HOLY, UNLIKE JUSTIFICATION , WHICH IS SOMETHING GOD HAS DONE FOR US OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES (JUDICIAL ACT), SANCTIFICATION IS AN ONGOING WORK WHICH IS DONE IN US AND THROUGH US TO BRING US TO THE POINT OF BEING LIKE CHRIST. IT IS CONTINUED THROUGHOUT THIS LIFE (HEB10:14) AND ONLY AFTER DEATH PERFECTED (HEB 12:23).

1. WHO? SANCTIFICATION IS A SUPERNATURAL WORK OF THE TRIUNE GOD.

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT SANCTIFICATION OF A SINNER IS NOT A SELF IMPROVEMENT PLAN, WHERE WE DECIDE TO IMPROVE OUR LIVES – TO BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS - BECAUSE THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. TO BE LIKE HIM (JESUS) IS SIMPLY NOT IN OUR OWN POWERS OF HEART, MIND OR WILL WE OURSELVES ARE UNABLE TO MAKE OURSELVES RIGHT BEFORE GOD. WE WILL NEVER ACHIEVE OUR AIM OF BEING LIKE CHRIST BY OURSELVES. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHY SANCTIFICATION IS A SUPERNATURAL WORK OF THE TRIUNE GODHEAD.

• IN THE VATICAN ART COLLECTION SITS MICHELANGELO’S PIETA, A MARBLE STATUE OF MARY IN ANGUISH AS SHE HOLDS HER CRUCIFIED SON. IT’S REGARDED AS A MASTERPIECE. A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO A VISITOR TO THE GALLERY TOOK A SLEDGEHAMMER AND STARTED SMASHING THE STATUE. BY THE TIME THE GUARDS GOT TO HIM THE DAMAGE WAS EXTENSIVE. BUT IT WASN’T IRREPARABLE. THE VATICAN’S ARTISTS WERE ABLE TO RESTORE THE PIETA TO NEAR-PERFECT CONDITION.

• ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE A CHRISTIAN HAS BECOME GOD’S WORKMANSHIP, GOD’S WORK OF ART, CREATED TO REFLECT HIS CHARACTER ON EARTH. SADLY, SIN HAS TAKEN A SLEDGEHAMMER TO US. BUT GOD HAS SET ABOUT TO RECONSTRUCT US TO WHAT WE ONCE WERE BEFORE THE FALL, AS WE ABIDE IN CHRIST AND BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WE ARE UNDER RE -CONSTRUCTION GOD IS IN THE PROCESS OF RESTORING US INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS AND ONE DAY IT WILL BE COMPLETED.

A. SANCTIFICATION INVOLVES THE FATHER (1PET 1:2. HEB 2:11): SANCTIFIED MEANS TO BE SET APART TO BE HOLY . OUR GOD IS JUST THAT HE IS HOLY, HE IS SET APART - GODS HOLINESS IS NOT MERELY AN ATTRIBUTE IT IS THE VERY CORE OF HIS BEING - HOLINESS RUNS THROUGH ALL HIS ATTRIBUTES (LOVE –JUSTICE- COMPASSION – MERCY AND SO ON ). WHEN WE LOOK UPON HIM ABOVE ALL WE SEE THAT GOD IS HOLY (MAJESTIC) WHEN WE LOOK UPON HIM - WE SEE OUR UNHOLY STATE BEFORE HIM (ISA 6:3- 5).

THIS HOLY TRIUNE GOD WHO CALLS YOU AND I TO BE HOLY (1PET 1:16) PERFECT HOLINESS IS HIS COMMAND (1THES 4:7) AND PURPOSE. YET THE REALITY IS WE ARE UNHOLY SO GOD STEPS INTO OUR LIVES TO MAKE THIS CALL TO BE HOLY A REALITY. HE USES THIS PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION TO BRING US TO THE GOAL OF HOLINESS.

WITHOUT GOD, OUR SANCTIFICATION WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE – GOD IS THE SOURCE OF THIS SUPERNATURAL WORK (1 THES 5:23 HEB 13:20,21). WHO IS NOW KNOWN AS THE GOD OF PEACE. BECAUSE HE HAS BROUGHT THAT PEACE THROUGH CHRIST ON THE CROSS (COL 1:20).


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