Summary: Sanctification

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SO GREAT A SALVATION - Sanctification.

It is vital to remember that this doctrine is not to be interpreted by experience, but rather by a careful consideration of all Scriptures bearing on the subject.

I. Definition.

The original words translated sanctify, sanctification, holy, holiness, etc., are found often in scriptures.

Believers are called saints (1 Cor. 1:2/Rom.1:7/Eph.1:1/etc.), those are called sanctified (Acts 20:32/1 Cpr/1:2; 6:11/etc).

Things, as well as persons were sanctified (Gen. 2:3/Ex.29:34,44; 30:26-29/Lev.21:22/Zech.14:20-21/Matt. 23:17,19/

2 Tim. 2:21.

The verb originally means "to set apart" and thus, when God does it, it has come to mean "make holy." In every case, however, the original meaning must be kept in mind, for it is ever present in the Biblical usage. The failure to take this into account has led to many errors in this doctrine. God sets apart a thing or a person for His own possession or use.

We, as believers are separated from the world unto God, and hence are called saints or sanctified ones.

The word does not necessarily imply any attainment in personal holiness. In John 17:19, Jesus says, "I sanctify myself" obviously He was not becoming more holy! He was setting Himself apart for this special work.

II. Description.

A. Positional sanctification.

Every believer is sanctified by the offering of Jesus Christ, at the moment they believe in Him (Ac. 20:32/Heb.10:10,14/

1 Cor. 6:11/etc). This has nothing to do with our behavior. It is positional truth and does not change. The only relationship this has to the practical life of the believer is that it should be an encouragement to holy living (Eph.4:1/Ro.12:1/Col.3:1).

B. Progressive sanctification.

This phase of sanctification is progressive (1 Thess. 4:3-4/2 Cor.7:1) and depends on at least three things:

1. The degree of active Trust or yieldness to God.

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1 (NASB)

2. The degree to which we Turn from sin.

a. We turn from sin according to our Intake of the Word of God - as we get into the Word of God and let it get into us (Psa.119:9-11/2 Cor.3:18/Jn. 17:17).

b. We turn from sin because of the Lord Jesus Intercession for us (Rom.8:34/Heb.7:25/Lu.22:31-32).

c. We turn from sin because of the power of the Indwelling Spirit (Gal.5:16-17/Rom.8:2-4).

This provision is necessary because of our fallen nature (Rom.7:21/2 Cor.4:7/1 Jn.1:8). The Bible never promises an eradication of our sin nature, thus victory is only by a moment by moment dependency upon the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:16-23).

3. The degree of how must Time we have grown in grace (2 Cor. 3:18/2 Pet.3:18).

c. Perfect sanctification.

When we are presented to God in glory, we shall be perfect like Christ, wholly sanctified in every sense of the word (1 Thess.5:23/1 Jn. 3:1-3/Rom.8:29/Eph.5:25-27/Phil.3:20-21).

Johnny Palmer Jr

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