Summary: Sanctification is a process in which we become more like Jesus - But it involves your participation.
#April 14, 2013
Text: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Subject: Part 8 in the What We Believe Series
Title: Sanctification - Set Apart for God
OK – Here we go… In the last few weeks I spoke to you about sin and salvation and about the church. Today I get to make it a little more personal. I’m going to talk about you. This message is for each of you – I don’t have to name names or point a finger at anyone. This is not a sermon that criticizes or accuses. This is a sermon that will enable you to become the best Christian you can be. And isn’t that what the Lord wants for His church?
What I want to do today is to help you go further in your Christian walk than you ever thought possible. How many of you here today would say, “I think I’m doing all right with God. I live a good clean life and I think that it pleases Him.” That’s good!
But how many of you believe that God wants more for you than just living according to the letter of the Law? Do you think that it pleases Him when you receive a fresh revelation and then begin to apply it to your life?
Today I want to talk to you about sanctification. What is sanctification? According to Wikipedia – the online encyclopedia, Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy. "Sanctity" is an ancient concept widespread among religions, a property of a thing or person sacred or set apart within the religion, from temple vessels to days of the week, to a human believer who achieves this state. To sanctify is literally "to set apart for special use or purpose", figuratively "to make holy or sacred”.
Often when we think of sanctification we think of the second part “to make holy or sacred”… But I believe that the first part is of equal importance. When you are sanctified you are set apart for special use or purpose…
Let’s read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
I believe this is God's Word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
And I appropriate it to my life today…
When does a person become sanctified? Hebrews 9:13-14, 13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
As soon as you make a decision to turn from your sin and invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life you become set apart for a holy life and for a life of service. However, many people misunderstand sanctification in that they believe it to be a once and done event. Sanctification is a lifelong process. We are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.
So how does that happen? Does God just miraculously pull your puppet strings to get you to go where He wants and do what He wants you to do? Wouldn’t it be nice if that were so? The truth is that the sanctification process will go as you go. If you do not desire to be anything more than a citizen of heaven you can get saved can kick back in your easy chair and wait till the end comes.
Or, you can choose to do the will of God and be everything that He has called you to be.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a step in sanctification. It enables you to release all that is in you through salvation. Power and authority is yours.
I. Believing the Word of God…
Would you agree with me that when you actively pursue the things of God that you are being sanctified? John 17:17 gives us a good place to start. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth… Being set apart for God’s purpose begins with His Word.
In the book of Acts- the title is the Acts of the Apostles. That is the name given to the book by man. It doesn’t really line up with the book itself. A more proper title would be the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles and other believers… but in the book of Acts the phrase “word of God” is used 11 times. It talks about teaching the word of God, and studying and preaching and receiving the word of God.