Summary: Sanctification - Progressive and/or Entire? And, how does that phrase "From Glory to Glory" actually work out in our lives?

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1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.

Sanctification - this thing we talk about; this thing that is one of the foundational distinctives of a holiness denomination. What is it?

What does it mean??????????

Is it just words?

Is it just some catch phrase we use to make us feel good about ourselves?

Are we deluded into thinking we’re something we’re not?

Or is it something real that God not only intends for us but requires for us?

Is it like a citizen of some foreign country becoming a US citizen? Where they have the same heart, the same soul, the same mind and the same physical makeup but only the country of citizenship on their passport has changed?

I remember a person whose name was Ambrose something or other and he hated his given name. When he became old enough he went to court and had his name changed to John Robert. When he came out of that legal proceeding his name was changed but every molecule of him was the same as when he went in.

Is that the kind of sanctification that is being spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 when it says, “May God Himself, the God of peace sanctify you through and through.”?????

Let’s take a look at another Scripture. This one is found in

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

First of all, what’s this talking about, “we all, with unveiled face”?

Tell about Moses coming down from the mountain with the second set of the Ten Commandments and how his face was radiant from being in the presence of the Lord. (Exodus 34)

The people of Israel had Moses place a veil over his face so that they would not have to look upon the radiance of God on or emanating from his face. We don’t really know if the wanted the veil to be placed over his face because of fear or because of the brightness but either way the veil hid the glory of the Lord that was present on the face of Moses from them.

The law itself could not bring the glory of the Lord to the face of Moses or to the face of the Israelites. Only the presence of the Lord could do so.

Now, earlier in the 3rd chapter of 2 Corinthians Paul speaks of the people of Israel having a veil over their faces when they only consider the books of the Old Testament and reject Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:14 (NLT) says,

“But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.”

What does a veil do? It hides or obscures …

Have you ever gone to an unveiling?

It’s almost funny sometime.

For instance the unveiling of a presidential portrait. Everyone there knows what he looks like. Most likely he’s right there but everyone is waiting with baited breath to see the portrait.

Or the unveiling of the Rocky statue in the Rocky III movie. Everyone there can see that it’s a statue of Rock with gloved fists raised high in victory but it’s like they can’t imagine what it is until the veil is removed.

I think the perfect example of unveiling is Wheel of Fortune. All of the letters are there and they start to be revealed a few at a time until it all makes sense and the revelation becomes clear.

Well, the hearts of those who read only the old covenant or the Old Testament cannot understand the fulfillment of the law because they don’t see Christ.

Jesus Christ is the unveiling. He is the revelation of God and His perfect relationship.

OK. So, let’s back up and take another look at

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

“We all, with unveiled face …” A veil not only blocks a person from seeing what is veiled but it also prevents a person who is veiled from seeing what is outside the veil.

By placing our faith in God He has removed the veil from our face and what are we seeing?

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