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Thought for the Month

of March 1997

Next up-date: 1st April 1997 (God willing).


Query:

""This is the will of God, even your sanctification"." 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

What on earth is "sanctification"?

Note: Sanctification is the on-going condition of a "justified" person.

 

Response:

"Sanctification" put very simply is:- Acting on what you read in the Bible.

Some Scriptures show us that people, places and things can be "sanctified".

People

1 Corinthians 1:2-3 - "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, ["to be" has been added by the translators] with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ".

1 Corinthians 1:30 - "But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption".

Places

Leviticus 8:10 - "And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them."

Leviticus 27:14 - "And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand."

Things

Leviticus 8:30 - "And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him."

How is it accomplished?

2 Thessalonians 2:13 - "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of [or by]the Spirit and belief of the truth."

1 Peter 1:1-2 - "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers [new Christians] scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied".

John 17:17-20 - Jesus said, "Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. As You have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself [as an example], that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word."

Conclusion:

Here we have been shown that sanctification is by the action of the Spirit of God working upon those who read, accept, and practise the word of God. They are called "saints", or "sanctified ones", set aside as "separate" or "special". Not because they are something special in themselves, but because some one else thinks they are. Consider the house and the building, and the garments that the priests wore. Just so with God's children, He thinks they are "special" and they are because of what we read in the next set of verses.

2 Peter 1:4 - "Whereby [through the word of God] are given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these [or belief in and acceptance of, these] you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

"Partakers of the divine nature". Is this possible? Of ourselves we can do no good thing. Romans 7:19. How, then, can we be partakers of the divine nature? By coming to Christ just as we are, needy, helpless, dependent and allowing Him to "justify" or make us "good". He "died" to make it possible for us to be "partakers of the divine nature", or have the character of God. He took humanity upon Himself that He might reach humanity. Hebrews 2:16. With the golden chains of His matchless love He has bound us to the throne of God. John 17:20-21. Then we are given the power to overcome as He overcame. Revelation 3:21.

To all He gives the invitation, "Come unto Me… Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me [how I did it], for I am meek and lowly in heart [willing to be guided, Hebrews 10:5-7], and you shall find rest for your souls". Matthew 11:28-30.

We have a part to play in this work. Let none think that we are going to be taken to heaven without engaging in a struggle here below. We have a battle to fight, a victory to gain, not with sin, but with our "self", our choice, for God also says to us, "Work out your own salvation". How? "With fear and trembling. For it is God which works IN you both to will and to do of His good pleasure". Philippians 2:12-13. God works and we work by choosing to follow Him. In this way we are partakers of the divine nature.

Here is the consistency of true religion.

We are to be "labourers together with God" working in harmony with Him. We are told, "You are God's husbandry [God's harvest], you are God's building". 1 Corinthians 3:9. Each day God works on His building to perfect the structure, that it may become a holy temple for Him. 1 Corinthians 3:16. This means we are to co-operate with God, striving

to make ourselves what God designs us to be, building our lives after His pattern, Christ Jesus. We are only asked to live one day at a time. We need not look a week or a month ahead. TODAY we are to do our best. TODAY we are to speak and act in a way that will honour God. The promise is, "As your days, so shall your strength be". Deuteronomy 33:25.

See the free book offer for more on this subject.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Spiritual Dictionary.

Sanctification:

Sanctification is the gift of being special to God.

It can be people, places or things. When it is people, it turns them into saints.


Next thought. To be discussed from 1 April.

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