Purifying Effects of God’s Word.

Part two.

Sanctification

So far we have seen the need of cleansing through God’s Word. Let’s go on and consider the process of sanctification. Just what is sanctification? Let’s look at the ending of the word for some clues. Sanctification occurs in many English words and always denotes an active process of doing or making something. For example, clarification means “making clear” rectification means “making right or straight”; purification means “making pure,” and so on. The first part of the word sanctification is directly connected with the word saint in fact; it is simply another way of writing the same word. Saint in turn is simply an alternative way of translating the word which is more normally translated “holy.”

So, the simple literal meaning of sanctification is “making saintly” or “making holy.”

The New Testament mentions five distinct agents in connection with sanctification:

1.  The Spirit of God

2.  The Word of God

3.  The alter

4.  The Blood of Jesus

5.  Our Faith

Let’s look at some of these passages which mention these various agents of

Sanctification: 2 Thess. 2:13; But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, breathern beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth…Peter tells us we are; elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in Sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace be multiplied. 1Pet 1:2. Paul and Peter mention “sanctification of (or by) Holy Spirit ” as an element of Christian experience.

Sanctification through the Word of God was referred to by Christ Jesus Himself when He prayed to the Father for His disciples. John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.”  Here we see that sanctification comes through the truth of God’s Word. Jesus said sanctification comes through the alter also. He told the Pharisees: Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?  (Matt.23:19)

sanctification by paul

Here Jesus endorses that which had already been taught in the Old Testament–­ that the gift offered in sacrifice to God was sanctified, made holy, set apart, by being placed upon God’s altar. In the New Testament, as we shall see, the nature of the gift: and the altar is changed, but the principle still remains true that it is “the altar that sanctifies the gift.”

Sanctification through the blood of Jesus is referred to in Hebrews 10:29. Here the apostate is considered. The person who has known all the blessings of salvation but has deliberately and openly rejected the savior. Concerning such a person he asks: “Of how much worst punishment, do you suppose, will  he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

This passage shows that the true believer who continues in the faith is sanctified by the blood of the New Testament by which he accepted— that is by Jesus’ own blood.

This reminds me of the Australian coat of arms; it has two pictures on it of two creatures. The emu, a flightless bird, and the kangaroo. The animals were chosen because they share a characteristic that appealed to the Australian citizens. Both the emu and the kangaroo can only move forward, not back.  The emu’s three-toed foot causes it to fall if it tries to go backwards, and the kangaroo is prevented from moving in reverse by its large tail. Those who truly choose to follow Jesus become like the emu and the kangaroo, moving only forward, never back.

Sanctification through faith is referred to by Christ Himself, as quoted by Paul as he related the commission he which he received from Jesus to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. “To open their eyes, in order to turn  them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. “Acts 26:18. Here we see that sanctification is through faith in Christ. To sum up these passages, we arrive at this conclusion: Sanctification, according to the New Testament, is through five great means or agencies:

6. The Spirit of God

7. The Word of God

8. The alter

9. The Blood of Jesus

10. Our Faith

We may briefly outline this process as: The Holy Spirit initiates the work of sanctification in the heart and mind of each one whom God has chosen in His eternal purposes. Through the truth of God’s word, as it is received in the heart and mind, the Holy Spirit speaks, reveals the altar of sacrifice, separates the believer from all that holds him back from God and draws him to a place himself in surrender and consecration upon the altar. There the believer is sanctified and set apart to God both by that contact with the altar and by the cleansing and purifying power of the blood of that was shed upon the altar.

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 00:01:18

    Thanks for the outstanding definition of the word “sanctification,” Manny.

    You obviously spent a great amount of time putting this together. I appreciate your efforts.

    God’s blessings…

    Reply

  2. Delight in Truth
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 06:37:43

    Really enjoyed this one Manny. Some Christians do not know the difference between conversion and sanctification, or salvation and sanctification. Sanctification is a process that will end one day in our glorification with Christ.

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 15:49:57

      i am glad you enjoyed this post. i just had a thought about this entire post–the unique work of our Lord Holy Spirit. It is a quiet work and solitary one, it is I believe very intimate a true work of love something very much like when Adam was created in Genesis. It is indeed long term and will end in the reality of spending eternity in the presence of our Lord. The tapestry of His love like the coat of many colors is the vehicle that appears to stop us in awe and wonder of His purpose. Likened to the Tabernacle the beauty is within because He is within along with His entire kingdom. As you have said Delight, “Some Christians do not know the difference between conversion and sanctification, or salvation and sanctification. Sanctification is a process that will end one day in our glorification with Christ.”

      In the economy of the tabernacle in the wilderness it was a sight to behold, a fence eight feet high of white linen. As bedouin tribes passed by they saw the outside that mightly impressed them with the work of hands led by the Holy Spirit in the various crafts. Their view was external devoid of the beauty within, not so for us as Christians we are invited to come beyond the vail into the presence of the living God who daily moment by moment leads us, corrects us, teaches us, and conforms us into the image of the beautiful One who is Christ Jesus our Lord.

      Reply

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