Sanctification and Holiness | Pursuing the Truth Ministries
Holiness and sanctification both refer to an element that is holy. ), indicating that the believers' obedience unto faith in Christ results from the Spirit's . study we examine sanctification and holiness within the context of the Christian faith. mean and how they affect the Christian life and our relationship with God. The meaning of Christian sanctification is being set apart for God's work. No human being or thing shares the holiness of God's essential nature. . Human beings are progressively sanctified now through faith in Christ and by the .. While separated from God, the unbeliever develops a working relationship with three.
It will be, the acceptance and application in daily life of the power of a holy life which has been prepared in Jesus, which has in the union with Him become our present and permanent possession, and which works in us according to the measure of our faith.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen, though now actually existing, the substance of things hoped for, but not yet present. It deals with the unseen present, as well as with the unseen future. As the evidence of things not seen, it rejoices in Christ our complete sanctification, as a present possession. This is the first aspect of sanctification: As the substance of things hoped for, this faith reaches out in the assurance of hope to the future, to things I do not yet see or experience, and claims, day by day, out of Christ our sanctification, what it needs for practical holiness, 'to be holy in all manner of living.
I depend upon Jesus to supply, in personal experience, gradually and unceasingly, for the need of each moment, what has been treasured up in His fulness. And yet, it need hardly be said, these two are one. It is one Jesus who is our sanctification, whether we look at it in the light of what He is made for us once for all, or what, as the fruit of that, He becomes to our experience day by day.
And so it is one faith which, the more it studies and adores and rejoices in Jesus as made of God unto us sanctification, as Him in whom we have been sanctified, becomes the bolder to expect the fulfilment of every promise for daily life, and the stronger to claim the victory over every sin.
Faith in Jesus is the secret of a holy life: We know how faith acts, and what its great hindrances are, in the matter of justification. It is well that we remind ourselves that there are the same dangers in the exercise of sanctifying as of justifying faith. Faith in God stands opposed to trust in self: Faith is hindered by every effort to do something ourselves.
Faith looks to God working, and yields itself to His strength, as revealed in Christ through the Spirit; it allows God to work both to will and to do. Faith must work; without works it is dead, by works alone can it be perfected; in Jesus Christ, as Paul says, nothing avails but 'faith working by love. The true life of holiness, the life of them who are sanctified in Christ, has its root and its strength in an abiding sense of utter impotence, in the deep restfulness which trusts to the working of a Divine power and life, in the entire personal surrender to the loving Saviour, in that faith which consents to be nothing, that He may be all.
It may appear impossible to discern or describe the difference between the working that is of self and the working that is of Christ through faith: Faith's works are Christ's works. And as by effort, so faith is also hindered by the desire to see and feel.
But this is His work: Complaints as to want of feeling, as to weakness or deadness, seldom profit: When God appears to be not doing what we trusted Him for, then is just the time for faith to glory in Him. There is perhaps nothing that more reveals the true character of faith than joy and praise.
You give a child the promise of a present to-morrow: The joyful thanks are the proof of how really your promise has entered the heart. You are told by a friend of a rich legacy he has left you in his will: We have already seen what an element of holiness joy is: Each time I really see how beautiful and how perfect God's provision is, by which my holiness is in Jesus, and by which I am to allow Him to work in me, my heart ought to rise up in praise and thanks.
Instead of allowing the thought that it is, after all, a life of such difficult attainment and such continual self-denial, this life of holiness through faith, we ought to praise Him exceedingly that He has made it possible and sure for us: Praise will express our faith; praise will prove it; praise will strengthen it.
It is in a living, loving attachment to Jesus, that rejoices in Him, and praises Him continually for what He is to us, that faith proves itself, and receives the power of holiness. He tells us that if we would be holy, always and in everything holy, we must just see to one thing: Faith is the eye of the soul: Faith not only sees, but appropriates and assimilates: So faith will be power: We are in Him, our Sanctification: He personally is our Holiness; and the life of faith in Him, that receives and possesses Him, must necessarily be a life of holiness.
We should aim for it, depending on the Holy Spirit, the power of the cross and every other revelation God gives us, especially through His Word the Bible. We cannot achieve it simply through self-effort. But we can and should ask God to work in us to produce this kind of prayer life. What does this total consecration mean in practise? Firstly it means being willing to be willing to worship and obey God always and live for Him in everything. It does not mean punishing oneself or inflicting oneself with duties we imagine God might be pleased with.
God far prefers wholehearted obedience to man-inspired sacrifices 1 Samuel Secondly this consecration means self denial and taking up the cross daily. We must deny ourself. This means saying no to the demands of self. We must take up our cross daily. Every day we will have opportunity to die to ourself.
The more we consent to be united with Jesus in the likeness of his death, the more we will share in his resurrection power Romans 6: That is true even in this life.
We must follow Him. This means seeking to be in His presence always through prayer, modelling our lives on His life, identifying ourself with His nature and His purposes, and gladly obeying His commands.
Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptised into His death? The truth is, Jesus has already paid for our total deliverance on the cross. Let us believe that. The sinful nature which still resists God has been legally dealt with. God has no program for this sinful nature except crucifixion. He does not want to educate it, to heal it, to accept it or to love it.
It must be killed. It has been killed, legally, at the cross. Our old man was crucified with him. It is a revelation of major importance for our sanctification that Jesus has already provided the execution of our sinful nature. All we need to do is to consider it so. Reckon yourself to be dead indeed to sin. What you think about yourself in relation to this determines the way you will be.
Romans 6 is about overcoming sin and living for God through identifcation with Christ. If I believe that through the cross I am dead to sin, that I am now a child of God, a child of love and that old things have passed away then all this will be increasingly manifested in my life.
God says that in Christ I have power over the evil one 1 John 4: Let the thought that you are dead to sin grow in your mind and your thinking. All those temptations that come — think of them as coming to a dead man who cannot respond.
You are in Christ and through faith in Him His resurrection power is keeping you safe 1 Peter 1: We act according to what we think.
If you think you are dead to sin you will act like you are dead to sin. Your word is truth. To work in our lives, the Word should be heard often by us. It should be studied, understood, meditated upon, believed, confessed, prayed and most of all, obeyed. We then need to act on the Word or we deceive ourselves, thinking that hearing is enough James 1: There are a multitude of revelations of God and His ways which the Holy Spirit can reveal to us through the Bible.
Reading and studying the Bible will help us to think according to what is true, what is real and what is really important. It will give us insights into the character qualities and attitudes God is looking for in us. It will increase our knowledge. And it will get our hearts and minds off worthless things that have no eternal value. As we read and study the Bible prayerfully, we will begin to see Jesus through the Word.
The Word of God is compared to a mirror James 1: It reveals who Jesus is and it helps us to see how we are and how we need to change. Change happens as a result of the Word and the Spirit working together in our life. The Scriptures testify of Jesus John 5: And He is our Saviour, the one who will change us. Jesus is the One who loves us more than life itself. If you love Him you will love His Word John There are many truths that must enter our innermost being. Many of these truths are revealed even through very small portions of Scripture — a verse or a part of a verse for example.
The Holy Spirit will sometimes cause a particular truth to come alive to us. When this happens it is very good to turn that Scripture over in your mind again and again. Read it out loud over and over until you know it perfectly. Think about how it applies to your life. Say it over and over until it enters into your heart.
Let that Scripture unite with your imagination and your deepest emotions. Then the living water of the Holy Spirit will flow in your being. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. The key to success in the spiritual life or in any other domain in which God wants you involved is much meditation on the Word of God. It is more important to meditate deeply than widely. Even Science has shown that the more you repeat the same words the more parts of your brain are used.
By meditating much and repeatedly on the same part of the Word it will enter your heart and it will transform your life. The Holy Spirit works to fix the Word deep in your heart when you fix your attention on it. When the Word arrives in the soft part of our hearts it produces faith, just as a seed in good ground produces a plant. This is the faith we need to overcome the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.
Living Stream Ministry
God has placed us in a body of believers — the church. The members in the church, if they are walking in Christ, will edify us and build us up in our relationship with God. The messages of a spirit-filled, Word-filled preacher will build us up and give good revelation to us. There are also excellent preaching messages available in many parts of the world available on video or audio cassette. Listening to these messages can help us greatly in growing in the Lord.
We have to be continually in tune with what God is saying and bear in mind what God wants for us. Otherwise we will begin to listen to other voices rather than the voice of the Master.
For this reason, it is good to be reminded of the things of God again and again. It is wrong to switch off our minds when we hear repeated in preaching ideas we have already heard before. We very rarely rise above the level of our confessionor what we say. What we get from God will be influenced by what we are saying down here.
Sanctification by Faith? – Hang Together
If we find that negative words our coming out of our mouth, it is a sign that our heart needs changing. We should determine to say less James 1: Listen to God and also try to understand what people are really saying. We should allow these outbursts of foolish words to become signposts for us as to where the problem in our heart is. Many things are spoken about the importance of controlling the tongue. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Faith operates through words. So do most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Words are very important. So believe that through your tongue will only come words of faith, hope, love and wisdom, which will build others up according to the need of the moment Ephesians 4: The power to be changed into the image of God comes through the Holy Spirit.
Just as evil spirits are at work to lead us to follow evil ways of deception, so the Holy Spirit wants to work in us, through us and with us to produce what God wants. The Holy Spirit is much more powerful than any evil spirit. Nevertheless, He does not violate our will. Only evil spirits attempt to do this. You must cherish the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit more and more as He guides you into all truth.
The more you walk in truth the more deeply the Spirit of God will be able to work in you — as long as you keep trusting God and remain willing. The importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit daily cannot be over- emphasised. To return to apostolic power and love in the church we must make being full of the Spirit a major priority in our daily lives. The first thing we must do every morning is to seek God until we are full of the Spirit.
It may be necessary to wake up earlier in order to have time to do this. May God help us. We must not set too many rules about what may or may not happen when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. If someone touches a volt power source different reactions are possible. Some may fall over — others might shake.
To others, nothing may seem to be happening. The Holy Spirit is God and has unlimited power — much more than a household electricity supply. It is hard to say that being really filled with the Holy Spirit would never produce physcial manifestations such as trembling, shaking, laughing or falling over.
We must be careful not to decide that we will limit the terms on which we will permit God to come and visit us. God is sovereign and has the right to do what he likes. Only He can make us holy. What is our part then? We must believe for Him to work, and co-operate with Him. And what is necessary for this?
The answer is humility. Our spirituality is only limited by our pride and unbelief in the final analysis. We can always advance more if we are willing to humble ourselves more deepy. But He gives more grace. Grace comes through the Holy Spirit.
A correct relationship with the Holy Spirit is what we need then in order to receive the grace God wants us to have. The way to receive more grace is firstly to recognise that you need it, and secondly to humble yourself.
God gives grace to the humble, and the more you humble yourself, the more grace you will receive. Just as the moon shines only because of the sun, so we can be holy only through receiving moment by moment the life of God in and through us. Without Him we are nothing, and we can do nothing of any value 1 Corinthians A humble man knows he should wait on God.
We should let God be the initiator of our faith and actions, just as Jesus did John 5: We should be prepared to wait for the Holy Spirit to lead us Romans 8: We should wait on God continually Hosea One way to humble ourselves is to fast or stop eating for a while. During times of fasting we can hear the voice of God more easily.
He will bring correction to us. If we truly humble ourselves, we will be willing to listen to His correction and obey Him. Sometimes God uses other Christians to correct us. It takes humility to accept this. God will not always deal with us directly. If we want to be humble, we must learn to recognise our need for the rest of the body of Christ.
Our growth in sanctification and holiness is worked out in the context of a life of fellowship with other Christians. We need the other parts of the body 1 Corinthians We need apostles, prophets. God has given these ministries to the Universal Church until all these purposes mentioned in Ephesians 4: We would be foolish to reject them if we want to be fully sanctified.
Living in relationship with the Holy Spirit is very important to our sanctification. We cannot be holy in and of ourselves. Rather, our holiness is really the outshining of the life and character of God in us through a relationship with Him that must be maintained all the time. Jesus told us to abide in Him John Through our relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will learn through experience which things quench his presence and working in us and which things please Him.
Abiding in Christ will happen when we learn to surrender our will to the will of the Spirit, and stay in the conscious presence of God. It means letting the peace of God rule in our hearts Colossians 3: Obviously prayer, thanksgiving, praise and worship are all important areas for the Spirit- filled Christian to cultivate. These things please God if they are done in spirit and truth John 4: See the lesson on prayer for more details.
To be a true worshipper all the time requires a high level of sanctification in the believer. Worship brings intimacy and fruitfulness in the life of the believer. Books could be written about each of these aspects of our relationship with God. This introduction is presented with the purpose that it will motivate and encourage you to draw near to God and let Him work deeply in you.
It is important to keep our eyes on Jesus Hebrews Since salvation is for the mind as well as the spirit, we know that Jesus is able to save us from bad thinking. The more we see Jesus the more we will be like Him 1 John 3: If we can know Him, receive Him and trust Him more and more as Lord, as Governor, as Healer, Deliverer, as God, as Shepherd, as Righteousness, as Victory and in all His other offices and roles which He has towards us, then our sanctification and victory over sin will be so much stronger.
The Holy Spirit would like to reveal Jesus more to us. That is one reason for which He was sent to us. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. At the new birth, we receive a new spirit — there is a new creation 2 Corinthians 5: This spirit is born of God and does not sin 1 John 3: However, we are exhorted in many places to be renewed in the spirit of our minds Ephesians 4: Our mind, will and emotions are involved in an ongoing process of cleansing and sanctification.
The evil spirits which were at work in our minds and emotions are not necessarily all driven out at the point in time when we receive a new spirit. The wounds of the past are not all dealt with in an instant. It is necessary for us to co-operate with the Holy Spirit as we grow in the Lord and allow Him to heal our damaged souls, to renew our minds with His truth, and to drive out every spiritual power which resists the love and truth of God.
We have seen in lesson 13 that many Christians need deliverance from evil spirits. In the same way, we must drive out the enemies that have marred and damaged our souls before or maybe even after we turned to the Lord. Driving out demons is not enough. If enemies enter your house and do damage there, it is not enough to drive them out.
The damage they did while there must be repaired. In the same way, after driving out demons, the soul or body may still need healing. The most powerful healing force is the love of God. Emotional healing or "inner healing" is basically believing in and receiving the love of God in our souls. This love can be received as we forgive those who wounded us.
If we do not forgive men their trespasses against us, neither will our Father forgive us. Sometimes a Christian is deceived regarding the guidance of God. When this leads to disappointment, we need to recognise and trust that God is faithful, but we have been deceived.
We must be willing to forgive ourselves, because God is willing to forgive us also if we confess it. We must renounce any bitterness towards God for the disappointments we have experienced. God is not to blame. He is faithful and just. Rather, deception entered because of our pride and foolishness. Renouncing bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness is at the heart of all inner healing.
As we then wait in a trusting attitude before God, looking to Him, He will come and pour His healing love into our soul.