What We Believe: Sanctification, Part 3 (020823)

What We Believe  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:46
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Sanctification

Because it has been over a month since I last preached in this series, and since I didn’t finish teaching about Sanctification, I need to go back and do some review.
We believe that believers have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.
Hebrews 10:10 KJV 1900
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

What is Sanctification?

To help answer that question, allow me to share with you the writings of William Evans in his book, The Great Doctrines of the Bible:
If Regeneration has to do with our nature, Justification with our standing, and Adoption with our position, then...
Sanctification has to do with our character and conduct.
In Justification we are declared righteous in order that, in Sanctification, we may become righteous.
Justification is what God does for us, while Sanctification is what God does in us.
Justification puts us into a right relationship with God, while Sanctification exhibits the fruit of that relationship—a life separated from a sinful world and dedicated unto God.
Evans, William. The Great Doctrines of the Bible (p. 105). Kindle Edition.
God was concerned with Israel’s sanctification. God is concerned with our sanctification!
God was concerned with Israel’s holiness. God is concerned with our holiness!
Sanctification and holiness go hand in hand.

Why was/is God so concerned with their/our sanctification?

I believe that there are two answers to that question:

#1. Because God is holy!

#2 Because we belong to God!

Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV 1900
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Because we do belong to God, our lives should reflect the holiness of God. And that concerns our sanctification.

What has God set us apart for (or to)?

We have been set apart to glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV 1900
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Are we daily living in a way that glorifies God?

We have been set apart to please God.

Revelation 4:11 KJV 1900
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Are we daily - moment by moment - living in a way that pleases God?

We have been set apart to serve God.

This is clearly seen in the Old Testament when, in Numbers chapters 7 and 8 (and in other places) we see that the Tabernacle, all of its furnishings and the tribe of Levi had been specifically set apart by God to serve God.
Every Christian has been set apart to serve God.
2 Timothy 2:20–21 KJV 1900
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
We believe that believers have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.
Before I continue on, though, I believe it’s important for us to be reminded of:

The Goal of Sanctification

To Be Like Christ

Romans 8:29 KJV 1900
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Then...
We believe that sanctification is a divine and progressive work of the Holy Spirit whereby
God, upon the ground of the finished work of Christ on the cross, His present intercessory ministry, and His divine Word, sets the believer apart and
works out in and through him, by means of a submissive will,
that which is well pleasing to Himself through Jesus Christ.
We have already established the fact that sanctification is based upon the character of God and the finished work of Christ upon the cross.
And, we’ve already touched upon the fact that we have been sanctified - set apart - that we might serve Him and please Him.
Now, it’s important for us to consider the truth that sanctification is a divine and progressive work.

Sanctification is a progressive work.

While that statement may seem to be purely academic it is a statement which should excite us and give us hope!
There really ought to be a sign upon my heart Don't judge him yet, there's an unfinished part But I'll be better just according to His plan Fashioned by the Master's loving hands
He's still working on me To make me what I need to be It took him just a week to make the moon and stars The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars How loving and patient He must be 'Cause He's still workin' on me
For the Christian, sanctification includes three aspects or “steps.”
Every Bible teacher and preacher presents this truth in a slightly different way.
Charles Ryrie
Positional or Definitive Sanctification
Present Experiential or Progressive Sanctification
Ultimate Sanctification
Williams Evans
Instantaneous Sanctification
Progressive Sanctification
Complete and Final Sanctification
Because of our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ you have been - already - sanctified. You have been set apart from evil, to God, for His service.
When we pass from this life to the next we will experience ultimate, complete, final sanctification.
1 John 3:2 KJV 1900
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
As one writer states, that we will attain this final sanctification in Heaven when we shall be completely and eternally set apart to our God.
In between those two “extremes” we are right now experiencing what most Bible teachers call progressive sanctification.
Some might speak of our growth in Christ.
There are many passages of Scripture which speak to this journey that we are on; a journey to become more like Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 KJV 1900
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Philippians 3:12–13 KJV 1900
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
An illustration may help (although any earthly illustration will, in some ways, fall short)
When a person purchases a house - a “fixer upper” - it is instantaneous. Once they have placed their signature upon the sales papers and the payment has been made, the house is set apart to and for the new owners.
Then begins a long process of renovation of tearing down walls, installing new flooring and cabinets, enlarging the bathroom, painting the exterior, etc.
Finally, the home is finished - it is complete - and the new owners can finally move in and begin enjoying their dream home.
It’s this process - progressive sanctification - that we are most concerned with right now.

What’s involved in this process?

God, upon the ground of the finished work of Christ on the cross, His present intercessory ministry, and His divine Word, sets the believer apart and
works out in and through him, by means of a submissive will,
that which is well pleasing to Himself through Jesus Christ.
Another way of asking that question:

How are we sanctified?

While all three persons of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are involved in our sanctification, I want to focus specifically on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We are sanctified through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Turn to and read Romans 7:15-25.
If you look carefully, you will see that there is a big contrast between Romans chapter 7 and Romans chapter 8.
In Romans chapter 7 we see the utter despair and frustration of the Apostle Paul when, in vs. 24, he states:
Romans 7:24 KJV 1900
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
He immediately answers that question in vs. 25:
Romans 7:25 KJV 1900
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Then we move into Romans chapter 8:
Romans 8:1–4 KJV 1900
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
What makes the difference between Romans chapter 7 and Romans chapter 8?
Romans chapter 7 is a chapter of unsuccessful struggle;
Romans chapter 8 is a chapter of victory!
Romans 8:37 KJV 1900
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit! (The Holy Spirit is mentioned 19 times in Romans chapter 8!)
William Evans wrote:
He is called the Holy Spirit, not only because He is absolutely holy Himself, but also because he produces that quality of soul-character in the believer.
Evans, William. The Great Doctrines of the Bible (p. 108). Kindle Edition.
This is why it is so important that we recognize and yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives!
Romans 8:1 KJV 1900
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 KJV 1900
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
I will touch on this again, but notice, in those verses that I just shared, that, in this matter of sanctification, we must do our part!
Lexham Survey of Theology (Sanctification)
Although sanctification is first and foremost a supernatural work of God in a person’s life,
it also requires the active cooperation of the person through faith, obedience, and submission to the divine work.

We are sanctified through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Then...

We are sanctified through the Word of God.

John 15:3 KJV 1900
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 17:17–19 KJV 1900
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Ephesians 5:26 KJV 1900
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
We see this progressive sanctifying work of the Word of God in 2 Timothy chapter 3:
2 Timothy 3:16–17 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We are sanctified as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Romans 12:1–2 KJV 1900
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We must be yielded to the sanctifying work of God in our lives.
We must do our part in this process.
Paul knew what he needed to do:
Philippians 3:14 KJV 1900
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Don’t give up!
Paul told the Corinthian church what they needed to do:
2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV 1900
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Keep a short account of sin and fear God!
Paul told Timothy what his part was:
2 Timothy 2:22 KJV 1900
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Peter told believers what their part was:
1 Peter 2:11 KJV 1900
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Stay away - flee - from those things that are going to feed your flesh!
Partner up with those who are headed in the right direction!
William Evans stated:
Holiness must be the object of his pursuit. The lazy man will not be the holy man.
Evans, William. The Great Doctrines of the Bible (p. 109). Kindle Edition.
Charles Ryrie wrote:
Ryrie’s Basic Theology (B. The Agents in Sanctification)
Yet the believer must faithfully discharge his or her responsibilities in sanctification.
When we present ourselves as slaves to righteousness, sanctification results.
We must obey the commands and exhortations of the Christian life in order to progress in holiness.
Are we doing our part? Are we allowing the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to do their part?
Read your Bible. Pray every day (repeat 3 times). Read your Bible. Pray every day. And you’ll grow, grow, grow (repeat 3 times). Read your Bible. Pray every day. And you’ll grow, grow, grow.
Notice how all of these “parts” fit together and work together:
2 Corinthians 3:17–18 KJV 1900
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
One last thought from William Evans:
Our sanctification is limited by our limitation in the knowledge of and our lack of obedience to the Word of God.
Evans, William. The Great Doctrines of the Bible (p. 109). Kindle Edition.
I conclude with the final part of our doctrinal statement regarding sanctification:
Sanctification is not a second work of grace that the believer should work for.
We believe that sanctification culminates ultimately in the redemption of the body.
There are some that teach that there is a distinction between anything that occurs at the time of conversion and then what happens, later, at sanctification. This supposed “second work of grace” or “second blessing” is accomplished by baptism with the Holy Spirit and erases one’s “evil nature,” and renders one sinlessly perfect and incapable of sin.
For example, the Church of the Nazarene, states:
“We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration,
by which believers are made free from original sin or depravity, and are brought into a state of entire devotement to God,
unto the holy obedience of love made perfect.
It is wrought by the baptism of the Holy Spirit,
and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin,
the abiding and indwelling experience of the Holy Spirit,
empowering the believer to life and service.”
Sanctification is not a second work of grace - it is the continued work of grace that began when we accepted Christ and as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in our lives.
We look forward to the day when our sanctification will be complete; when our faith shall become sight! For then, we shall be like Him for we shall see him as he is!
1 John 3:2 KJV 1900
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
But until then...
But until then my heart will go on singing, Until then with joy I'll carry on, Until the day my eyes behold the city, Until the day God calls me home.

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