Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit

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Theme:  Holy Spirit makes the believer holy.  Enabling him/her to live a holy life.

Introduction:  Now if truly we, who have received Christ Jesus the as the free gift of salvation from the penalty of our sins, are the temple of the Spirit of God, as I spoke about last week, then we must be a holy temple.  Why?  Because holiness and unholiness cannot dwell  together.  God cannot have any unholy thing before Him.  So how then can He dwell in us who when we come to Jesus bring with us much sinful baggage of past habits.  It is a part the grace of God that He gives us His Spirit to make us holy.  It is what theologians call sanctification.   The work of the Holy Spirit to make men holy. 

I. What the Holy Spirit does (Meaning of Sanctification)

A. To separate from

1.  to make distinct from

2.  to consecrate to (dedicate to a sacred purpose; “To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer . . . In a theological sense things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends.  A human being is sanctified, therefore, when he or she lives according to God’s design and purpose.”)

B. To purify

1. spotless, stainless, unmixed with another matter

2. Illustration: raw ore being refined into gold.

C.  To make holy (empowering to live a holy life; being made complete).  By strengthening our inner being with power over sin Ephesians 3:16:  “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being”; Cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:13:  “13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”; enabling us to reach the goal of holiness)

II.  When He does it (Time of Sanctification)

A. At the time of salvation (Our standing or position in Christ because through salvation; 2 Thessalonians 2:13:  “13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”)

1. Purified in the sense that we are no longer guilty of our sins (washed in Jesus’ blood; 1 Corinthians 6:11:  “11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “)

2. Set apart in the sense we are now called “saints” (lit. “holy ones”; 1 Corinthians 1:2:  “2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours”)

B.  Apart from the act of  salvation (Irrespective of time, could be at salvation or later)

Difference between salvation/regeneration and sanctification:

Salvation                                     Sanctification

*counts us righteous                      makes us righteous

*pardon for sin                           power over sin

*considered righteous              given righteousness

*peace with God                        peace of God

*brings life                                  brings victorious life

*regenerated by the Spirit        received Him in His fulness

*germ of the seed                      summer fulness

*new heart and new spirit        Holy  Spirit within you

*Robes of righteousness         Beauties of holiness

  (clean robe)                                     (marriage robe/wedding dress)

*the new believer is in              Christ is in the new believer


1. Make a complete dedication (whole being; Rom. 12:1; 6:13; 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24:  “23 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. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”) 

2. Holy Spirit unites us completely to Christ (No longer our wants, our desires, but His desire; not our will, His will; not we ourselves as lord, but he is Lord; Paul’s realization Galatians 2:20: “20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”; clothing Himself with us,  Judges 6:34:  “34 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.”)

C.  All throughout life

 1. Daily Renewing of the mind resulting in a renewing of the pattern of our lives - living the Christ-life (Romans 12:2: “2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”)

2. Beng transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18: “18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”)

III. How the Holy Spirit does it  (Bringing to yielding)

A. Holy Spirit shows us the need. (Problem is that many Christians are content to stay on the milk and not dive into  the deeper life; the meat of the word; Paul and the carnal Corinthians)

B. Holy Spirit shows us God’s provision for sanctification in the free gift of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:7:  “7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”;  1 Corinthians 1:30:  “30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”; died to sin, alive in Christ, Rom 6)

C. Holy Spirit leads us to surrender and committal of our soul to Him.

Conclusion:  Have you surrendered your entire being to the control of the Holy Spirit?  Are you trying to live the Christian life under your own power or by the Holy Spirit?  We cannot make ourselves holy only He can does that. We cannot be holy if we are working against what He has done and is doing in us.  The Bible calls that resisting the Holy Spirit.  Instead of resisting, yield yourself , surrender yourself to the Holy Spirit.  Let’s live the words of the chorus: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me./Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me./Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me./ Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.”

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