Restoration Through Sanctification

What is God trying to tell us? We talk about remnants, preparing for the return of the Lord, a call to a deep repentance, messages that speak about one goal...sanctification.

John the Baptist said it best in Luke 3:4...'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'

For a lot of us, we may think, 'Well, how do I do that?'

The good news is as we asked the Lord into our hearts and lives, we were saved by the blood of the lamb. But, how does that differ from sanctification? What does sanctification really mean?

Many learned students of the Bible have this subject pretty much down pat. But, how about the rest of us? Do you understand the difference between salvation and sanctification? And, how does that help us in preparing the way of the Lord?

Jesus had a lot to say about sanctification in the Book of John l7. In verse l6, the Lord says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” and this is before His request: “Sanctify them in the truth: Thy word is truth.” Sanctification is a state of separation unto God, all believers enter into this state when they are born again by asking the Holy Spirit of God into their heart and life and thus follow His leading in their lives. “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness (holiness) and sanctification and redemption.” (I Cor.l:30) This is a once-for-all separation eternally unto God. It is an intricate part of our salvation, our connection with the Lord as we live day by day.

Sanctification also refers to the practical experience of this separation unto God, being the effect of 'obedience' to the Word of God in our lives, and is to be pursued by the believer earnestly (I Peter l:l5).

Just as the Lord prayed in John l7, it has in view the setting apart of believers for the purpose for which they have been sent into the world: “As Thou didst send Me into the world, even so send I them into the world. And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (vs.l8,l9). He set Himself apart for the purpose for which He was sent is both the basis and the condition of our being set apart for that which we have been sent (John l0:36). His example to us is the pattern and the power for our lives. As we die to self daily, we are called the “sanctified ones”. Where previously, our behavior and witness bore more of our standing in the world, we now have agreed to come under the separation unto God, now our behavior then bears witness, purpose, and dedication, and obedience to the ways of the Lord.

Paul also wrote in I Thes. 5:23, “The God of peace Himself sanctify you 'wholly'; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entirely, 'without blame' at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

He later speaks of Christ as 'the hope of glory', (Col.l:27) and then mentions the fact of that hope when he says, “When Christ, who is our (whole) life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with Him be

sanctified in glory”..(Col.3:4) This glorified state will be our ultimate separation from sin, total sanctification in every aspect. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2)

Sanctification then is a once-for-all positional separation unto Christ at our salvation, a practical progressive and growing holiness in a believer's life while awaiting the return of Christ. Likewise, we, as we submit to His will, we will be changed 'into His perfect likeness' – holy, sanctified, and completely separated from the presence of evil.

Peter, when Jesus washed his feet ultimately said that He wanted Jesus to wash all of him.

Many of us today are a lot like Peter. “No, Lord, don't wash my feet!”...when we should be ultimately crying out “Lord then wash all of me!”

Time is running out. A great harvest of souls is just awaiting the Lord's call. We are admonished

to return to our lst love, to be sanctified and set apart for the Master's use in total obedience to His Word, to be willing to go and bring in the harvest of souls.

The relationship the Apostle Paul saw between salvation and sanctification can be explained this way. Sanctification is the means by which we are saved. (I Peter l:2). As we are set apart from our old life and set apart by the Holy Spirit as He dwells within our hearts, we are separated from this worldly system and our old life starts to pass away and we become set apart as a new creature in Christ Jesus.

The ultimate question is this, 'Do I need to be living right before God if I want to see Him?'

I want to encourage us all to indeed live rightly with respect to God. However, I do not want to teach error. Ultimately, our hope of eternal life and seeing God does not depend on our works but trust in the One who sanctifies us. Paul makes this very clear. He tells us in Phil. 3:8-ll, that His pursuit of life is that He may be found not having his own righteousness (doing the right things before God), but having the very righteousness of God through the Holy Spirit operating in his life. He tells us, too, in Romans 8:l that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Ultimately, I am not the one who saves myself. And, I am not the one who sanctifies myself. That is what Jesus does in and for me. He is my sanctification. If I have Him, I have His righteousness shining through me. I am sanctified and I will see God. If I do not have Him, I have no hope of seeing God. It's that simple.

So, my encouragement is this. CLING TO JESUS! Abide in Him like the vine abides in the branch (John l5:l-8) Abstain from fleshly lusts and idles that lead us into sin. Draw near to God. And, the Great Shepherd of the sheep will make you complete in every good work to do His will (Hebrews l3:20-2l) and will keep you from falling and will present you faultless at His coming. (Jude 24).

And, in case you get discouraged in your walk with God, remember the Corinthians. They were far from perfect, and in fact Paul states that they were fleshly (l Cor.3:l,3) But these are the very same people Paul said were sanctified ( I Cor. 6:ll), not by their efforts, but by the Holy Spirit of God working through their lives. Paul calls them “saints”, a term meaning “holy ones” ( I Cor. L:2).

Based on this truth, Paul exhorts us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 1: l5-58).

I encourage you to read the book of Colossians. Although the word 'sanctification' is never used in the book, the book is wonderful in explaining to us both what we are truly called to do and why we are called to do it. We live our lives, not so that we might see God, but precisely because we already are in Him and know Him. See the thoughts from Colossians 3:3-5 and then follow it through to the end of 3:l7). It is a tremendous passage on why we should want to live a holy life before God.

May the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit guide you into all truth as you seek to passionately love Him and serve Him!

This is ultimately the reason for Life-Light present messages, visions, and words of knowledge, and even through signs and wonders that when read might challenge you to arise and climb up even higher and seek more in the Lord Jesus Christ! We can truly testify that dying to self isn't all that bad...for allowing Christ to live through you is an adventure well worth seeking. Your life will never be the same. Light will replace the darkness and a fire will arise within your soul...that passionate state that will ever draw you onward and upward as you dwell in Christ by His Holy Spirit.

To run the race, we have to arise! As Isaiah 60:l says..'Arise, Shine...for your Light has come!'