You can read part 1 on Sanctification Process For Our Christian Walk
1. We Are Now Sanctified in Christ Jesus
In the above definition from Jack Hayford on sanctification, you will note that he says that sanctification is “instantaneous before God through Christ,” but that it is “progressive before man through obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word.”
As you will see in the first two Scripture verses I will list below, these verses are telling us that we are now “sanctified in Christ Jesus,” and that we now receive sanctification, along with redemption and righteousness, through the blood that Jesus has personally shed for all of us on the cross.
This is what Mr. Hayford means by the first part of this definition in that our sanctification is instantaneous before God through Christ.
However, as you will see in several verses I will list in the second caption below, this sanctification is also progressive in nature as far as we are individually concerned.
This means we have to go through a progressive process through the Holy Spirit and the Word in order to become more holy and sanctified in the Lord.
What I believe the Lord is trying to tell us in these first two verses is that we have already received His sanctification, like we have already received His redemption and righteousness as a result of being saved and born again. Here are the two verses:
- “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord …” (1 Corinthians 1:2)
- “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption …” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
To think that God the Father has given us a full redemption and a full pardon for all of our sins – and then to add to this package the process of being able to be sanctified through the power of His Holy Spirit to become the saints that He wants us to become in Him – is enough to knock you right off the couch if you really stop and think what is in these three words:
Redemption, Righteousness, and Sanctification!
And to think that all of this is coming direct from the one and only Almighty God of the entire universe if we are willing to accept His free gift of eternal salvation through His Son Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross.
It really does not get any better than this – that God and Jesus would go to this type of extreme length to bring us back to Themselves – and then allow us to become partakers in this sanctification process where God the Father can then start to mold, shape, and transform us into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ.
2. Sanctification is a Progressive Process
Now here are the two main verses that will show us that becoming sanctified in the Lord is a progressive process. The two keys words in both of these verses are “being sanctified.”
If we were all instantaneously sanctified at the moment of our conversions with Jesus, then the Bible would not be using these two words of “being sanctified.” The word “being” is telling us that this is a progressive and ongoing process.
- “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren …” (Hebrews 2:11)
- “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)
Again, with God the Father being willing to open up this sanctification process to each born-again believer – this is really an incredible privilege and the highest of all blessings that we can receive from the Lord.
3. God is Calling All of Us to Sanctification
As you will see in the next set of verses, God is calling all of us to this sanctification in Him. These verses are all very direct and straight-to-the-point.
The first verse I will list below is telling us that God wants to sanctify us “completely” in all three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit!
When God uses the word “completely” – He is using a maximum intense kind of word. He wants to take us all the way in this realm if we are willing to yield to it and work with Him during the process.
If you really study the wording in all of these verses, you can really feel the importance that God is placing on this sanctification process, and that this is something that He wants all of His children to become a part of, not just a few of His select saints.
- “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
- “… but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15)
- “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God … For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3,7)
- “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
- “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20)
- “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
- “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness … What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Romans 6:19-22)
When you first read the way these verses are worded, it is very easy to become dismayed and distraught.
If you are really honest with yourself, you can really feel and sense how far of a gap there is between where you are at right now with the Lord in your present level of spiritual development and how far God would really like to take you in this realm.
Many Christians, when they first read these kinds of verses, realize they are simply too far away from this type of holiness in their present state of spiritual development and they thus throw in the towel – never even attempting to give God a chance to start this sanctification process through them in this life.
This will now lead us into the next section.
These next set of verses will tell you exactly how God can get this sanctification process started in your life right in the middle of wherever your present level of spiritual development may be in Him – no matter how bad you think it may be.
4. Sanctification is Done By the Word and the Holy Spirit
Study these next set of verses very, very carefully. Trying to achieve the state of holiness that God the Father would like to bring us up into is completely impossible if we try to do it through our own flesh and through our own efforts.
Many Christians are trying to achieve this state of holiness without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit helping them out. You can easily spot those who are being properly sanctified through the Holy Spirit and those who are not.
The ones who are trying to achieve this sanctification out of their own efforts and out of their own flesh do not appear to be genuine. Their acts of holiness do not appear to be coming from the heart.
You get the sense they are just trying to put on a show. There just seems to be something fake and plastic about them and the way they operate.
Even most non-believers can see right through them. There is a sense of false piety about them that does not seem to ring true.
However, with the person who is being properly sanctified by the Holy Spirit, you can really tell there is something different about this type of person.
This person does not flaunt his piety, goodness, or holiness. They are very humble about it. Everything they do comes from the heart and everything appears to be done very naturally.
There is no pretentiousness or sense of false piety in their actions or attitudes.
This sense of real holiness they are projecting through their personalities literally has a drawing power to it. You find yourself gravitating to these types of people.
You can almost sense or see a radiance or glow about them. The love of God just radiates from their countenance.
You are very comfortable in being in their presence and talking with them. You can see that their holiness is genuine and that it really is coming from the heart of God Himself.
This is why these next set of verses are so specific on how this sanctification process is done in the Lord.
Bottom line – sanctification in the Lord is done by the power of the Holy Spirit operating through the knowledge that the Word will give you.
In other words – it is the Word and the Spirit working together that will cause this sanctification process to begin and occur in your life.
It really is the Holy Spirit who will be the One to cause this type of transformation to occur in your personality. However, the Holy Spirit will not work without the Word.
Why? Because the Word of God will give you the knowledge that you will need in order to be able to work with the Holy Spirit in this process.
You have to know exactly what it is that God wants to change about you before the Holy Spirit will move to cause some of these changes to start to take place in your personality.
Example – you have to learn from the Bible what some of the specific qualities are that God will want to impart into your personality. A good example of this are the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible will tell you exactly what these nine fruits are. Then once you know exactly what they are, then you can start to work with the Holy Spirit to get more of these fruits manifested and imparted into your personality.
But if you do not learn exactly what these specific fruits are to begin with by reading about them from the Bible, then the Holy Spirit will have nothing to work with and He thus may not do much with you in this realm.
All Christians have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of them. The Holy Spirit is only too anxious to get the ball rolling with you in every area of your life where you may need His help on, especially in the area of being sanctified in the Lord.
However, many Christians have not spent much time in the Word and they are thus lacking the “working knowledge” they will need to work with the Holy Spirit in this deeper realm.
As a result, there is very little, if any true spiritual growth over the course of most of their lives.
As you can tell by the way these verses are worded, this sanctification realm is for the real seekers.
The real seekers will be diving into God and His Word to find out exactly what it is God wants to do with them, and then will only be too anxious to work with the Holy Spirit during this process – having no fear of doing it, and being willing to fully submit to the Lord with how He wants to handle all of it.
These verses in particular are giving you the “key” that will open up this door of sanctification to come into your life and change it forever.
- ” … because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth … ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
- “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
- “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- ” … 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.” (1 Peter 1:2)
- “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
- “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25)
- “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever … ” (1 Peter 1:22)
Notice in the last verse it says that your soul can become purified by “obeying the truth through the Spirit.” You can only get God’s truth in you if you read His Word.
Learn the truth by studying the Word of God, and then combine this with walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and then your soul can become purified.
The verse right above it says that Jesus can cleanse and sanctify His church, which are the individual body of believers, by the “washing of water by the word.”
In other words, you can be washed clean by His Word if you are willing to soak into the Scripture verses like you would soak in a bath of water to clean off.
The Word of God has that kind of power in it!
The truth from God can set you free in many areas of your life – but you first have to learn what those truths are before they can start to work to set you free.
And the only way to find the spiritual truths that will change the quality of your life and help set you free is by reading and studying from the Bible. There is no other way!
The first 5 verses specifically tell us it is by the Holy Spirit Himself that this sanctification process is done in your life.
Put all of these verses together, and God the Father is telling you exactly how this sanctification process can be done in this life – and that is by the power of the Holy Spirit operating through the knowledge that the Word will give you.
In other words, it’s the Word and the Holy Spirit working together in a believer, who is actively seeking after God and His Word, that will get God to release the Holy Spirit to start this sanctification process within their mind, body, soul, and spirit.
In Part 3 of this article, I will go into detail on How To Enter Into Enter Into The Sanctification Process With the Lord and my conclusion