Aug 03, 2010
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Practical Sanctification

In the Old Testament to apply oil or ointment to an individual was used as a sign of setting someone apart unto God. It also signified God invoking the Holy Spirit upon a person to enable them for service. Oil anointment only signified their separation unto God and His service, as in the case of Aaron and his sons (EXO 29:1-9). They were anointed in the sense that God called them to some form of service as His priests. There were other uses of oil in the bible.

Jesus Christ is said to be the anointed one (ACT 10:38; HEB 1:9). He was born of the Holy Spirit and set-apart unto God the Father and sent into the world for the purpose of going to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (ROM 6:23) and provide forgiveness to all mankind.

At the moment of salvation through faith in Christ we are forgiven of all sins (EPH 1:7; COL 1:14), born-again (JOH 1:12; 1PE 1:23) and placed into God’s family. The Holy Spirit placed us into the Body of Christ. He separated us from sin unto God. We are now holy-ones because of our position in Christ and we are given the righteousness of God (2CO 5:21). The Apostle Paul in Ephesians calls those brought into the Body of Christ “Saints”. The word “Saints” is from the Greek word hagios meaning Holy. It speaks of those who are separated from sin and consecrated to God for His use. The sins of every believer have been separated from him and forgiven forever. Jesus Christ was judged for our sins at the cross. Through His work on the cross we are forgiven (EPH 1:7). While on earth we need daily cleaning from sin through confession (1JO 1:9) so that the Holy Spirit can control our lives and produce the character of Christ in our lives.

Every believer have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1CO 6:19). We have been set-apart unto God and called to some form of service.

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit equips each of us with a spiritual gift (1CO 12:4-8, ROM 12:6 NASB). God in His grace has given us these gifts so that we may bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are the Body of Christ and here on earth for His service and glory. God wants to use us to affect people’s lives through the exercise of the gifts He has given us. People are to see Christ working in our lives. Are you using your Spiritual gift? Are you reaching out to others with the love of God? Many believers haven’t found their spiritual gift because of lack of spiritual growth. The more we grow through learning and applying the Word of God we come to know what God has called us to do. The world, the flesh, and the devil have hindered our growth in the Lord therefore the Holy Spirit is not affecting our lives or others.

We are alive for the glorification of God. God is calling Christians to a life set-apart unto Him. Who we are in Christ is to become who we are in our Christian lives. This is a process which takes time as we are influenced daily by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. God wants to make Himself, His power and love known to all mankind through us. Are we allowing Him?

In order for God to be able to use us to bring glory to Himself and blessings to others we are to be set-apart unto Him from the defilements of this world, flesh, and the devil. The world knows how to appeal to our flesh; through the media, T.V, music, billboards, and magazines. The flesh knows how to get us to fail; get us near the fire, deceive us to think we will gain; we give in and not resist the temptation. The devil knows how to distract us from the plan of God; He tells us “get more money”, “associate closely with carnal Christians”, “associate intimately with unsaved friends”, “live for the present world”, “go with the culture (be popular)”.

It is my prayer that believers be revived in this country and separated unto God and His service whole heartedly. It is through commitment to Him that we experience that abundant life in Christ (JOH 10:10). Our Lord Jesus Christ in His prayer to the Father before His crucifixion made a prayer request that is so important for us to look at.

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (JOH 17:17 NASB)

The word sanctify here is the Greek hagiazo from hagios in the future meaning “to make holy”. Jesus is praying that the Father will make the disciples holy (set-apart from defilements of the flesh, the world, and the devil) through the truth (the written Word). These believers are already holy in their standing in Christ but are yet to be holy in their practice in the Christian life. Once these believers receive the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (ACT 2:1-47; 1CO 6:19) and through the filling of the Holy Spirit (EPH 5:18) and daily learning, thinking and application of the word of God they can become like Christ (made holy as He is Holy).

The believer becoming holy in his character is the work of God just as salvation is the work of God. No believer can become holy in his character on his own. He needs divine help. God the Father uses His written word to conform us to the image of Christ. Every believer is indwelt with the power of the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit takes the written word that the Spirit filled believer takes into his soul (mind) daily and transforms him to the image of Christ.

We are to stop allowing the culture and society which functions apart from God to mold us to its pattern of thinking and value systems. We are not of this world but in this world on a mission to bring others to Christ in word and deed. We are here to make Christ mission our mission and His character our character. Christ mission is to win the lost through His work on the cross, and He uses the church to take the gospel to the lost and build them up in Christ through the communication of the word of God. This is the only way to happiness here on earth and glorification of God.

Only when we possess Christ thinking through daily intake of the written Word can we change into His image. This is the goal of the Christian life; to allow God through His Spirit and word to produce His character in us.

    For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. (ROM 8:29-30 NASB)

    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. (2CO 3:18 KJV)

How do I allow God to accomplish this goal?

    • Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that lives in you [through sinning] (EPH 4:30)
    • Do not quench the Spirit [fail to confess sins when you fail] (1TH 5:19)
    • Be filled with the Spirit [Confess sins in your life to God] (EPH 5:18; 1JO 1:9)
    • Walk by the Spirit [let the Holy Spirit continue to control your life and not the flesh] (GAL 5:16)
    • Desire and learn the Word of God everyday (1PE 2:2)
    • Apply the Word of God to your life (JAM 1:22)
    • Be blessed by God in time and eternity (JAM 1:25)

Our decisions today set the trends of our life tomorrow and eternity. There will be a day in the future when we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be rewarded for faithful service here on earth. (2CO 5:10; ROM 14:10, GAL 6:7; EPH 6:8). If we are not faithful to His plan we will receive His discipline in time (HEB 12:5-11) and lose reward in eternity (LUK 19:11-27; 1CO 3:9-15; 1CO 9:24-27).

    Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. (LUK 11:28b)

Time for Application- Trusting and obeying

    Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord [love and obey His word]; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (PSA 37:3-5 NASB)

    But seek first His kingdom and His and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (MAT 6:33 NASB)

    Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord [and you have]. (1PE 2:3 NASB)

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (ROM 12:2 NASB)

    This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (JAM 1:27 NASB)

    But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. (1TI 6:6-8 NASB)

    Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. (1TI 6:17-19 NASB)

    We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (1JO 3:16-19 NASB)

    Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (PHI 2:4 NIV)

    And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (COL 3:10-17 NASB)

    For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality [adultery, sex outside of marriage, incest, homosexuality]. That each of you know how to possess his own vessel [body] in sanctification and honor. (1TH 4:3-5) NASB

    For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. (1TH 4:7-8)NASB

    Husband, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. (EPH 5:25)

    Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (EPH 5:22 NASB)

    Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. (PRO 4:14-15 NASB)

    Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character. (1CO 15:33 NIV)