This article was published in Rays of Love magazine in June 2005
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. " Hebrews 12:14
In regeneration our nature is changed: In justification our standing is changed: In adoption our position is changed: In sanctification our character is changed.
We have to be holy because God commands us to be holy as He is holy (I Peter 1:15,16). Jesus said, "Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Paul says in I Timothy 4:6-9, that, God has called us unto holiness and if we do not lead a holy life, or sanctified life we are rejecting the Holy Spirit.
Meaning of Sanctification:
Sanctification and Holiness are same in essence. The basic meaning of sanctification is SEPARATION or SET-APART.
- Separated from Evil. (2 Chronicles 29:5, 15-18).
- Separated unto God. (Leviticus 27:16).
Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember this always, we are set apart by God, for God, from sin, unto a holy life - Praise God!
"But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto Him" (Psalm 4:3).
"If a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)
These days, the major problem is not the problem of drugs, alcohol or divorce, but the problem of leading a holy life. In this week we shall study, How to lead a holy life?
"Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember this always, we are set apart by God, for God, from sin, unto a holy life"
1) BY THE WORD OF GOD:
"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). It is the Word of God that reveals sin in our lives. It is the Word of God that purifies us and cleanses us. As we begin to spend time reading and hearing God's Word we begin to receive God kind life and God kind strength. In John 6:63 Jesus said, "My Word has life and Spirit". We will also be made pure. Jesus said in John 15:3, "You are all clean by the Words I have spoken to you". King David gives us a wonderful description of the power of God's Word in our lives. In Psalms 119:9-11 he says, "How can a young man lead a holy life? By paying heed to the Word of God." After this David reveals one of his secrets for a holy life. He says, "I have hid Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. " The easy way to lead a holy life is by spending time with the Word of God. Someone once said, "Sin keeps you away from the Bible and the Bible keeps you away from sin." As mentioned earlier, the major problem of the majority of people is their struggle to lead a holy life. Friend, today if you too are struggling to lead a holy life I advise you "READ YOUR BIBLE ON A REGULAR BASIS." Love the Word of God, relish it and cherish it. The Word of God will automatically burn all uncleanness in you. (Jeremiah 23:29).
2) BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS:
In Hebrew 13:12 Apostle Paul says, "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own Blood, suffered without the gate." Jesus shed His precious Blood not only for the cleansing of our sins but also for our protection from all evil, uncleanliness and danger. The Blood of Jesus empowers us to lead a holy life. There is power in the Blood of Jesus. The Bible says, that the early days saints overcame the devil by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.... (Revelation 12:11). Here we see again the combination of God's Words in our mouth and the Power of the Blood of Jesus. There is a continuous flow of the Blood of Jesus from heaven to the earth and we need to always be under the flow of the precious Blood of Jesus. Use the Blood of Jesus as a whip on the devil and temptation. Speak about the Blood of Jesus. Worship God for the Blood of Jesus. In the Old Testament when the blood of the Passover lamb could protect the Israelites from death, how much more the precious Blood of Jesus will protect us from sin and Satan! Hallelujah!! Great power of God is released every time we mention the Blood of Jesus. The Word of God reveals sin in us and the Blood of Jesus cleanses us and the result is sanctification and holiness. Praise God!
"The Word of God reveals sin in us and the Blood of Jesus cleanses us and the result is sanctification or holiness"
In Hebrew 12:10,11 the Bible says, "For they(our earthly parents) verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His Holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldéth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them, which are exercised thereby." Whom God loves He chastises, even, in this chastisement God fulfills His work of Holiness in us. We become partakers of His holiness. Just imagine partakers of God's Holiness! Therefore King David also says, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word" (Psalms 119:67). God loves us so much that He doesn't want us to perish. Therefore, sometimes He uses the rod of correction. We must always remember that any chastisement that takes us away from God is from the devil. Drive it away in the powerful Name of JESUS!
Jesus says, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me:for I am meek and lowly in heart: ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29,30).
Therefore Paul also says, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Peter also says, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations" (1 Peter 1:6).
All those saints of God went through disciplinary suffering or affliction, that is why they wrote from their experience. Disciplinary suffering brings sanctification in our lives and will make us partakers of God's holiness. The dross is removed from the gold in the furnace and it is polished till the master's image is seen in it. God has chosen us from the furnace of affliction. But, even in the midst of this affliction we will experience the soothing Hand of Jesus, comforting us. So that we can comfort others around us who are going through affliction.
4) THE NAME OF JESUS WILL BRING SANCTIFICATION IN OUR LIVES:
The Bible says, that as many shall call on the name of the lord will be saved (Acts 2:21). Name represents nature or character of a person. So, Whenever we call upon God's character we will be saved. If you have known God as compassionate; you will call upon His compassionate nature and His compassionate nature will save you. If you have known God as powerful, then you will call on the powerful character of God and this characteristic of God will save you. His Name (nature) has power to pull us out of any situation for He is "I am that I am." He is everything to everybody. He's the light to the blind, way of life to the dying, strength to the weak, map to the stranger, guide to the confused etc. You can go on adding to this list. His Name has power. Power to deliver us from all evil temptations and uncleanliness. There is always victory in the name of Jesus. Use this Name with authority and break every attack of the devil on your life. Do not sit back discouraged and lead a defeated life. The Name of Jesus is available for your use. You are given authority through this Name. Remember, when you use this Name all that is behind this Name comes to your help. Praise God! So walk in authority and dominion and lead a victorious Christian life for Jesus.
5) POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
One of the names of the Holy Spirit is, "The Spirit of Holiness" (Romans 1:4) .When He comes into our lives, He will empower us to be holy and lead a sanctified life. It is not by our might nor by our power that we can lead a holy life but by the help of the Holy Spirit. So every day we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to an overflowing capacity. King David says, "My cup runneth over" (Psalms 23:6). In these last days people who are filled with the Holy Spirit to an overflowing capacity are the only hope for Salvation. Holy lives will bring glory to God. Holy life will bring boldness and confidence in us. Therefore desire to become a holy man or a holy woman of God. The Shunammite woman testified about Elisha to her husband saying, "I know this man is a holy man of God" (2 Kings 4:9). Hell and devils tremble before the Holiness of God and it is the Holy Spirit who brings into us "God's Holiness". Oh! What a joy! Some people say, I am not worthy to be filled with the Holy Spirit because I am not holy. Friend, only when Holy Spirit comes into you, you will become holy. Therefore the Bible says, "As many as are led by the Spirit of the Lord, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).Romans 8:9 says, "Without the Holy Spirit we are none of His". Did not God say in Ezekiel 36:27, "l will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes". Yes, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will walk in the will of God and do the purposes of God and the Anointing will destroy all the yokes in your life (Isaiah 10:27).
6) FINALLY, JESUS HIMSELF IS OUR SANCTIFICATION:
I Corinthians 1:30 says, "He is our Holiness." Therefore we need to spend much time with Jesus. We have to become one with Him. Jesus prayed in John 17:21-22, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one". As our union with JESUS increases, His holiness and character in our life increases. As He is our strength, our All Sufficient one; our life and our peace, in the same way, "HE IS OUR HOLINESS." Even as you are reading this, may you feel His Holy presence surrounding you and may the Lord impart to you His Holiness and make you a sanctified vessel for His use.
God bless you!!