"Preparing people to make an impact for God in their generation and to be fit to enter His Kingdom"
Bible Study Verses (1 Corinthians 1, Hebrews 2:11, Hebrews 10:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
As you will see in the Scripture verses listed above – God’s ultimate and highest aim for all of us is our sanctification in Him. God wants to make us holy like Himself. He wants to transform us into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ. He wants to consecrate and set us apart unto Himself.
The wording in these verses is very intense. One of these verses will tell us that God wants to sanctify us completely in all three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit. Jesus Himself tells us that He wants us to be perfect just like His Father in Heaven is perfect.
When you first look at these verses, you wonder how anyone could ever begin to achieve any real state of holiness in this cursed and fallen world we all now live in. With all of the lusts of our flesh, and with all of the different types of temptations of this world, many Christians never even attempt to give God half a chance to start this sanctification process in their life. They feel this bar is simply too high to even begin to strive for in this life.
The Bible tells us that all men and women have sinned and have fallen way short of the glory of God. We are so far from the perfection that God is really wanting from each one of us, that we see no real way to be able to obtain it to any significant degree in this life. As a result, many Christians never ask or seek after God to get this sanctification process started in their life – and as a result, there is very little, if any true spiritual growth over the course of most of their lives.
However, if you will study the specific wording in some of these verses, you will see and understand that God the Father is showing you very clearly how this sanctification process can start to occur in you in this life. You do not have to wait until you get to Heaven to get this sanctification process started with Him.
One of the first verses listed is telling us that we get three specific things as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins. We get Redemption, Righteousness, and Sanctification.
Most Christians know about the first two – redemption and righteousness – but they either forget or do not pick up on the third thing that we all have available to us – and that is our Sanctification in the Lord! This sanctification is a progressive process. It is not something that occurs instantaneously at our conversion. It is a progressive work done by the Holy Spirit over the course of our entire life.
The apostle Paul tells us that we have to “work out” our salvation with fear and trembling. He is telling us there are things that have to be worked out – and I believe one of those things is our sanctification in the Lord – the process where God the Father begins to set us apart unto Himself and to transform us into becoming more holy instruments of righteousness for His use.
The different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries define the word “sanctification” as follows:
Noted Bible scholar Jack Hayford, in his excellent book titled: “ Hayford’s Bible Handbook,” defines sanctification as follows:
“The work of God’s grace by which the believer is separated from sin and becomes dedicated to God’s righteousness; accomplished by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, sanctification results in holiness, or purification from the guilt and power of sin. Sanctification is instantaneous before God through Christ and progressive before man through obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word.”
Read that again: “Sanctification is INSTANTANEOUS before God through Christ
and PROGRESSIVE before man through obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word.”
To those of you who have never really sought after the Lord to release this kind of supernatural work in your life – study these verses very, very carefully. God is giving you an incredible spiritual secret that can dramatically change the quality of your life down here on this earth. As said at the top, you do not have to wait until you get to heaven to have God start this sanctification-transformation process in your life. It can literally start right where you are right now, if you are willing to fully surrender your entire life over to the Lord and then ask Him to begin to start this sanctification process in your life. He meets you where you are at right now!
Before going to the actual Scripture verses on all of this, consider one last thing. Even though this sanctification process appears to be a major leap to be able to make in the Lord, realize that God will start you off with small baby steps to get this process worked into your life. Rome was not built overnight, and neither will your sanctification in the Lord. Many in our society have no drawing towards the spiritual things of God. Their only goal in this life is to get as much of the material things in this life as they possibly can, not really caring who they hurt and run over in the process.
Many think that trying to become more holy in the Lord is “corny.” Many of these types of Christians have been labeled as being “not cool” by their peers, by their classmates, or by some of their fellow workers in the workplace. Many of our teenagers are made fun of in their schools if they do not join the crowds in abusing alcohol, doing drugs, or engaging in premarital sex.
The ways of our God are not the ways of this world! This is why God tells us that we will become His enemies if we ever become too friendly with the things and ways of this world. This is why God is calling us and separating us unto Himself in this sanctification process that He wants to start with each one of us. To become more holy and more righteous in the Lord may not be cool with the rest of the world, but it is definitely cool with the Lord. And when everything is all finally said and done, and we have finally departed from this life and have to face God for our own personal judgments – the only thing that will really matter is what God thinks, not what the world thinks. We will all be judged by how God views things, not how the world or other people view things.
We shall leave you with one last thought before going into the actual Scripture verses on this topic: If you really watch and study people – what is the one thing that most people are really searching for and seeking after these days? Why is it that so many people are tempted to enter a life of drugs or alcohol abuse? Why are so many people committing adultery behind their spouse’s back? Why are so many business-minded people chasing after their one and only all-personal god – the almighty dollar? Why are so many people engaging with other alternative forms of spirituality, such as delving into the occult and the many facets of the New Age movement?
If you really bottom-line all of the seeking that is occurring in these areas – they are all looking for one thing – and that one thing is an incredible sense of well-being. They are all looking for that “high” that will make them “feel good.”
To those who are seeking after the almighty dollar, they are looking for that high that will give them a sense of approval and a sense of accomplishment. They are looking for all the material things that this money can buy them, thinking that all of these material things will make them feel good on the inside and completely fill the emptiness and void that is on the inside of each one of them.
To those chasing after drugs, alcohol, or illicit sexual encounters – they are looking for immediate gratification of physical, mental, or sexual pleasures. They want to feel good right now, and they will do anything they can to try and get that next high. However, as we all know, all of the free sex, drugs, and alcohol, and all of the money in this world, and all of the material things this money can buy us, will never buy us that true state of inner happiness, that true state of well-being that we are all really searching for.
All of the material things that we can buy in this life will only keep us high for a very short period of time. Then once that high starts to wear off, we have to find something else we can buy, thinking that the next new purchase will make us feel good for a longer period of time. And then it happens again. That high starts to wane, and then we are once more looking for that next new material thing, that next new adventure that will make us feel good about ourselves.
Many people are constantly chasing the wind, but never really being able to reach it or grab a hold of it – thus always continuing to fall short of being able to reach that elusive state of well-being that will give them the LOVE, JOY and PEACE in which they are really searching.
Even many Christians are missing the mark on all of this. Too many Christians have become more attached to the things of this world rather than to God and the things that He wants us to get involved in. As a result, there are many Christians who are no more happy and no more fulfilled with their lives than many nonbelievers are. Once you become saved and born again by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior – this is just the beginning. Now God wants to start to build you up in Him and all of His ways for your life. The first thing that God will want you to do is to be willing to enter into a full surrender with Him so He can then set you up on the divine path that He will want you to follow in this life. The next thing God will want from you is that you attempt to establish a close personal relationship with Him.
THE NEXT BIG STEP
However, this will now lead us right into the next big step. Many Christians have already done both of these things, but they still feel there is something missing in their lives. They are following God’s perfect will and plan for their lives. They know how to be led by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. They have established very good personal relationships with the Lord – but yet there still seems to be something missing in their lives and they cannot seem to put their finger on it.
I personally believe that the missing ingredient in many believer’s life is this sanctification process. This sanctification process is a deeper work in the Lord, and many have not entered into it either because they have never been shown how to properly enter into it, or they really do not want to go this far with the Lord.
Once you enter into this sanctification process with the Lord, it can be a bit painful at times, since God will be working with you to fully expose and prune out all of the negative qualities that He will not want have operating in your personality.
As you will see in the some of the verses listed throughout this study, it is the Holy Spirit who will really be the One to sanctify you and help you to become more holy in the eyes of the Lord. However, you will still have to do your part in all of this. You will have to be the one to attempt to “put on” the positive qualities that God will want to instill in your personality, and “put away” all of the negative qualities that He will not want operating in your personality.
You will have to really work with the Holy Spirit in order to be able to get God to move you into this deeper realm of making you to become more holy. But for those of you who are willing to let the Lord take this next extra step with you – you will find and obtain what everyone is really searching for and cannot find these days – an incredible sense of well-being that all of the money, material possessions, drugs, alcohol, and sex will never be able to bring you in this life.
This incredible sense of well-being can only be found in the process of allowing God to work His very divine nature into your own personality, thereby making you to become more holy. A perfect example of this is the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These 9 fruits are His fruits, not ours – such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
This means that God will start to transmit and impart His love, His peace, and His kindness into our personalities. And once this kind of sanctification process starts to occur, this is when you will really be able to feel and experience the sense of well-being that God initially created all of us to have in Him.
It is only when the very life of God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, starts to enter into your mind, soul, and heart will you feel that high that everyone is really looking for these days. And the only way that you can get the very life of God to start to enter into your mind, soul, and heart is by entering into this sanctification process with the Lord. There is no other way. There are no shortcuts to this process. I really believe this is one of the main missing ingredients in many believers’ walks with the Lord.