Last Friday was Good Friday, a day that is set aside to celebrate the death of Jesus Christ. It is called “good” because of His death.
A lot of people ask why is a dude’s death something to celebrate and the answer is quite simple.
Christ died so we could live! His death was the atoning sacrifice for our sins. By his death He has also brought about our Justification and Sanctification!
We looked at the Atonement and at Justification. Christ, by His death atoned for our sins, Justified us before the Father and sacntifies us continually through the cross!
As in atonement, to understand what it is we must ask certain questions and seek the answers.
The First question was: “What does Justification mean?”
The second and final question we will look at concerning the cross of Jesus is: “What does Sanctification mean?”
Again, to get to the heart of what all this is, we must answer questions in order to find the true treasure of what these things are!
Sanctification is the continuing work of God in the life of the believer making the believer actually holy. Which is both experiential and positional.
How are Justification and Sanctification related?
Justification is the act of being made right before the Lord. This is imputing Christ’s righteousness into the new believer making him/her holy and righteous before God. (Galatians 2:16, Romans 10:9-10). Justification must happen in order for Sanctification to be able to occur. Before we can live by the Spirit (Romans 8 and Galatians 5) we need to receive the Spirit and this receiving the Spirit comes at Justification where we are declared righteous before a Holy God. Sanctification is the continuous act of being made Holy (Hebrews 10:14). Where we the believer allow the Spirit to work in our lives, being more and more filled with the Holy Spirit. That sis not to say we did not receive the full Holy Spirit at justification, being more filled means we give over more of our lives to the Holy Spirit. Sanctification will only finish it’s work when we die and are glorified. Justification and Sanctification go hand in hand. While Justification is the beginning of Sanctification.
What significance does sanctification have to your lifestyle?
Giving the Spirit more control over your life and allowing Him full access to you life allows you to do as Christ said we must do if we are to follow Him and that is to take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). Being sanctified means also that we are becoming more like Christ. This means, we will care for that which Christ cares for, love those whom Christ loves and seek justice the way he does. We will become more and more like the House of the Lord that he has designed, as well as we will seek to live Holy lives has He is holy (1 Peter 1-2). The significance is that we will be strangers and aliens in this worl and they will want to know why. This then will lead us into glorifying Christ alone and allowing us access to the people of this world to share the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). It means I will not seek out the desires of this World as Paul and Peter urge us, but will rather be seeking the things of God!
Why must holiness be a characteristic of God’s people?
1 Peter 2:11-12 says: “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Holiness must be a characteristic of our lives so that we can bring glory to God. When we allow the Holy Spirit to make us Holy (1 Thessalonians 5:23), we will become closer to heaven, and the world will see this in us and want to know why. They will ask questions about this hope we have and we can be prepared to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15). This news is news for the whole world (1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2). Also in 1 Peter 1, we are reminded of a call to holiness from Leviticus, where God says: “Be Holy as I am Holy”. It is God’s desire that we become more like him. This then would truly separate us from this world where we can be strangers and aliens.
What is positional sanctification?
Positional Sanctification is the imputed holiness of God that we receive at Salvation. It is where we are no longer bound to sin (Romans 6; 1 Peter 2:24) and are free in Christ (Galatians 5:1). It means that before God, we are declared righteous, saved and justified. We are renewed and a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Hebrews 10:10 says: “… we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
What is experiential sanctification?
This is the continuing work of sanctification. 1 Thes. 5:23 says: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God is sanctifying us through and through. Also, Hebrews 10 (10:10) talks of positional sanctification, but also of experiential sanctification Hebrews 10:14 says: “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” We are “being made holy”. Holiness on earth is not a one-stop shop, we have to as Jesus Himself said: “deny ourselves and daily pick up our cross and follow Him.”(Luke 9:23) We also must daily put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6). These are all pieces of the experiential sanctification. Also, we are called to work out our faith with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) if it weren’t continual, why would we need to work it out? Also, in Romans 6:22, we see that this life we received from Christ leads to holiness…it is not a one-stop reception of all holiness.
In what way is progression connected with experiential sanctification?
This is the continuing work of sanctification. 1 Thes. 5:23 says: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God is sanctifying us through and through. Also, Hebrews 10 (10:10) talks of positional sanctification, but also of experiential sanctification Hebrews 10:14 says: “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” We are “being made holy”. Holiness on earth is not a one-stop shop, we have to as Jesus Himself said: “deny ourselves and daily pick up our cross and follow Him.”(Luke 9:23) We also must daily put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6). These are all pieces of the experiential sanctification. Also, we are called to work out our faith with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) if it weren’t continual, why would we need to work it out? Also, in Romans 6:22, we see that this life we received from Christ leads to holiness…it is not a one-stop reception of all holiness. Meaning that the very nature of experiential sanctification is indeed progressive, so that progression is connected to it thoroughly and completely in it’s very nature.
In what way is the believer “dead to sin and alive In God”?
Romans 6, is entirely about this question. Through the power of the cross, the Holy Spirit can now take charge of our lives if we believe and confess it (Romans 10:9-10) and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). When Chris died on the cross, he nailed there with him our sins and he himself took our death on that tree. 1 Peter 2:24 is my favorite verse when it comes to the way in which we can be dead to sin, but alive in God. It says: “He Himself bore our sins on the tree, that we may die to sin and live to righteousness”. It is only through His death and resurrection that we can achieve this successfully!
What is meant by the phrase “the indwelling Christ?”
This comes from Romans 8:9-11 where the Spirit of Christ dwells within us and changes our very lives. We no longer live by the sinful nature, but we live by the Spirit of Christ and it is by this indwelling that “our body is dead because of sin, but our spirits are alive because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10), in this indwelling, we received a spirit of sonship (Romans 8:15). Christ moves into our hearts and lives and sin moves out. God is light and where the light is darkness cannot be. This indwelling exposes those things hidden in the dark and causes us to confess that which light shines upon, so that we can continually live in the light and the indwelling Christ can remain Lord of our lives.
What are scriptural evidences of a sanctified life?
Romans 6,8 Galatians 5, Hebrews 10, James
How does sanctification relate to the Lordship of Christ?
1 Corinthians 3 asks a HUGE question as to who is your Lord. Essentially what are you building your life around? (Hebrews 10, 1 John)