Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sanctification Session 3

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday morning Adult Bible Study is doing a biblical study of sanctification, the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ.

Review

Definitions

sanc·ti·fy - verb -  set apart as or declare holy; consecrate; set apart for sacred use: to make free from sin: purify

Sanctification -  the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy.

Sanctification can be generally defined as being separate or set apart. In the case of the Christian, we are set apart for God and we are separate from the world.

Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God's work and being conformed to the image of Christ.  Remember God’s purpose for us;

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
This conformance to Christ’s image also includes us and the things we do.  God is working those things because He justified, or declared us right with Him through the blood of Jesus,  us when He saved us.  

Salvation is the work of God alone.  We don’t have anything to do with it and we can’t earn it.  Sanctification is a process.  Where salvation comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts.   The saved person is actively involved in submitting to God's will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly or developing growing in the fruit of the Spirit.  Sanctification is the divine process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. It is a divine process because the changes in the life of the Christian are produced by the Holy Spirit

1.  Positional sanctification received at salvation

Acts 20:32 (NKJV)  So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  

1 Corinthians 1:2 (NKJV)2  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, both theirs and ours:

2.  Progressive sanctification, the daily growth, becoming  more and more set apart for God's use

John 17:16-19 (NKJV)16  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17  Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.18  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

3.  Ultimate sanctification, attained only when we are fully and completely set apart to God as we become just like Christ.  

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV)  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.

The Holy Spirit gives us the heart purity that makes sanctification possible.

Baptism is an outward symbol of the inward purity that accompanies our new birth.

Acts 2:38 (NKJV)38  Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Regeneration involves the imparting of God’s nature into our hearts as believers.

God's part in regeneration is stressed here.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NKJV) Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,

Conversion

Ezekiel 36:27 (NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Acts 2:16-21 (NKJV)16  But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17  'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall  dream dreams.18  And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.19  I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.21  And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to live according to God’s commandments.


2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

And as new creatures we should put off some old stuff and put on some new stuff.

Colossians 3:1-14 (NKJV)1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.5  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.6  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,7  in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.8  But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.9  Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,10  and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,11  where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.12  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;13  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

The church gives us the nurture we need to make progress in sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NKJV)1  Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;2  for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;4  that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,5  not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;6  that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.7  For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.8  Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.  

The grace of God motivates us to live for Christ

Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)11  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,12  teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,13  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

As believers, we readily attribute our salvation to God’s grace, but what does “this grace in which we stand” mean to us now? How does it work out in everyday life, especially when we’re going through periods of trial or suffering?

1 Peter 4:12-19 (NKJV)12  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;13  but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.14  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.16  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.17  For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?18  Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"19  Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.  

The Lord’s grace releases His supernatural power within us so we can endure life’s hardships with a godly attitude. In fact, we’ll even be able to rejoice in what He is doing in us through the adversity.Grace builds our confidence in the sovereign Lord. Nothing looks hopeless when we focus on Him instead of on our problems.

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)2  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.4  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

We discover the assurance of God’s sustaining presence as He walks with us every step of the way. Because we’ve experienced His care for us, we are able to show empathy and love to others facing hard times. During fiery trials, grace works to transform our character so that others can see Jesus reflected in us.

Difficulties in life are unavoidable. So we need a daily dose of God’s grace if we are to walk through trials with confidence that there is great reward on the other side. If we rely on our own strength, however, obstacles will appear insurmountable, leaving us discouraged and ready to give up.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)16  Rejoice always,17  pray without ceasing,18  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Too often believers rely on Christ for their salvation but then try to go solo. If God’s grace was needed to save us, then logic says we would also need it for the rest of our days. Only through a continuous infusion of His sustaining power can we live a victorious Christian life.

Sanctification is all about being set apart for God’s purposes

2 Timothy 2:19 (NKJV)19  Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

When we depart from iniquity, it shows that we really belong to the Lord.

What is our foundation?  The only foundation of any soul's safety is the Lord Jesus Christ. God is said not only to lay the foundation, but to seal it; and when He guarantees it.  

Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV)13  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

A seal indicates possession and security. The Holy Spirit himself is the seal. His presence guarantees our salvation.  

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV)19  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,20  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,21  in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,22  in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NKJV)21  Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,22  who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
The seal is twofold. There are two fundamental principles which God has placed on it. The one stands out clear, legible and large. "The Lord knoweth them that are His"; and the other is like unto it—"Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."  But as the stamp of God's love is laid, so must the stamp of man's obedience be laid. God's love first, to teach that there is no real obedience till there is first a sense of God's love.

When we purge ourselves from worldliness, we become vessels of honor

2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NKJV)20  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.21  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.

God uses cleansed people who flee sin and pursue godliness.

Paul uses the illustration of a large house that has different kinds of vessels. The gold and silver vessels are kept clean so that they may be used for honorable purposes, such as dinner parties. The wood and earthenware vessels are used for dishonorable purposes, perhaps in the kitchen or to carry out garbage or human waste. They often get broken and are cheaply replaced.

It would be easy to misapply Paul’s point here. If you took his illustration to its logical conclusion, you could say that the dishonorable vessels serve a legitimate function and thus are just as necessary as the gold vessels. But that’s not his point. Rather, the large house represents the church. Some who associate with the church are truly born again. Others, such as the false teachers and others may not be born again. They are the vessels for dishonor. No one should be a vessel for dishonor.

Matthew 7:15-16 (NKJV)15  "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16  You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

To put it another way, he is saying that God isn’t going to use a garbage pail life to serve the pure gospel to a hungry world.   God isn’t going to use dirty lives to serve the good news of Christ to the world.

2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV)1  But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.2  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.3  By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Cleansed people are sanctified, useful and prepared for every good work

2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJV)  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.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV) 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Charles Spurgeon summarizes these good works a, works of obedience, works of love, works of faith, and acts of common life (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit [Pilgrim Publications], 31:152-153). By works of obedience, he means obeying the commands of Scripture. Works of love includes both love for God and love for our fellow man, with an eye to God’s glory. Works of faith refers to all that we do in reliance upon God and His promises. By acts of common life he meant whatever we do at home, at work, traveling, or on a sick bed, that we do all to the glory of God. In other words, the entire bent of our lives after we have been saved by God’s grace should be lived with a God-ward focus, to please Him.

Most of us think these good works are: attending worship services, praying regularly, studying Scripture, giving generously from our financial resources, joining a small group, going on mission trips, caring for the poor, working for justice for the oppressed, loving our neighbors, etc. These are certainly among the good works that God has prepared for us, but if we stop with them I think we miss the entirety of what God has prepared for us as He includes us in His desire that all men be saved. The works that I listed are not just religious activities but a lifestyle.

This means that we don’t just do them in our spare time. Walking in good works means that this is what we do every day and in every situation. This means that your good works can include that which you do at work, in the classroom, on the football field, in your neighborhood, and in your community associations. If you're a boss, part of your good works involve the way you manage your employees. If you're a parent, your good works include making dinner for your children as well as praying with them as you tuck them into bed. The more we grow in our faith, the more we see ourselves as God's masterpieces, the more we will indeed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, by his strength, under his authority, and for his purposes.

Bible Study Audio



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