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Yet despite its importance, it is often perceived as a religious notion too complex to comprehend. Though sanctification may at first seem to be a foreign concept, it is one of the greatest things that has and is happening to every believer in Jesus Christ. Here we will explore the basic biblical doctrine of sanctification and discuss the key role it plays in a Christian's spiritual growth. Sanctification comes from the verb sanctify. Sanctify originates from the Greek word hagiazo, which means to be "separate" or to be "set apart." In the Bible, sanctification generally relates to a sovereign act of God whereby He "sets apart" a person, place, or thing in order that His purposes may be accomplished. In the book of Exodus, God sanctifies a place of worship. "And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory," says Exodus 29:43. Even a day can be sanctified as seen in Genesis 2:3 where the seventh day is "set apart" as a holy day of rest. "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Similarly, when a person is sanctified he or she is being set apart by God for a specific divine purpose. The very moment we are saved in Christ we are also immediately sanctified and begin the process of being conformed to the image of Christ. As God's children we are "set apart" from that moment to carry out His divine purposes unto eternity. Hebrews 10:14 says, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." Are you set apart for God? Sanctification - Different Than Salvation It is important to differentiate between justification and sanctification. Justification is another word for salvation. Jesus gave his life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. His blood washes away our sins and frees us from an eternity of suffering and condemnation. Believers are saved because of what Christ has already done. We can do nothing to earn salvation, it is the gift given to every child of God regardless of race, age, maturity, or merit. Sanctification occurs as a result of salvation. At the moment of conversion, the Holy Spirit enters our life. We are no longer held hostage by death, but are free to live the life God desires for us. We are thus sanctified simply because of our standing as lost souls saved by grace. Sanctification - A Continuing Process Sanctification does not stop with salvation, but rather it is a progressive process that continues in a Christian's life. Unlike the things and places that are sanctified by God in the Bible, people have the capacity to sin. Even though we have been "set apart" as God's children, we continue to behave in ways that are contrary. As Christians, we realize shortly after we have been saved that there is a new inner battle being waged within us - a battle between our old sin-lead nature and new Spirit-lead nature. Paul in Galatians best describes this inner struggle in Galatians 5:17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." Like Paul, our heart's desire is to please and obey God, but our flesh is weak making sin difficult to resist. Yet, it is in our continual struggle with sin and obedience to God that sanctification does its work. But what is the work of sanctification? What does it practically mean to be "set apart"? Sanctification can be described as an inward spiritual process whereby God
we may have misplaced our confidence and security on beauty. Once we accept Jesus Christ into our lives. Further. our mind and body are weak. to guide us. Satan knows this and tries to take advantage of us. Though every person's sanctification is unique and personal. Rather. yet God in His divine wisdom has chosen to give us the responsibility of working out our own sanctification. The Bible is not merely a history book. but it is always motivated by God's love for us. Our natural tendency is to embrace sin. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4. but God may ordain difficult circumstances to liberate us from these growth-hindering snares. Sanctification .Practical Steps Prayer is of utmost importance. Though the process is personal for each individual. convict. the Holy Spirit enters our life to start a transformation process (progressive sanctification). but its words have the power to sanctify us. This is the working process of sanctification is the life of every believer." Sanctification is not about trying to be sinless in order to earn the favor of God. people. sanctification is for our own benefit. prepared for every good work. hindering our ability to live the life God desires for us. "But He answered and said.the Bible. sanctified and useful for the Master. the end goal is to prevent sin and produce spiritual growth. He convicts us on areas that need to be changed. but it will also give us the strength to overcome sin. "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter. When we are suffering or facing temptation. The transformation process may be painful. struggle with sin.brings about holiness and change in the life of a Christian by means of the Holy Spirit. and bring to light the darkness that is within our hearts. we are also more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. and the truth is not in us. God's Word also has the power to transform our mind. we deceive ourselves. God commands us to pursue sanctification so that through it we may be blessed. helping us to grow in holiness. We begin to view the world. the Bible. When we pray. Our choices begin to be motivated by love and truth and not selfishness. God has sent His Holy Spirit and His written Word. God promises in His Word to not give us more than we are able to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13)." says 2 Timothy 2:21. God has also given us the written Word . wealth. but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). But how do we pursue sanctification? How are we personally responsible? Lovingly. For instance. he will be a vessel for honor. Jesus used the Word of God to overcome temptation. Sanctification . the Bible warns against such false teachings in 1 John 1:8: "If we say that we have no sin. The effects of living in a fallen world have harmed everybody differently. 'It is written. We all face different issues. there are common disciplines in the pursuit of sanctification that are unchanging. Through prayer. and personal difficulties from a more biblical perspective. 'Man shall not live by bread alone. we are in spiritual union with God. and materialism.A Christian Responsibility Sanctification is one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian walk. Not only will prayer comfort us in our hardship. We will never be sinless in this life. In fact. Note that sanctification has nothing to do with living in sinless perfection. and past hurts of varying degrees. It is the instrument which God uses to develop in 2 .
godliness. and to brotherly kindness. "For the word of God is living and powerful. they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Believers are also sanctified in worship. and to knowledge. and to godliness. When we sin and ignore the Holy Spirit's leading. when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. and sharper than any twoedged sword. and may your whole spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 commands us: "Do not quench the Spirit. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. John 4:23 says. For this very reason. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit. We are sanctified because Jesus Christ has saved us and yet sanctification continues to work within to transform us unto the likeness of Christ. we break fellowship with Him. all of which are essential elements of sanctification. The work of sanctification will ultimately be completed in every believer's life when Jesus Christ returns. before Jesus ascended into heaven he tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for a gift God will send (Acts 1). positive growth occurs. and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).us knowledge. make every effort to add to your faith goodness.What is it? Spiritual growth is detailed in 2 Peter 1:3-8. self-control. the sanctifying work of God's Word is enormous to a believer who recognizes its truth and power. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure. and now is.Key to Spiritual Growth Sanctification is both a matter of position and progression. When we choose to pursue sanctification in our life. When we yield to His leading. Paul puts it best in his epistle to the Thessalonians: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. True fervent worship is what God desires from His people. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit. "But the hour is coming. and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). it transforms our hearts and brings us into close union with God. perseverance. He has the power to help us resist sin and make positive change. Like a newborn baby that gradually matures unto adulthood. and personal holiness. piercing even to the division of soul and spirit." Additionally. love. When our worship is genuine. The pursuit of it involves the surrender of the body and the will to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the responsibility of every believer in Christ. and to self-control. and to goodness. and to perseverance. faith. knowledge. Spiritual Growth ." Sanctification . brotherly kindness. This is the hope of every Christian. so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. so is the work of sanctification in the life of a new believer. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate helper and sanctifier. thereby cutting off the life-changing power." 3 . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). It takes time and is a working progress that cannot be hurried. Whether by studying or listening to teaching. soul. and of joints and marrow. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises.
But if you are led by the Spirit. Learning how to grow spiritually is a life-long journey which occurs as you read and apply God's Word to your life. but it is the Spirit who produces the fruit of spiritual growth in our lives. you first need to make sure you possess a true spiritual life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. which is dominated by sin. and (4) increasing in your faith and trust in God. This is the essence of spiritual growth. word. more self-controlled. so that you do not do what you want. and deed (Romans 6:11-14). provoking and envying each other. Since we live by the Spirit." If you are becoming more loving." Walking in the Spirit is allowing Him to fill you (Ephesians 5:18). he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12). more joyful. rebuked. peace. Paul says. (3) increasing in your practice of Christ-like qualities. we must submit ourselves to the Spirit's leading. and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. if anyone is in Christ." In order for spiritual growth to occur. In 1 Corinthians 11:1. Spiritual Growth . kindness. faithfulness. 24-26 explains." Spiritual Growth . the Holy Spirit lives inside of you (John 14:16-17) and you are a new creation in Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says. as I follow the example of Christ. (2) decreasing in your frequency and severity of sin. "All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit. and guide you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches us. "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life. more kind. he is a new creation. 4 . is replaced with a new nature that is under the influence of God's Spirit (Romans 6-7). patience. the old has gone. so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Notice that it is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit in us. correcting and training in righteousness. Ephesians 4:1 says." Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of what it truly means to be spiritual. let us keep in step with the Spirit. rebuking. "So I say. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love. Against such things there is no law. Perhaps the best summary of spiritual growth is becoming more like Jesus Christ. Let us not become conceited. Spiritual growth can only occur in a person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. Another key to Christian growth is walking in the Spirit. "Follow my example. This is brought about by consciously choosing by faith to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in thought. When you believe in Jesus Christ. you are not under law… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. joy. Galatians 5:16-18. and this life is in his Son. and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. Then we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. corrected. spiritual growth includes: (1) increasing in your knowledge and understanding of God's Word. the new has come!" Your old nature. we must be taught. goodness. Failure to rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance will result in a believer not living up to the calling and standing that salvation provides. They are in conflict with each other. "…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.What are the results? Spiritual growth is a life-long process of manifesting the acts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) less and less and producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) more and more. control you.How is it done? In order for spiritual growth to occur. Yes. "Therefore. What does spiritual growth look like? Galatians 5:22-23 has the answer. and trained by God's Word. He who has the Son has life. gentleness and self-control. live by the Spirit.So.
In order to mature as believers. but on comparing ourselves with God's Word. it is not self-seeking."Therefore. always trusts. while others grow slowly. these attributes are: love. joy. faith. according to his glorious power. and God in him" (1 John 4:16). Whoever lives in love lives in God. after looking at himself. always hopes. Using the King James Version of Galatians 5:22-23. Joy . But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom. Fruit of the Spirit . patience and kindness. unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (Colossians 1:11). it is not proud. it does not boast. but steadily. Gentleness (kindness) -. since we have been justified through faith. goodness. then you can rest assured that spiritual growth is genuinely occurring in your life. "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and. God works in different people in different ways. love is kind. understanding. Some people grow rapidly. who for the joy set before him endured the cross. the author and perfecter of our faith. "With all lowliness and meekness. scorning its shame. in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love." Fruit of the Spirit . It is not rude.Visible Growth in Jesus Christ "Fruit of the Spirit" is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life. meekness and temperance. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.The Nine Biblical Attributes The fruit of the Spirit is a physical manifestation of a Christian's transformed life. so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13). It always protects. we should study and understand the attributes of the ninefold fruit: Love . with longsuffering. longsuffering. and continues to do this. in truthful speech and in the power 5 .We should live "in purity. and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Rather. Peace . our greatest goal is to do all things in love. the fruit of the Spirit is one ninefold "fruit" that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit.. we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. it is not easily angered. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. gentleness. God is love. not forgetting what he has heard. it keeps no record of wrongs. The Scriptures are the mirror to show us what we are like spiritually and to shine light on the areas that need to experience and learn spiritual growth. "Love is patient. Our focus should not be on comparing ourselves with others. Collectively."The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). James 1:23-25 declares. these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ.he will be blessed in what he does. goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. always perseveres. Longsuffering (patience) -. Through Jesus Christ. but doing it . forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).etc. It does not envy. We learn from scripture that these are not individual "fruits" from which we pick and choose. peace.We are "strengthened with all might."And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
that our God would count you worthy of this calling.of God. and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness. We hope this website provides a thought-provoking devotional and a springboard for growth. if a man be overtaken in a fault. and the work of faith with power" (2 Thessalonians 1:11). Meekness . "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. "With all lowliness and meekness. restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. for thou hast done wonderful things. ye which are spiritual. giving all diligence. with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left" (2 Corinthians 6:6-7). forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2). "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9). I will praise thy name. to knowledge self-control. thou art my God."Wherefore also we pray always for you. Faith (faithfulness) . considering thyself. to perseverance godliness. Fruit of the Spirit ."Brethren. Goodness . 6 . Temperance (self-control) . to self-control perseverance. and to brotherly kindness love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Ephesians 3:16-17). thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth" (Isaiah 25:1)."But also for this very reason. to virtue knowledge. I will exalt thee. to godliness brotherly kindness."O Lord. add to your faith virtue. with longsuffering.A Devotional for All Christians The fruit of the Spirit is a wonderful study for Christians at any level of spiritual maturity. lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).
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