IT IS GOD'S WILL THAT EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD BE SANCTIFIED
( 1Thess. 4:3-5) says- " IT IS GOD'S WILL THAT YOU SHOULD BE SANCTIFIED: That you should avoid sexual immorality ; That each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable not in passionate lust like the Heathen, who do not know God". Then in (1Cor.6:9-11) Paul said to the Corinthians - " Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived : Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. AND THAT IS WHAT SOME OF YOU WERE. BUT YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD".
SANCTIFICATION, or HOLINESS, is viewed in three aspects in the new testament:
(1) POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION - A position of being set apart to God , which every believer has at the moment of his salvation. ( 1 Cor. 6:11) says- " YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTFIED, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD". POSITONAL SANCTIFICATION MEANS THAT CHRIST HAS BEEN MADE UNTO US SANCTICATION. We are accepted in the beloved, and we will never be more saved than at the moment we put our trust in Christ. We are never accepted because of who we are, but because of what Christ has done. THIS POSITONAL SANTIFICATION IS PERFECTION IN CHRIST. IT IS ALSO JUSTFICATION IN CHRIST.
(2) PRACTICAL SANCTIFICATION- IS THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKING IN OUR LIVES TO PRODUCE A PROGRESSIVE HOLINESS IN OUR WALK. OUR PROGRESSIVE IN HOLINESS DEPENDS UPON OUR OBEDIENT TO CHRIST. The more obedient we are, the more progress we will have . And the less obedient we are, the less progress we will have. But true believers must progress in holiness because it is the holy spirit working in our lives to produce holiness in our walk , every time we walk according to God's will. THIS PRACTICAL SANCTIFICATION WILL NEVER BE PERFECT SO LONG AS WE ARE IN THESE BODIES WITH OUR SINFUL FLESH OR SINFUL NATURE.
(3) TOTAL SANCTIFICATION- WILL ACCUR IN THE FUTURE WHEN WE ARE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST. THEN BOTH THE POSITION AND THE PRACTICE OF SANCTIFICATION WILL BE PERFECT.TOTAL SANCTIFICATIION IS ALSO CALLED GLORIFICATION, WHEN WE WILL MEET CHRIST IN PERSON WITH OUR GLORIFIED BODY.
THE LITERAL MEANING OF THE WORD SANCTIFICATION IS TO BE " SET APART FOR GOD". The moment a lost sinner comes to Christ and accepts Christ as Savior, that person is set aside for God's use. This is clearly taught in the old testament in the tabernacle. God taught the old testament believers great doctrinal truths through very simple, practical lessons .In the tabernacles there were vessels and instruments which were used in the sacrifices. After they had gone through the wilderness for forty years, those pots and pans and forks and spoons were pretty well beaten and battered. I do not think they were very attractive. I think that any good housewife would have said, " let us trade them in, on a new set. Let us throw these away". However, God called them holy vessels. They were holy because they were set aside for the use of God. That is what made them holy. In the same way, this applies to a person. When he comes to Christ, he is saved. He is redeemed; he belongs to Christ. Paul says,- in ( 1 Thess. 4:3) " IT IS GOD'S WILL THAT YOU SHOULD BE SANCTIFIED". You have been set aside for a holy purpose, for God's use. Every Child of God - not just Preachers or Missionaries or Christian Workers, but every believer - is set aside for the use of God.
A question may be asked. How do we know that a person who claimed to be a child of God is set aside for God's use? There are many preachers in our generation who claimed that God is using them, but many are just deceiving other people for their personal interest. In our days, it is now very difficult to know, who are the true sons of God.
HOW DO WE KNOW, WHO ARE THE TRUE SONS OF GOD?
Jesus said-in (Matt. 7:16-17)- " BY THEIR FRUIT YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM -----EVERY GOOD TREE BEARS GOOD FRUIT, BUT A BAD TREE BEARS BAD FRUIT". Then in (John 15:4) -JESUS said- " REMAIN IN ME, AND I WILL REMAIN IN YOU . NO BRANCH CAN BEAR FRUIT BY ITSELF; IT MUST REMAIN IN THE VINE. NEITHER CAN YOU BEAR FRUIT UNLESS YOU REMAIN IN ME.". Then in ( 1John 3:24) John said- " THOSE WHO OBEY HIS COMMANDS LIVE IN HIM, AND HE IN THEM. AND THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THAT HE LIVES IN US. WE KNOW IT BY THE SPIRIT HE GAVE US". TO LIVE IN CHRIST REQUIRES KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.
Jesus said in (John 14:15) - "IF YOU LOVE ME, YOU WILL OBEY WHAT I COMMAND". There are 22 commandments for Christians in (1 Thess. 5:11-27). I asked every believers to read these commandments and keep them in their hearts.
(1) Encourage one another( v.11a).
(2) Build each other up (v.11b).
(3) Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you (v. 12).
(4) Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work (v.13a).
(5) Live in peace with each other (v.13b)
(6) Warn those who are idle (v. 14a.
(7) Encourage the timid (v.14b).
(8) Help the weak (v.14c).
(9) Be patient with everyone (v.14d).
(10) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong (v.15a).
(11) Always try to be kind to each other and everyone else (v. 15b).
(12) Be joyful always (v.16)
(13) Pray continually (v.17).
(14) Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (v.18).
(15) Do not put out the spirit's fire (.19).
(16) Do not treat prophecies with contempt (v.20).
(17) Test everything (v.21a).
(18) Hold on to the good (v. 21b).
(19) Avoid every kind of evil (v.22 ).
(20) Pray for those who give out the gospel (v.23-25).
(21)Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss (v. 26 ).
(22) I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all brothers (v.27).
I know that it is very difficult for any believer to obey the 22 commandments mentioned above, that Jesus gave to every Christian, because nobody can obey all these 22 commandments that are way above the 10 commandments. THEY CAN ONLY BE OBEYED THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO INDWELLS THE BELIEVER. THEREFORE, ONLY , WHEN A BELIEVER WALKS ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL, AND WHEN HE IS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEN HE CAN OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.THIS IS HOW WE CAN SHOW OUR LOVE TO JESUS BY OBEYING HIS COMMANDMENTS THROUGH CONSTANT LIVING IN HIM ,THROUGH CONSTANT REPENTANCE EVERY TIME WE SINNED AND THROUGH CONSTANT OR UNCEASING PRAYER TO CONNECT OURSELVES WITH CHRIST.
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado