Sanctification is not a work of forgiveness but rather a work of cleansing and setting apart.

How Holy Matters
Sanctification – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

Key Verse:  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

 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.  24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Sanctification is a biblical word used to describe a work of God.  This work of God is not the same as what He did when He forgave us of our sins.  When we were forgiven of our sins, we were redeemed.  God’s work of redemption was “buying us back” from the world and its destructive forces.

            Sanctification is not a work of forgiveness but rather a work of cleansing and setting apart.  This second work of God takes our redeemed hearts and purifies them from sin.  Our printed key verse makes this process clear by the phrase, “through and through.”

            God does this sanctifying work Himself!  He responds to our willingness to completely surrender to Him.  He cleanses our hearts from sin—the inner core of sin that causes us to outwardly sin.  This inner core of sinfulness is what the Psalmist David was referring to when he declared, “In sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5).  When Adam and Eve fell to the devil’s tricks, they brought sin into the blood stream of all humankind to follow.  This sinful inner rebellion toward the Lordship of Christ in our lives must be cleansed.  It is not a matter of forgiveness; we did not choose to be born into sin.  We don’t need forgiveness, we need cleansing.  We need sanctification!

Father, I surrender my life to you, every corner, every part is yours.  Sanctify me thoroughly by your Spirit, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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