The phrase above, can be rightly brought in relation with the word Sanctification, or the phrase Progressive sanctification. Though the word sanctification is not within the daily vocabulary of most individuals. Nevertheless, the lack of sanctification in the unbeliever, and the need for sanctification in the believer are both apropos to their well-being.
Regardless of the lack of comprehension of the word, or the limited use of the word in one's vocabulary, we all share the effects of its absence or deficiency, or the lack of understanding thereof.
This we know, for in us dwell the will to do good; meaning we desire to do the right thing because we know right from wrong. However, at times we find ourselves doing that which is wrong, despite desiring to do the right thing. The degree of struggle within the individual varies. As well as the acts of wrong doing varies, despite knowing that which we constantly find ourselves doing is wrong, yet we continue without the ability to stop.
He or she who does not understand Sanctification and Progressive-Sanctification. Will in due time accept the act of wrongdoing as a part of who they are, which is the equivalence of accepting error in hopelessness. Then there are those who, for the lack of understanding of Sanctification, they erect regiments of rules and regulations. Without addressing the problem, their rules and laws act as a containment to the problem, but a temporal containment, but within that which is attempted to be contained is but a raging inferno waiting to erupt.
So then what is Sanctification, and how shall it make a difference in the struggle of doing that which is hated, yet it is done?
Sanctification is the act of setting apart. Follow by the three parts of Sanctification. That which is set apart must be removed from one stage to another stage. Therefore, those who struggle with a condition they are a part of a situation they desire not to be a part of. Through Sanctification they are set apart. Now comes the Three Parts of Sanctification, the understanding thereof will determine the effectiveness of living without a struggle or the ineffectiveness of living in failure.
Set apart to God
The Separation from evil or that which is wrong
The honoring stage of Sanctification
1. Set apart to God
Upon Salvation, the believer is set apart to God. Wherewith we feel the love of God and the desire to do that which is right. However, we are set apart to God, not because in us dwell Holiness. Our set apart is for the lack of Holiness, to be made holy; this we call Progressive sanctification. That which is Progressive, is ongoing. Therefore, though we fail at times, but this we know, we are better today than we were before our salvation. Being confident of this very thing, that He (God) who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Meaning He will continue to work in us that which is Good until the day of Jesus Christ (when Christ returns) Therefore, being separate to God, doesn’t mean the believer is sinless, but rather the beginning of an ongoing work in the believer. The work of Progressive Sanctification.
2. The Separation from evil or that which is wrong
The acceptance of God’s ongoing work in the believer through the Holy Spirit, is not a license or excuse to sin. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
(1 Thessalonians 4:7)
So then, if the believer is sanctified at Salvation, set apart to God, separated from evil things, but still sins. Yet considered holy; One might ask the question, what is the difference between a sinner who is sinning, and a believer who is holy and yet sin? The difference lies in the word hope and the word position. The believer, though in the world, he or she is not a part of the world, they are separate to God. Whereas the sinner who is sinning, is still in the world, the abode of sin. Like the illustration of two logs, exposed to the element of the rain. Both being saturated in the elements. One of the logs is brought into the house. (the change of position) The other is left outside in the element. At the initial stage both logs are wet, but over time the log that is separate from the outside elements will be free from the moist, and ready to use. Such is the believer who is set apart to God. However, the log that remains outside in the element will decay onto destruction, for it is without a hope. The word hope in modern uses, implies a wishful thinking, wherein there is an uncertainty of an outcome, but wish for the best. However, the biblical use of hope is seldomly without a doubt, it is with expectation. For it is in God, the implication is looking ahead for something good, but must be waited for. This is the hope; the sinner of the world is without. So often the believer goes through distress, but survives because the believer sees beyond the condition with hope in God. On the contrary the sinner of the world ceased to progress in distressed by the taking of their lives for the lack of hope.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
3. The honoring stage of Sanctification
or the reverence of Sanctification, is the third part of Progressive sanctification. The honoring and reverence spoken of here is not about the individual, but rather the stage of realization of the veneration of God. Through this, our focus is not on our shortcomings, but the honest fellowship with God. forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before us. There are some who genuinely possess love within. However, from their expression proceed uncontrollable temper. Which leads to anger, where common sense is replaced with the propensity to obtain satisfaction through vengeance, verbally or physically.
There are those with a great mind for the Lord, but the expression of dissatisfaction is expressed through profanity.
There are those with knowledge, but engage in thoughts of foolishness.
So are the struggles of lust, fear and the likes.
Nevertheless, through honor and reverence to God, shall the believer call upon the Lord.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit. (Psalms 51:10-12)
The more we see the Lord during struggles, the lesser we see or experience those things we hate, but we find ourselves doing.
May we pray the prayer of the apostle; That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
That I may know Him
Let us know Christ, even in failure or tribulation. Knowing His grace is sufficient. Thus, His words of assurance; My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The power of his resurrection
As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
That is to say, if the power of death could not hold Him down, rest assure He has the power to break every chain of bondage and struggle, if we continue to believe in Him.
Fellowship of his sufferings
He gives His life that I may live, He became sin, that I may be clean. He was despised and rejected that I may be accepted. stripped of His garments that I may be clothed in a robe of righteousness. He was nailed to a sinner’s Cross that I may be free from sin. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Being made conformable unto His death
May our self will of pride and the flesh be crucified with Christ.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
The flesh spoken of here is not the tissue of the body, rather the nature of the individual. The nature that is not conformed to the Lord is a nature that will fall into carnality and self-will. We cannot live without a will, but our will must be made conformable to God's will. The flesh must be crucified that we may be risen in newness of life. Meaning, may your will be done in me Lord, not my will, but your will. Without which, when the self-will of the individual fails to perform, then rules, regulations and laws are erected. These acts serve as containment to the problem, as previously stated, but a temporal containment.
The acts of containment from the unbeliever and the believer.
The denial of failures or the unawareness thereof will lead to the erecting of rules or laws through works in both the believer and unbeliever. The unbeliever resort in self-help, self-motivation and the likes thereof. Whereas the believer who does not understand Sanctification uses the right things for the wrong reason, such as fasting to overcome a problem. Sanctification is progressive, it is imputed by faith and faith alone. God is not a respecter of person, meaning He doesn’t sanctify one individual differently from another. If deliverance from a problem came by fasting, how can the elderly who need food be delivered? Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
The way we came in, is the way we abide.
Salvation was obtained by faith, not because we are good, but God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:8-9)
Justified by His blood, speaks of the work of Christ, on our behalf. His work of redemption on the Cross, through His work that we might rest in Him. Whatsoever the problem is or the struggle, He is faithful, He has called you, and He will do that which is needed to be done. By faith we were saved, by faith shall we live the Christian life.
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.