The title of this sermon is: The Doctrine of Sanctification
*Conforming to the image of Christ
Sanctification can also be called the application of redemption. Paul calls this living by the Spirit, Romans 8:5-8.
Sanctification: A progressive work of God and man that makes us more free from sin and like Christ in our actual everyday lives.
Sanctification is a process that continues throughout our Christian life. The course or journey of a Christian’s life involves continual growth.
Sanctification begins at regeneration. A definitive moral change occurs at salvation, Titus 3:5. Sanctification involves a disciple actively, intentionally killing sin.
The moral change in us is the first step in sanctification. Paul sees this as a completed event, 1 Corinthinans 6:11.
This beginning step of sanctification involves a definite breaking off from the ruling power and love of sin, so that you as a disciple, are no longer ruled or dominated by sin, Romans 6:11-18
Being dead to sin involves the power to overcome acts or patterns of sinful behavior. We as disciples – by virtue of the Holy Spirit and because of the resurrection of Christ have the power to overcome the temptations and enticements of sin. Sin will no longer be your master as it was before you became a Christian.
Paul sees one of the purposes of Christ’s resurrection has application to our obedience to God in this life, 1 Corinthians 15:58. It is because Christ was raised from the dead and we too shall be raised from the dead, that we should continue in steadfastness in the Lord’s work.
Paul says that Christians are free from sin, and that they are dead to sin and alive to God. However, Paul still recognizes that sin remains in their lives so he says to not let it reign and do not yield to it, Romans 6:19.
Strive for holiness, Hebrews 12
Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, James 1
Be holy in all your conduct, 1 Peter 1
Sanctification progresses or increases throughout life. In fact, it is expected.
As long as you breathe, the Holy Spirit is constantly working in you to make you more and more like Christ.
Sanctification is completed at death for our souls and when Christ returns for our bodies. When you die, sanctification is completed for the soul because our souls will be set free from indwelling sin and made perfect.
Our bodies will not be fully sanctified until we receive our glorified or resurrected bodies, Phil. 3:21, 1 Corinthians 15:49
God’s role in sanctification: 1 Thess. 5:23
God disciplines us as his children, Phil 2:13.
God sanctifies you by causing you to want his will and by giving you the power to do it. You want to do God’s will. You want to be obedient.
Jesus role in sanctification: 1 Corinthians 1:30, Hebrews 12:2, 1 John 2:6
The Holy Spirit works in us to change us to conform us to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit is just that: the spirit of holiness and he produces holiness in us.
Disciples have a dual role in sanctification.
Passive: We depend on God to sanctify us. Romans 6:13.
Active: You kill sin. Romans 8:13.
Passive only gives people the idea that they can wait on God while doing nothing. This makes them lazy, comfortable, and complacent.
By the power of the Holy Spirit –
- you kill sin
- strive for holiness
- fight the fight of faith
- flee or abstain from all forms of immorality
1 John 3:3
It is important that we increase in both our trust in God and striving, pushing, fighting for holiness and obedience.
Failing to trust God makes you proud. Failing to pursue God makes you lazy.
Sanctification affects our whole being:
- knowledge and thoughts
- decisions and passions
- physical bodies
1 Thess 5:23
Thank you Jesus that you do not choose us for salvation and then leave us to fend for ourselves.
For further study on sanctification, please see Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.