(1 Thessalonians 5:23) “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Introduction: In our last devotion, we talked about sanctification and the most common definition given for this word, it is “to be set apart.” We also talked about these three questions:
- Who are we set apart to? We are set apart unto God.
- What are we set apart for? We are set apart unto the Will of God.
- What are we set apart from? We are set apart from the world.
What is sanctification? Sanctification is that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit by which the holy disposition (or the natural qualities of a person’s character) is imparted in regeneration is maintained and strengthened.
When it comes to sanctification, there is a struggle of two wills: the will of the flesh, and the will of the spirit. The will of the flesh says, “Do this.” And the will of the spirit says, “Do this.”
Galatians 5:16-17 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (See also Romans 7:15-8:1.)
A Story of Two Opposing Wills: An Indian received as a gift some tobacco in which he found a half dollar hidden. He brought it back the next day, saying: ‘Good Indian had fought all night with bad Indian; one telling him to keep, the other telling him to return.’
When we talk about sanctification as relating to the spirit, we are speaking from a human perspective. This is why Paul tells us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1)
(1 Peter 1:1-2) “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
Conclusion: “A regular advancing sanctification is marked by a growing habit of instant and joyous obedience.” When we have a heart of obedience to God, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to unleash the Power of God to transform us into the image of God.