“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)
The definition of Sanctification is to be set apart; to be separated from, or consecrated to. Here the born again children of God have been set apart in Christ; Eternally in the Purpose of God (Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Peter 1:2); Judicially on the Cross in Christ’s Atonement (Ephesians 2:4-9; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 17:17, 19; Hebrews 10:14; 13:12); and in time, set apart Experientially in the Regeneration Process, which we call the New Birth (Romans 8:14-16; 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 4:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31:
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Here in verse 30, Paul defines our Sanctification (or being set apart) as “in Christ Jesus”; He is our Sanctification. We have been set apart in Him and in His Death, Burial, and Resurrection; from sin to salvation.
Here again, you can appear “holy” in your outward deeds. Many have, as they practice asceticism of the body. See Colossians 2:18-23, verse 23, “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Many, like the Pharisees, thought they could be holy by following the law to the letter (and following their own fleshly additions to the law, see the Talmud), wherein they felt justified. But see Mark 7:1-13; especially verses 7-8, 13:
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do… (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
Also see Matthew 23:1-33, where Jesus revealed their wicked hearts even in their outward seemingly righteous deeds; verses 27-28, 33:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (28) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity… (33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
What God demands from His children is that they be holy, because He is Holy; and we are in Him and He is in us. We are New Creatures in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have been made new in our spirit. We have a new will, a new desire, a new goal; and that is to be like Christ in heart, word, and deed. We are to live separated lives because He is separated from the world. We love not the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17; “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”). But we love to do the Will of God. We understand 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
We now have the new man living in us. (Ephesians 4:17-24; verses 23-24) “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Paul said in Colossians 3:3, “For ye are dead (dead to sin and death; there is no more rule or dominion of sin and spiritual death over you; Romans 6:1-23; 8:2), and your life (physical life and spiritual life) is hid with Christ in God.”
Therefore, we will “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). That is, we “see” (or perceive) the holy (separated) union we have in Christ. We are no longer who or what we used to be; but now we are holy saints of the Living God.
The aim of this series on Service, especially this section on Sanctification, is not directed to the do’s and don’ts that outwardly distinguish a person walking in Holiness. But that you, the reader (the saved man), may come to see (perceive and understand) the position of Holiness whereon you stand because of your union with Christ.
Let this perception of being in Christ be your motivation to walk holy in mind, in deed, and in word before the world; that you may be a true witness of the Holiness of God; that you may present a truly changed heart to the world; that you are no longer lost, dead in sins, trying to please the flesh. But that you are saved, born of God, indwelt by God, in union with God; and you are a partaker of the Divine Nature of God (2 Peter 1:1-4); and your fruits reveal this (2 Peter 1:5-10; Galatians 5:22-23); and you are true in your heart, and walk before God and man in true Holiness, that only can flow from a regenerated spirit (one who has been born of God; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:5-6; John 3:3-8).
Reader, do you walk in true Holiness;the Holiness (or Sanctification) of Jesus Christ? Do you rejoice in this Sanctification? If not – you can, because this is the attitude and action of the New Man that lives within you. Acknowledge your position in Jesus Christ; it is a position of Holiness, of Separation. Take hold of this truth and become intimate with Christ’s Sanctification, for it has set you apart from “this world” and placed you in His Perfection. So, rejoice in this fact; walk in it; enjoy it; and rest in His Holiness.
When you come to face who you are in Christ, then you will have sweet, sweet communion with Him. You will have boldness and confidence in who you are and what you are to be doing for Him. Oh yes – if you are Born Again, you are Holy. So, be a witness of your Sanctification in Christ.