“To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints,” 1 Thessalonians 4:1
When we hear the word “saint”, we usually think of very special godly people. A saint is a holy person and God has made it clear in the Bible that He expects all of His children to fit that description.
How can we be holy? We are humans, who have weaknesses, natural desires, bad influences, and worst of all, we were born with a selfish nature that wants its own way from the beginning.
Holiness is both an act that takes place at some specific moment in time, and a process that lasts for our entire lifetime.
Sanctify means to consecrate or set apart as holy. We must know that God wants every believer to live a holy life in order for us to understand the experience or sanctification. Living a holy life is possible only as God’s Spirit lives within us, John 15:5.
“Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might,” Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 22:37 and added “This is the first and greatest commandment,” verse 6.
Isaiah told about the success of the apostles who were yet to come, 44:1-6. He said the Gentiles, non-Jews, will claim the rights and privileges through the provisions of the Gospel. This was fulfilled in Acts 2. We share the same rights and privileges today. It is for all people who will accept it. Rather than a religion of ritual, God planned a religion of relationship based on love. We don’t obey God because we want to escape eternal punishment, we obey him because we love him.
Sanctification is important, as we see Jesus presented himself for sanctification in John 17:17-19. As Jesus dedicated himself to do God’s will, so we dedicate ourselves to God to be made holy.
Sanctification doesn’t just get us ready for heaven. It prepares us to do the work God wants us to do in this world. God the Father sent Jesus into the world with a commission; God the Son has sent believers into the world commissioned with the message of the gospel. Only the sanctified are fully equipped to fulfill this commission. Jesus prepared for our sanctification so that holiness will be our lifestyle.
To illustrate Christ’s love for His Church, Paul used a husband and wife relationship, Ephesians 5:25-27. Jesus loved us so much that he gave himself so that he could sanctify us.
The Bible pictures the Church as the Bride of Christ. As Jesus’ Bride, we are to live as he would want us to live so that we can bring honor to Jesus when he presents us to His Father. His goal is to present each as holy, spotless, and without blemish, Ephesians 5:27.
As we practice holiness, we are prepared by the Holy Spirit, as a part of the perfect, glorious Church of Christ.
We make the commitment to live this kind of life, it is God who does the work. We consecrate; God sanctifies. Because it is God doing the work, we can be assured that He will do what he has promised.
Paul said, “I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,amp” 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Sanctification is for the whole person. The “spirit” is the eternal part of us that capable of worship. The “soul” is that seat of our affections and appetites. The “body” is our physical body. Every part of the sanctified person lives for the sole purpose of bringing honor to Jesus.
Willie Lee Schmitz leads the Church of God in Derma.