Most of us with recognize the first words of this very famous hymn written by Reginald Heber some 200 years ago. To this day it sends chills down my spine every time I hear it, hum it or sing it... For sure this old hymn clearly represents our God as the holiest of the Holy, which brings me to my subject for the blog: SANCTIFICATION.
To understand this misunderstood and rarely used important piece of our relationship with God Almighty, you need to understand this word completely. As usual we will start with the etymology of the word and build from there. "Sanctificare" means to sanctify in Latin. If you break this down further, you get two words, "Sanctus" and "Facere." The literal translation of "Sanctus" is "Holy", and the literal translation of "Facere" is "to make." Others believe that it means, "to set apart for a special purpose." I prefer the the Latin derivation because it is simple and accurate. Whenever and wherever I can eliminated a man's interpretation of a passage, the closer we are to the Holy Spirit's inspiration.
From a scriptural perspective the Book of Hebrews does the best job in identifying and explaining this important subject matter. It is critical to understanding the strength and longevity of redemption and salvation. The Word of God is crystal clear in Hebrews 10:10, where the author says, "And by that will, we have been sanctified (made Holy) through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
As wonderful as this verse is for us, we need to add Hebrews 10:14 to savor the complete message for all those who believe, "For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated." Together there can be no doubt in your mind that Sanctification is permanent! It is NOT time bound, NOT ever at risk, NOT based on your "works," and NOT reversible!! Your debt for sin has been paid forever. You cannot pay off what's already been paid for including past, present and future sin. You cannot lose your salvation! You soul has been permanently made pure, and God no longer sees you as the sinner, He sees your soul!
So what happens when you sin after you have been Sanctified? Here are of few thought on that subject:
- You sacrifice your closeness to God, but not your salvation.
- You sacrifice the flow of God's blessings, but not your salvation.
- You sacrifice righteousness, but not your salvation.
Since Jesus was the necessary final sin offering, no other is required; however, if you are content to live a life of sin and degradation, you might want to check to see if your personal sanctification is real or fake. If you have no moral compass built in, like the Holy Spirit, then you are a fraud. Today we have a bi-polar mind set that needs to be rectified and justified:
- Are you a sinner or are you saved? You cannot be both or travel back and forth between them. If you still are a sinner in your daily life without remorse and without understanding, then you are NOT saved. On the other hand if you are genuinely redeemed, your slate has been wiped clean, but you are far from perfect. Now that you are a child of God, you may still sin, but it will sting and remain in your conscience until you have made it right with the Almighty. If you are still walking the original path of destruction, you need to look up and pray that you will be shown a new path; one that is filled with wisdom and understanding, compassion and contriteness, kindness and generosity. You must be moving towards Holiness every day of the rest of your life. Remember you have a pure soul. Remember you have the Spirit of God living inside of you. Remember your name has been written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
- Are you pitiful or powerful? Here again you cannot be both...God imbues you and your life with power the moment of your salvation. He "girds up our loins," so that we can withstand everything that life throws our way. He gives you armor, so that you can stand up to evil and temptation. He gives you an impenetrable foundation called the Word of God on which you can build every day. You may stumble many times, but you now have the power to get back up each and every time. You just can't be pitifully weak. Spiritual weakness is NOT humility. Knowing that you have the full faith and credit of the Triune God on your side allows you to conquer all of your fears, so that you can live in harmony with God, chuck full of lovingkindness and humility.
Stay away from erroneous, biblically unfounded presuppositions of men. Whether Jew or Gentile, you are a child of our holy, heavenly Father. Beware of false profits who can mesmerize with their amazing skills in the pulpit. If they are rich and getting richer by the minute, stop and think! There are wolves out there, and they are dressed like anything you want them to be. It's all about the money, the power and the lifestyle for them, not about tending to the flock with the help of God himself.
And finally my saved and sanctified friend, if you find yourself one day not feeling close to our God, just ask yourself this simple question...Who moved away? I guarantee it was not and will never be our hallowed Lord God.
May God keep you vigilant and fill you with divine wisdom, so that you wield your amazing power with courage and grace. This power comes with the gift of spiritual insight and the strength to humbly stand for Him.
The Digital Disciple