The Lord Sanctifies Us.

“You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. ‘You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Leviticus 20:7-8)

When the Lord first created man by His hand from the dust of the ground he was sanctified. Man was holy and pure set apart for the Lord that he could cultivate the earth, have dominion of God’s creation, and glorify His holy name. But man fell in the Garden of Eden to the temptation of the evil one and sin entered into the world and the heart of man. This rebellion to God’s Word caused a chasm between man and His Creator, the Lord God Al-mighty. From thence the plan and purpose of God was to restore the relationship of man unto Him. This is not something that man can do. Man cannot erase his own sin nor completely control his sin nature. Neither can man pay the wages of sin, which is death, and live to be with God. Because man is not able God provided away through His Son Jesus Christ that man could be reconciled unto God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

In the Old Testament God gave Moses the Law that man could see the righteous way that God expected him to live. The Law was not just away that God could judge man but also that man could judge himself to see the measure that he should live by. The Israelite nation was founded by God to become a holy priesthood, an example for all the world to see righteous living through them. The Israelites had times in which they walked with God and they had times in which they rebelled. One of their purposes was to provide a royal kingly bloodline to bring God’s Messiah to provide a way of salvation to all the world. All through the Old Testament times and now in the New Testament time we are to consecrate ourselves unto the Lord. For the Lord is God and there is none other to worship. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) Also in the Old Testament and the New we must not miss the truth that it is the Lord who will sanctify us. “I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”

All of God’s creation knows that God is a holy God and all of creation praises God with the exception of man who has been in rebellion since the fall. The Heavenly Host of God know and worship the Al-mighty God and serve Him completely. They know that God is Holy as the Prophet Isaiah heard with his own ears the angels sing, “And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) There is no equal to God, He is set apart from His creation, and by His love and mercy for His creation that all is sustained. As God is holy, set apart from His creation, we are to be holy as He is. “Because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) We must be set apart from the world unto God. We are citizens of His Kingdom and not that of the kingdom of the earth.

As we go through our journey of setting ourselves apart from the world we live in and striving to live as a part of the world we our traveling to we must remember that we are not alone. That we have the Lord who never forsakes us. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) The desires of the flesh is set against the spirit and it is a constant struggle for us to live a righteous life. As we get back up each time we stumble, as we persevere through our trials, our faith will be strengthened by the grace of God as we stay committed and submissive to His leading. We need never be dismayed, just trust and obey. “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) The Christian is in a winning place when in the hand of God. We follow the Master and learn from our falls holding tightly to the promise of the Lord. “That you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:13)

Life in this world is a journey to the Promised Land that God has prepared for each of us. From the time that we have called upon the name of Jesus, accepted Him and His word on faith, confessed and repented of our sin, received His forgiveness, and been justified in the eyes of God we have received eternal life. This is not something that we are going to have some day but something that we receive and have now. This is not something that we can do or earn, this is not something that can be purchased by our own efforts or treasure, and this is only paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is the blessing of our commitment to Him. “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Romans 3:28)

It is here at this point that we experience the process of our sanctification. We put away the old ways of our life and strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. We want to return to the image that we were created in which is in the likeness of Jesus. “And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:23-24 It is not so much our work but letting the Lord live and work through us. It is living in the power of the Holy Spirit, letting the Spirit fill the sails of our life and powering us forward to the heavenly Kingdom. The process of our sanctification is threefold. We first have a positional sanctification, a progressive sanctification, and an ultimate sanctification.

Our positional sanctification is received at the point of our conversion. Jesus offered Himself upon the cross of Calvary that our sins have been paid, through forgiveness they have been removed, and therefore by His sacrifice we have been sanctified. “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) God no longer sees us as we are but sees us through the righteousness of His Son Jesus. The Apostle Paul addressed this to the Church in Corinth when he wrote. “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)

As we live through our Christian lives growing in the nurture and admonition of the Lord we are in the power of the Holy Spirit working though our progressive sanctification. We are repenting from the old way of our life and growing into the new way of our life. Jesus makes all things new and He is transforming us into a new creature. When we keep our hearts pure then our minds will reflect this change in virtue. We are in the process of putting off the old worldly way and living as ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) We are living in the Christ like attributes of our Lord showing honesty, love, and mercy. The Apostle Paul taught the Colossians in his letter to them, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–“ (Colossians 3:8-10)

Then at a moment in the twinkling of an eye we will leave this world and be in the presence of our Lord in His Kingdom. It is at this moment when we are in His full presence that we receive the ultimate sanctification. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we allow Him into our life and He lives through us. We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and are transformed into a new creature. The Christian is obligated to experience progressive sanctification because of the positional sanctification accomplished for us by the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor, February 20, 2016

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