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Sanctify means to consecrate, devote, set apart, purify, and to make clean. It is not an emotion, nor any kind of feeling. Sanctification consists in the act of freely choosing to consecrate oneself totally to God. It is conforming completely to the law and consists in entire obedience and holiness, for the time being. Sanctification is one condition of justification.
Entire sanctification is the state where a person is established, preserved, confirmed and continued in a state of sanctification. The law requires not only perfect obedience but a continual supreme love for God. The promise of entire sanctification when received will fulfill these demands. Please review all the scriptures on the promises for entire sanctification.
Ezek. 37:23 "Neither shall YOU defile himself any more with YOUR idols, nor with YOUR detestable things, nor with any of YOUR transgressions: but I will save YOU out of all YOUR dwelling places, (which YOU have made for YOURSELF) wherein YOU have sinned, and will cleanse YOU: so YOU will be my child, and I will be YOUR God."
Ezek. 36:25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on YOU, and YOU will be clean, I will cleanse YOU from all YOUR filthiness and from YOUR idols. Moreover I will give YOU a new heart and put a new spirit within YOU, and I will remove the heart of stone from YOUR flesh and give YOU a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within YOU and cause YOU to walk in my statutes, and YOU will be careful to observe my ordinances."
Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with YOU: Not according to the covenant that I made with Israel in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with YOU; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in YOUR inward parts, and write it in YOUR heart; and will be YOUR God, and YOU shall be my child. YOU shall know me, saith the Lord: for I will forgive YOUR iniquity, and I will remember YOUR sin no more."
Jer. 32: 39-40 "I will give YOU one heart and one way, that YOU may fear me always, for YOUR own good and for the good of YOUR children after him. And I will make an everlasting covenant with YOUR, that I will not turn away from YOU, to do YOUR good, and I will put the fear of me in YOUR heart so that YOU will not turn away from me."
Ezek. 36: 25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on YOU, and YOU will be clean, I will cleanse YOU from all YOUR filthiness and from YOUR idols. Moreover I will give YOU a new heart and put a new spirit within YOU, and I will remove the heart of stone from YOUR flesh and give YOU a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within YOU and cause YOU to walk in my statutes, and YOU will be careful to observe my ordinances."
Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise YOUR heart, and the heart of YOUR seed, to love the Lord thy God with all YOUR heart, and with all YOUR soul, that YOU may live."
Jer. 24:7 "And I will give YOU a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and YOU shall be mine, and I will be YOUR God: for YOU will return unto me with YOUR whole heart."
Many think that when a person is born again God somehow changes a person's soul. This is not true because if God changed a person's soul then he would no longer need God to remain holy. The sanctified believer uses all his faculties rightly.
Have you heard the statement or the song that bullfrogs and butterflies are both born again? This can give a person the impression that the new birth is a physical change or something that changes the structure of the believer's soul.
Reasons that this statement is wrong:
1. God designed tadpoles and caterpillars to turn into frogs and butterflies. God did not design man to sin. He gave him a free will and the freedom of choice. Everyone can choose to sin and rebel against God.
2. Tadpoles and caterpillars have no choice in the matter and even if they did, there can be no moral virtue involved.
3. There is no sin or holiness involved.
4. The new birth gives one access to the true life that is in Christ. There is no true life without Christ. There is no change of structure involved.
A true believer always needs the continual grace and the indwelling Spirit of Christ to be holy. God can never remove the possibility for a person to sin, because the will of man must always remain totally free. Remember there must be a free choice of two things for sin or holiness to exist. When a person is born again he receives Christ's life and influence.
I John 5:11-12 "And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life."
All spiritual life that is in a believer is Christ's life flowing through him. All his activity, which is his own, is stimulated and directed by Christ's very presence within him. Gal 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
It is Christ Himself who is the base of all true obedience always. Christ's life is the only source that can free a person's will from the slavery of lust and conform it to the will of God. When a person is obedient it is because of the influence of Christ. If the influence of Christ was ever removed from a person, he would again freely choose to become the slave of self again. True obedience is impossible without a full dependence on Christ. Christ Himself is the believer's only true source of Holiness, righteousness and sanctification.
I Cor. 1:30 "But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
The holiness and righteousness of the believer only exist because of Christ's presence. This fact makes the believer totally and continually dependent on Christ. Remember that holiness is a gift from God that does not depend on selfish deeds. Faith alone receives Christ.
A person has no spiritual life at all when separated from Christ. Christ is at the bottom of, or the inducing cause of all one's obedience. Christ is the believer's sanctification. When Christ sanctifies the believer he does not do something to the soul that enables it to stand and persevere in holiness in its own strength. He does not change the structure of the soul. He watches over and works in the believer to will and to do continually, and becomes his sanctification. The believer does not receive all of Christ's influence at once. Christ's influence must be continuous.
Christ rules and reigns over a believer's will when the believer perceives and embraces Him as his sanctification. Christ then captures the believer's will in His. Then the believer willingly submits to the rulership of Christ. The believer wills and does as Christ wills in him. Then, the believer freely prefers Christ's will over his own. Christ becomes the believer's sanctification only as the believer sees the sin of self and then has Christ revealed to him. A person can never add Christ to himself by selfish means. The believer must through the Spirit put self off before Christ can be received and put on.
There are multitudes of people who try to live the Christian life independently from Christ and the Holy Spirit. They use self-help principles and practice teachings they have heard. All they have is a religious veneer. They are hypocrites and stumbling blocks to the world. Some people come only to God for power, blessings, and gifts. They take all that they can and use it for selfish purposes. They do not have a true relationship with Christ and are not dependent on Him for anything.
Simple faith forms the union between Christ and the believer. By faith, the believer leans on, feeds upon, and receives a constant life flow from Him. The believer is so united to Christ that he receives constant and continual spiritual support and nourishment from Him.
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing."
Much fruit is the evidence that a person abides in Christ, and the lack of fruit is the positive proof that one does not. No person sins while he properly abides in Christ. Nothing is lacking in the gospel to defeat any and every form of sin. We cannot overcome any sin in our own strength and effort. The believer can only overcome sin by abiding in Christ. If a believer admits the need of or allows the practice of any degree of sin, he shuts out light, and hardens his heart. This grieves the Holy Spirit. This person then returns to a state of legal bondage to self and sin.
Many think that a Christian will not fall into condemnation if he sins. No one can sin without condemnation. The only way to live without condemnation is to live without sin. The true Christian, who by faith is in Christ, obeys the law so the law cannot condemn him for his present state. The reason for this is; while the believer is in Christ, he will walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Walking after the flesh is giving up the will to be ruled and controlled by appetites, desires, emotions, and lusts. They violate the law of God as developed in one's own reason. Walking after the Spirit is obeying the Spirit of Christ and fulfilling the law. Romans 6:16 "know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Any person who abides in Christ will obey His Spirit. A believer will fall into condemnation if he stops abiding in Christ and sins. He must repent and get back into Christ or be forever lost. Christ brings the repentant sinner into conformity to God and the law.
Any teaching that does not present this fact is false. The idea that a Christian can sin without condemnation is pure deception. The secret of holy living, freedom from sin and condemnation is abiding in Christ. Many are deceived because they think that they abide in Christ but fail to prove it by walking after the flesh. A believer will never fulfill the desires of the flesh while he walks after the Spirit. Gal. 5:16 "This I say then, walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
Take an honest look at yourself. Are you in obedience and conformed to the law and God? Do you walk by the Spirit and not the flesh? If not, your faith is totally in vain. You need to get in Christ and receive from Him all that you need to walk after the Spirit.
The grace of the gospel is greater than the demands of the law.
The gospel is sufficient to fulfill in us all the righteousness of the law and cause us to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. The indwelling Spirit, influence and grace of Christ causes the salvation and sanctification of the believer. This is true from the beginning to the end and at every moment while the believer remains in that state.
God commands the believer to be strong in Him and in the power of His might. Christ Himself is the believer's strength. Many claim that Christ is their strength and that they have none of their own, yet they continue in sin. These people do not truly understand, nor believe that Christ is their strength. The true believer has Christ and His strength as a reality. Sin cannot overcome the believer who is abiding in Christ any more than sin could overcome God or Christ.
Christ promises to keep the believer's soul. Christ exerts an effective influence in keeping it from falling. The believer must cease from his own works, and from any expectation to keep himself. He needs to commit himself to Christ, and abide in this state of committal. Like all other promises, faith must be a condition for receiving Christ in this way. All failures in the Christian life are the result of a person performing works for God in his own strength and power. Every sin, every disappointment because his prayers and efforts have little or no effect is because he still has a secret trust placed in the power of himself. Only God Himself by His Spirit can do the required work.
The believer's ignorance of his own spiritual bankruptcy and ignorance of Christ will lead him to sin. When temptation overcomes him, it is because he does not know and receive Christ in the area of his need. All hindrance in the way of salvation comes from the ignorance of the self-will. It refuses to turn from selfish efforts to trust in Jesus Christ. If sin does arise in a believer's life he should never seek to condemn or conquer it by selfish methods. He should believe that God's Spirit is in him and that His almighty power is working in him. His body is the temple and abode of the almighty God.