Growth in Christ (Sanctification)

sanctification – “the simple, literal meaning of sanctification is ‘making saintly,’ or ‘making holy.’” (Derek Prince’s, Spirit-Filled Believer’s Handbook, p. 80, 1993)

God’s Spirit Lives Within His People

  • Hebrews 10:14
    • “perfected forever” = justification
    • “those who are being sanctified” = sanctification
    • The evidence you are perfected forever is that your life is changing and conforming more to Christ.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 – The evidence that we are saved and justified is the Holy Spirit’s life within us.
  • Galatians 5:22-24
    • The fruit of the Spirit will grow in all who are justified.
    • Compare John 5:24 with 1 John 3:14
      • Only two places “passed from death into life” is found in Bible
      • John 5:24 – shows how to pass from death into life: faith
      • 1 John 3:14 – shows the evidence: love, especially toward Christians
        • Matt. 25:31-46 – this is not a checklist of how you inherit eternity, but a picture of “loving the brethren” (1 John 3:14).  Notice that this love came so effortlessly and supernaturally in them that the “sheep” did not even realize they were doing these things (Matt. 25:37-40). 
  • Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-26
    • True, living faith will always produce something
  • O.T. Pictures of Sanctification: 
    • Passover: in addition to the unblemished lamb’s blood covering the houses, the life of that same lamb was eaten and received by the Israelites, giving them energy to physically depart from their oppressors (Exod. 12:8-11, 51)
    • Unleavened Bread: After the Passover feast, the people were to rest and keep leaven out of their house (Exod. 12:15-20; Lev. 23:5-8).
      • Leaven represents sin (1 Cor. 5:8)
      • Rest = faith in Christ; sanctification is a work of God in us (1 Cor. 15:10)
    • Ark: After God’s wrath subsided and the flood ended, the new world began from a dove within the ark (Gen. 8:11)
      • Dove = image of Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22)
      • New world beginning = image of new life that happens as a result of the Spirit living within you (2 Corinthians 5:17)
    • 1 Chron. 15 – priests returning ark; justification, then sanctification

What Do We Do in This Process?

  • 1 Cor. 15:10; Galatians 3:1-5; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 4:11 – rest/trust in God to do the work in you.
  • 1 Cor. 3:6b – God alone “causes the increase” of life within you
    • However, we can do things to nourish that life (1 Cor. 3:6a), and impede that life (Prov. 24:30-34; Mark 4:5) 
  • Acts 2:42 – Three-legged stool: (1) Study the Scriptures, (2) Fellowship (especially over meals and communion), (3) Pray
    • This provided a base for God to produce: signs, wonders, respect, love, sharing, praise, and conversions to Christ (Acts 2:43-47) 
  • 1 Thes. 1:5 – the gospel spreads to others through: (1) our words, (2) the power of the Spirit, (3) a changed life
    • These things will happen as we study the Scriptures, pray, and submit to God as He leads us by His Spirit and Word
  • O.T. Picture of the Church’s Work:
    • Eve, as Adam’s “helper” (Gen. 2:18), while still the “weaker vessel,” (1 Pet. 3:7), had the job of helping him spread his life (“be fruitful and multiply” – Gen. 1:28), and helping him reign over the earth (“subdue it” – Gen. 1:28).  She was made 100% out of the life of Adam (Gen. 2:18:25), yet still had to submit this life to Adam and cooperate with him.  
      • Similarly, as the bride of Christ, we are His helper, though being the “weaker vessel”.  Our new life comes from His life in us, yet we must still choose to cooperate with His Spirit in us, and use this new life to serve Christ and work as His “helper” to spread His life and bring His kingdom/authority over the earth.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit bears witness to and glorifies Jesus: John 15:26–27, 16:14
  • The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin: John 16:8–11; Cf. I Thessalonians 1:4–5
  • The Holy Spirit gives new birth and spiritual life: John 3:3–8; cf. Titus 3:5
  • The Holy Spirit dwells in us: John 14:15–17; cf. I Corinthians 6:19
  • The Holy Spirit teaches us truth: John 14:26, 16:13
  • The Holy Spirit empowers: Acts 1:8; cf. Acts 4:31; I Thessalonians 1:4–5
  • The Holy Spirit enables prayer: Romans 8:26; I Corinthians 14:14–15
  • The Holy Spirit works in spiritual warfare: Acts 13:6–12; Acts 16:16–18
  • The Holy Spirit and miracles: Acts 9:32–35; Acts 9:36–43
  • The Holy Spirit guides/leads/directs: Acts 8:29; Acts 10:19–20; Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6–7; Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18
  • The Holy Spirit transforms people: Galatians 5:22–23; Romans 5:5; II Thessalonians 2:13
  • The Holy Spirit gives assurance: Romans 8:16; I John 3:24; I John 4:13

Video: First Steps in Christ (2h 15m) [external site]