Sanctification is a Biblical term that means: to make holy, to set apart, or to live according to God’s design and purpose. As believers, you and I choose to follow Jesus, so God graciously sanctifies our new lives by freeing us from sin. Thus, God calls us to shift our free will towards living out our new lives according to His design and purpose rather than for our own worldly desires and pleasures. Please note that sanctification is an ongoing process. It is impossible for anyone to sanctify themselves or anyone else, as only God can make us holy; and we must choose to keep Jesus at the center of our lives, so we can actively call on the Holy Spirit to help guide our every step as we walk out God’s intended plan for our future.
As you may recall from yesterday’s sermon, Pastor Mary held up three words: Hopeful, Helpless, & Ability. Without Jesus we are Helpless, with Jesus, He offers us the Ability to choose to be Hopeful. Remember, to sanctify is to set apart, which means that you and I, as believers, are priceless in the eyes of our Father. I don’t know about you, but that gives me the greatest hope! It also means, that I have a great responsibility because in this place of being highly valued by the Father, which is far greater than any high level this world can offer me, God gives me the ability to live in a way that honors His Name for His Kingdom and for my life. God knows that I now live for Him, that He is at the center of my life, and that I place Him above everything and everyone else within my life. It is within this growing relationship and right standing with Jesus, that I can be the best version of me, because I get to be who God created me to be as a daughter of the Most High, which makes me a better earthly daughter, wife, mother, family member, and friend. I know that worldly desires and pleasures are fleeting, and nothing is worth taking the place of the everlasting relationship that I have with Jesus, absolutely nothing.
“When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!” (Romans 8) Friends, we have to choose Jesus over worldly desires and pleasures for our soul and our bodies. The devil will never stop tempting us. Remember, the King of all of Creation, created you and me, and His plan for us is the highest and best, more than any fleeting worldly plan that the devil can ever offer us. That means we have the ability, through Christ Jesus, to remain hopeful and to cast down helplessness at the foot of His cross.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NASB)
Sanctification and Love
1 Finally then, brothers and sisters, we request and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel even more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no one violate the rights and take advantage of his brother or sister in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you previously and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in sanctification. 8 Therefore, the one who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being the highest example of how we are to walk out a holy life. Holy Spirit, we need You, all of the time, to help guide our steps. Please keep us moving on the plan that God has for our lives. May we be guided by Your wisdom to know when the devil seeks to tempt us with worldly desires and pleasures; and may we be quick to turn from those places and turn to You, Jesus. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.