As we continue our thoughts this morning on the doctrine of “SANCTIFICATION”, let’s be reminded of what we have established already this week through the scripture. First, the sanctification process begins at the moment of salvation when the sinner accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior. At this moment, the sinner’s heart is changed (old things are passed away and all things have become new) and God makes them a new “creature” (one that is set apart from the world for the service of God). We have also gleaned from the scripture that we prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God for our life by not being conformed to this world, but by being transformed through the renewing of our mind. So, after the new birth the sinner has a new way of thinking.
Now, let’s dig just a little deeper in the scriptures to see how this sanctification process is working in the life of the believer by reading I Thessalonians 4:3-12.
(v. 3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (sexual immorality):
(v. 4) That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body, temple of the Holy Spirit) in sanctification and honour;
(v. 5) Not in the lust of concupiscence (a longing for what is forbidden; to desire or lust after), even as the Gentiles which know not God:
(v. 6) That no man go beyond and defraud (take advantage of for personal gain) his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger (punisher) of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
(v. 7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness (impurity), but unto holiness (purity).
(v. 8) He therefore that despiseth (to set aside, cast off), despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
(v. 9) But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
(v. 10) And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech (earnestly beg) you, brethren, that ye increase (exceed or excel) more and more (over and above);
(v. 11) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
(v. 12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
There are so many truths in these verses that I don’t have the space to put it all in this short devotional, however, I would like to point out a couple of important points that we find here. According to v. 4, we should know how to possess our vessel. In II Timothy 2, Paul says that there are some vessels to honour and some to dishonour and that the only way to become a vessel of honour is for the believer to “purge” or cleanse himself thoroughly from iniquity.
(2 Timothy 2:19) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
(2 Timothy 2:20) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
(2 Timothy 2:21) If a man therefore purge (cleanse) himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.