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Our Sanctification

Pastor Dennis Smith

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26–31.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Sanctification. That is an important word when we think about all that salvation entails. Some fun facts: the concept of sanctification is mentioned in 122 verses of the Bible, 97 in the Old Testament, and 25 in the New Testament. (But you probably already knew that.)

This concept of sanctification first appears in Genesis 2:3“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” It last occurs in Jude 1 “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” Jude addresses “them that are sanctified by God the Father.” That includes you and me. Believers in Jesus Christ have been sanctified by the Father. He has declared us holy and set apart for himself; that’s the basic meaning of sanctification. As we can see from this meaning, a word that is intimately associated with sanctification is the word holiness. While absolute holiness and moral purity are strictly attributes of God alone, believers enjoy the standing of having been consecrated.

Getting back to the 1 Corinthians passage above, the apostle Paul shows that our sanctification is rooted in Christ Jesus, who “is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” All the wisdom that we need; all of our righteousness; our very sanctification and our redemption are had in our union with Christ and only in that union. And Paul reminds his original readers and us that God hasn’t exactly chosen only the best and brightest for sanctification. On the contrary, he says that “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” That ought to be a sobering thought that gets our heads out of the clouds!

So may we be constantly mindful that God has graciously set us apart in Christ. And in light of that truth let us strive to make our walk holy, consistent with our position. Whether in the home, on the job, or in the marketplace, let us demonstrate in word and deed that the holy God has claimed us as his own. Let us live up to the standing that is ours in Christ.

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