Sanctification is one of the prominent words in the Christian race. It is a word deep rooted in the Christian doctrine and theology.
According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q. 35), it is “the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.”
Sanctification is also the act or process of acquiring sanctity to become holy. It is also the process by which a man gradually attains to holiness by learning what is pleasant to do before God and receiving grace to do it.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify a Christian and the Church. For it is written:
And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.Leviticus 20:8
Briefly, the way to sanctification is through hearing the word of God, bible study, prayers and evangelism.
Also, there are three (3) types/stages of Christian sanctification: 1. Instant sanctification (born again), 2. Progressive sanctification, 3. Perfect sanctification.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.Isaiah 6:5
Isaiah was a called Prophet of God but he was living and serving with an unclean lip. In the year king Uzzaiah died, Isaiah saw the Lord in the Temple. In the Holy Presence of God, Isaiah cried- “woe to me, I am a man of unclean lips”. And after he had cried, an angel of the Lord touched his lips with burning coals from the altar and he was cleansed. (Isaiah Chapter 6)
What Isaiah underwent that day was not salvation; for he was already a prophet. His experience was rather sanctification.
Isaiah was like the Christians of these days who say they belong to God but still have lifestyles that has prevented them from finding God. In Isaiah’s case, it was a sin he did without knowledge that is was a sin. We may not call it a sin per say; but whatever it was, it was unholy unto God and God had no delight in it. Whereby in our own times, we do exactly what we know is wrong and have refused to turn from it and go back to God.
For that man who knows the truth and has refused to do it, what he needs is regeneration. But for that Christian who does not know that what he does is sinful and does not please the Spirit of God, what he needs is sanctification. For sanctification will expose him to the nature of God and teach him truth.
Isaiah’s story teaches us that God cannot use a man who has not washed white. If He uses you, there will always be a limit to which you can go. For Isaiah was going to become the Chief Prophet, therefore he had to be sanctified to fit into that role.
God will not use a man who is not holy as a preacher to a people He wants to become Holy. Nor will God use an unholy man to instruct a holy people, lest they think God is unholy.
The holier we are, the greater chance we stand to be used by God.
Mind you my reader, God does not only use Pastors or Evangelists, even as an ordinary church member there is so much that God wants to use you for. If you will pursue holiness and sanctification, God will expose you to His glory and power and will give you spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12), because you belong to him.
My story of sanctification
I was still just about 14 years and I was with zeal and love for my Jesus. In those days I had this navy-blue short; because of the length of the short, I will normally sag it a little bit. Although I was a faithful Christian, yet to me, sagging was not a sin. God knew that I truly did not see anything wrong with that dressing; and I could argue all day, that there is no scripture condemning me.
Our church bible study classes are normally held on Tuesdays. On one of those Tuesdays, I walked in through the front door putting on my sagged short. Immediately I entered the building, something hit my spirit. For I knew something had happened but I did not see anything; but instead I felt like someone said something to me but not with audible words. Suddenly I felt guilt, convinced and convicted concerning my dressing in church. It seemed like God had touched my heart against my sagged short and I felt ashamed that a Pastor’s child who also claim to serve God dressed in that manner. I suddenly realized that God’s will for me is decency in dressing and not to be careless about what I put on.
Let us face the truth, you are addressed the way you dress. With sagged shorts or pants I cannot convince a sinner that God is expecting decency and holiness from us. For me to preach holiness, I had to learn total holiness.
It was the Holy Spirit, It was the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He convicted me, He sanctified me from indecency in dressing.
Brethren, sanctification is God’s own way to holiness and perfection. The Holy Spirit is still sanctifying men and purifying hearts.
It is wrong for a Christian to say “this is my weak point”. For God’s plan is not for you to have a weak point in the flesh. It is written: Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
There are Christians who have anger problem and unforgiveness disease. When you ask them, they’d say: “my weakness is that I easily get angry”. Others would say “my weak point is the use of words”.
That doctrine that we all have weak points, and that should live with it under the covering of grace is demonic; it is written nowhere in the bible. Grace does not cover weak points; but rather it teaches to overcome weak points. For if we believe that God transforms a sinner to a saint, then we should have no problem believing that God can help us overcome our supposedly weak points.
Brethren, indeed no one is 100/100 perfect in this world, but God’s will is that we will push for sanctification and perfection in all things by His grace. For if God’s plan is for us to be defeated by sin and weakness then sanctification is falsehood.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
May the Lord God sanctify His Church in Jesus’ name; Amen!