The stages of Christian sanctification are the types or levels of sanctification Christians go through, from our spirit re-birth to our eternal salvation.
Brethren, let it not confuse you when the bible says that “we must be born again” to enter heaven, and I have insisted that we must also attain sanctity to enter heaven. It is because, the same bible has also said that without holiness no eyes shall see God (Hebrews 12:14).
For we know that becoming born-again produces a true Christian, and that no man who is truly born again lives under sin.
As we gain sanctity, we become more and more holy. As we become more and more holy, we are drawn closer to God and experience Him more than those who are less sanctified.
In this Christian race, when you stop growing and working towards perfection, you will start falling. This is why some have experienced God in the past but now they can no more smell God’s presence. They repented indeed and were born again but did not continue in the grace of God. For they did not continue to pray, to read the bible, to evangelize,to seek God’s presence and work towards sanctification and living a holy life; hence they fell from grace.
Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall – 1 Corinthians 10:12.
The higher we go, the faster we run. The more work we put in to be sanctified, the more less likely we are to fall. Hence there is dire need to pursue sanctification.
We are living in wicked and terrible times. The powers that contend with our faith and tempt us to fall away from our salvation is huge. The only way we can overcome is by pursuing Christian sanctification all the days we live on earth. We must continue to grow in the knowledge of God and in holiness.
Being born again is the first stage of sanctification unto God. Anyone who is truly born again lives a holy life. There is no justification or regeneration without sanctification. But there is also, great need for more sanctification.
Stages of Christian sanctification
1. Instant Sanctification / Born again
Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.John 3:3
Being born again is the regeneration that happens in the life of a man when he genuinely surrenders to Jesus Christ and pursues holiness and righteousness with grace. In becoming born again we receive power to overcome sin, darkness and live a holy life. Even right before we become born again, there is the conviction from the spirit of God. This conviction of our sins and receiving power over it is the first stage of sanctification and holiness.
2. Progressive Sanctification
This stage of sanctification is the difference between two believers. One is experiencing divine power while the other is just a Christian. One is heavily being used by God and he is manifesting powerful gifts of the Spirit while the other is just a Christian.
Progressive sanctification separates a brother from a brother. That man who is working to become more holy is definitely holier than his brother who has stopped at accepting Jesus; he is also closer to God.
Isaiah is an example we have sited regularly in our sanctification articles. Isaiah progressed in sanctification when he met the Lord in the temple (Isaiah Chapter 6).
Apostle Paul testified:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:12-14
Therefore brethren, we have to take advantage of the grace of God and push for progress in sanctification by reading the bible, hearing the word of God, praying regularly and evangelizing the truths of God.
3. Perfect Sanctification
No matter how hard we may try, we can never be 100 percent holy like God in the flesh we live in. For the righteousness we have had was imputed in us by the Spirit of grace, and even the holiness we have was aided by the power of the Holy Spirit. But one day we shall be like unto Him, and we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2). This event will birth our final salvation and will perfect our sanctification. Amen!