Man Certifies – God Sanctifies

Many people when they shop, or take their car for service look for certain characteristics, a specific qualification, particular attributes, they want a certain quality, and they are looking for  assurance their expectations will be met. Throughout history we have established requirements or standards for almost everything under the sun from education to the food we eat. When the requirements have been accomplished and the standards met the culmination of the process is certification. Certification helps identify status and refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics that are used to set an individual, product, or service apart from the rest, after having met all the necessary criteria.

Among the most common types of certification in our society are educational in the form of diploma, or degree, and then there are the professional certifications, where a person is certified as being able to competently complete a job or task. Certification does not necessarily designate that a person has sufficient knowledge in a subject area, only that they passed an examination on the subject. Another common type of certification in society is product certification. This refers to processes intended to determine if a product meets minimum standards, similar to quality assurance. Although certification systems exist throughout the world they vary and are inconsistent.

Although obtaining acceptance through certification is one of the most wonderful experiences one could ever have. In John Chapter 17 verse 16 Jesus says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” then He says “Sanctify them in the truth: Thy word is truth.” Sanctification is a state of separation unto God; all believers enter into this state when they are born of God: “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” 1 Corinthians 1:30. This is a once-for-ever separation, eternally unto God. It is an intricate part of our salvation, our connection with Christ (Hebrews 10:10). Sanctification is consistent throughout the world and eternity.

Sanctification is “the work of God’s 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.” It is a continuing change worked by God in us, freeing us from sinful habits and forming in us Christ like affections, dispositions, and virtues. It does not mean that sin is instantly eradicated, but it is also more than a counteraction, in which sin is merely restrained or repressed without being progressively destroyed. Sanctification is a real transformation, not just the appearance of one.

The basic meaning of “sanctify” is to set apart to God, for His use. But God works in those whom He claims as His own to conform them “to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). This moral renovation, in which we are increasingly changed from what we once were, flows from the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit Rom. 8:13; 12:1, 2; 1 Cor. 6:11, 19, 20; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:22–24; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 13:20, 21. God calls His children to holiness, and graciously gives what He commands 1 Thess. 4:4; 5:23.

Thus, we need to live consistent with the purpose for which God has set us apart. Even when we don’t do so, we are STILL set a part for that purpose. A fork doesn’t stop being a fork simply because someone uses it to dig a hole in the ground. It’s still a fork and it is set apart for being used as a fork. We need to constantly grow spiritually so that we can be better used by God according to His purpose for us. We should understand Sanctification is an ongoing process, dependent on God’s continuing action in the believer, and consisting of the believer’s continuous struggle against sin. God’s method of sanctification is neither activism self-reliant activity nor apathy God-reliant passivity, but human effort dependent on God 2 Cor. 7:1; Phil. 3:10–14; Heb. 12:14. Knowing that without Christ’s enabling we cannot do good works, but also that He is ready to strengthen us for all we have to do Phil. 4:13, we “abide” in Christ, asking for His help constantly— and we receive it Col. 1:11; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:1.

The standard to which God’s work of sanctifying His saints is directed is His own revealed moral law, expounded upon and modeled by Christ Himself. Christ’s love, humility, and patience are an absolute standard for Christians Rom. – 13:10; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 2:5–11; 1 Pet. 2:21.

Believers find within themselves contrary urgings. The Spirit sustains their regenerate desires and purposes, but their fallen instincts (the “flesh”) obstruct their path and drag them back. The conflict of these two is sharp. Paul says he is unable to do what is right, and unable to restrain himself from doing what is wrong Rom. 7:14–25. This conflict and frustration will be with Christians as long as they are in the body. Yet by watching and praying against temptation, and cultivating opposite virtues, they may through the Spirit’s help “put to death” particular bad habits Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5. They will experience many particular deliverances and victories in their battle with sin, while not being exposed to temptations that are impossible to resist 1 Cor. 10:13. Always remember in the midst of your temptation, when battling with conflict – he set you apart for His glory.

God’s Peace

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