Being a Christian – Sanctification.


bibleMany years ago, the Higher Life/Holiness movement produced a book called “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life”. It’s still sold for a couple of dollars in the cutout “Cheap book” bins at Christian book stores.

Countless millions have been led astray by her books. Speak in tongues? Your tongues speaking is an indirect result of her book. Why? That book influenced Frank Sandford, THE mover and shaker in Christianity who’s confused doctrine directly led to the Charismatic movement.

Why do I mention the “Christian’s Secret of a happy life?”

Because Hannah Whitehall Smith had not the slightest idea that there’s a difference between salvation… and sanctification. Literally, she uses the word Sanctification when she means salvation throughout the book!

She obviously was completely confused, and understood salvation to be a process – which it is not. The salvation by faith through grace part seems to compeltely miss her and pass her by – instead, she’s focused on salvation by how you live your life. Or perhaps, she thought of salvation as God’s gift, but you had to maintain it or lose it. Since they were moving in Methodist circles, that’s most likely what it was. I’m hoping for her sake she finally understood salvation.

Why do I bring this up? Most christians make the same mistake, but in the other direction. They assume since they get saved…

…you’re done. That’s it. No more growth.

Those are the same Christians who don’t read their Bibles.

Let me explain sanctification. Salvation is getting saved – free gift, nothing you do, all you do is accept it. No works involved. Ssanctification is “becoming holy” or “Set apart for Holy use”.

“But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: The LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” (Psalm 4:3–4, KJV)

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2, KJV)

ἀφορίζω aphoridzo is the word in Greek. It basically means to set aside, to pull from a group. YOU are set aside for holy use.

ἁγιάζω Hagazio is the word here for Sanctify. The word means to set apart, to make holy.

The two words together give us the sense. You are set apart from the rest of humanity, separated by salvation. After that comes the process of becoming holy, for holy use.

forget all the Catholic interpretations! EVERY Christian is set aside for holy use. And so, you must grow in the Lord. That’s Sanctification. Making yourself holy.

So, how do you do that?

The last two days, we discussed what to write down in your daily studies. Tim LaHeye in his book on How to Study The Bible For Yourself included in his example sheets of what to write down one thing in particular: “A command to keep” or “a timeless principle.”

The Bible is the word for today (John 10:9) – oh, wait, I borrowed someone else’s catchphrase. sorry. Anyway, the point here is, those commands in the new testament actually outnumber the ones in the old. Many are repetitions of the other. Let’s try a command (gasp, LEGALISM!!!!):

Love one another.

Oh. Really? That’s all?

Buddy, when’s the last time you tried being loving to today’s Christians? Man, they will cut you up and spit you out! I try to act in love when speaking to other Christians – the thing I keep finding is (to borrow 19th Century terminology) we have a lot of professors of Christ, verses possessors of Christ.

The most loving thing you can do once you become aware is to tell a professor of Christ is they are not a possessor of Christ. Seriously. “I have a lot of questions about whether or not you’re saved.”

That’s a heavy thing to tell someone.

What other highly legalistic things are Christians required to do.

Pray without ceasing. Be alwayss in prayer. Ya know, it’s kind of hard to sin while you’re in a constant conversation with God. I’m sure most of us can manage to do it, but… try it. I’ve often said, the only way to get some Baptists to pray is put food in front of them.

“You… legalist!”

Forgive one another.

Hm! Let’s tackle some of the other ones. “Study to shew thyself approved.”

Witness. Pray. Give to charity. Tithe. And start putting the old man of sin to death.

If we start taking just one of these verses a week, and try working on it, perhaps we’ll all stop being baby Christians… and grow into what the Lord needs us to be.

I’m aware there’s a growing group of supposed Christians who teach Christians should not do ANYTHING, and call it Free Grace or hypergrace. It’s a serious error. It borders on heresy, because…

The Apostles wanted to see the fruit of salvation before they baptized you. If you’re not showing any fruit of salvation… They didn’t let you join the church. Because you’d be a professor of Jesus Christ, and not a possessor.

 

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Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

1 thought on “Being a Christian – Sanctification.”

  1. Your topic today is most important. It is my contention that salvation is indeed a simple thing. So much so, that people stumble right over it into eternal destruction. For me, salvation was just letting go of my stubborn will. I did so in the middle of a Sunday morning service half way through the sermon. I had been lost and under conviction for over a year. I was 13 years old at the time, and I told the Lord during that Sunday morning service in April of 1973 that I had had enough. I told him I just couldn’t go any further, and when this preacher is finished I am going forward to get saved. That’s what I thought you had do do was go forward (which is a form of works in my opinion), pray a prayer, and accept Christ. To be honest with you, I was saved right then at that moment of surrender during that sermon. That was my salvation prayer above if you want to call it that! I didn’t go forward to get it. I already had it before it was time to go forward. Jesus came right there to where I was instantly at the point of my surrender! That moment of salvation was the instant I surrendered my stubborn will and that was when I got immediate peace. Looking back at it now, while I didn’t pray for the Lord to “enter my heart” and I didn’t ask the Lord to save me, I was sitting there in perfect peace knowing this was my last 30 minutes to be lost. Funny thing is that’s not true. I was in my first moments of being forever saved, and I didn’t even realize why I was at peace all of a sudden. At that moment I knew that all I had to do was get this preacher to finish so I could go get saved. I didn’t realize it then, because I still went forward to try to experience something I already experienced because that’s what you’re supposed to do in this day and age; that is, go forward and accept Christ into your heart. However, salvation is a mere surrendering of your will and hating your sin. When you do that, like the thief on the cross, you’re immdiately saved. From that point of my surrender, and not until then, I had the power of the Holy Spirit to repent (hate my sin) and then trust the Lord, because I was quickened in an instant. I didn’t repent and trust first. I surrendered, then repented, and then trusted. There is no other way because you have to have the new birth before you have the power to do anything and the new birth comes with surrender. Too many people these days go forward, say a prayer, and they are told they are saved. Unfortunatly, they never surrendered and they never get saved, and that is the reason they are not surrendered now and used for a holy purpose today. I almost believe it is harder to get saved going forward in a church service than it is right there in your seat just surrendering to God. The reason you see so little fruit in converts these days is because you are seeing so little genuine salvation. If you get true salvation, you will see the friut because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. If you don’t see fruit in a “saved” person then that verse is a lie, and that’s not possible. If it’s not a lie (and it’s not) then the only other option is you are dealing with false professors. It’s just not any more complicated than that.

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