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Sanctified in Christ

The believer’s sanctification is at once both complete and incomplete. 

Just as we have been fully and completely justified, we have also been completely sanctified in Christ. The Bible says, “You are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.” “By one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” “You are washed and you are sanctified.” Yet, the apostle admonishes, “Let us go on unto perfection.”

How can we go on to perfection if we have already been perfected?

As a gift of grace, sanctification is conferred on each Christian as soon as he believes. But there is the sense that it is “hid with Christ in God.” It is “held on deposit.” We appropriate it  through daily communion and gradual apprehension of Christ.

Does that mean we are already sinless? No. We have not reached a state of practical and realized sanctification in our personal lives. On the daily practical side what has been crucified must be mortified. We die daily to sin and what has been buried must be kept buried. It is still true that “In me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” We simply have not reached holy perfection as long as we dwell in this body. We will be without sin only when we appear with Him in glory. Only then shall we be fully conformed to Christ. All our holiness is in Christ and from Him. It is only in the open vision of His face and in His light that our likeness to Him will be rendered perfect.

Every aspect of our imputed righteousness rests upon our being in Christ. And every condition of our practical sanctification rests on our abiding or continuing in Christ. 

With equal emphasis the Bible stresses our progressive sanctification. “He that abides in Me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit” (John 15:5).

As we make ourselves available to Christ, He gives Himself to us to reproduce Himself in us.

Christ our Vine is not limited in Himself. Moreover, only the fruits of righteousness can grow out of that divine life. As we make ourselves available to Christ there is an inflow of His life to us that reproduces itself without restraint.

In sanctification the Holy Spirit works out the divine life He has placed within us at the new birth. He is at work unfolding to us the utmost limit of the divine life which is ours in Christ.

This likeness to Christ does not come automatically. It depends upon our communion with Christ. It is an intimate, personal walk by faith in Christ.

The person who abides in Christ ought to walk even as He walked. There is an expected result or product when we have a right relationship with Him. The quality of our relationship with Christ determines the character and quality of all other relationships in life. The world is sure to be in its proper place only when we adjust our hearts to Christ. “Put on Christ, and you are certain to put off sin.”

The Holy Spirit applies the truths of God’s word to our lives. He takes the things of Christ in His Word and teaches us. He brings “the Life” to our life, and makes the sanctified One to be more and more our practical sanctification “until we are filled up with His fullness.”

Consistently, yet gradually God is bringing this new divine life work to completion in us. While the outward man is perishing, the inward man is renewed day by day.

Therefore, why do we seek fruit from without instead of from within? God is at work within us. His goal is to reproduce Christ in us and this takes a lifetime.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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