The believers 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
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
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 Gods 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
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.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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