The Process of Sanctification: Bringing Holiness to Your Life

In my article, How To Know You Are Going to Heaven, we saw that salvation is not about what YOU can do for God, it’s about what God DID for you and your ability to believe in His ACTION.

Sanctification is about continuing this process.  It’s about growing in the knowledge of Christ so you can continue to believe in the actions of God.

When we believe in the actions of God through faith, it TRANSFORMS our lives.

The Apostle Paul talks about this in Romans 12:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

Man’s Action Towards God

In salvation we see that the action is God’s, but now Paul refers to OUR ACTION.

Paul says that we must offer our bodies as a “living sacrifice".

What does this mean?

Jesus explains further:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Matthew 16:24-25

Jesus says that in order to exemplify the kind of BELIEF God needs to save you, you have to give Him your life!

God does the saving, but YOUR ACTION is to lose your life for Him.

Consider the following story:

A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he accidentally got to close to the edge and fell.  On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall.  He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell for more than a thousand feet.  He couldn’t hang onto the branch forever, and there wasn’t anyway for him to climb up the wall of the cliff.

So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and possibly lower a rope.  “HELP! HELP!  Is anyone up there?  HELP!”  He yelled for hours, but no one heard him.  He was about to give up when he heard a voice.

“Jack. Jack.  Can you hear me?”
“Yes, yes!  I can hear you.  I’m down here!”
“I can see you, Jack.  Are you all right?”
“Yes, but... who are you, and where are you?”
“I am the Lord, Jack.  I’m everywhere.”
“The Lord?  You mean, GOD?”
“That’s Me.”
“God, please help me!  I promise— if You’ll get me down from here, I’ll stop sinning.  I’ll be a really good person.  I’ll serve you the rest of my life.”
“Easy on the promises, Jack.  Let’s just get you down from here; then we’ll talk.  Now here’s what I want you to do.  Listen carefully.”
“I’ll do anything, Lord.  Just tell me what to do.”
“Okay, let go of the branch.”
“I said, let go of the branch.  Just trust Me.  Let go.”

There was a long silence.  Finally Jack yelled, “HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE???”

Are You Willing To Let Go?

Without letting go, did Jack exemplify the kind of faith needed for God to save him?

The same is true for you.  In salvation (justification or sanctification) you have to be willing to let go in order for God to save you— sanctify you.

When we don’t let go, it’s because we are hanging on to something in our lives.

What are you hanging on to?  Whatever it is, it’s SIN.  Because anything that’s not of FAITH is sin.

Everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Romans 14:23b

We have to be willing to be DONE with sin.  The way we know we are done with sin is when we are willing to turn our back on it to the point of suffering.

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is DONE with sin.
1 Peter 4:1

Usually we are willing to suffer when we see the EFFECT our sin has on someone else.

Consider the Butterfly Effect:

The Butterfly Effect

That the Butterfly Effect is Biblical, we just have to read Number 14:

The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the SIN of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’
Number 14:18

Sin gets passed down.  Sin affects us.  Sin affects others.  Our ACTIONS have an effect.

Your ACTION for Affecting Sanctification

How do we change?

We understand that if we lose our life, we find it.

We find it in the life of Jesus Christ.  Because, just as he saved us initially through faith, He continues to save us as we let Him live His life through us by faith.

That is what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he said:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

You see, the sanctified life is learning to let Christ live His life through you.  It’s growing in the knowledge of Christ so you can continue to believe in the actions of God, thereby by affecting the lives of people— positively, for eternity.

But to be effective, we must DEAL with sin first.  We must be willing to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24-25).

What You Must Do

1.  Go to God.  Get on your knees and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you (read my article, How To Deal With Sin).

If we confess our sins (REPENT), he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

2.  Read scripture.  Read The Bible Series in the archives to the right of this article.  Start with, Fall in Love With the Bible.

3.  Be ready to share your life (read my article, How To Find Your Specific Purpose in Life).

Do this, and God will TRANSFORM your life and the lives of those around you.

How?  He’ll do it from the inside out.

What will it LOOK like?

You’ll see it in the little things.  

He will give you more patience and love for others.  You’ll have a peace that passes all understanding.  The Holy Spirit will give you insights into your life.

This is the process of sanctification.  God’s INTERNAL kingdom in you.

Give yourself to God and He will sanctify you.  He will bring HOLINESS to your life.