Sabbath, June 25, 2005
“Sanctification means habitual communion with God.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908.
• To realize that sanctification is the top requirement for entrance into heaven.
• To understand that unless we are born again we have not begun this process.
• To be aware that unselfishness and forgiving love are the ultimate goals of a Christian.
A VERY HIGH GOAL
1. What is God’s will regarding us?
1Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
1Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
“‘This is the will of God concerning you, ‘even your sanctification.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Is it your will also? Your sins may be as mountains before you; but if you humble your heart and confess your sins, trusting in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, He will forgive and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. God demands of you entire conformity to His law. This law is the echo of His voice saying to you, Holier, yes, holier still. Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ. Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for His righteousness, the work of which God’s word declares is peace, and its effect quietness and assurance forever.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 566.
2. Why is sanctification so important?
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord
3. Analyze and comment on the following definitions of the term:
“The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity.” –Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 198.
“…Genuine sanctification… is nothing less than a daily dying to self, and a daily conformity to the will of God.” –Life Sketches, p. 237.
“…Sanctification consists in the cheerful performance of daily duties in perfect obedience to the will of God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 360.
“True sanctification means perfect love, perfect obedience, perfect conformity to the will of God.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 565.
4. How can we possibly obey God’s holy will?
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
THE MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION
5. What experience precedes sanctification?
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
“Justification means the saving of a soul from perdition, that he may obtain sanctification, and through sanctification, the life of heaven. Justification means that the conscience, purged from dead works, is placed where it can receive the blessings of sanctification. (MS 113, 1902).” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 908.
6. May we consider sanctification as an instantaneous experience?
Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
“Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 560, 561.
“There is no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. True sanctification is a daily work, continuing as long as life shall last. Those who are battling with daily temptations, overcoming their own sinful tendencies, and seeking for holiness of heart and life, make no boastful claims of holiness. They are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Sin appears to them exceedingly sinful.” –The Sanctified Life, p. 10.
7. Does Sabbath keeping have something to do with sanctification?
Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.” –Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 350.
A SANCTIFIED LIFE
8. What are the visible signs of sanctification?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith
“Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One.” –The Great Controversy, p. 470.
“Thus it is with the truly righteous man. He is unconscious of his goodness and piety. Religious principle has become the spring of his life and conduct, and it is just as natural for him to bear the fruits of the Spirit as for the fig tree to bear figs or for the rosebush to yield roses. His nature is so thoroughly imbued with love for God and his fellow men that he works the works of Christ with a willing heart.” –The Sanctified Life, p. 13.
9. The observance of what commandment reveals a sanctified life?
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within–when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance.
“It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 384.
FOR MEDITATION AND FURTHER STUDY
• Is the fulfillment of God’s will a top priority in my life?
• Can the fruits of the Spirit be seen in me?
• How do I spend the Sabbath day?
• Do I devote time to cultivating my relationship with God and with the people around me during the week? How?
• Somebody said: “Character is formed by the way individuals meet the common events of every day life, but it is tested by the way they meet the crises of life.” How does this apply to me personally?