10/11/1998 11:00 AM
I Thessalonians 4:1-5
We want to live and walk and do as God would have us to. We want to be pleasing to God. Sanctification is the will of God. "Every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor." The Gentiles which did not know God were possessed of something else. To learn about sanctification we should look at those who have it. The apostles had it... this is clear as shown by the word.
Peter was called before the council because of the stand that he had taken. He was different now from the time when he denied Christ. He had a boldness that he didn't have at the time of Christ's trial. Peter wasn't "bringing the blood of Christ on them"... they had done that themselves already... "Let his blood be upon our heads." They were already guilty. Peter was intent on obeying God rather than men. Sanctification increases the desire to obey God and to please him. Peter was able to speak the gospel plainly though it was done at the risk of losing his life. God's spirit gave boldness. Sanctification doesn't make you oblivious to those around you.
Peter was still subject to being influenced by others. These were Christians that felt you should keep the law and it affected Peter so much so that he was influenced by them to draw back from that which he had been shown for fear of the people. The apostle Paul stood up to Peter and told him that these were not having a good influence on him and that he was in turn being a poor influence on others. We need God to help us to withstand the influences that will not work for good. We are still subject to the influences of others. We may need someone to speak up to us... or we may need to be the one that speaks up to someone else.
John 16:12, 13
The Holy Ghost will guide into all truth. When a person gets sanctified he does not know everything... he does not get an instantaneous implantation of knowledge.
I John 2:20, 21
You know all things, but you don't know it all. The Holy Ghost can be our teacher and our guide to keep us in truth. There is a responsibility in teaching to get it right, and the Holy Spirit gives the truth. The Holy Spirit guides and teaches and keeps us on the straight paths.
II Corinthians 4:7-10
The power is of God not us. We don't want to rely on our own natural abilities. "We are perplexed" - sometimes you must admit... I just don't know... this doesn't mean that God won't give the answer, but that you just don't know right now. If you will patiently trust in God the answer will come. Just because you are sanctified doesn't mean you won't be perplexed. Stick with the Spirit of God and you won't be led astray. If we will let the Spirit lead and teach he'll clear up the perplexities, and keep us unshaken.
Sanctification will unify people. The source of difficulty between people is carnality. The message of the reformation was that sanctification could and would bring people together... and it naturally followed that unity between men would come when there was unity between man and God. Sanctification affects our relationships and brings unity. It takes away the desire to have the upper hand... the better place among the brethren. The disciples weren't as unified as God would have them to be until the Pentecost... up until that time they were unified in that they were all following Christ... but not unified in spirit. After the Pentecost they were equals... not striving to see who would be the greatest. Sanctification does not take away our thoughts, ideals and opinions.
Paul and Barnabas had a difference of opinion about John Mark. They went their separate ways... BUT they did not go and denounce one another to the other brethren. We can have differences of opinion and still be sanctified and uphold the same truth. We ought to be able to have differences of opinion and still be able to work together through sanctification. Sanctification should help us to deal with differences of opinion as we should. We are not talking about a difference in truth here, but a difference of opinion. The Spirit of God should bring us together. God can change opinions... Paul later had a different opinion of John Mark... but until he changed it... he maintained a right attitude toward the brethren. Sanctification should help us to maintain a right spirit and attitude toward each other.
I John 4:15-18
You need to be in God and he in you. If God is in you and you in him, the love of God will also be there. Sanctification is love made perfect and complete. It is able to love despite differences in ability. It will help to bear or carry the burdens of another. It is about being Christ-like... walking as he would walk. Christ went through all the physical stages of life... babyhood... childhood... young adult... and finally manhood... He has been through life and we should follow his example. Sanctification gives God's spirit to guide, strengthen and to help. Sanctification is the purification of the heart, the perfecting of the love of God within, and the leading of God throughout life. God's grace and Spirit make the difference in sanctification.