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This topic is weighing so heavily on my mind. How great a need we presently face for this doctrine to be reawakened in our churches, in our hearts!

Ask most people (even among the unsaved/unchurched) what Jesus did to remedy mans sinful condition, most will be able at least to say “He died on the cross”. They may not truly grasp or understand the intricacies of what they are saying. They may not be able to speak discernibly of things like substitutionary atonement, or even identify with the concept of redemption, but they know something of justification- “Jesus died to pay for sins”.

On the other hand, what is generally known of sanctification?  Hardly nothing.  Why?

We know that our salvation rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  He died in our stead. His offering “paid” the sin debt- once and for all. This is generally called justification. On this most will agree.  But what of the next step?

So oft the case anymore is one where we hear a pronouncement of salvation, “I have been gloriously saved, Praise God!” Only to witness a life unchanged.

Titus 2:11-14 (NASB77)
11  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
12   instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
13  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
15  These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Verse 11, salvation has come, but now, the next step; verse 12, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, living righteously.  See verse 14, He gave Himself for us- a people for His own possession!  What a disservice we do to God when we claim to be entered into fellowship with Him and then continue to serve Belial.

We must begin to see (and understand) that justification takes place within a moment, it is instant upon accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Sanctification however,  takes a lifetime. Sanctification begins at that moment of entering in, and then, there is the expectation of a process being effected in our lives. With justification we are declared just, declared in right standing before God legally through Christ. It is a finished work of God.

John 19:30 (NASB77)
30  When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, ” It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

This continuing work of sanctification by God in us, is just that, continuing, progressive. It is a continual process of growth and maturity in knowledge and faith where we are made (by the power of God) to more and more look like Christ.

14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

To redeem and PURIFY a people for His OWN POSSESSION who not only will do good (live righteously, Godly) but will be zealous in it!

Ephesians 2:10 (NASB77)
10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This is the purpose of sanctification.  We are the workmanship of God from before the foundation of the world to be a people belonging to Him alone, walking in holiness before Him.  This is the only way it can be.  This is the only way to continue into His presence.

Hebrews 12:14 (NASB77)
14   Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Does all this talk of sanctification imply that we will somehow reach a point of being sinless or perfect?  Not likely,  not while we remain in these bodies.  So what is the point? Union with Christ! Union with the Father!

Go, read John 15 and discover union with the Father and the Son.