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Been Sanctified and Being Sanctified

When I was first saved, born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit of God I was told by many people I was holy, sanctified, set free, and would inherit all the blessings as that was my inheritance.  This was exciting news, but I soon found instead of living in blessing and freedom the anxiety and fears I suffered from became greater and I also became more and more unwell in my body. I prayed the word of God over myself and declared my freedom.  Nothing changed. I sought God and He told me that Jesus had done everything on His end and that I just had to appropriate His work on the cross in my own life to receive all He had for me. He told me that the reason I hadn’t received these things was because I had blockages that needed to be revealed on my end that prevented me from receiving them.  Blockages are things like unyielded areas, unconfessed sin, unbelief, occult involvement, unforgiveness, etc.

Unyielded areas are the areas in our lives that we haven’t handed over to Christ.  There is an exchange that takes place at the cross – His life for our life. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10.39 NKJV). To enter into His resurrection life we must lay down our lives – we need to die to our old selves and our old ways. There are many areas of our lives that we think we have given to Jesus but He sees our heart and knows when we haven’t. Any area not submitted to Christ means it has not gone through the cross and been crucified with Christ. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20, KJV).

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23, KJV). We may need repentance, deliverance and healing in those areas before we can let them go and accept Christ into them. Sometimes it is as simple as confession of sins, breaking any curses and casting out demons in the name of Jesus, but more often than not I have found you may need to walk through what you have just prayed.  This means there needs to be an actual letting go and laying down rather than just a prayer of doing so.  Many trials and tribulations we go through are the very process God uses to enable us to let these things go.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). This Scripture is very clear that before we can receive all the blessings Christ inherited for us we first have to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seeking first the Kingdom means we are putting His will ahead of our own.  It means we are willing to give up our fleshly wants and ways to enter into His will and purpose for us.  Seeking His righteousness is all about understanding that our righteousness is through our belief in Jesus alone to cover our sins and save us.  No amount of striving to be righteous in our own strength and striving to remove our own sins saves us. It is only through accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour that we are saved.  Nor are we justified (made right with God) through our own works and methods. We need to understand that our own works of righteousness are as filthy rags and it is only through the putting on of the robe of righteousness that we are deemed worthy to partake and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Trying to be perfect in our own strength is works and lack of trust in the righteousness of Christ to perfect us. This however does not mean that we are to see ourselves as worthless because this is unbelief in the robe of righteousness to make us right before God.

The Bible teaches us that there is an old man and a new man.  I have heard many teach that they are now a new creation and that they are done and that no more work is needed in them.  This belief has meant that many in the body of Christ are suffering and unable to be set free in many areas of their lives as they are unwilling to accept Ministry to deal with these areas. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV). I took this Scripture back to the original Greek text and the interpretation was quite different to our interpretation. ‘Are become new’ in Greek is Ginomai and it means ‘to become’, ie: ‘to become into existence’, ‘begin to be’. This explains a whole new way of thinking and shows us that when we are born again it is just the beginning.

We are told to put off the old man and put on the new. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24, KJV). It is a working out process as we walk in partnership with Jesus and allow Him to do this in us. Even Paul talked about how he was not yet perfected and that it is a process. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14, NKJV).

The Bible has so many Scriptures that seem to contradict each other which is where the confusion and differences in doctrinal beliefs lie.  I have seen many teachings using Scripture that appear to contradict what I believe, so when there is conflicting Scripture that doesn’t line up with Scriptures and teaching I believe I always come before the Holy Spirit and ask Him to show me His truth.  I have found that when doing this the understanding is quite different when both Scriptures are used in their correct context together to what you originally were shown.  One example of this is the varying teachings on sanctification. I recently came across a teaching that teaches we are already sanctified. I had never heard this teaching until a friend of mine recently brought it to my attention.  She brought a Scripture that I had never seen before that showed sanctification to me in a whole new light.  This was the Scripture; Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jeremiah 1:5, KJV). This Scripture is referring to Jeremiah the prophet whom God chose and sanctified before he was even born. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Acts 26:18, KJV). This Scripture shows we are sanctified when we believe and have faith in Jesus Christ. Another Scripture teaching we are already sanctified is this; For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy (1 Corinthians 7:14, KJV).

I have always taught and believed sanctification was a process. Below is my understanding for this. 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 (1 Thessalonians 5:23, KJV). The word sanctify in this passage in Greek is Hagiazo.  The word sanctified in Greek is also Hagiazo and means 1) to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow 2) to separate from profane things and dedicate to God 2a) consecrate things to God 2b) dedicate people to God 3) to purify 3a) to cleanse externally 3b) to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin 3c) to purify internally by renewing of the soul. In the Scripture above Paul is saying that our whole spirit, soul and body needs to be sanctified – all three parts of us. At the beginning of our salvation our spirit is born-again. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16, NKJV). Our soul and physical body are not made new at this time. Paul talks very clearly of the war between soul and spirit (Romans 8) so we see by this that there is a work to be done in our fleshly (not born again) areas of our soul (heart) and physical body. Many believe that the moment we are born again that we are born again completely in our hearts also. This is incorrect.  Our heart (soul) is the part of us that needs to be sanctified, cleansed, purged, delivered and healed. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22, KJV). The word ‘sealed us’ in Greek is Sphragizo and means to 1) to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal. The word ‘the earnest’ (of the Spirit) in Greek is Arrhabon and means 1) an earnest 1a) money which in purchases is given as a pledge or down payment that the full amount will subsequently be paid. We see by this when we first receive the Holy Spirit our spirits bear witness with His Spirit that we are children of God, and our heart is sealed with a down payment of the Holy Spirit in which the full amount will subsequently be paid.  We have not received the fullness of the Holy Spirit until the heart (soul) is cleansed, healed and made whole through the sanctification process of purification and the renewing of the soul.  As the old man dies, the new man rises up in resurrection power – it is a process.

Scripture also shows us that we receive our new physical body at Christ’s return. This too is not made new at the moment of original conversion. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15, 50-54, NKJV).

So here I have scriptures and revelation for sanctification being a process but what about the fact that scripture tells us that we are already sanctified?  Confusion much! This posed a problem in my understanding so I sought the Lord and this is what I learned; when God first chooses us He sanctifies us.  Sanctified in this sense is set apart and dedicated to God for His purposes.  He chooses us to live a holy life for His purpose and design. He puts His Spirit in us who is Holy.  Just as the ground in which Moses stood became Holy because of the presence of God in the burning bush, we too become Holy because of the presence of God in us. In this sense we are sanctified, set apart and consecrated to Him for His purpose. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our spirit is born-again, purified and free from the guilt of sin. The spirit comes alive. Our soul (heart) and physical body are sealed by the Spirit of God as His promise to complete the work in us, but is still unchanged at this point and needs to be sanctified, purified and cleansed to come into alignment with the born-again spirit. I then understood this is how we have been sanctified and yet are still becoming sanctified. We are holy just as He is holy but we still need to be cleansed and renewed so we can walk in holiness.  This also explains why we are referred to as saints, but yet still have sin in us. We are children of God and yet still children of the world, until the world is completely removed from us.  We are His and He is working in us that we may become like Him – without spot or blemish. That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27, NKJV).

When you were saved you were sanctified, set apart and redeemed from the ultimate penalty of sin. You are now a child of God and adopted into His Kingdom. Sanctification can be likened to a two part process – the first - being saved, set apart and consecrated, and the second - being made whole. The first part is a done deal – you are saved and part of the Kingdom simply by believing in Jesus to save you. There is nothing you had to do in the way of works to achieve this as it is a free gift. The second part of sanctification is through surrender and working with Christ to make you whole.  Your heart is washed clean and purged of sin as you yield and surrender your life to Him. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22, NKJV). This process enables you to receive the blessings while you are still on earth in an earthen vessel. Although the blessings are part of your inheritance through Christ, blockages on our end can prevent us from receiving them. The most important part of the process is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal these blockages so you can be set free. Christ began the work in us the day we made Him our Lord and Saviour, we now need to let Him complete it. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, KJV).

(PRAYER) – “Thank You Jesus that I am sanctified and that I am being sanctified. Thank You Jesus that I am Holy because of Your Holy presence within me, and that You are helping me to walk in holiness without spot or wrinkle. Thank You Jesus that I am a saint even though there is still a work to be done of removing all sin from me.  Thank You Jesus that I am a child of God and a child of the Kingdom of God even though I am not yet fully separated from the world. I pray that you would open the eyes of the ones who don’t understand the sanctification process of needing to be cleansed and purged of sin, so that You can complete the good work in them, as You are also doing in me until the day of Your return. In Jesus name, Amen.”

   

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