- Parent Category: Bible Reference
- Category: What the Bible Teaches - R.A. TORREY
- Published on Monday, 21 May 2007 22:29
III. WHEN DOES SANCTIFICATION TAKE PLACE? 1 Corinthians 1:2 RV — "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours." 1 Corinthians 6:11 RV — "And such were some of you; but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God."
First Proposition: All members of the church of God are already sanctified in Christ Jesus.
The moment anyone becomes a member of the church of God by faith in Christ Jesus, he is sanctified.
QUESTION: In what sense are we already sanctified?
ANSWER: In the sense expressed in Hebrews 10:10,14 "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Compare to verse 1.)
By the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, we are cleansed forever from all the guilt of sin and we are "perfected forever" as far as our standing before God is concerned. The sacrifice does not need to be repeated as the Jewish sacrifices (v. 1). The work is done once for all, sin is put away forever ( Hebrews 9:26; compare to Galatians 3:13), and we are set apart forever as God's peculiar and eternal possession· There is another sense in which every believer may be already sanctified. ( Romans 12:1 — "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.") It is the believer's present and blessed privilege, and immediate and solemn duty, to present his body to God as a living sacrifice — not some part or parts of the body, but the whole body with its every member and every faculty. Such an offering is "well pleasing to God" (RV Marg.). As God in the Old Testament showed His pleasure in an offering by sending down fire to take it to Himself, so when the whole body is thus offered to God, He still sends down fire, the fire of the Holy Spirit, and takes to Himself what is thus presented. The believer, then, so far as the will and center of his being is concerned, is wholly God's or perfectly sanctified. He may and will daily discover, as he studies the word of God and is illumined by the Holy Spirit, acts of his, habits of life, forms of feeling, speech, and action that are not in conformity with this central purpose of his life. These must be confessed to God as blameworthy, and be put away. This department of his being and life is brought by God's Spirit and the indwelling Christ into conformity with God's will as revealed in His word. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 — "And the Lord make you to increase anti abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you. 1 Thessalonians 4:1,10 RV — "Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk — that ye abound more and more. ·.. for indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in Macedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, that ye abound more and more." 2 Peter 3:18 RV — "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever· Amen." 2 Corinthians 3:18 RV — "But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit." Ephesians 4:11-15 — "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
Second Proposition: There is a progressive work of sanctification — an increase in love; an abounding more and more in a godly walk and in pleasing God; growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; a being transformed into the image of our Lord; a growing up into Christ in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 RV — "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 3:12-13 — "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord .Jesus Christ with all his saints."
Third Proposition: The complete sanctification of believers is something to be sought in prayer, to be accomplished by God in the future.
It is at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints that He is to establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father, and that our spirit and soul and body are to be preserved entire without blame. (Compare to 1 John 3:2.) It is through our Lord making us to increase and abound in love unto one another and unto all men that this is accomplished. It is not in the life that now is, nor is it at death, but at the coming of Christ that we are entirely sanctified in this sense.