Brothers and sisters, aren’t you thankful that Jesus Christ has accomplished all that we need for eternal life and to live for Him? In this review of the good things that we have in Christ Jesus I would like to focus on the scope of what Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior has done and how His work for us affects our daily walk with Him. In God’s Holy Word, the Bible, He tells us in the second chapter of Hebrews that Jesus Christ has sanctified us and is sanctifying us so that, as His dearly beloved children, we are all one. Let’s see what God’s Word teaches us about the different aspects of sanctification in and through our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, to the glory of God our Father and for our eternal blessedness and glory.
10 For it is fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” Hebrews 2:10-13
The Father sent the Son as Savior of the world so that He could call out a people for Himself for His good pleasure. Setting us apart for Himself, being sanctified for God, is done through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is a work that He accomplished for us before the foundation of the world, for those whom the Father has called to be His beloved children. Through God’s call upon our lives we are partakers of the heavenly calling and are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 2 Timothy 1:8-12
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgement of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 1:1-4
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
Chosen by God for salvation before the beginning of time we are set apart by the Holy Spirit to believe in the gospel of our salvation and be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ for cleansing from sin and obedience to the faith. This salvation that is ours through faith in Jesus Christ has nothing to do with our works or efforts. It is the work of God in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, so that we can see our sin, our despicable rebellion against our holy, glorious wonderful God, be brought to repentance and believe in His glorious Son Jesus Christ for eternal life. God sanctifies us through His Son Jesus Christ and keeps us through His power by faith for a glorious inheritance that is reserved in heaven for us because of His abundant mercy.
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:1-5
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. Titus 3:4-8
Through God’s kindness and deliverance from the bondage of sin, death and eternal damnation, Jesus Christ becomes our all in all. He died upon the cross shedding His precious blood so our sins can be forgiven and we can be reconciled to God our Father. Thank you Jesus Christ for taking the punishment that I so completely deserve and dying in my stead for my redemption through Your shed blood and my justification through Your resurrection. Thank You Father that by Your mercies and grace I am in Christ Jesus. This is and should be the song of our hearts throughout our sojourn here while we await the return of our Great God and Glorious Savior Jesus Christ. This amazing grace should be the driving force in all that we think, say and do. God’s wonderful love and His providing power through the indwelling Holy Spirit should uphold us as we say no to the world, the devil, the flesh and humbly follow Jesus zealous to please Him in everything.
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31
Of major concern to our Heavenly Father is that we abstain from sexual immorality. That was one of the injunctions given to the Gentile believers from the church leaders in Jerusalem. This is what the apostles and elders wrote to the Gentile churches regarding their behavior in Christ found in Acts chapter 15.
22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas, who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren. 23 They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law:—to whom we gave no such commandment—25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. Acts 15:22-29
The Jerusalem apostles and elders confirmed salvation through faith in Christ alone, we are justified by His death, burial and resurrection, but also, by the Holy Spirit warned the believers to live lives that glorify God, which is the major theme through much of the epistles written by Paul as he was led by the Holy Spirit. Any teaching or behavior that encourages or embraces sexual immorality comes from this evil world system lead astray by the devil and supported by the sin nature of wicked men. Any group that identifies with the morays of this world testifies that it is not sanctified by God through faith in Christ and therefore does not belong to Him.
1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandment we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Living for God sets us apart from godless behavior and is actually a rebuke against this evil world and an affirmation of the holiness of God and the perfection of His Son Jesus Christ. This sanctified living is well-pleasing to God though it roils our flesh and riles unbelievers; we desire to live for His praise and glory and therefore follow obediently, walking according to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives through submission to the Word of God.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. Ephesians 5:1-7
We live lives set apart to God because of the love with which He has loved us through Christ Jesus His Son. Jesus Christ, the blessed and glorious Lamb of God, after He had perfectly fulfilled the law and obeyed all the will of the Father, gave Himself to be the sacrifice for our sins that we can be sanctified to God the Father, having been perfected forever. What wonderful, glorious, marvelous grace. Praise God for His abundant love and mercy given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, so that as those called by God, we can by His Holy Spirit live to the praise of His glory!
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:8-14