Faithlife Sermons

Holy,Holiness, Sanctification?

Becoming Human Again  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Genesis 1:26-31

I think the phrase ‘We’re Only Human” is totally misunderstood and misused in todays society.
Whenever we mess something up we say well we’re only human, if someone hurts us we say well they are only human, whenever anybody does anything that causes hurt or can be seen in a negative light we say (Say it with me) We are only human.
The passage we just heard read exposes those moments we have just talked about do not aa how human we are but how far we have drifted away from our humanity.
God created us and called us Good. He didn’t create us and say “Oh Well they are only Human...” He created us in his image and called us good.
Sanctification is God’s process of restoring our goodness. This is what we are going to explore for the next several weeks.
This idea of sanctification is what the Church of the Nazarene calls her distinctive doctrine.Not that no one else teaches it but we believe that God wants every believer to be sanctified by God.
Much like our salvation is not anything we can earn, there is no magic spell we cast on our lives, there is no way we can make ourselves Holy. There is only the initial and continuous decision to live in the Holiness of God every moment

Understanding Sanctification can be intimidating due to the comprehension of the words used to describe it.

Take for instance our manual statement:
We believe that sanctification is the work of God which transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification, or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are fully conformed to the image of the Son.
We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.
It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.
This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart unity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.”
There you go lets close....haha…this is why the author of Becoming Human again spends so much time trying to make sure we understand the meaning of Holy, holiness and Sanctification.
If we use the wrong meanings for the right words we end up confused and fearful instead of confident and courageous.
When we do not understand what is meant by the word Holy For instance we create a standard that God never called us to. Called called us to holiness in the sense that we are to live our lives moving closer to God’s holiness.
You and I are not Holy.

Only God is Holy

This is not meant to make you feel bad…it is meant to help you take the pressure off.
God has called to Holiness but only so far as God can impute it to us. God is the only one whose Nature is Holy. He is never changing, never failing and all powerful. He has the ability to forgive sins, and make right all that has gone wrong.
We do not have those qualities…but that last part to make all things right that have gone wrong is what the sanctifying work of God does in our lives.
You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own (Leviticus 20:26).
God does not call us to an impossible standard. God Calls us to allow Him to restore our Humanity.
Sanctification is God’s process of setting us apart for His Holy work. Or another way of saying this is Sanctification is God’s work not ours.

Sanctification is a beautiful Gift to be Received not something to be feared.

Many people struggle with the idea of sanctification becuase what we have really embraced is legalism or behaviour modification.
Legalism is defined as the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works and the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws. This is not what sanctification looks like.
I have to admit I lost so much sleep and time in my walk with God becuase I was trying to do everything perfect. I had heard well meaning saints say things to me like when I am sanctified temptation will not be a part of my life. Or that I won’t have the ability to sin. Because of this misinformation there were many times I just could not believe that I had recieved this gift.
God does not withhold his Holiness if you ask for it. God is sanctifying us in our daily lives by showing us the way to proceed through the darkness we often find ourselves in. However we must still intentionally choose His way daily.
Others struggle with it becuase they have been taught that salvation is all that matters. As long as I am saved and going to heaven thats enough. But what if God wants more for you?
Ephesians 1:18

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

When we reduce the good news of the gospel to the truth that we have been forgiven, we're missing out on much of what makes the gospel beautiful. Not only does Jesus remove for us the guilt of our failures. He also frees us from them, so that we can “walk in newness of life.”
I recently came across a good this description of sanctification. It’s worth reading directly to you.
To be sanctified is to have your faith simplified, clarified, and deepened.
Becoming more holy does not mean that you are unable to sin or become detached from the storms of life. It means you are becoming a wiser human being. You are learning how to deal well with your money, your family, your job and yes even difficult seasons such as what we are not going through.
When you talk, your words communicate more good sense, more joy, more reality. You are learning to pray honestly and selflessly.
To grow in holiness does not mean you now talk in hushed tones and every third sentence quotes the Bible.
It means you live in more clear-minded hope. You know the purpose of your life, roll up your sleeves, and get about doing what needs doing. You are honestly thankful for good things. You honestly face disappointment and pain, illness and dying.
Sanctification, saint, holy, and holiness—they speak of daily life. There is nothing more practical than to live with an ever growing love, joy, and purposefulness. There is nothing more eyes-open and helpful than to be maturing in wisdom, hope, and faith.
The process of being sanctified is what I deeply want for myself, and it’s what I pray for our church.

Being Sanctified by God starts with a decision to allow God to restore our humanity.

Yes…there must be moment where you and I decide to intentionally start a process of daily consecration to God. We don’t just grow into it nor do we just wake up one day and miraculously receive it. Sanctification is a life long commitment to move toward Christ likeness.
So we must intentionally say yes so we can allow God to nurture our growth process. So it is a moment and a process.

Is this the moment you need to make that decision?

John Wesley came to this moment in a time where despite all of his success in preaching he was almost ready to leave the ministry. I want to read from His journal:
In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
I began to pray with all my might for those who had in a more especial manner despitefully used me and persecuted me. I then testified openly to all there what I now first felt in my heart. But it was not long before the enemy suggested, “This cannot be faith; for where is thy joy?” Then was I taught that peace and victory over sin are essential to faith in the Captain of our salvation; but that, as to the transports of joy that usually attend the beginning of it, especially in those who have mourned deeply, God sometimes giveth, sometimes withholdeth, them according to the counsels of His own will.
After my return home, I was much buffeted with temptations, but I cried out, and they fled away. They returned again and again. I as often lifted up my eyes, and He “sent me help from his holy place.” And herein I found the difference between this and my former state chiefly consisted. I was striving, yea, fighting with all my might under the law, as well as under grace. But then I was sometimes, if not often, conquered; now, I was always conqueror.
This is exactly where some of you might be today. You would not say that you are not a christian you just may not have the joy or the victory you think you should have. You are continually looking for the same feelings you had the day you were saved but those moments only last moments.
Today you can have not just an experience but an assurance just like Wesley explained. You can be conquerors instead of conquered.
Let us pray:


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