23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. (NIV)
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; (NAS)
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; (NKJ)
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; (KJV)
Sanctify - 37 hagiazo (hag-ee-ad'-zo);
to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate;
Sanctification is a continuing process.
In reality, we are sanctified when we are saved in Christ. We are born again. We are completely new in Christ. We are forgiven, and it is as if we had never sinned.
In our everyday lives, though, we see the old sinful nature trying to reassert control. We find ourselves doing things that we don't want to do.
We see this in Paul
18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-- this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-- through Jesus Christ our Lord! (NIV)
Jesus Christ does the Sanctifying in Us
Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-- through Jesus Christ our Lord!
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Jesus Christ Seeks to Bring Us to Surrender
We are in Union with Christ. As believers, we are always in Christ, and He is always in us. We are like those conjoined twins. Where one goes, so goes the other.
We are often in a tug-of-war with Christ. We want to do one thing, and He wants to something else. He certainly could overpower us. He could physically make us obey Him. But Jesus wants us to obey of our own accord. He works to bring us to freely surrender to Him.
John Newton on his experience
"You would think that after such a wonderful, unhoped-for deliverance as I had - after my eyes were opened a little to see things right - I would have immediately become a fanatic for the Lord and would, like Paul, have consulted no more with flesh and blood.
But that was not the case with me. I had learned to pray. I valued the Word of God.
I was no longer a drunk, given over to every evil, but my soul still loved the dirt.
Soon after I left Liverpool when I shipped out, I began to grow lazy in my devotions. My conscience got after me, but I refused to listen. My spiritual armor gone, I fell away fast. By the time I got to Guinea, I was living a life that would make anyone think I had forgotten all about the Lord's mercies. I was never profane; I did not take His name in vain. But my spiritual enemy prepared a table of temptations for me to feast on, and I became an easy victim. For about a month he rocked me to sleep, as I did things I would not have thought myself capable of anymore.
Sin first deceives, and then it hardens. I was not tightly chained, but I had no power to free myself - and little desire to. Sometimes I would think about the fix I had gotten into; if I tried to change my ways, I would just sink deeper."
The Crisis for John Newton
"Weak and almost delirious, I got out of bed and crept to a secluded part of the island. There I had a freedom in prayer I had never had before. I made no more resolutions to be a better man. I simply cast myself on the Lord to do with me whatever He wanted. I did not have a shred of power to do anything right. All I could do was throw myself at His feet, receiving the good of Christ's death for me in a way I had never done before.
I prayed for His forgiveness and found the burden lifted from my conscience. Not only did my peace come back, but my health, too.
I mark that day as the turning point in my spiritual experience. I came into the good of being delivered from the power and dominion of sin - even though I still, to this day "groan, being burdened" with the effects and ever-present conflicts of my sin nature.
I began to wait on the Lord in prayer as I had never done before. I am humbly trusting His mercy and His promises to be with me as my Guide and Guard till the end of my life."
1 Thessalonians 5:24
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!
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