Sanctification16 Minute Read

D. S. Warner, a late 19th century church of God minister, is credited with the statement that if any doctrine needs to be overemphasized it is the doctrine of Sanctification.

Definition of Sanctification.

The dictionary defines the word ‘sanctify’ as:

  1. To make sacred or holy; to set apart to a sacred office or to religious use or observance; to consecrate by appropriate rites.
  2. To make free from sin; to cleanse from moral corruption and pollution; to purify.

A second definite work of grace; or baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification is part of the great plan of redemption although a definite work of itself.

Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified and He died to make that experience possible.

John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Hebrews 13:12: Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Sanctification is definitely a New Testament doctrine.

Ephesians 5:25-26:
(25)  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(26)  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

I Peter 1:2: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

A work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:
(23)  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.
(24)  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

II Timothy 2:21: If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Sanctification finds its antitype in the Old Testament under Mosaic Law.

Hebrews 10:1: For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Hebrews 8:1-5:
(1)  Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
(2)  A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
(3)  For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
(4)  For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
(5)  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 9:1-9:
(1)  Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
(2)  For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
(3)  And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
(4)  Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
(5)  And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
(6)  Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
(7)  But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
(8)  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
(9)  Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

The tabernacle consisted of two compartments surrounded by an outer court. The outer court contained an altar and laver of water. The two compartments of the tabernacle were known as the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.

The Holy Place contained the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the altar of incense. The blood had to be applied to the Brazen Altar and to the Golden Altar. This symbolizes two definite works of grace. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant containing the tables of stone along with other sacred items. The two sections were separated by a very costly veil.

The priests ministered in the Holy Place, but into the Holy of Holies the high priest entered alone once a year (Atonement Day).

While the priests could not minister in the Holy of Holies, the death of Christ rent the veil and made it possible for man to enjoy a two-fold experience.

Mark 15:37-38:
(37)  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
(38)  And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Hebrews 10:19-22:
(19)  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
(20)  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
(21)  And having an high priest over the house of God;
(22)  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.

Sanctification admits one into the Holy of Holies where the laws of God are written on the heart, not on tables of stone.

Hebrews 10:14-16:
(14)  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
(15)  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
(16)  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Today, God does not dwell in a literal tabernacle, temple, or sanctuary but in the hearts of His sanctified saints.

The two-fold nature of sin makes a second definite work of grace necessary.

Willful transgressions are sins that must be forgiven:

Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

I John 3:4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

James 4:17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Inherent sin or Adamic sin, original sin, the carnal nature of the heart inherited from Adam:

Genesis 8:21: And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Psalms 51:5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Romans 7:7-9:
(7)  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
(8)  But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
(9)  For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Little children often times manifest this carnality before they come to an age of accountability while they are yet innocent before God. Sometimes this carnality is manifested in saved people before they are sanctified.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3:
(1)  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
(2)  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
(3)  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Sanctification, or the baptism of the Holy Ghost purges this carnality.

John 15:2: Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Acts 15:8-9:
(8)  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
(9)  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

The disciples of Christ were saved men yet they needed the experience of sanctification or the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus testified that His disciples were saved men.

Luke 10:20: Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

John 17:14: I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Yet, there were several occasions that proved their need of a second work of grace (By manifesting a desire for preeminence and exhibition of enmity).

Mark 9:34: But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

Matthew 20:20-24:
(20)  Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
(21)  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
(22)  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
(23)  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
(24)  And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

Examples of the Holy Spirit baptism.

John 14:17: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The apostles themselves received the experience of sanctification on the day of Pentecost. Reference Acts 2.

New converts in Samaria received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:5-12:
(5)  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
(6)  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
(7)  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
(8)  And there was great joy in that city.
(9)  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
(10)  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
(11)  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
(12)  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

They believed and were water baptized. They were saved yet they needed sanctified.

Acts 8:14-16:
(14)  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
(15)  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
(16)  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

The household of Cornelius received the Holy Spirit following their conversion. Reference Acts 10.

The disciples at Ephesus had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit before Paul came.

Acts 19:1-6:
(1)  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
(2)  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
(3)  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
(4)  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
(5)  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
(6)  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Conditions for receiving the Holy Spirit.

Only those who have been born-again are qualified to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:17: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 15:2-3:
(2)  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
(3)  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

A complete unconditional surrender of self to God without any reservations followed by earnest desire and fervent prayer for the infilling of the Holy Spirit must be made.

Romans 12:1-2:
(1)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(2)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Negative work of the Holy Spirit is:

To sanctify.

Romans 15:16: That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

To purge.

Matthew 3:11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

To purify.

Acts 15:8-9:
(8)  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
(9)  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

The positive work of the Holy Spirit is:

To give power.

Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

To guide.

John 16:13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

To comfort.

John 14:16-17:
(16)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
(17)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

To teach.

John 14:26: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

To increase spiritual fruit.

John 15:2: Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23:
(22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

To unify God’s people.

John 17:20-23:
(20)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(21)  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(22)  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
(23)  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Acts 4:31-32:
(31)  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
(32)  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

And to fit one for service.

Luke 24:49: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

II Timothy 2:21: If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

The evidence of the Holy Spirit is found in Himself. It does not depend on any certain emotional reaction.

Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

The greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit is a holy life.