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Doctrine of Sanctification: Conclusion

April 10, 2022 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: Galatians 5:16

Quote: Rev. Samuel Annesley

What is it to love God with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and how may we be able to do it?

In short, we must love God, as near as it is possible, infinitely.

Love to God must go through and possess our whole nature, and all the powers of it. The mind must think of God; the will must delight in God; in short, our whole strength must be employed to please Him.

We must love nothing more than God, nothing equal with God; we must love God above all, and that for himself.

We must be willing to lose all,) yea, life itself, rather than to admit any thing contrary to the love of God.

All these expressions denote the intenseness of our affections, the inexpressibleness of our obligation, and the contemptibleness of everything that shall challenge a share in our love.

Review/ Scripture (Galatians 5:16)

Last week we spoke about the characteristics of sanctification and then we spent time discussing what is meant by self examination, the necessity, the benefits, and the expectations of such a practice.

For the characteristics:

  • Sanctification is a revelation of the mind of God and the way that He thinks
    • We gain the knowledge that is necessary to help us further our understanding
      • of how we are to live in a way that is pleasing to God.
      • of how we are to walk in a way that is pleasing to God.
    • Sanctification is a moral and recreative process
      • The sinner is renewed to conform to the true image of God.
      • It is a lifelong process
      • The sinner never reaches total perfection in this life

Today, we will conclude our study on sanctification by looking at what is called the nature of sanctification

The Nature of Sanctification (Gal 5:16-25)

It is a supernatural work of the Spirit of God in us

  • The killing of the old man of the corruption
  • The killing of the pollution

It is by the use of the means that God has determined and provided that man co-operates to pursue sanctification.

It is a work of God in which the believer is to cooperate

When man cooperates, it is not meant that man is an independent agent.

It is not partly a work of God and partly a work of man.

It is God bringing to bear sanctification through

  • the instrumentality of man as a rational being
    • by requiring of him prayerful and intelligent co-operation with the Spirit.
    • by man co-operating with the Spirit of God, being diligent in the use of the means at his disposal for the moral and spiritual improvement of his life
      • man is given repeated warnings against evils and temptations, which clearly imply that man must be active in avoiding the pitfalls of life,
        12:9, 16, 17;
        1 Cor. 6:9, 10
        Gal. 5:16–23
      • man is given constant exhortations to holy living
        Micah 6:8
        John 15:2, 8, 16
        8:12, 13; 12:1, 2, 17
        Gal. 6:7, 8, 15.

It is walking in the Spirit

If we walk in the Spirit…

  • We will not walk under the curse of the law
  • We will seek to put sin to death.
    • Because the things of the flesh kill our spiritual relationship with God.

The fruit of the Spirit against such there is no law.

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • longsuffering
  • gentleness
  • goodness
  • faith
  • meekness
  • temperance

It is a person who keeps the law.

It is a person who follows God’s will

  • It is joy.
  • It is peace within.
  • It is long suffering toward others. It is gentle
  • It has goodness It is faith
  • It is meekness
  • It is temperance.

This is how we emulate the work of the covenant of Christ in us

This is how we show that our flesh has been crucified with Christ

If we live in the Spirit…

  • let us therefore also walk in the Spirit
  • let us not walk after the flesh
  • but mortify such actions, the things of the flesh

We have been quickened to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6)

This is a practical application how the death of our covenant mediator once and for all affects us:

  • it sanctifies as a work for the elect
  • it justifies us in his work
    • that we should walk in the newness of life and the regenerating work of the Spirit.
  • It renews us that we should be a covenant keeper of God.

This is a command to not let sin reign such that you would be under the servitude of sin. (Romans 6:12)

You have been set free from sin to be faithful as a slave to Jesus Christ in obedience of righteousness.

You have been set free to yield yourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead.

You should not willingly yield yourselves as servants to sin

You should yield yourselves to serve Christ

Sanctification affects the whole life of man

This makes sense because sanctification takes place in the inner life of man, in the new heart.

This cannot be changed without changing the whole being of man.

  • If the inner man is changed, there is bound to be change also in the outer part of man.

The Intellect

(Jer-31:34) “…For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.”

This is the redeeming work of God and sanctification.

  • Man's understanding is affected
  • Man does not need to be taught
  • He is now taught of God
    • This is not referring to an abolition of what Christ has set up as authority and teaching in the Church

When sanctification comes to the life of the believer

  • He has been renewed
  • He has become sanctified through the power of the Spirit.
  • His understanding is transformed
  • He has a new way of thinking, a new way of life

The Affections and Will (the outer life and the inner life)

Glorify God in your Body and in Your Spirit (1 Cor-06:15)

Think the way that Christ has commanded you to think.

  • Bring all thoughts captive to Christ.
  • Bring your body in conformity to that which is renewed inward.

So that you glorify God in your inward thoughts of life.

So that you glorify God in your outer actions of life.

The passions are affected (the will is affected) (Phil 03:13)

The desires are affected. (Galatians 5:24)

  • I do not desire the world and the lust thereof.
  • I desire to serve my risen Savior.

The mind and conscience is affected (Titus 01:15)

  • We are sensitive to the things of God.
  • We are sensitive to what He has commanded for us to do and live

The way one thinks of God is changed (Heb 09:14)

Carrying Out Sanctification

We must endeavor to guard against the prevailing power of sin.

We must endeavor to maintain a constant awareness of the heinous character of sin.

  • All sin, even “white sins” are contrary to the holiness of God
  • All sin is a display of ingratitude to the Lord
  • All sin is a defilement
  • All sin must be abhorred by the Christian

Those who have an improper view of sin, may only consider sin to be of any account and matter are those that are outwardly scandalous.

Such was the opinion of Paul in Romans 7 before he was converted, he says,

  • ‘I was alive without the law once;’ and,
  • ‘I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.’
  • ‘Sin’ did not ‘appear to be sin;’

That is, he thought sin was only that which was a public scandal or condemned by universal consent.

Those that have this view, will easily dismiss what they consider to be acceptable or little sins.

If somehow guilt does take hold, they might perfunctorily confess the sin or take steps to avoid it the future but never really treat it as it is --- an affront to a Holy God.

This is far from the mortification of sin that we have discussed.

If sin is not mortified, it will rear its ugly head again later and with a vengeance. (Matthew 12:45)


The doctrine of sanctification deals with:

  • putting off of the old man and putting on this new man
  • putting away the last of the flesh and the way of the world
  • putting on the way of Christ Jesus It deals with putting on a new mind
  • being transformed in the understanding.

It affects the whole man

It affects how he relates to his redeemer.

Conclusion & Uses

As we have learned, sanctification is the work of Spirit in the believer. It is the will of God to pursue holiness (without holiness, no one will see God).

  • Philippians 2:13
  • Hebrews 12:14

Progressive Sanctification is the working of God

  • It is directed to the end of making us to will and to do that which is well pleasing to Him.

There is not a:

  • willing to the exclusion of the doing

There is not a:

  • doing to the exclusion of the willing

But there is both the willing and the doing.

  • God is working in us but not to exclude us.
  • We are to be working but not to the exclusion of the work of God in us.

Salvation is not a result of us working to receive but as a result of having been given that unmerited favor of God in Christ

  • it causes us to seek to be sanctified saints
  • it causes us to work through the Holy Spirit
  • it causes us to be consciously daily examining our own activities as to whether or not we are conforming to the image of God.

To properly pursue sanctification, we must make use of those means that God has given to us.

  • We must learn to emulate Christ
  • We must learn to mortify the sins of our flesh
  • We must learn to walk in obedience
  • We must make use of those mean
    • The word
    • Prayer
    • Sacraments
    • The Church

We started today with a quote from Rev. Annesley about loving God.

Let the holiness and the love of Christ compel you.

If you love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind

If you keep Him as the most engaging and desirable object

You will have a constant reminder and a constant encouragement to pursue your sanctification.

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