Sanctification, or holiness, is an important part of a believer’s life. Holiness is not an act or deed and is not accomplished by “doing” a list of religious works. Rather, holiness is a state of “being.”
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:15-16).
The word holiness from a biblical perspective means sacred, consecrated, dedicated, set apart. The word holiness comes from the root word that means to be “whole.” True Godly Holiness brings the people of God to wholeness! We are complete in Him, the Holy One Who makes us holy.
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10).
Holiness is a state of being, existing, in wholeness through a life dedicated and set apart unto God through His working His Will in us.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
It is the Will and Pleasure of God for His people to be holy.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).
“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:7).
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9).
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).
“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26).
Only God can make us holy.
Man’s own deeds and religious practices cannot sanctify or make a person holy. Holiness is obtained by the working of the Spirit of God and Sanctifying Power in the believer’s life.
“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. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24).
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11).
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18).
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one…” (Hebrews 2:11).
Holiness is accomplished in the believer’s life as our minds are renewed by the internal working of the Word and Spirit of God.
“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. 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” (Romans 12:1-2).
Holiness should be the desire of every believer.
Holiness and sanctification should be a daily desire of every believer. Because God is holy, and because He wants His people to be holy, we should strive toward this goal. Striving toward holiness is not the work of the flesh or accomplished by personal effort, but rather is the work of yielding and surrendering to the work of the Spirit of God in our lives.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Romans 6:18-19).
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18).
True sanctification and holiness cannot be obtained by obeying a list of rules or by following a code of moral conduct. Holiness is the fruit of a life that is surrendered to God and the working of His Spirit.
“What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:21-22).
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1).
The Believer should daily put off the Old Man and, by faith, put on the New Man.
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:21-24).
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:5-15).
The New Man cannot sin, for He is righteous.
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (I John 5:18).
“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3:6-9).
All Christians have an Old Man that sins.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8).
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (I John 1:10).
Even the Apostle Paul struggled with the two natures dwelling within him.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:18-25).
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:5-10).