Sanctification Is God’s Way To Make Us More Like Christ
Adventure 10: God's Purpose for His Children
What is "sanctification"?
Sanctification is God's ongoing work through His Word to change believers so their lives will reflect more and more of Jesus' likeness for His glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
This Truth Makes
In sanctification, God works, and we work – but God works to cause us to work! God’s involvement is primary; our involvement
is secondary. Any work we do is first a work of God. Many good theologians have looked at sanctification as a work in which God and man cooperate in order to accomplish God’s will. This truth can be seen especially in Philippians 2:12-13 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
In verse 12, God commands us to “work out” our salvation. This is a command for us to be involved! But in verse 13, God makes it clear that the One truly working is not us – it is God! This is mysterious, but we should understand that sanctification is both passive and active for us. “Passive” because something must be done /to/ us; and “active” because something must be done by us.
It is important to recognize that all of God’s commands for us to be active in our sanctification are based upon something that God has already done or is doing. In other words, there is no sanctification apart from God. The involvement of God in our sanctification is a guarantee that our own involvement will be profitable to accomplish His will.