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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #18 --- Sanctification
Quotations on Sanctification
Sanctification, which means the consecration of our redeemed lives to God and His service, should carry with it the stamp of "holiness unto the Lord," upon all our affairs, our time, talents and treasures.
—H.V. Andrews, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 12, 1939.
Sanctification means the state of one who is set apart to the service of God, who belongs to God, and it also means the inner transformation of one thus actually set apart. It means the whole purpose of actually realizing the holy character. In sanctification we through faith work out what God has wrought within us. Sanctification is a spiritually living process in which the life of Christ gradually becomes more and more sanctified in the life of the sanctified. The agent of sanctification is always the Holy Spirit.
—J.H. Avery, Panama City News-Herald, Panama City, Fla., Aug. 8, 1954.
Sanctification is not holiness but a "setting apart" of one's self and all that he has for the service and glory of God. Holiness is the result of being in Christ and sanctification is the result of holiness.
—William J. Holtzclaw, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 13, 1902.
Sanctification means a new life from God and promised with our new relationship with Him; son of God and joint heirs with Christ.
—Bruce B. Corbin, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., March 19, 1923.
Righteousness is the state of being right with God, and if God be the Great Power of the universe, if He be the great, all-powerful ruler, much of our life will depend upon our relations to Him. How can we be made right with God? Christ alone can help the one who is not as God would have him to be. Here He is our great strength as our intercessor. Sanctification means the growth towards the one God who would have us be in character and spirit. The Christian life is a growth, a development; it is an overcoming and progressing life. And if your Christian life and character is no better today than one or ten years ago, then Christ does not mean very much to you, for He is our strength and that strength is sufficient to enable us to overcome. Herein He has been the great factor in the uplifting of this world.
—John Edward Carver, Morning Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Feb. 29, 1904.
The image of Christ which is stamped upon the soul in conversion must through process of discipline become beautiful as the inwrought figure. None can fail to recognize the need and reality of the progressive work of sanctification. With this work of sanctification there goes the work of separation, not only from unholy and ungodly things, but from a thousand things that touch the life of self. And this experience is the only cure for worldliness.... The divine spirit reveals the things which separate from Christ, be it our ambition, artistic delights, refined associations, elegant homes, or what not. Christ tests our loyalty by demanding that our affections be set on Him rather than these. ... This work of education and discipline looks also to the enlargement of our minds, the widening of our outlook upon the great world that needs our help in order that we may be fitted for His companionship and come into fellowship with Him. Let us submit ourselves cheerfully to this discipline, welcoming every trial, entering cheerfully into every thorny path, and bowing humbly to every chastening that He sends upon us.
—Charles W. Byrd, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 14, 1901.
The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. To the Thessalonians the apostle Paul writes: "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." Sanctification is the work of God's grace, by which men are gradually purified in their thoughts and affections. It is the development and growth of all these graces that should adorn the Christian character. It is the process by which they are being fitted for a light of perfect purity and ineffable bliss beyond the grave. This important work is committed to the indwelling Spirit. Christ, it is true, prayed for His disciples: "Sanctify them through Thy word; Thy word is truth." But the word, the truth, is the instrument, while the Spirit is the efficient Agent. By suggesting, unfolding and impressing apt passages of Scripture, he prompts to soberness, thoughtfulness, self-examination, heart yearnings, holy desires, earnest prayer, self-denial, consecration and conformity to God's will. We are addressed as if the work of sanctification were, in some degree, dependent on ourselves. "Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Our duty is to commit ourselves to the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to employ diligently the means of grace. We thus place ourselves in a condition for the Holy Spirit to do his work for us and upon us.
—L.W. Moore, The Baptist Chronicle, Ruston, La., April 23, 1896.
The words "sanctify" and "sanctification" have a twofold meaning. One is to consecrate or set apart, the other is to purify or make holy. The latter meaning is what Paul desired of the Romans, that they present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God--a reasonable service. (See Romans 12:1.)
—R.A. Thornton, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., April 18, 1921.
Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness. ... Sanctification is not perfection or sinlessness, ... but it means that we are set apart to a holy use with a righteousness imputed to us which the Spirit begins to work out in us. It is growth in holiness toward perfection. The process is upward toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. It is as the growth of the child, and as the education toward self-mastery, or as the investment of our time and talents, or as the experiences of the athlete and the soldier and the laborer toward their desired goal. It is as the mountain road which climbs and winds and continues and climbs on toward the top. It is as the continuance in the laws of mathematics until the great problems are solved. It is coming to know and understand God, and rejoicing in His will and in His service. The goal is to come into real possession of the riches which are ours in Christ, to find the wealth hidden in the field and the mine, to realize we are capitalists with wealth to invest for our Lord. It is to have a definite aim in life, and to turn all the streams of our lives into this one channel until it becomes the unconquerable river. It is to become more and more like Christ in our relation to the world. It is to perfect the ship which has had its launchings, that it will be seaworthy and ready for the time of its unmooring. It is to go on toward that time when we can be presented faultless before the Father. ... The Word of God is the truth which sanctifies, and self-examination and self-denial, and prayer and confession of our sins to our Lord are at our command.
—W.W. Hamilton, Baptist Message, Shreveport, La., Sept. 15, 1927.
The heart is the inner temple of the soul, the under robe of character, the primary source of all the moral and spiritual activities. It has two powers, the power to love and the power to hate. The heart which loves God and humanity is right; the heart which loves sin is perverse or morally bad. The mind, as we here use the term, is a product of the heart, just as the memory is a product of the consciousness. Also, as the memory is the conservatory of the states of the consciousness, so the mind, in this special sense, is a conservatory of the states of the heart. ... The mind retains the stream which flows into it from the heart, just as the dam retains the waters which pour into it from their sources in the swamps or in the mountains. ... [The sinful heart] is the bitter stream which fills the dam of the sinful and sinning mind, and is, therefore, itself responsible for the unholy passions and impulses therein. ... Sanctification is the removal of the carnal mind and the building up in its place a new mind like that of Christ. It sweeps from the dam its bitter waters, mud, and slime, and fills it again with a pure stream fresh from the fountains of a holy heart. In these new waters, anger, pride, envy and jealousy can find no place; but everywhere, sweeter and fairer than lilies, bloom the flowers which are "acceptable to God and appraised by man," such as patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, meekness, unsuspiciousness and hope. ... Sanctification is the process by which, according to the wills of God, we are made partakers of his holiness that is a progressive work. ... It carries on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit; and its work is not done in an hour or a day, but usually a lifetime.
—H.C. Johnson, The Baptist Chronicle, Alexandria, La., Sept. 14, 1899.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory unto glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18.) Sanctification is a process of meditation on Christ, and as a result there is growth in the likeness of Christ and an increased manifestation of Christ in the life. One becomes like Christ by beholding Him, and this likeness is of such a striking luster that he reflects Christ to the world. ... The text tells us that this transformation is wrought by the Lord, the Holy Spirit. ... The Holy Spirit as the agent of Christ works in the hearts of Christ's followers this Divine process of spiritual growth and improvement, this continual change into the likeness of Christ. The human factor in this process is in the word, "beholding." The heart turns to Christ and the veil of unbelief is taken away. The sinner looks upon Christ and as he looks a marvelous change is wrought. His soul has found God in Christ, he has found satisfaction for his sin, and cleansing from his pollution of sin, and complete reconciliation with God. ... The work of sanctification [is] wrought as we continually turn to Him. The human side of sanctification is our meditation on Christ, our appropriation of Christ, our feeding upon Christ. And as the work of sanctification is a gradual and continual process, so must our visions of Christ be. ... Christlikeness is a gradual and continual process. ... By a proper use of the various mediums of beholding Christ the believer becomes clothed in Christ's spirit and puts on the vestments of Christ's character. ... It is the assimilation of Christ's character, the appropriation of Christ Himself, the culture of the spiritual life which feeds on Christ; all of which finds expression in imitating and reproducing Christ to the world. ... Christlikeness is an inward, spiritual, experimental process wrought under the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as it operates on our hearts through the various means of grace. To be like Christ in our hearts is to feel as He feels, to think as He thinks, to will as He wills, to have the same sympathies, the same loves, the same purposes and the same motives; to maintain the same attitude towards God, same attitude towards men. It has to be in perfect oneness with Christ in character and conduct. ... As we are constantly associated with Christ and admire His character and life we unconsciously assimilate the virtues of His life and gradually grow into His likeness, so that the world looks upon us and says, "They have been with Christ and have learned of Him." ... Oh friend, do you want to be like Christ? Then dwell much within the radiance of His glory and these glorious visions are provided in Christian worship, private meditations, Bible study and prayer.
—C.P. Roney, The Baptist Chronicle, Alexandria, La., Feb. 20, 1913.
Sanctification speaks of God's love to us more than of ours to Him. ... Sanctification is not a negative matter, but a positive one. God wants us for His own. He considers us His hallowed possessions much as a bridegroom considers his bride his very own, sacred to himself. This shows how precious the believer is to the heart of God and makes our separation from the world and sin the natural result of our consecration to Him. ... Sanctification, or holiness, does not consist in "dos" and "don'ts," nor is it to be confused with sinless perfection. It is rather a consecration to God which results in a closer walk with Him.
—Cornelius R. Stam, The Berean Searchlight, Chicago, Ill., January 1959.
"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. . . . I am the Lord which sanctify you." (Leviticus 20:7-8.) There is nothing to question when God speaks, and He has said, "Sanctify yourselves." ... "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." (1 Thessalonians 5:23.) We can understand sanctification then as meaning simply growth in grace--growth on our part, with abundant grace flowing from the hand of God. We either grow in grace or we become static and our lives fail to memorialize the life of Christ. How are we to be sanctified? We must concentrate on God's point of view. ... We are privileged to be sanctified wholly--every power of our lives kept for God's purposes only. Are we prepared to let Him empower our lives in His own way–even as Jesus did? Christ said, "for their sakes I sanctify myself." (John 17:19.) If we are to be one with Him we must give over our own selfish thinking to His guidance and will for our lives, that we may then become living memorials to the life He gave.
—Mary Nell Taylor, The Sunday School Builder, Nashville, Tenn., February 1946.
Sanctification [is] the process of developing the Christian personality toward maturity in Christlikeness. This requires growth in grace and knowledge. The Holy Spirit uses truth suited to each stage of spiritual development. There is certain truth and knowledge which we must provide for the Holy Spirit to interpret and apply. The Holy Spirit will not do our study for us. Neither can we supplant the Holy Spirit in interpreting and applying the knowledge we obtain through study. In any case sanctification is an educational and transformational experience.
—W.R. White, The Quarterly Review: A Survey of Southern Baptist Progress, Nashville, Tenn., April-June 1967.
Some people are more cranktified than sanctified.
—E.L. Hurley, Dillon Tribune, Dillon, Mont., Jan. 2, 1925.
The man whose only thought is to contribute to the happiness of others is near sanctification.
—Great Falls Tribune, Great Falls, Mont., Feb. 1, 1937 .
"Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." Sanctification is more than separation from the world though it involves separation. It means dedication and equipment for service in God's Kingdom. This dedication comes as an act by which one is brought into contact and in possession of divine truth. Jesus, knowing that His earthly mission was coming to a close, prayed for God to equip those early disciples so they could continue His mission and message. Without a setting aside in dedication there would have been no continuance of that flaming zeal. ... This wonderful Christian status--sanctification--is best understood as a being filled with God. A God-fulness. "To know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fulness of God"--that is the prescription. When one knows Christ in a way that this knowledge transcends all other knowledge; that is, it receives deeper berth, wider range and higher dimensions than anything else he knows--when that is the case, then that life is being poured full of God and Godliness. It is the gradual rise of faith's fulness which we call sanctification. In that sense of the word, then every disciple should be known as being sanctified. Each waking hour should find one positioned to God that nothing impedes the truth which God would communicate through that person. I do not mean that one has to be praying every hour, nor constantly present in church. But I do mean that one's whole life should be a holy requiem offered up for whatever use God designs.
Human life is much like a block of granite. We come into this world with all types of potentialities. In some there is locked up a musician. In others artists, professionals, amateurs, novices, and in a few the spark of genius. But in every case, these potentialities are in the raw stage, awaiting the mallet, chisel, scalpel, brush, tuning fork, or the long rigors of discipline, practice, research, heartache and endeavor. In no realm of consideration is this truth more binding than in Christian discipleship. Sanctification is the mallet and chisel which must be in the divine sculptor's hand. He works away at the block of human granite shaping, chiseling, polishing, schooling, all for the purpose of perfecting a resilient quality workman. To say that one is an active Christian and at the same time not in the throes of this process is to give vent to that which is unquestionably false. Many a rock quarry or sculptor's studio reveals pieces of granite that were begun but left unfinished for various reasons. Friends, how about yourselves? Are you in that number that once knew the joy of trying--trying to be somebody and to do something worthwhile in this world? Then a variety of conditions, circumstances, and attitudes crept in through the years and lo, today, your marble is unfinished. As a matter of fact, many have not touched their spiritual lives by any chisel of effort so long that they nearly have forgotten what I am talking about. Some call it back-slidden. God calls it sorriness, a pathetic, inexcusable sorriness. One can never be filled with the fulness of God unless he thinks enough of the process to continue it.
This is what Paul meant when he said, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." There is the prescription. The process by which sanctification is wrought is faith in the Son of God. Life in the flesh results in nothing but biological functions if it is not coupled to that which is superlative, even the Son of God. This coupling is a virile, overpowering faith which makes flesh significant when dedicated to God. When that process goes on with a minimum of interruptions, then the allure of what is recorded in the seventh chapter of Revelation gains new significance. "They are they which came out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14.) Who? The people who travailed through much testing, the people who turned the other cheek and failed to fight back while not insisting on their rights, the folks who could have made a fortune had they stooped to the shady deal, the fine men and women who have preferred the things of the Spirit over the things of the world, those who refused to run when a fight for the right was ensuing; these, then, are those who washed their garments white. Little wonder they are found in the company of God's redeemed. This is the process of being sanctified through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Roy O. McClain, The Beam, Fort Worth, Texas, June 1958 .
How can we ever be sanctified by the truth unless we have the truth? ... Scholastic attainments alone cannot be called true intelligence. No matter how corrupt a man may be, he can obtain scholastic education; but the intelligence that comes from God is only understood by the pure in heart, those who love Him and keep His commandments. He gives them eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand. The highest intelligence is to know things as they have been, as they are, and as they will be, by the power of the Spirit of God. ... Those who are for Christ believe in His doctrine and in living it. But those who love the world and the things of the world do not have the love of God in their hearts. If we loved the world, the love of God would not be with us. Our ambition should be to please God, to keep His commandments, and to see His righteousness established upon the face of the earth, because it brings happiness. The love of the world does not bring happiness. The greatest happiness that anyone can enjoy is godliness with contentment, and to visit the widow and the fatherless, and keep ourselves pure and unspotted from the world. That produces the most unalloyed happiness that we can attain to.
—George Teasdale, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Nov. 24, 1898.
Sanctify [yourselves], both in body and spirit, that the Holy Ghost, with all its accompanying powers and gifts, may be more abundantly manifested; for the destroyer is abroad in the earth, and [you] must live by faith. But, how can we have faith if we neglect the counsels of wisdom which God has ordained for our preservation?
—Orson Pratt, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Aug. 15, 1850.
Sanctification comes by continued obedience to the law of heaven. ... If we would be sanctified, then, we must begin today, or whenever the Lord points out, to obey His laws, just as far as we possibly can; and by obedience to these laws we continually gain more and more favor from heaven, more and more of the Spirit of God, and thus will be filled.
—Orson Pratt, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18, 1874.
If I understand it correctly, sanctification means a purification of, or a putting away from us, as individuals, and as a community, everything that is evil, or that is not in accordance with the mind and will of our Heavenly Father. Sanctification has also an eye to our own preservation for usefulness–for executing, carrying forward, and perpetuating the work of the Most High God. ... Sanctification means not only the purifying of the heart by prayer, and by acts of obedience to God, but it means also to purify a people, and purge from their midst that which is evil.
—Orson Hyde, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 14, 1853.
The sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God is that influence which purges us from everything that is worldly, selfish and contrary to the mind of God, and the creature who is sanctified can say, “Our Father who art in heaven” because he is born from above. ... If we are then begotten of God and born of His Spirit we inherit the qualities of the Deity Himself.
—Orson Hyde, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 16, 1865.
Truth is the sanctifier of those who love it and are guided by it, and will exalt them to the presence of God; while falsehood corrupts and destroys or, to use a common scriptural figure, it lays the axe at the root of the tree. As the axe cuts down and destroys the fruitless trees that cumber the ground, so do wicked acts destroy and overthrow all who persist in them.
—Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3, 1866.
The Holy Ghost is constant to the faithful because God is true, and darkness is turned back and error dismissed from the human mind, and they have nothing to do but traverse the glory of God, and have communication with the Father and holy messengers continually. The moment an individual is sanctified and prepares himself for the reception of the Holy Spirit, he will receive an extra manifestation of that power and receive a greater blessing than before. Because God is constant and is ready always to bestow upon an individual who places himself in a position to receive it, that power and spirit they are seeking for.
—Joseph Young, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 11, 1857.
We must do and be what God wants us to do and be. When it’s all about Jesus in our lives, then every circumstance in our lives is sanctified for the purpose of God.
—Richard Jackson, Baptist and Reflector, Brentwood, Tenn., Nov. 18, 2009.