God's Holiness and Our Sanctification
(A Sermon Outline)

 


Authors Note: The following outline was inspired by a lecture by Marty Pickup during the 1996 Florida Lectures. Much of the material in the first part of the outline is derived in part from a review of that lecture. The applications at the end of the lesson are my own.

I believe that an application of the fundamental principle of Sanctification would go a long way toward solving the moral and doctrinal problems that presently trouble the people of God. It is to a very great extent a failure to recognize and heed the call to holiness which is the cause for the present troubles. As such, I believe the following study to be important and timely.


Introduction:

I. A study of the theme of Sanctification:

(II Corinthians 6:17-18) Therefore 'Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.'

Hebrews 9:13-14, For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 2:1-4, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?


Discussion:

I. Definition: Sanctification

(II Corinthians 7:1), Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Note: for further study on this point, please see Neo-Calvinism In The Church of Christ, edited by Tom Roberts. pages 4-45)

II. The Holiness of God

Isaiah 6:3, And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"

Exodus 15:11, "Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Isaiah 43:10 10 "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me."

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

James 1:13, Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

III. Sanctification in the Old Testament

Exodus 19:5-6, 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

"Non-Israelites had to keep their distance from the sanctuary. Israelite laymen could approach to a designated point. The priests could enter the sanctuary itself, but they were forbidden from going into the most holy place. On the Day of Atonement the high priest was permitted to enter the inner sanctum, but his duties there were brief and came only once a year. If the high priest entered at any other time, he would die (Lev. 16). In reality, therefore, even the holiest person in Israel was excluded from the presence of the Lord. The sanctuary in Israel was both a symbol of God's desire to dwell with man and, at the same time, a constant reminder of sinful man's exclusion from God."

(Martin Pickup, Sanctified in Christ, Florida Lectureship Book, 1996, page 32)

Note: Being and unclean person resulted in exclusion from the community... It was a serious thing... In this condition, it was unlawful to worship at God's sanctuary.

Note: Some of the above we would have trouble understanding as unacceptable. Some would not be considered inherently wrong. Nevertheless, it was proscribed by God under the national law of the Jews. One was considered IMPURE, and unworthy to be presented before God in that state!

Psalm 106:39, Thus they were defiled by their own works, And played the harlot by their own deeds.

Isaiah 64:6, But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Leviticus 5:1-6, 'If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter -- if he does not tell it, he bears guilt. 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. 'Or if he touches human uncleanness -- whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it -- when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty. 'Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it -- when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. 'And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing; 'and he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him

Isaiah 5:16, But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

Amos 3:2, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

 IV. Sanctification in the New Testament

1 Corinthians 1:2, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Hebrews 2:1-4, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

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

Matthew 15:10-20, When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch." Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain this parable to us." So Jesus said, "Are you also still without understanding? "Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. "These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."

Acts 10:15, And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."

Hebrews 9:13-15, For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

1 Peter 1:14-16, as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

Ephesians 1:4, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

1 Timothy 2:8, I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

2 Corinthians 7:1, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Romans 6:19, I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

V. The application: A Holy Life!

1 Thessalonians 5:23, Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: The Bible's message to sinful man:

Hebrews 12:14, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:


e-mail this author at stancox@watchmanmag.com

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