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  • Writer's pictureSteve McAtee

God’s role in sanctification

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee

When we use the word “God” in relation to sanctification, we will see that the different members of the Trinity have a part in the process, but the Word emphasizes the role that the Holy Spirit has in the overall result of spiritual growth.

1Thess 5:23 - Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Messiah.

2Thess 2:13 - But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

Phil 2:13 - for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

1 Pet 1:1-2 - Peter, an apostle of Jesus the Messiah, To those who reside as aliens,... who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus the Messiah and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

There would not be any sanctification in the life of a believer without the ministry of God. One cannot sanctify himself any more than he can save himself.

b. Our role in sanctification

The role we play in sanctification is both a passive one in which we depend upon God to sanctify us and an active one in which we strive to obey God and take the necessary steps that will increase our sanctification.

What are some ways that we cooperate?

Yield ourselves to God - Rom. 6:13

Mortify the deeds of the body - Rom. 8:13

Work out your sanctification - Phil 2:12-13

Strive for holiness - Heb. 12:14

Abstain from immorality - 1 Thes. 4:3

Purify yourself - 1 John 3:3

Cleanse ourselves from defilement - 2 Cor. 7:1

Stir one another up - Heb. 10:24-25

Rom 6:13 - and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Rom 8:13 - for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Phil 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Heb 12:14 - Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

1 Thess 4:3 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.

1John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

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

Heb 10:24-25 - and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

It is important that we continue to grow in our dependence upon God and our desire for obedience. If we don’t, our sanctification that should continually be progressing will be hindered.


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