Online Seminary

Veritas Online Seminary

Today’s podcast continues the series, Know What You Believe… In this series, we’re looking at the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. I hope you enjoy. 

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We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.

The Grace Pathway is God’s plan to lead you through all the stages of spiritual growth. The end result is that the incredible life of Christ would be reflected through you. 

To achieve that end result, God brings you through a process called sanctification. 

What is sanctification?

Sanctification is the grace-filled work of God in unburying you from the avalanche of sin, and enabling you to live every day with the holiness, joy, and love of Christ flowing through you. 

Sanctification is the grace-filled work of God in unburying you from the avalanche of sin, and enabling you to live every day with the holiness, joy, and love of Christ flowing through you.

  • Sanctification is God, rewiring the circuits of your mind, instincts, and emotions so they align with his reality and truth. 
  • Sanctification is God strengthening you to be like Christ. 
  • Sanctification is God setting you free from addiction, dysfunction, self-absorption, and every form of bondage. 
  • Sanctification is God lifting you to new levels of holiness in your words, thoughts, and actions. 
  • You could say that to sanctify is to “saint-i-fy.” The words sanctify, saint, and holy are different forms of the same word in the biblical languages. 

On the day you were saved, God named you a Saint. Saint means holy one. This is your true identity in Christ, no matter how you behave. From the moment of salvation onward, you are a holy one forever. 

Hello, Saint ____ [insert your name here].

But, if a friend followed you around for a week, would they actually describe you as a holy one? Would they say you were pure and good in all your words, thoughts, and deeds? 

Odds are low. 

It is super important to understand that no matter how you behave, you are already a saint in God’s eyes.1 He sees the deepest truth about you, and the deepest truth is that there is no flaw in the truest, deepest you. 

Just like salvation, there is a past tense, once for all, finality to your position of holiness before God. 

However, your everyday practice might not reflect that reality. 

This is where sanctification comes in. 

  • In salvation, God calls you a saint—this is a fact about your life in Christ. 
  • In sanctification, God begins to make you saintly—this is to become the fact of your lifestyle of Christ-in-you (Galatians 2:20). 
  • In salvation, you believe Jesus as Savior. 
  • In sanctification, you increasingly respond to Jesus as Lord. 
  • Justification is instantaneous—it happened the nano-second you first believed in Jesus. Sanctification is a process—it happens over time as you grow along the Grace Pathway. 
  • Justification is perfect—you can’t be more justified than you already are in Christ. Sanctification is imperfect—there is always more spiritual maturity for us to experience. 
  • Justification is a birth. Sanctification is a lifetime of growth in grace (2 Peter 2:18,19). 
  • Justification happens at salvation. Sanctification follows as your post-salvation Christian life journey. 

The whole Grace Pathway is a kind of map to a sanctified life. 

Conformed to Christ

In biblical language, sanctification is you being “conformed to the image” of Christ (Romans 8:29).

The Bible also refers to sanctification as Christ being “formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).

As Christ is formed in you, you are conformed to him. This doesn’t mean you will lose your personality. It doesn’t mean you will begin speaking in weird, sacred tones. It doesn’t mean you will become a weird Christian clone. 

When Christ is formed in you and you are conformed to him, it means that you increasingly express Christ’s character in your everyday life. 

You become more and more holy, like him. 

Biblical holiness is not a sterile, joyless compliance with a set of rules. 

Biblical holiness is a dynamic journey to wholeness, purpose, and joy. It is the expression of your deepest self, in union with Christ, with all the color added.

Holiness is wholeness. 

Wholesomeness. 

That is God’s gracious plan for you. 

Without God’s power in sanctification, the imperatives of Christianity are impossible. 

Stop sinning. Stop being a jerk. Stop breaking God’s laws. Stop messing with people. Stop hurting others. 

Be a good person. Love your neighbor. Speak kindly. Give. Serve. Go to those who have never heard, and tell them about your Savior. Rise above your past habits. Rise above your addictions and dysfunctions. Leave those things in the past. 

Rise up to your high calling in Christ. Walk worthy of your high calling in Christ. 

This is what sanctification is all about.

But it sounds so out of reach. 

And it is. 

It is humanly impossible. 

No one can ever achieve any level of sanctification that pleases God by human strength. 

So then, how is sanctification even possible?

1 We talked about this back in Grace Pathway Milestone 2.2, You’re Richer Than You Think. 


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