How often do we find ourselves trying to get a handle on religious vocabulary thrown around in Christian circles? In this study, the words to “sanctify”; “sanctification” will be addressed.
In the generic definition, to sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer [Bible Study Tools- Dictionary]. The pencil was designed by its maker for the use of writing down information. I used to chew on my pencils all the way through my school years with my mom pointing out…” that’s not what pencils are used for!” In the theological sense, a human being is sanctified therefore when he or she lives according to God’s design and purpose, set apart for His service.
For all you Word Detective followers, YES, I did a study in these verses in 2018. [THE QUESTIONS about WORLDLY ASSOCIATIONS]
Since some topics of conversation have come up recently in my own family regarding worldly associations, I’m re-visiting the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Church in Corinth.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Church
Paul wrote this second letter because of continued strife and tension over social issues and false teachers who had infiltrated the church attacking him as an Apostle.
Do we struggle in the church today concerning social issues? Are we hearing messages from pulpits around the globe addressing the moral changes occurring all around us; touching each and every one of us in some way? Or is “compromise” the word of the day?
The Word Is Constantly Changing
Many changes in society are necessary because we as human beings are not perfect. For the same reason, much “development” goes in completely the wrong direction. God’s Word, however, is perfect, and never changes. Sin remains sin, even when it becomes widely accepted.
The Silver Ladle Story:
Helen was a wonderful Christian woman. A single mother raising her only son Tom as best as she could to love God. Helen became very worried when Tom told her that he was moving to the Big City. A year went by and all seemed well. Tom called his mother and told her, his friend Sarah was moving in with him. He told his mom not to worry, they were just roommates, strictly platonic. Helen knew if she could spend just a little time with them together she would know just how “platonic” it was. She soon got the chance when invited over for dinner. All went well until about two weeks later. Sarah came to Tom and said, “Tom, I’m not saying she took it and I’m not saying she didn’t. The fact of the matter is, my silver gravy ladle has been missing ever since your mother left.” So Tom called his mother and left a message on her machine: “Mom, I’m not saying you took it and I’m not saying you didn’t, but ever since you left two weeks ago, Sarah’s silver ladle has been missing.” The next day Tom’s mother called and told him: “Tom, I’m not saying you are sleeping with Sarah and I’m not saying you’re not. The fact of the matter is, if she were sleeping in her own bed she would have found that gravy ladle.”
We are chosen people (1 Peter 2:9)
As believers in Christ Jesus, we are different. We are not like any other, we are not supposed to be!
2 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV Bible)
Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate…”
As Christians, we are told by the Bible to live holy lives to reflect the nature of God. We are to SEPARATE ourselves from actions, influences, or people who hinder our service to God.
True believers are to live differently from those in the world.
Sounds simple, but there are a lot of people who think they can come to Christ–SAVED–and still hang out with the same crowd. They think they can still go to the same places, but you can’t.
The Bible tells Christians to be separate from the world. SEPARATED means when you are SAVED, you change your life, change your friends, and you change your hangouts.
But that said, that doesn’t mean you abandon your lost friends.
When I came to Jesus at the age of thirty, most of my friends abandoned me. They thought I was a religious nut talking about how my life had really changed since I came to Jesus. Their reaction was “The proof is in the pudding. We’ll just keep an eye on how you’ve really changed.”
You still talk to your old friends, you just change the topic of your conversations. You can still hang out with your old friends but change the locations. Instead of going out with them, ask to bring them with you to church.
My point is, you don’t abandon sinners, but you don’t join them either. As a Christian, you are to bring them up to your level, not let them bring you down to theirs.
A Christian is directed by God’s Word to apply the biblical principles of SEPARATION and avoid a few things:
1. We are to steer clear of anything that attacks biblical standards.
If the Bible said it was a sin 2000 years ago, it’s still a sin today. The Bible doesn’t change to fit the changing culture.
2. Avoid any association that will hinder your spiritual life.
So, teenagers, that means if your boyfriend or girlfriend won’t come to church with you, then find a new one that will. Not only boyfriends and girlfriends but any of your friends.
2 Corinthians 6:14, 16 (NIV Bible)
 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
 What agreement is there between the Temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
3. Avoid any situation that you are unsure of:
There are some sins that are plainly spelled out to us in the Bible, and there are sins that are your own personal convictions. If you have any doubts as to whether or not something is a SIN, then for YOU…it’s a SIN. Because of God’s word in Romans 14:23 that “whoever has doubts…for whatsoever is not of faith is a sin”. In other words, if you aren’t sure if it’s a SIN, then for YOU…it’s a SIN.
JUST DO THE RIGHT THING!
James 4:17 says “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (NIV Bible)
If you are not living a life separate from the world, then how does the world know you’re different? If you can still go out and commit the same sins as before you were SAVED, then I hate to tell you, you didn’t get SAVED! I’m not saying a Christian is never going to sin, for God saved my soul. but I still live in the flesh until I go home to be with the Lord. So anyone who says that they never SIN is calling God a liar, according to 1 John 1:10.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. But I’m not talking about ‘slip-ups’ here. I’m referring to instances where we intentionally sin. Paul says in Romans 6:15 that Christians are under GRACE (God’s mercy and unmerited favor) and no longer under the law. So does that give us the freedom to sin at will? Paul said, “Certainly not!” Even though Christians are no longer in danger of God’s condemnation, we will still answer to Him for the sins we commit.
Romans 6:12 says not to let sin reign in our bodies. There’s a big difference between intentional sin and daily struggles of the flesh.
Paul says in Romans 7, that there is none of us who are perfect, that we’ll never be as long as we’re on this Earth. And even though we aren’t perfect, we are to strive for excellence with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
If you think you can have it both ways, you’re wrong! Once you accept Christ as your Savior, life will change. and you’ll want to SEPARATE yourself from the old life you had. Will you completely change? Of course not, but you will change!
You may ask, I know I’m SAVED but I still have a problem with SIN in my life, so how do I avoid those SINS?
As a Christian, when you sin, it is not the spirit that sins, but the FLESH and Paul said…
Some of the LUSTS of the FLESH are listed by Paul in verses 19-21:
- Adultery – any sexual contact outside the bonds of Holy Marriage is a sin – PERIOD. There’s been a lot said to teenager’s conduct; about keeping their hands off each other, well the same goes for the adults. If you aren’t married to them, keep your hands off them.
- Idolatry – anything that comes between you and your worship of God is an idol – your job, your family, your favorite football team, ANYTHING!
- Witchcraft – Harry Potter.
- Murder abortion.
- Hatred racism.
“And those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”
Avoidance of the lusts of the flesh.
Any sin you commit that gives the devil ammo he needs to shoot your spiritual life down, and the ONE WAY to avoid this is to apply the words of Galatians 5:25 -If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] Amplified Bible.
Can we walk in the Spirit and the World too? Not a chance, and that’s why we are to be separated from the sinful world.
Remember you can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).
Is Jesus your Master, or are you a captive to the world; a SLAVE to this world and its master? You can’t have it both ways, so get off the fence and choose today which master you’ll serve.
Remember the words of Joshua chapter 24, verse 15…
Commentary: Come Out And Be New, contributed by Joseph Nordyke, December 12, 2008 – Sermon Cntral. [The Silver Laddle Story]
Photo/Images: Google Image Search.
Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP), or as mentioned in the text.