By Eld Lim Chung Wei
The word “sanctification” may be difficult to understand. It is the process of achieving holiness in the believer’s life through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 6:19-22; 1 Thess 4:3-7). Because God is holy, he expects his believers to be holy and thus believers are to strive to become holy (1 Pet 1:15-16) by obeying God (Isa 8:13; 1 Pet 3:15).
Sanctification is different from justification. In justification, a believer is declared to be righteous. In sanctification, the believer undergoes a process to be made holy. Sanctification is initiated upon a believer being justified.
Sanctification is initiated, led, and guided by God who executes the process through the Holy Spirit (Phil 1:6).
However, this does not mean that the believer is just a passive recipient of God’s attention. In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul exhorted the believers to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, as God works in them to will and act to fulfil his good purpose. Because God is leading and guiding us in the process, we should be spurred on to actively participate in the process.
However, the process will not be easy to go through. As God moulds and refines us, we will be disciplined by him.
So, how should we approach the sanctification process?
First, count the cost of being Christ’s disciple (Luke 14:26-33). Are we willing to participate sacrificially in being sanctified?
Second, be willing to receive God’s word and act on them. God’s word is like a compass that steers our life in the right direction. It is the anchor that stabilizes us when we are buffeted by heavy storms. For example, when faced with temptation, God’s word provides wisdom to help us do what is right.
Third, we should deepen our relationship with God through activities like quiet time, prayer and the study of his word. This will help us to be sensitive to his instructions and commands.
Fourth, be proactive in serving God. Our service will be used by our divine maker to shape and mould our character.
Finally, adopt a humble heart and be always willing to learn and change for the better. Our attitude must be right before the Lord.
So…are we ready to cooperate with God and be sanctified?