For this is the will of God even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
What does the word sanctification mean? The Greek work [agiasmos] for sanctification means separation or setting apart. The Hebrew word is [qadosh] which means to “to be set apart for a special purpose.” Those who have a confession of being a believer are separated unto God for a special purpose, for it is God’s will our sanctification. How to we possess our vessel in sanctification and honor?
Another way of expressing sanctification is to be made Holy in the sight of God. Sanctification is rarely talked about these days, yet it is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible that the Apostle Paul teaches. Sanctification is only possible through the cross of Christ. It is a part of every believer’s salvation experience. A turning away from darkness into the light of Christ. A turning away from sin to living in the love of God. A believer is set apart to God through conversion and is now dedicated to God in holiness. The process of holiness is a daily surrendering of our selfishness or sinful conduct to relinquishing our will to the will of God. Sanctification in turn becomes our daily walk that the end result is living a holy life.
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.2 Thessalonians 2:13
Look at what the Apostle Paul states in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Paul exclaims that from the beginning of time God chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit. Sanctification is done through the Holy Spirit to establish our position in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit sanctification results in holiness or purification from guilt and the power of sin.
If we believe that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, and arose from the dead, then we enter into the process of God’s divine grace. Grace is favor from God through Jesus Christ. Sanctification takes on two key points. The first point is in the person and the finished work of Jesus Christ and the second point is the provision by the working of the Holy Spirit who testifies and points to Christ. The Holy Spirit works in the souls of men, leading them to the full knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When men received the revelation, a birth takes place in their heart and they receive the inheritance and promises of God. Our sanctification is based on our faith in the Cross of Christ. It cannot be obtained by our own efforts. God only looks at the one perfect sacrifice which is Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given as our helper to point us to Christ and to help us move and live through Christ. The Holy Spirit works as an agent in the process of sanctification.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.2 Corinthians 4:7
The vessel is our body, and we are to take care that it becomes a vessel of Honor and not sin. Fornication is an unlawful practice of sex outside of marriage. It is unlawful outside of marriage because it lacks commitment and responsibility for the sanctity of human life such as the unborn child. Many times, sex is used as a form of abuse like slavery. The focus is on self-gratification rather than on becoming a pure vessel for God’s ministry. The sanctity of marriage is to speak of true love for each other in consideration of each other’s bodies as being bought with a price [see 1 Corinthians 6:20] through Christ sacrifice on the cross. There is to be respect and honor for each other’s bodies in marriage.
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.1 Corinthians 6:19
To think about what Paul is stating regarding our body being a temple of the Holy Ghost is seldom talked about today in many churches. In essence it is speaking of our body being a dwelling place or inner sanctuary where the Holy Spirit can reside. The Holy Spirit can only reside in a clean body. That is why it is so important to have a clear conscience before God. We yield ourselves to God and ask for help in cleansing and making us whole again. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, Paul states in Romans 12:1, for this is our reasonable service.
Paul is stating that this is a rational/logical thing to do. This is a mental process that we start with in seeking God, so will we find Him [see Matthew 7:7]. We are always warring with our self-life and we must continue to lay our self-life down at the feet of Jesus. I remember Smith Wigglesworth stating if there is not a continuous change or growth happening in your life, then you are a dead person spiritually. Wigglesworth called it backsliding because there is no growth in a person due to that person going his own way rather than God’s way. That is why we must consider daily where our vessel/body is. Is it for sanctification and honor or is it for something else like our own selfish gratification? I pray that we lay it down so the glory of God’s light can shine through our body as we learn to serve a wonderful loving God. I pray for spiritual growth to start this day as our eyes are open to see the truth of His word.