May the God of Peace Sanctify you Wholly
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it.”
Sanctification is the process where God and you work together to set aside everything in your life, to God.
It can, of course, begin by committing your life to Him; but it is worked out by the day by day “agreements” with the Holy Spirit.
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
It is amazing how many times in scripture, our life with God is talked about as a “walk”, “path”, or “way”!
For me, I always picture (maybe because we are) two older people, holding hands; out, enjoying the scenery and enjoying each other’s company.
But if you have had a argument, that walk is not very pleasant.
That is why sanctification is to be a complete work: spirit, soul and body.
The Holy Spirit “turns on a light” within us when we are born again; and makes us to see things in His light.
When we do, He speaks to us about those things which need removing, cleansing, or changed. And He shows us the way to do it: often using scripture to do so.
Removing: Ephesians 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed the spirit of your mind;
and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
We are to “put off”, like an wet coat, our old habits. If we continue to “wear” them, they will make us spiritually “sick”. So the Spirit will tell us: “lay this aside.”
Cleansing: 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He not only forgives us, but cleanses our conscience, and our desires; as we ask Him to.
Changed: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
As we see the Lord: who He is, what He did for us, and what He is willing to do in us; we yield to that image He gives us…yielding to the power of the Spirit within us; and are changed, more and more into His character.
It is a gentle call, like the cooing of a dove: which He is often pictured as in the scriptures. (Matthew 3:16)
It is God that sanctifies us; yet we are called to yield to Him in His work, in us.
Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
He works within; but we are to take those graces (the unmerited favor of power) and work them out in our lives.
(The word “lives” is correct, but general; so for specifics: For He sends the grace we need, sometimes, as we need it;
sometimes, ahead of time to give us security in the situations we are in;
sometimes, it has been there, unused, till a particular time: then we know we have what we need!
His grace is amazing!)
But notice it is the God of peace which does this sanctifying.
When He gives a specific Name for Himself, it is to show us the specific power He is using.
His peace is what He promises us….in this world we live in….to help us be sanctified to Him.
John 14:26-27 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Our God sends His Holy Spirit into us; to stay with us through all the changes: failures, and victories. Giving us peace, as we walk with Him.