1. Any operative definition of sanctification can be summarized by one word: “consecration.” Specifically, I’m talking about an individual’s “full consecration to God.” Said differently, I understand Christian sanctification to be the act - which can find a catalyst in crisis or elation - of completely surrendering one’s self and being to God. Sanctification is an act of faith, trust, humility, sacrifice and love. One’s life is let go and offered to God as the most sacred sacrifice. God is everything; life is lived as if it were so. This is the reality of sanctification.
2. Sanctification â€“ as normative reality - is lived out daily in the Christian life through the power, encouragement, conviction and celebration of the Holy Spirit. The normative/ideal/mature Christian life is, therefore, a life given completely to and informed by the Holy Spirit. This way of life and living can only occur after the believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience following the believer’s regeneration or salvation experience. It is an experience that leads to deeper consecration to God and Spirit empowerment for service in the church and the world.
3. I sincerely believe we live in a time wherein sanctification - as historically and/or classically expressed â€“ should be preached and taught about more. There are two really serious reasons backing this statement: 1.) The younger generation of believers actually want to hear it! The younger generation of Christians desire to seek God with serious authenticity, fervor, and abandon. They are crying out for more of God! They want the invitation to consecrate their entire being to God. 2.) The church looks more like the world than ever before! Christians today look too much like the world out of which we are supposedly called. Jesus taught us to be in the world but not of it! Jesus’ call sounds like an imperative to be relevant but not too the point of loosing our unique Christian identity. We are the called, set apart, people of God. Yet, our divorce rate, as compared to that of the worlds, is a fine example of the near identical social statistics shared between the church and the world. Christians need to hear the call to full consecration one again. We all need to strive to live a complete and whole life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. I would not be afraid to say that a failure to teach and preach holiness, complete consecration to God, and the Holy Spirit has directly contributed to the church’s sad state today. Yes, a lot of good things are happening in the Body of Christ; I would never suggest otherwise! The church, however, needs to be reminded of holiness immediately. We look too much like the world; we act too much like the world; we sound too much like the world. Sanctification is absolutely necessary in our teaching and preaching today; it is to be a reality lived, not a concept shelved in an old theology book. Go on, seek all of God.
5. Matthew 5.48: You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.