"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it ... but the redeemed shall walk there."             Isaiah 35:8-9

Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1997 by Diane S. Dew

I.     What does it mean to be "holy"?

       A.   God is holy in the sense that He is all-pure and righteous, both in character and in deed.

                      Isaiah 6:3
                      Revelation 4:8

       B.   The word sanctification means a "separation" or a "setting apart" unto God.

              1.   Of people.

                           Leviticus 20:26
                           Numbers 8:17
                           Deuteronomy 7:6
                           Nehemiah 10:28
                           Jeremiah 1:5

              2.    Of possessions.

                           Leviticus 27:14-16

              3.    Of a place.

                           II Chronicles 7:16
                           Joshua 5:15

       C.    The work of sanctification in God's people is to be a separation
               not from sin only, but also from the world.

                       Hebrews 12:1  "... let us lay aside every weight and the sin ... "

II.    Because of our association with God, Who is all-holy, we must be separated
        from all that would defile.

               Leviticus 20:7  "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy,
               and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine."

               I Chronicles 15:12, 14  "Sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren,
               that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord ..."

               II Chronicles 29:5, 15-18  "...sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house ...
               and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place."

               II Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us
               cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness
               in the fear of God."

      A.   God is too pure to behold sin (Habakkuk 1:13). Without holiness, no man can
             see God (Hebrews 12:14).

             1.   The sinfulness of flesh cannot stand to dwell in His Presence.

                   a.   Scripture says that the glory of the Lord so filled the house of God "that
                         the priests could not stand to minister!"

                                 II Chronicles 5:13-14

                   b.   When "the Lord appeared to Abram" to make his covenant with him,
                         "Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him . . ."

                                 Genesis 17: 1 -3

                   c.   The prophet Ezekiel fell upon his face when he beheld the glory of the Lord.

                                 Ezekiel 1:28

                   d.   "... Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship."

                                 Joshua 5:14

                   e.   When Isaiah beheld the holiness of God, he became instantly aware
                          of his own unworthiness before God.

                                 Isaiah 6:1-5

                   f.   John saw Him and "fell at His feet as (if) dead."

                                 Revelation 1: 17

            2.   No man can see God and live.

                                 Exodus 33:20

       B.   Sin separates man from God, alienating him from the kingdom of God.

                      Isaiah 59:1-2
                      I Corinthians 6:9-11
                      Galatians 5:19-21, 25
                      Ephesians 5:5
                      Revelation 21:27

                1.   Sanctification plays an important part in our salvation.

                              II Thessalonians 2:13  "... chosen ... to salvation ... through sanctification."
                              I Peter 1:2 "Elect . . . through sanctification . . . unto obedience. .. "

                 2.   Without holiness we will never see God.

                              Hebrews 12:14

                 3.   Our offering must be in a clean vessel.

                              Isaiah 66:20 "...bring an offering in a clean vessel ..."
                              II Timothy 2:20-21 "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall
                              be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use ..."

                        a.   "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

                                     II Timothy 2:19
                                     I John 3 :6, 9

                         b.   "He that saith he abideth in Him ought (is obligated) himself also so to walk,
                               even as He walked."

                                      I John 2:6

                         c.   Judgment begins first at the house of God.

                                      Ezekiel 9:6
                                      I Peter 4:17

            4.   Our freedom in Christ (Galatians chapter 5) is freedom from sin, not liberty
                  to sin. The bondage from which we are freed is from being servants of sin,
                  to becoming slaves of righteousness.

                          John 8:34
                          Romans 6: 16-23
                          II Peter 2:19-22

                   a.   We are not to falsely trust in our righteousness, or to take the grace
                         of God in vain by living carelessly. "Shall we continue in sin ...? How
                         shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

                                 Ezekiel 18:24; 33:13
                                 Romans 1:18; 2:25; 6:1-2, 4, 6, 12, 15

                   b.   To willingly turn from God and continue in sin after accepting the Lord
                         is to forfeit eternal life.

                                 Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once
                                 enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
                                 partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God,
                                 and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to
                                 renew them again unto repentance ..."
                                 Hebrews 10:26-27, 29; 12:25
                                 II Peter 2:20-21 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the
                                 world through the knowledge of the Lord ... they are again entangled
                                 therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the

III.    How is the work of holiness or sanctification accomplished in the life of the believer?
         Sanctification cannot be achieved by the self-ambition or personal effort of any individual.
         It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

                Numbers 16:7 "... and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose,
                he shall be holy ..."
                John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth ..."
                Ephesians 5:25-26 "... that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the
                washing of water by the word."
                l Thessalonians 5:23 "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 ..."
                Il Thessalonians 2:13 "... God hath from the beginning chosen you to
                salvation through sanctification ..."
                Hebrews 2:1 l  "For both he (God) that sanctifieth and they who are
                sanctified (passive voice) ..."
                I Peter 1:2 "Elect ... through sanctification ... unto obedience ..."

        A.   Through chastening.

                       Hebrews 12:10-11  "For they ... chastened us after their own pleasure;
                       but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no
                       chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless
                       afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which
                       are exercised thereby."

         B.   By the Word of God.

                       Psalms 119:9 "How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed
                       ... to thy word."
                       John 15:3 "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken
                       unto you."
                       John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
                       Acts 20:32 "... the word of his grace ... build(s) you up, and ... give(s) you
                       an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."
                       Ephesians 5:26 "That he might sanctify and cleanse (the church) with the
                       washing of water by the word."

       C.   By faith.

                       Acts 26:18 "... among them which are sanctified by faith ..."

        D.   Through prayer.

                       I Thessalonians 3:12-13 "And the Lord make you to increase and abound ...
                       to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness ..."

IV.   Sanctification is both a completed and a progressive work.

        A.   In one sense, the work was completed at Calvary.

                       I Corinthians 1:2; 6:11 (Note the past tense of these verbs:
                       "ye were sanctified," etc.)
                       Hebrews 10:10 "... we are sanctified through the offering of the body
                       of Jesus Christ once for all."
                       Hebrews 10:14 "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them
                       that are sanctified."
                       Hebrews 13:12   "... that he might sanctify the people with his own blood ..."
                       John 19:30 "... It is finished ..."

        B.   Nevertheless, this must be incorporated into our lives now. (See Thessalonians
               5:23 "wholly ": Remember, Paul was writing to believers. This is a progressive work.)

        C.   It remains our part to "follow after " holiness, to "continue in " and yield to the work
              of sanctification by the Holy Spirit in our lives. (These are all active verbs; the effect
              is conditional upon our own will.)

                      Romans 6:19 "... even so now yield your members servants to
                      righteousness unto holiness."
                      Romans 12:1 " ... present your bodies ... holy ..."
                      II Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
                      separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
                      II Corinthians 7:1 "... let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
                      and spirit, perfecting holiness ..."
                      Colossians 1:22-23 "... to present you holy ... if ye continue in the faith ...
                      and be not moved away ..."
                      I Thessalonians 4:4
                      II Timothy 2:21 "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be ...
                      sanctified ..."
                      Hebrews 12:14 "Follow ... holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

       D.   Our sanctification will be completed at His coming.

                     Philippians 3:12
                     I Thessalonians 3:13 " ... to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable
                     in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord ..."
                     I Thessalonians 5:23 "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."
                     I John 3:1-2 " ... it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,
                     when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

V.   The holiness of God will be manifested in His people in these last days.

              Ezekiel 20:41 "I will accept you with your sweet savour ... and I will be
              sanctified in you before the heathen."
              Ezekiel 28:22 "And say, Thus saith the Lord God ... I will be glorified in the midst
              of thee: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall ... be sanctified in her."
              Ezekiel 36:23 "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among
              the heathen ... and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God,
              when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes."
              Ezekiel 39:27 "When I ... am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations."

      A.   We have been called to holiness.

                    Exodus 19:6 "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ..."
                    Ephesians 1:4 " ... He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
                    that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
                    I Thessalonians 4:7 "For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but
                    unto holiness."
                    I Peter 1:15-16 (Leviticus 11:44) "But as he who called you is holy,
                    so be ye holy ... Because it is written, Be ye holy ..."

      B.   We are to "be partakers of His holiness."

                    Hebrews 12:10

      C.   "This is the will of God, even your sanctification."

                    I Thessalonians 4:3

Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1997 by Diane S. Dew, Milwaukee, Wis.

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