The Responsibility of Sanctification

Steve Viars May 12, 2013 Philippians 2:1-18

1 Thessalonians 4:3 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification

John 17:17 - Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Romans 6:19 - …For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Ephesians 5:25-26 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

2 Peter 3:18 - but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

3 principles to help us cooperate with God's plan for our growth

I. Progressive Sanctification is a Process

A. Emphasized in many places in the book of Philippians

Philippians 1:6 - For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:9 - And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,

Philippians 1:25-26 - Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

B. The meaning of the word

sanctify -- "to set apart for a particular use, to make holy"

1 Peter 1:15 - but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Hebrews 10:10-14 - And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

John 15:16 - You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

II. Progressive Sanctification is a Balance

Philippians 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

A. You have to work at growing

kataergozomai – "to bring about, produce, work something out"

1. Because you understand the value of words like work, sacrifice, and repentance, and obedience.

2. Without the need for constant supervision.

Philippians 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,

3. Because of the delight of your example.

Philippians 2:5 - Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

4. Because you have a proper awe and reverence for God.

Philippians 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

John 17:17 - Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

5. By following the process outlined in God's Word.

6. Because of your commitment to the cause.

Philippians 2:15-16 - so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…

B. Believing that God stands ready to work in and through you.

Philippians 2:13 - for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

III. Progressive Sanctification is a Blessing.

Philippians 4:15-20 - You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


Additional Resources

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Progressive Sanctification Files:

Notes  Audio

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video