Sanctify Yourself!

Did you know that God not only sanctified you, but He also expects you to sanctify yourself?

When it comes to anything you receive from God, there are two parts: there is God’s part and then there is your part. When you were saved, God did His part, He set you apart from the world and He made you holy. However, now that you have been made holy, God expects you to do your part.

For a brief moment, I want to take you all the way back to the Old Testament, where we will see what the Lord spoke through Moses, when he said these words:

“Consecrate yourselves (literally: SANCTIFY YOURSELVES) therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep my statutes, and perform them:  I AM THE LORD WHO SANCTIFIES YOU.”  (Leviticus 20:7-8 NKJV, emphases mine)

In this passage, God proclaimed Himself as “The Lord Who Sanctifies You,” which is Jehovah M’Kaddesh, in the Hebrew language (or, as some put it: Jehovah Mekoddishkem).  This is one of the many names of Jehovah, found in the Old Testament, that reveal who He is, what He will do for you, and the kind of relationship He desires to have with you. He is the One who sanctifies you – He is your sanctification!

Now did you notice what the Lord also said in this passage by the mouth of the Moses?  He said that He expected His people to “sanctify themselves and be holy.” In other words, God does His part, but He also expects you to do your part – He wants you to sanctify yourself!

From my previous posts you now know that the word “sanctify” means “to set apart”. This means that if you sanctify yourself, you are setting yourself apart from the world and consecrating yourself completely to God. It is that simple!

If we go back to the New Testament, we can see this same principle in the words of the Apostle Paul, when he wrote these words from the Lord:

“Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord God Almighty.'” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18, emphasis mine)

This is the kind of relationship that God wants with you. He wants His sons and daughters to keep themselves separate from the world, and from all that is unholy and unclean. Why?  Because He wants His children to be just like Him. He is holy!

Finally the Apostle Paul concludes this passage by writing:

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV, emphases mine)

How do you perfect the holiness of God in your life, according to this verse?  You cleanse yourself of everything that is unholy. In other words, Paul said, You are to sanctify yourself. Why? Because you are holy!

In my next post, we will look at how you are sanctified by the Word of God.
Steve Smith

[All quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]

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