Sanctification is Not the Work of Man

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Made unto us Sanctification

1 Corinthians 1:30

            The Lord God demands that we walk before him and be perfect (Genesis 17:1; Leviticus 22:21). He cannot and will not accept less than perfection. And what he demands he performs. What he requires he gives. Christ is made of God unto us perfection in three ways. First, perfection requires perfect obedience; and Christ obeyed the law of God for us. Second, perfection requires atonement, or satisfaction; and our Lord Jesus Christ fully satisfied all the demands of God’s law by his sin-atoning death as our Substitute, redeeming us from the curse of the law.Third, perfection requires a perfect nature; and Christ formed in us in regeneration (sanctification) is that perfect nature. Thus, by righteousness, satisfaction and sanctification, God makes his elect “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).

God’s Work

When the Spirit of God declares that Christ is made of God unto us “sanctification,” he is telling us that our sanctification is, like our righteousness and redemption, altogether the work of God. It does not, in any way or to any degree, depend upon us. It is not a progressive work that begins with God planting a “principle” of holiness in us in the new birth, which grows by our disciplined determination to be holy, until we are ripe for heaven. No! Christ is our Sanctification. Sanctification is accomplished by God the Holy Spirit forming Christ in us, causing us to be made partakers of the divine nature (Colossians 1:27; 2 Peter 1:4). Continue reading