(weekly I write a five minute “doctrine talk” based on the doctrine in the passage of scripture we are studying in “People of the Promised Land 1 – Bible Study Fellowship”)
What is sanctification? A believer’s progressive growth in holiness.
We just watched the lives of two men and their process of sanctification. Samuel and Saul. Samuel was an Ephraimite, born to a faithful women whose heart God changed to desire more than a son but I son she dedicated to the service of the Lord. Saul, was a Benjamite, described as “an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites” in 1 Samuel 9:2. But, after reading 1 Samuel 9-15 we realize the results of this sanctification are not the same. I’d rather focus on what was the same through their process however because I think it applies to us today and remember I am that “half full gal”.
For Samuel: God initiates his connection therefore his sanctification with a voice in his sleep. Mistaken for his mentor Eli at first, Samuel finally responds, “speak, for your servant is listening.” Therein, starts the journey for Samuel. For Saul, it is him “doing his thing,” looking for donkeys at his father’s instruction. God leads him to Samuel in which He has already instructed Samuel in 1 Samuel 9:16, God said “about this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel”. Therein, starts the journey for Saul.
What’s your story? When did you first sense the presence, the call, the voice of the Lord? Maybe it was at a presentation of the gospel in a church, on the radio, by a friend or family member. Perhaps, it was while just “doing your thing” like Saul or “in the dark of night” like Samuel. Regardless, therein started your journey too.
Several verses in these chapters show us the process of sanctification for Saul. I’d like to read them in succession. Then I will ask you, what stood out to you?
The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 1 Samuel 10:6
As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 1 Samuel 10:9-10
When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. 1Samuel 11:6
What stood out to you in these verses? The Lord, the Holy Spirit, it is He that does the work of sanctification
God’s work of sanctification begins the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. You don’t have to wonder if God is changing you into the image of His Son. He is!
The way sanctification looks varies from one believer to another.
There is no sense in comparing yourself to other believers – God is writing a tailor-made sanctification story for each of His children.
The process of sanctification last a lifetime.
No matter how long you have been a believer, you are still a work in progress. He loves us too much to leave us as we are.
So do you believe in the process of the Holy Spirit sanctifying you and others? Perhaps in ourselves we can see it and believe it but how about those around you? Your husband? Your children? The women in your group or the children you teach? Ask yourselves this: Do I gladly submit to and obey God in difficulty because I trust He is changing me or others to be more like Jesus? Do I spend my efforts trying to control and change others around me because I think God needs my help?
With those two questions, spend a moment in prayer to the Lord silently. Consider praising Him for the sanctifying work He has already done in you and where you may need to allow Him to do that work in others.