This is my first book and I have put the first few pages on this blog to see if it is something that you would be interested in reading. If you are, it is available for purchase at http://www.authorhouse.com/ When you get to their home page, look down on your left where it says BOOKSTORE. Click on that link and then type SANCTIFICATION in the search box. Thank you for your interest.
The book is a candid, but scriptural study of the words "holy," "separate," and "sanctify." It was written for the searching heart and is easily understood by people of all educational levels.
The author brings out her own failings and discouragements in her walk with the Lord to demonstrate the difference between growing and sanctification, the "old man" and the "new man." The study shows how being holy, separate, and sanctified is not a process of growth or something that we do for ourselves, but a completed work that the Lord did at one point in time (at the cross) for each of us who accept Him as our Savior.
THERE IS NO ROAD
There is no road to sanctification, did you know that? That is contrary to what is being taught today. The "How to Get Sanctified" books or seminars will not help you to get sanctified any more than bringing your dog to church will make him a Christian. If we all could believe this, there would be no need for books and seminars on the subject. Note: the books and seminars don't come right out and say they are teaching "how to get sanctified," but that is what they are trying to teach you with their so-called "growth" programs. (actually since my book was published, many are coming right out and admitting it).
Sanctify means Holy/Separate. They are the same word. If you are a Christian (by this, I mean a born-again believer), you are sanctified; you are holy; and you are separated for God's use and separated from sin. YOU DO NOT NEED LESSONS to be holy, separate, or sanctified, because that is your character (actually your DNA) the minute you accepted Christ as your Savior. Your outer appearance may be deceiving, especially to others who know you and are quick to judge your actions or behavior - but you are, nonetheless - holy, separated, and sanctified.
One example of Sanctification would be: Joe Nobody (a street person) walks into your church on Sunday morning; he is dirty, has straggly hair and beard, smells, and sits next to you. I suppose the Christian thing to do would be to acknowledge him and say, "Welcome to our service." Then, of course, try not to breath for the remainder of the service so that your nostrils are not offended.
Joe Nobody listens to the sermon, which you have to admit, is pretty good - but doesn't have much affect on you, as you are trying not to breathe and keep losing your concentration (we go through such suffering for the Lord). For some reason that you must have missed, the pastor has an altar call and Joe Nobody goes forward and accepts Christ as his Savior. Upon accepting the Lord, Joe is sanctified and he will never need to be any more sanctified than he is at that moment; in fact, he is just as sanctified as you - even though you have been a believer for 45 years and have always felt that you were a wonderful Christian.
The whole point is, sanctification is something that Christ did (notice that it was done already) for you. When you accept Him as your Savior, you are accepting His death on the cross for your sins, His blood makes you holy in God's eyes, and you are separated for His use and separated from sin. I did not say that you would never sin - but whether you sin or not, you remain sanctified because you cannot be sanctified by what you do or don't do. It is Christ's sacrifice and it is complete!
We as Christians are all in various stages of growth as God's children - we are NOT in various stages of sanctification. We are starting to believe the world's view and are joining every self-help program that comes along.
Our thinking is, "We need to do something to improve ourselves. We need to heal our emotions. I need to improve myself so I can be closer to the Lord. My family was dysfunctional and I need to forgive," (that one sounds so spiritual). There are as many self-help programs in the church as there are in the secular world. Satan filled the church with these programs, and we didn't even see him coming! We no longer understand the simple truth of "Cast your cares upon Him for He careth for you" (I Peter 5:7).
The Word of God was written in such a way that a young child can understand it. As adults, we try to make it more complicated and therefore we miss many of the blessings. We don't need this program or that seminar, what we need is to study the Word of God! The answers are there, the truth is there, and if we study and apply" the Word of God, we would not need new programs because the Word of God will change our lives. Oh... but don't forget, some of the programs bring non-Christians in and when they finish the program, we can pounce on them and bring them to the Lord! NO... The Lord brings them in and will save them with or without our help. Our job is to witness to them (not necessarily evangelize witnessing, but also witnessing by our life in Christ). Now that is a terrifying thought, because most of our lives don't say much about Christ. One of the reasons we came up with programs, was to take the spotlight away from us and our lifestyles and put the spotlight on good works.
I am not saying that every good idea we have has Satan behind it, but we need to be careful, becasue Satan will get his foot in it, twist it, and use it to numb our thinking. It will still look and act like a great idea, but there will be something in there that is contrary to biblical truth. If we fail to study the Word, we won't notice that it is contrary and bit-by-bit we become immune to the changes man has made in the Word and in their teachings until we are completely blinded to the truth.
How much time are you spending in Bible study? Compare that with how much time you spend reading books, magazines, periodicals, and newspapers. What is going in your brain and influencing your thought process the most? If you are like me, it is not the Word of God - it is all the other "things" you are reading (or watching).
A CALL TO STUDY
When I first became a Christian, I was like a sponge. I could not get enough of the Word - and my family thought I was very, very strange. After several years the "honeymoon" was over and other things crept in and began to get in the way of my study of the Word. I still went to women's Bible study and always came up with some "wise" comment - but I was "bored" with the studying part and did not want to do the homework. Guess how long that went on - close to 24 years! This makes me wonder, "Was I really a Christian - how can a Christian be bored with the Word of God?"
Now, I wasn't totally away from the Lord (at least I thought I wasn't); however, I spent very little time in the Word, if any. I still went to church, I still praised God, and I still would not listen to any other music except music that praised the Lord. But what a mess my life became. I may as well have never come to know the Lord. I damaged my testimony because I was no longer living for the Lord. I didn't have one foot in the world and one foot in Christianity... I was all the way into the world and only visiting Christ on Sunday (or listening to sermon tapes or Christian music while I was driving during the week) - You know, doing "Christianity" my way. On top of that, I still had the nerve to judge other people who were not Christians - talk about being a hypocrite!
One of the problems with doing things "our way" is that Satan clouds our mind and we begin to think we are right in everything we do. We become quick to pass judgment on others when they make mistakes and feel that we are somehow more spiritual than they are because we don't do "those" things. We become modern-day Pharisees and hypocrites.
It was only because of the grace and love of God, that I picked up on a few changes that did not correspond to the Word as I learned many years before. From there I began to notice more and more contradictions; even in Bible-believing, God-honoring churches. Even though I was far from being a devoted child of God, I recognized that something had happened and complaisance had taken over the church (just as it had taken over my life). When I tried to point out a contradiction in one particular Bible version, people got angry, they told me that I couldn't say that, or I was being picky about little things. According to them, even though some of the wording in some of the new Bible versions was different, the meaning was still there, and it was easier to understand. Besides, they said, they were winning souls with their programs and improving the lives of the ones who were already Christians. WHAT? So now we do not need the Holy Spirit to save sinners, it is just the programs that do it? WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
Isn't the Lord wonderful? He is so patient and loving, even after all the stuff we do, He still takes us back into His fellowship and treats us like we never left. If you are like me and feel it is time to get off the roller-coaster ride of misery and back to the Lord... then it's time to get back into the Word!
The words Holy/Holily/Holier/Holiest/Holiness appear 523 times in the Bible, of which 83 times are in the New Testament. This does not count times Holy is used as Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. The words Sanctify/Sanctified/Sanctification appear 134 times in the Bible of which 30 times are in the New Testament. The words Separate/Separation appear 96 times in the Bible of which 12 times are in the New Testament. Much of the usage in the Old Testament are regarding priestly duties or holy items used in the Temple. The Old Testament references are being set aside for now; I am mainly concerned with how we are interpreting the words Holy/Sanctify/Separate for our walk with the Lord and what we are reading into these words.
Sanctification/Sanctify is used both as a noun and averb. Vine's Expository Dictionary defines thses as follows: