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What is the Believer's Role in Sanctification? Understanding the Process
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What is the Believer’s Role in Sanctification? Understanding the Process

Believers play an active role in their sanctification. This is an essential aspect of the Christian faith, as it involves the transformation of the believer’s heart, mind, and actions to become more like Christ.

Sanctification is a process that begins at the moment of conversion and continues throughout the believer’s life until ultimate glorification.

The Bible teaches that sanctification is not a one-time event, but a progressive work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.

In Philippians 1:6, Paul writes, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” This verse emphasizes that sanctification is a lifelong process that requires the believer’s cooperation and pursuit of holiness.

Believers are called to actively pursue sanctification by cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. This involves putting to death the deeds of the flesh and living in obedience to God’s Word.

Hebrews 12:14 instructs believers to “pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” This verse emphasizes that sanctification is not an optional aspect of the Christian life, but a necessary component of our present experience and ultimate restoration.

What is the believer's role in sanctification? Understanding the process

The Believer’s Role in Sanctification

What is Sanctification?

Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ. It is the work of God in the life of a believer that transforms them from their old sinful nature to a new nature in Christ.

Sanctification is a lifelong process that begins at the moment of salvation and continues until the believer is glorified in heaven.

The Role of Faith

Faith is the foundation of sanctification. It is through faith that we are justified and it is through faith that we grow in sanctification. As believers, we must trust in God’s promises and believe that He is able to transform us.

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We must also have faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, which provides the basis for our sanctification.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in sanctification. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to overcome sin and live a life that is pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life of holiness and gives us the strength to resist temptation.

We must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us and empower us in our daily walk with Christ.

The Role of Works

Works are an important aspect of sanctification. While we are not saved by works, our works are evidence of our faith.

As believers, we are called to do good works that glorify God and demonstrate our love for Him. Our works are also a means by which we grow in sanctification. As we obey God and do His will, we become more like Christ.

The Role of Discipline

Discipline is an essential part of sanctification. It is through discipline that we are able to grow in holiness and become more like Christ. Discipline involves denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily.

It also involves submitting to the authority of God’s Word and being willing to be corrected and rebuked when necessary. As we discipline ourselves and submit to God’s Word, we grow in sanctification.

In summary, the believer’s role in sanctification involves faith, reliance on the Holy Spirit, good works, and discipline. As we trust in God, rely on the Holy Spirit, do good works, and discipline ourselves, we become more like Christ and grow in sanctification.

The Process of Sanctification

Sanctification is the process by which believers are set apart for God and made holy. This process involves several aspects, including positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and experiential sanctification.

Positional Sanctification

Positional sanctification refers to the believer’s position in Christ. When a person places their faith in Jesus Christ, they are declared righteous before God and are positionally sanctified.

This means that they are set apart for God and made holy in His sight. This positional sanctification is a one-time event that happens at the moment of salvation.

Progressive Sanctification

Progressive sanctification refers to the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ. This process involves the believer’s cooperation with the Holy Spirit as He works in their life to conform them to the image of Christ.

Believers are called to “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12, NKJV), meaning that they are to take an active role in their sanctification by obeying God’s commands and relying on His grace.

Experiential Sanctification

Experiential sanctification refers to the believer’s personal experience of sanctification. This involves the believer’s daily walk with God and their growth in holiness.

As believers obey God’s commands and rely on His grace, they will experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This experiential sanctification is an ongoing process that continues throughout the believer’s life.

In summary, sanctification is the process by which believers are set apart for God and made holy. This process involves several aspects, including positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and experiential sanctification.

Believers are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in their sanctification by obeying God’s commands and relying on His grace.

The Ultimate Goal of Sanctification

Glorification

Glorification is the ultimate goal of sanctification. It is the process by which we are transformed into the likeness of Christ and made perfect. Glorification is the final stage of our salvation, where we are made completely holy and perfect in the presence of God.

In 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, it says, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'”

Glorification is the moment when we are finally free from sin and death. We will be made perfect and will be able to stand in the presence of God without fear or shame.

Restoration

In addition to our glorification, sanctification also involves our restoration. This restoration is the process of being made whole again, both physically and spiritually. It is the process of being restored to the image of God that we were created in.

In Romans 8:29, it says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Restoration is the process by which we are transformed into the image of Christ. It involves the healing of our bodies, minds, and spirits. It is the process of being made whole again, both physically and spiritually.

In conclusion, the ultimate goal of sanctification is our glorification and restoration. We are being transformed into the image of Christ and made perfect in the presence of God.

This process involves both our spiritual and physical healing, and it is the final stage of our salvation. As we continue to walk in sanctification, we can rest assured that God is faithful to complete the work that He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).

The Believer’s Cooperation in Sanctification

The Believer’s Pursuit of Sanctification

As believers, we are called to pursue sanctification, which is the process of becoming more like Christ. This pursuit involves actively seeking to grow in our faith, obeying God’s commands, and turning away from sin.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, it says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.”

This verse shows us that pursuing sanctification involves living a holy and pure life, which requires intentional effort on our part.

One way we can pursue sanctification is by spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. Through prayer, we can ask God to reveal areas of sin in our lives and ask for His help to overcome them.

Reading the Bible allows us to learn more about God’s character and His will for our lives, which can help us to better understand how to live a holy life.

The Believer’s Active Role in Sanctification

While sanctification is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, believers have an active role to play in the process.

In Philippians 2:12-13, it says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

This verse shows us that we are called to work out our salvation, which includes pursuing sanctification, with fear and trembling.

Believers can actively cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification by obeying God’s commands and seeking to live a holy life. In Romans 6:12-14, it says,

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

This verse shows us that we have a choice to make – we can either present ourselves to sin or to God. By choosing to present ourselves to God, we are actively cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification.

In conclusion, the believer’s cooperation in sanctification involves actively pursuing a holy life and obeying God’s commands, while also recognizing that it is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit.

By working together with the Holy Spirit, believers can become more like Christ and fulfill their calling to live a holy life.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the believer’s role in sanctification is an active one. While we are saved by grace through faith, we are also called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

We cannot simply sit back and wait for sanctification to happen to us; we must actively pursue it.

One way to do this is through prayer and reading of the Word. As we spend time in God’s presence, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

We also need to be intentional about putting off our old selves and putting on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24). This means actively seeking to live a life that is pleasing to God, rather than indulging in our old sinful ways.

Another way to pursue sanctification is through accountability and community. We need to surround ourselves with other believers who can encourage us, challenge us, and hold us accountable.

This can be through small groups, accountability partners, or simply being part of a local church.

Finally, we must remember that sanctification is a process. It takes time, and we will inevitably stumble along the way. But we can take heart in the fact that God is faithful to complete the work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6).

As we continue to pursue sanctification, we can trust that God will be with us every step of the way.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.