DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION (FREE FROM SIN)

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1 DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION (FREE FROM SIN) Romans 6:1-14 INTRODUCTION I want to preach on sanctification this morning. The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To sanctify something is to set it apart for special use; to sanctify a person is to make him holy. Our being sanctified presupposes God s work of regeneration, conversion, justification, and adoption in our lives. We cannot live a holy life unless we have been born again! We cannot live a holy life unless we have been effectually called to come to Christ through faith and repentance, i.e. converted. We cannot live a holy life unless we have faith in God justifying us by crediting to our account the righteous obedience of Christ and his substitutionary death for us! We cannot live a holy life unless we have been given the intimate relationship with God as his adoptive children. Therefore our being sanctified or living a holy life presupposes God s work of regeneration, conversion, justification, and adoption in our lives. In sanctification God sets us apart for his holy service and works in us the character of Jesus Christ. He does this by moving us from being under the power of sin to being under the power of His kingdom. And then through the work of the Holy Spirit He progressively conforms us to the image of Jesus Christ or to cause us to grow in holiness. There are two distinct aspects to sanctification. There is what is called Definitive Sanctification and Progressive Sanctification. Generally when we think of sanctification we think of progressive sanctification. That is, we think of growing more and more like Jesus. We see sanctification as a process by which we are to make progress in overcoming sin and becoming more holy. But progressive sanctification is not where sanctification starts. It starts with and is built upon definitive sanctification. Definitive sanctification is what I want to focus on today. Next week we ll look at progressive sanctification. BIBLICAL STATEMENTS REFLECTING DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION Why do we need to talk about definitive sanctification? Because this is how the Bible speaks of the believer s sanctification. 1 Corinthians 1:2 NIV To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 1

2 Note that these Christians are identified as those sanctified, not those being sanctified. It is a once for all action. 1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Again we see that just as they were justified, they were considered sanctified. Justification is a once-for-all act of God, so is sanctification in this view. Acts 26:18 NIV to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' Hebrews 10:10 NIV And by that will, we have been made holy [sanctified] through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. All these verses and others speak of the believer as having been sanctified as a definite, decisive, definitive, completed, once-for-all act, not as being in the process of being sanctified. This is why we must understand sanctification as more than just progressive. THE MEANING OF DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION What is the meaning of Definitive Sanctification? Definitive Sanctification is the act of God s free grace whereby He frees the believer from the power and reign of sin once for all through their union with Christ s death and resurrection. There s a lot in that statement. Let s break it down and see how wonderful it is, how filled with God s grace it is, and how basic it is to our living for the glory of God and growing in holiness. Let s use as our main passage Romans 6 to explicate this. Notice that in Romans 6 one of the key phrases is free from sin. 7, 18, 22. In Definitive Sanctification God frees us from sin in a once-for-all act of His grace. In what way are we free from sin? Does this mean that we do not sin? No. We are not free from the presence of sin. Sin is all around us. We are not sinless, August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 2

3 in that we still sin. We still have a struggle at times with sin in our lives. What we are free from is the power or reign of sin in our lives. Romans 6 is the key text on definitive sanctification. Look at verse 6, that we should no longer be slaves to sin Verse 14, For sin shall no longer be your master. Verse 20, When you were slaves to sin. And verse 22, But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God. When Paul writes that you are free from sin he means we are free from the power of sin, or more explicitly we are free from being salves to sin as our Master or Lord. Being free from the reign of sin in our lives presupposes that we at one time were under the rule of sin as our master. Before Christ came into our lives sin was our master. Sin was our Lord. We were part of sin s kingdom, or the kingdom of Satan. Paul described our condition in Ephesians 2 in this way. He writes: Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (2) in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (3) All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But when we believed in Christ God sanctified us in that He set us apart for holy service by taking us out of the kingdom of Satan and putting us in the kingdom of his dear Son whereby He worked in us a decisive, definite, once-forall breach with the power and realm of sin. We are free from sin s power. We have died to sin! THE BASIS OF DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION How did God do this? Or what is the basis of this definitive sanctification? It is our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. This is the argument of Romans 6 verses 2-7: Romans 6:2-7 NIV By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (3) Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were therefore buried with him August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 3

4 through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- (7) because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. We have died to sin, therefore how can we live in longer in sin s kingdom or under the power to sin. If you have died to something, you no longer live in that realm. Note that Paul mentions baptism. Baptism is used as a symbol of our union with Christ. We are baptized into Christ Jesus. This is speaking of that spiritual, mystical, vital union with Christ. We are united with Christ. Baptized into Christ s death in verse 3 is equal to united with him in a death like his in verse 5. Our union with Christ in his death and resurrection is the basis of our having died to sin and therefore being freed from sin s dominion. Since Christ died unto sin once, so we died unto sin s reign once for all in the death of Christ. We don t die unto sin over and over again. No, we died once to sin just as Christ died once. It is a decisive act. THE PRACTICAL OUTWORKING OF DEFINITIVE SANCTIFICATION The practical outworking of this is that we now not slaves of sin but have become slaves to righteousness, and therefore we need to live like God is our Master. Romans 6:16-18.whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. What this means on a practical level is that we are not to let sin reign in our bodies because we have died to its Lordship or mastery of us. We are not slaves to sin anymore! Romans 6:11-12 NIV In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 4

5 We are to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Jesus Christ for we are dead to sin and alive to God! The KJV uses the word reckon for counting ourselves dead to sin. There has been some confusing teaching on this command to reckon. Some teach this as if we must reckon to make it true. No, it is true. It is a fact that we are dead to sin. So reckon on it or count on it or believe it. We don t reckon it so, to make it so, it is so, so we are to reckon or count it being so. Reckon is another word for faith. All Christians have died to sin because all Christians are united to Christ in His death and resurrection. We are definitely dead to the power of sin because we are united to Christ and He has died to sin once for all. Therefore we are to realize that we are dead to sin and not listen to sin s commands or yield to its desires. Do any of you remember Terri Gibbs, the country music singer, who had one major hit, Someone s Knocking? The song is about temptation of a man at her door wanting to come in. Somebody's knockin' Should I let him in Lord, it's the devil Would you look at him I've heard about him But I never dreamed He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans When sin comes knocking we don t have to listen to him and certainly we are not to let him in because we are not under his domain. We have died to sin s power. James and Peter both tell us to Resist the Devil and he will flee. Maybe another illustration will help. We ll use the illustration of slavery which Paul uses. Think of the days of slavery in our country. Before the slaves were freed on January 1, l863, if a person went up to a slave and told them to stop acting like a slave, how would that slave respond? He would probably say something like, What do you mean. I am a slave. If I don t act like a slave, my master will not be happy and probably do something bad to me. And that is true. If the slave hadn t been set free, he has no choice but to act like a slave. August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 5

6 But when that slave was set free by the Proclamation of Emancipation and you went to him and said, Quit acting like a slave and act like a free man. What would the former slave say? Thank you, that is what I need to do. I should not be yielding myself to that old slave-master, because he is not my master. This is what Paul is telling us Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, so that you obey it evil desire. Because sin is not your master. Your old man has died with Christ and you are united not only in Christ death, but in his resurrection and he is now alive unto God and lives to God. Therefore you are to count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. This act of God in freeing us from the bondage and power of sin through our union in the once for all act of Christ of dying to sin and being raised in newness of life is what is involved in Definitive Sanctification. And this is the basis of our progressive sanctification. Isn t this wonderful? CONCLUSION Sanctification is the act of God in setting us apart for his holy service by delivering us from the kingdom of Satan and sin where sin is the master and God has translated us into the kingdom of Christ through our union with Christ. Now from this settled fact we are to serve righteousness and put off the old man and put on the new in a progressive way. We can t make any progress in becoming more and more like Jesus and in overcoming sin in our lives unless we rest upon the work of God He has done for us by uniting us to Christ in His death and resurrection. You have died to sin. You are freed from sin bondage. Now go live like it! Amen? Amen! August 12, 2018 Corntassel CP Church Page 6

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