As we want to be sanctified, we have to make choices in our path. We do better not to just let things happen unto us, but make our decisions. In this message we will deal with two of these.
The first is this: Whom will we follow? We may be ready to give the quick answer: Oh, of course we follow Jesus! Well, that sounds good, but how do we do it?
Just think about it: how many people do you know today, who are sanctified the New Testament way, people who are free from the power of sin? Probably not many. Today the church world doesn’t really help us to be sanctified.
So let me ask you again: Whom are you following? And to give you some help, I narrow the question even more: Are you following the New Testament, or are you following the church trends of our day?
You may never have met a sanctified Christian in person yet. The only kind of Christian you may know are the struggling ones. If they are the only ones you follow, then you will be just like them. But if you want to be the kind of person the New Testament describes, then you have to follow the living Words of the New Testament.
So the first choice we have to make is the choice between the limited obtainments of other believers on one side, or the Words of the New Testament on the other side. If Jesus says: be holy, then we must be holy, whether others around us are holy or not.
The other choice touches the area of faith. Jesus speaks about freedom from the power of sin, the New Testament says that we are dead to sin, but most Christians feel that they are very much alive to sin.
So the question is: What do we believe? The Word of God or our own feelings and experiences? Do we consider ourselves alive to sin because of our regular failures and falling, or do we consider ourselves dead to sin, for the simple reason, that the Bible says we are dead to sin?
This is the difference between walking by faith and walking by sight. Sight believes the earthly experiences, the eyes, emotions and feelings; faith believes what God says.
When our faith is right, it shows that we think God is greater than the things in the world. Our faith respects His Word more than the signs this world keeps showing us.
And the results follow our faith. Sight means: I see it, therefore I believe it. Faith means: I believe it, because God said it – and then I will see the results.
If we believe what we see in the world, then we will have an earthly, natural life – if we believe what the Word of God says, then we will have a godly, spiritual, heavenly life. The sanctified life is much better than the unsanctified, so we do much better if we believe God.
Two great examples of this are Zacharias and Mary. We can read about both of them in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 1.
When the angel told Zacharias that he will have a son, his reply was: Oh, I’m too old for that, it’s not possible. The result was, that he could not speak for about nine months.
But even in this we can see God’s goodness and mercy. Even though Zacharias did not believe at first, God worked in his behalf, and he became a believer, and at the end he had a son, John, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he said a beautiful prophecy, which included these words:
“That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life”
The other example is the virgin Mary. When the angel told her that she will have a son, although she knew that it is impossible in the natural, her response was:
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word”
The result in her case was, that she had a son, Jesus, and she was blessed beyond any human measure, with a heavenly bliss which is remembered from generation to generation, as it is in our days also.
When she met Elisabeth, Elisabeth told Mary:
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord”
Mary also said a beautiful prayer, in which she magnified the Lord and said:
“For He that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is His name”
This same God whose name is holy, is more than willing to sanctify us. His requirement is that we believe His Word – not the weakness of other believers, not our own weaknesses, but His Word. And when we do that, He sanctifies us and we will rejoice in His works.