More about sanctification

I recently said that I believe the Scriptures bear witness to our being sanctified when we are born again and raised up into newness of life, rather than sanctification being a second work of grace, or a separate experience to be sought. We are separated from sin, separated from the world, and set apart to God the moment we are born again. It is evident that we receive the Spirit of God at that point, for it is written, “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him,” (Romans 8:9b). It is also evident that our old self, the self that lived in sin and was destined for death, was done away with, making room for the new life in Christ, for it is also written, “…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him [Jesus], that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin,” (Romans 6:6-7). So, we are both dead to sin, and alive to God through the sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior.

The author of Hebrews says Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and that by God’s will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; and by that offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified, (Hebrews 10:10). Rather than needing a second work from God, we need to embrace the new life God has given us through the sacrifice of Jesus, commit to Him, and show that commitment by steadily walking in the new and sanctified state He has placed us in. For just as Paul said, ‘Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God,” (Romans 6:13).

Christians begin their walk being tested and tried, in order that they might learn discipline. The more discipline they learn, the more discipline they practice. The more discipline they practice, the more they grow, all the while advancing spiritually, from infancy to maturity, (this process actually continues to the end of one’s life, and only those who persevere to the end will be saved). It is more than logical that those who have been Christians longer should be more disciplined, and more attentive to the Holy Spirit, and therefore more knowledgable to the ways of the Lord. Does this make them more holy than the younger ones? Absolutely not! So why would anyone think that more disciplined Christians would be sanctified and less disciplined Christians not be sanctified? There is no reason whatsoever, other than those derived from doctrines which are false.

Jesus said, “To whom much is given, much is required.” It therefore stands to reason that to whom little is given, little is required. We must always be careful not to judge one another, for how do we know what is required of one, and not required of another? How could we dare measure ourselves with ourselves, and compare ourselves with ourselves. We are truly without understanding if we do this.

Why, also, would God leave some of His children in a state of no sanctification, when others are sanctified? For all were sanctified by the blood of Jesus and the offering of His body. To believe the doctrine that sanctification is a second and separate experience from the new birth is to believe that faith in the sacrifice of the body of Jesus and the spilling of His blood is not sufficient. And that would mean that we are not saved by grace through faith, and that those who have yet to be sanctified will go straight to hell should they pass before being sanctified, for no one will see the Lord without sanctification, (Hebrews 12:14). 

The doctrine of being sanctified some time after the new birth is as illogical as it is unscriptural. And for that reason there is no mention of it in the Bible. I understand that people have believed in this for years and years, but it is not Scriptural. As a matter of fact, many beliefs we have today are the result of inaccurate labeling of experiences people have had. They meant well and believed in what they were calling their experiences, but that doesn’t make them right.

Dear friends, the church has been operating in a state of sleep for centuries, and the time has come to wake from that sleep, and speak the truth in love, that we all might attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. I believe with all my heart that in order to attain this magnificent goal we must confess our ignorance, re-examine dogmas we’ve been preaching and teaching for years, and open our hearts and minds to the living Word of God, and to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance when reading the Word.

Many are waiting for an awakening, and some think it will come suddenly with an overwhelming display of the works of the Holy Spirit. I believe it will begin slowly, with the Holy Spirit revealing the truths of the Gospel to the existing children of God, that they, in turn, may teach those who will come in when the Holy Spirit starts a final revival. In that way, and only in that way, can we attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.

The mystery of God is great and we have not even begun to scratch its surface. But in these last days, as the body of Christ begins to mature, I believe the Holy Spirit will open secrets of God’s holy mystery to our hearts and minds, for the times of restoration and the summing up of all things in Christ are at hand. 

I’m well aware that many things I say are not welcomed by most people. This is unfortunate. However, Jesus didn’t commission me to be popular, He commissioned me to speak the truths of God. And so I speak. Again, please, please test what I say with the Word of God.   

His most unworthy servant,

Jon Banks

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