Category: Sanctification

Sanctification Clarification

I believe there has been a misunderstanding about some things I’ve said about sanctification, and I would like to clarify:

We are sanctified when we are born again. This is made obvious in 1 Corinthians 1:2 where Paul addresses the recipients of his letter, “…to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Paul was, in fact, speaking to all Christians at the church in Corinth, therefore all were sanctified, for his letter was to ‘those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus,’. He went further saying they were part of all who call upon the name of the Lord. He addressed the whole church at Corinth and all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as sanctified saints, or holy ones.

Backing up just a little, the Holy Spirit does NOT enter us when we first believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I believed all my life that Jesus was the true Son of God and was not born again until the Holy Spirit drew me to Jesus. The Holy Spirit entered me at that time and I was immediately born again. We cannot be born again without the Holy Spirit, (John 3:5) for without Him there is no new life, and we cannot receive Him until we repent, (Acts 2:38). And when we do, we are sanctified and sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

Without the Holy Spirit we cannot be raised up into the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3) where we now worship our Father, and do His will (as He works, we work). And there, in the heavenlies, our Father accepts us, and treats us as sons and daughters, training us up in the way we should go. He does this while we, at the same time, learn obedience through the things which we suffer. And as we continue in obedience, we move from victory to victory, learning to stand, to walk, and run as we head to the finish line. The Christian life is a steady walk through the trials and tribulations of life, wherein we learn obedience, and move from one obedient act to another, thus fulfilling the will of God with every act of obedience, that we might be to the praise of His glory.  

During our Christian life there are many experiences, some so powerful they may seem like a second work of grace, but they are really just experiences. We receive them simply by walking with the Lord. Jesus ordained me and that experience was extremely powerful and sacred, but it wasn’t a second work. The Holy Spirit has driven me to my knees at times, my spirit was caught up to heaven one time, I’ve had revelations that have taken me to the limits of my understanding, and I never tried to put a name on any of these experiences. They are simply places the Lord has taken me in my Christian walk.

We must simply walk with Jesus and learn obedience, doing everything He tells us to do. In this way we will grow up to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. 

In closing, herein is the sanctified life — denying ourselves — turning away from, leaving behind, every thing and every one we hold dear; — taking up our cross — acknowledging that our old self was crucified with Christ and that we are dead to the law and to sin; — following Him — walking by the Holy Spirit in the perfect law of liberty, obeying the Lord in all things. The sanctified ones do these things one day at a time.

Peace to those who have been sanctified in Christ, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

Rev. Jon Banks 

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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, and 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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About sanctification

I have found nothing in the Bible that even insinuates that sanctification is a second stage of spiritual growth, or a second work of grace to be sought after becoming a Christian. In John 17, Jesus asked the Father to sanctify us in the truth (His Word is truth), and He sanctified Himself that we also might be sanctified. The author of Hebrews says that Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and that by His will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; and that by that offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified, 10:9-10,14. In chapter 13:11-13, he says, “…the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.”

Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Here, the writer is exhorting the readers to maintain the race, strengthen the hands that are weak, and the knees that are feeble, so that no one comes short of the grace of God, vs. 12,13,15.

So, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; Jesus sanctified us through His own blood. That is, we have been separated unto God, set apart and made holy by the blood of Jesus, a people for God’s own possession. We are to continually go out to Him outside the camp, a people set apart for God; offering ourselves as living sacrifices to Him who loves us. We are to maintain the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, through whose sacrifice we became a holy nation. 

Sanctification is therefore not a work which we achieve; it is a finished work by Christ Jesus, the perfect Savior. We need only persevere to the end; and we do this by taking up our cross daily, walking by the Spirit daily, and offering ourselves to Him as living sacrifices daily. 

Rev. Jon Banks

P.S. It is my sincere hope that everything I write be tested, not by what others have said, but by the Holy Word of God. Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God before you discard them. May the Lord bless you.

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