SANCTIFICATION COMES THROUGH THE WORK OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE WORD
We cannot work out our salvation with fear and trembling on our own. Our hearts and flesh are too deceitful because we still have our old nature with us. As discussed in Part 3, we need to be in the word for sanctification to become real in our lives. Even then, we sometimes fool ourselves and use the Scriptures to justify our sinful actions, and we all have done that at one time or another. Therefore, God has provided something else (or should I say, Someone else) to help us in working out the salvation we already have in Christ:
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
We have the call of God on our life because the Holy Spirit did His work through the grace of God in the word of God. Through this work, we came to see our sin, the sin of the world: unbelief in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is in this light that we see what our sin did to Christ. And when we saw and believed on Christ, God set us each apart from the world that He might bring us into His purpose for our life: to be holy and in love before Him. We obeyed the truth, we responded to the call of God, we believed on Christ. And seeing who He is and what He had done according to the Scriptures, we committed ourselves to that call, to live a life of holiness by obedience to His word and His Spirit. But, the Holy Spirit also came to convict us of righteousness, adding great weight to the conviction of our souls:
John 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
We saw Christ not only as crucified for our sake that God might fulfill His purpose for us, but we saw Him also as risen from dead. That could only mean one thing: He was righteous, without sin, the perfect sacrifice accepted by God for all that we are and had done "in Adam." We saw that Jesus was indeed the Savior of the world. But, the Holy Spirit also came to convict of judgment:
John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
By seeing Christ as died, and risen, and ascended to the Father, the Spirit would bring to all who believed the realization that the prince of this world had been judged and his power of death had been broken. The writer to the Hebrews wrote,
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Man no longer had to fear death nor yield to the temptations of the flesh or the world or the devil nor live in the power of sin. In the repentance of men towards Christ, it would clearly be seen that the prince of this world had been judged for he no longer had the power to hold them captive:
Psalm 124:7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Without the Holy Spirit to convict the heart of the unbeliever and the word through which He would do His convicting, man could not come to repentance. Neither would man be able to know what was expected of Him after salvation without the Holy Spirit:
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. . . .
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . . .
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The point is, man could not save himself nor could he know the way to walk in salvation. Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit, in union with our cooperation with what He says to do through the word of God. Thus, Paul continually exhorted the Church:
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. . . .
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
End of Part 4.
Introduction: Tribulation Preparation: Called To be Holy
Part 1: God Is Holy And His Purpose For Us Is Holiness
Part 2: God Works All Things To Make Us Holy
Part 3: God brings About Our Progressive Sanctification Through His Word
Part 4: The Holy Spirit Works For Our Sanctification
Part 5: God Chastens Us For Our Sanctification
Part 6: Our Working Out Sanctification In Christ Has An End
Part 7: Our Christian Life: It Begins And Ends With Holiness
Part 8: Being Made Holy (Like Him) When He Comes
Part 9: God Shall Judge The World In The Beauty Of His Holiness