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Sometimes people ask the question, “What is the will of God for my life?”. There are many things that compose God’s will for our lives. First of all, God’s will for us is to repent and be saved. This is stated in the following verse:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

II Peter 3:9

Once we are saved, God’s will for us is to love and obey him. A big part of this is what is called “sanctification”.

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

I Thessalonians 4:1-7

The same Greek word is rendered “sanctification” (twice) and “holiness” (once) in the passage above. Sanctification is holiness. It is cleanliness and purity. Its importance is seen in the verse below:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Hebrews 12:14

This holiness that God speaks to us about pertains to the spirit as well as to the body. It involves separation from those things that are unclean within this fallen world:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

II Corinthians 6:14-7:1

Separation is a command of God that is rejected by most professing Christians today because there is so little genuine love for God today. People don’t want be “different” in the eyes of this wicked world. And yet we will be different if we follow Christ. If you rebel against God’s command of separation then you are either lost or out of God’s will. But “in what ways are we to be different?” you might ask. God says that we are to be different in what we wear (I Timothy 2:9), in how we speak (Colossians 3:8), in how we behave (James 3:13), in what we allow ourselves to see (Psalm 101:3), in what we allow ourselves to hear (Mark 4:24), in whom we fellowship with (I Corinthians 5:11), just to name a few. “This is legalism!” some will say. If you really believe that obeying God’s commands is legalism then you have a serious heart problem. God wants us to obey him out of love (John 14:15).

This is not to say that a Christian is not tempted to disobey, because we most certainly are. We still have the “old man” within us that must be mortified daily (Colossians 3:5).

True sanctification does not bring about pride, but rather humility, because it reminds us of who we are in ourselves:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Romans 7:18

True sanctification goes hand-in-hand with compassion:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James 1:27

Our sanctification progresses as we put our worldly ways aside and yield ourselves to God’s ways as revealed in his word. It only manifests itself in the lives of those who love the One who died for them on the cross.

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