Read: Luke 24:45-49
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification (I Thessalonians 4:3).
The New Testament Call
God calls His people to high-level living and names it sanctification. To Israel, He said, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy” (Leviticus 20:7-8). In calling for clean living by New Testament church members, God declares through His apostle, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thessalonians 4:3).
The Bible uses striking language to describe this high level spiritual experience. To Abraham, God said, “Walk before me, and be thou perfect.” When Jesus gave us the Sermon on the Mount, He summarized these applications of a perfect love in the call to holiness: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Whatever else the call to Christian perfection may mean, it is the call for our lives to be well pleasing to God. Solomon exhorted his people, “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God.” Paul challenges us, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
God calls us to be pure in heart, but not through our own efforts. He asks us to allow Him to work a miracle of love in our spirits. Hear His promise: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Hear also a New Testament testimony: “And God, which
knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9).
I hear Thy welcome voice, That calls me, Lord, to Thee, For cleansing in Thy precious blood That flowed on Calvary.
— L. Hartsough