Ez 22:26 “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”
Salvation is a done deal, but sanctification is a pathway, a journey.
Ex 19:10-13 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.”
Moses was admonished by the Lord to tell the people. God has ordained a ministry to set lines for the helping of the people.
Why we have lines:
- They protect the sheep, keep them from scattering. Pro-unity that is the result of fences (or lines), to protect you from danger. They are not to keep you from going where you’re going, but to keep you from harm (and/or death)!
- Protect from wolves.
- Save lives.
- Create a sin-free, accident-free zone. Keep us from disappointing the Lord. When you begin to mix what’s holy and what’s profane, crossing these lines, that’s where you get into trouble. You won’t ‘kiss the guardrail’ in the physical world, but you do it with your spiritual life!
- These borders/boundaries keep the devil out and keep the treasure safe. You need space around the treasure. Enforced law is the only law Satan and his demons obey.
You need a line! Guard rails save lives.
The lines (holiness and/or separation—drawn from something to be set to something) are there:
- Because the Bible has drawn them.
- Because the Ministry has drawn them.
- Because YOU have drawn them.
Sanctification is the process of being matured by the Lord and being made holy.
At times, it can be confused with salvation, but it is different. There are three teachers of holiness: the Bible, the Ministry, and the Holy Ghost.
Eph 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
This is the Five-Fold ministry. These are the things that God has given for the perfecting of the saints.
Eph 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”
Perfecting is being given what is needed for the journey, being equipped for battle, or given instruction manual for journey, resources given, furnishing of the saints. The comma is not in the Greek. ‘For the perfecting of the saints for the work in the ministry and for the edifying the body.’ There is a responsibility of the ministry, but there is responsibility in the pews too!
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 shew you things to come.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
The ministry puts lines for our benefit.
If we choose not to do this, we are in rebellion. If you make no difference between the holy and the profane, we profane the Lord.
Some of us have been delivered from alcohol. So, they have drawn a line that they won’t go near a bar or even to a restaurant that serves alcohol. That is a personal line and is good.
The three teachers and standards should always agree. People have gone wrong in mixing their personal convictions and trying to force those on others.
- What does the Bible say?
- What does the Ministry say?
- What does the Lord want you, personally, to do?
1 Thes 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God separates us to come to Him. Holiness is an entry-level thing. It’s to get close to God.
You need to be sanctified spirit, soul, and body. Sanctification happens not just in your spirit, not just in your soul, not just in your body, but completely spirit, soul, and body. Notice the order: spirit, soul, and body.
Sanctification: a maturing process.
There are three ‘ations’, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
Justification is past and is ‘just as if I’ didn’t sin. My sins are gone. No record anymore. You’re lined up to the record of what God calls pure and saved. You are lined up against salvation in the Bible. You don’t get more saved or less saved, you’re either saved or lost. saved. You are lined up against salvation in the Bible. You don’t get more saved or less saved, you’re either saved or lost.
Sanctification is today, maturing in the Lord. You can be saved, but not sanctified. Don’t compare yourself to someone who is more or less mature than yourself. At its core, shame or pride is comparing ourselves. It’s a dangerous spirit. Sanctification is for everybody and is never over. ‘Comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise.’
Glorification is future and is a state of being forever glorified like Him, becoming like Jesus.
Issues of maturity are not always salvation issues. People that grow old don’t always grow up. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re mature.
Chastisement is done because Jesus wants us to grow up. God puts us through trouble for our benefit so that we grow. If we deny the chastisement, we lose our father. You can be delivered from Egypt, but never make it into the Land of Promise.
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.”
If you know to do right and don’t do it, it becomes rebellion.
I Sam 15:22-24 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”
Obedience to the things of God are far more important than all the sacrifices that you could do. Issues of maturity dabble in certain places of salvation. If you have rebellion, that does affect your salvation.
2 Tim 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Only God can see the heart. There are three places of sanctification, spirit, soul, and body.
Spirit is where you’re changed.
Jer 31:31 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:”
Your attitude has to be the first place of sanctification. If you don’t have the Holy Ghost, you don’t have a chance of being holy!
I Thes 5:23-24 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
On the way to where I’m going I obey the laws. The laws are not the purpose of our journey. It’s not that I live for God so that I can look right, it’s so that I can be closer to Him and spend all eternity with Him.
Holiness must happen in your soul. It’s hard to tell the difference between the spirit and soul. The soul can also be called the decisions, or the mind, or the heart. You must choose the new man. Your thought life has got to be sanctified.
Your body will end up being sanctified.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Inside first, but then the outside will happen.
Mat 23:23-26 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
Taken from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full audio of this sermon (and other great sermons!) click here: This is Where I Draw the Line 2: The Dangers of No Lines.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.