Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be sinless after salvation?
Unfortunately there are those who believe this is exactly what happens after
they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, with this belief
deeply rooted in the word ‘sanctification’. ‘Sanctification’ appears many times
in the Bible and means ‘to set apart’, but it has become a word wrongly used to
support sinless perfection, along with the removal of one’s carnal nature.
Scripture strongly contradicts this thinking.
The use of sanctified or sanctification does not always refer
to sin, or to people for that matter. For example – God sanctified the 7th day,
(Genesis 2:3). Other Bible verses reveal that material things were sanctified
such as Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:23), the fields (Leviticus 27:22-23), and city
gates (Nehemiah 3:1). Foods such as bread and meat (I Samuel 21:5/I Timothy
4:3-5) were sanctified as were Solomon’s temple and furniture (II Chr. 7:16-20;
29:17-19). No sin or sin nature were involved with these inanimate objects. Yet
these things were sanctified, ‘set aside’, for God’s special use! The above
verses plainly reveal that sanctification being exclusively connected to sin and
sin’s total removal is incorrect. Further proof of this is found in I
Corinthians 7:14 where we see that an unsaved partner in marriage is sanctified.
(Note: The unsaved spouse is ‘set aside’, not from sin, and not automatically
saved, but put into a respectful position.)
So, let's look at a person's spiritual sanctification. First
we must be redeemed (saved) by the shed blood of Jesus Christ! “Forasmuch as you
know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold…,,,but
with the precious blood of Christ…” (I Peter 1:18-19) Jesus Christ paid the sin
debt for all who will genuinely accept and believe in Him as their personal
savior! (Psalm 103:12) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
At this point the believer is sanctified… ‘set aside’ for God’s service. (I
But sanctification is a work in progress! It allows us to
have victory over sin but it doesn’t make us sin free! Apostle Paul declared...
“For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I
hate, that do I.” “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in
me.” “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing;” .
In Romans 7:15-25 Apostle Paul speaks of sanctification and the struggles every
true believer faces! Why else would the Bible instruct believers to put on the
whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) if we weren’t in constant battle with the
foe – Satan - who tirelessly pounds us with sin and temptation! And despite
those who declare sinless perfection, Scripture tells us otherwise! “If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I John
1:8) Being sanctified doesn’t remove our sin nature, but it provides the
strength to fight it!
After the Rapture occurs (I Thessalonians 4:13-17), every
believer will stand at The Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ. (II Corinthians 5:10)
But why would a sinless believer need to stand before God in judgment? If
sinless, there would be absolutely nothing to examine for one would have
mastered purity of thought, gained total control over the tongue, and only the
fruits of the Spirit would reside in their hearts. Who honestly can claim such
feats of perfection? Not one person…“For there is not a just man upon earth that
doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Understand…a believer’s salvation has already been eternally
secured through his/her sincere faith and trust in Jesus’s death, burial and
resurrection, and they will never be judged for their transgressions! (Hebrews
10:14) Therefore, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not a judgment of sin, but an
evaluation of how we lived our lives for Him. Did our works bring glory to the
Lord or prestige (pride - sin) for us? Or perhaps we knew what we should have
done, but didn’t. (Ignoring God’s will.) “…to him that knoweth to do good, and
doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) As the Lord examines every
believer’s life, some will be rewarded for their faithfulness and Christian
works. Others will lose their rewards because they allowed sinful flesh to
interfere with their godly walk and spiritual growth! (I Corinthians 3:10-15)
“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall
Through the Holy Spirit, God sanctifies every believer in
Christ (II Thessalonians 2:13). But every believer still has the old sin nature
and, therefore, struggles daily with sin. Thusly, it is imperative to understand
that sanctification does NOT bring about sinlessness! It does, however, buttress
us to SIN LESS!