We have a tendency to say because a person has natural ability he or she will make a good Christian. Sanctification is not a question of equipment but of our willingness, not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us. It is not a question of natural virtues of strength of character, knowledge and experience—the only thing that matters is that we are taken up into the high calling of God and made His. God sanctifies us, sets us aside and holds us in reserve for His immediate or future use according to His Divine will.
The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to me, not piecemeal, but completely and instantly when by faith I come to the realization that Jesus Christ is made unto me sanctification. Sanctification does not mean anything less than the holiness of Jesus being made mine visibly. It is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me. Sanctification is “an impartation by Jesus, not and imitation of Jesus.”
“For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (I-Thessalonians 5:9) Sanctification is “Christ in you.” It is a gift, given out of the riches of God’s grace and mercy. It is His patience, His love, His holiness, his faith, His purity, His godliness, manifested in and through every sanctified soul. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our sanctified relationship with Him whatever happens. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain, that is all God asks us to look after.
We talk a great deal about sanctification—referring to ourselves as saints, but what is it all going to amount to? The Son of God is born into me by the direct action of God, the way we work and live among men must be the way He lives in you. It should work out into rest in God which means oneness with God, a oneness which will make us not only blameless in His sight, but a deep joy to Him. Furthermore, sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the very same disposition that ruled him will rule us.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (I-Thessalonians 5:23). Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for and with me. First, He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me wholly and keep me by His power alone. Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To the only God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ